Card counting Table

Gambling: What are telltale signs of card counting at a casino table?

In blackjack, if you count cards, it's very easy to tell if other players are counting. Counting cards changes your play style in certain ways. You assign each card a value when counting and then add to the running "count" when cards are played. You will tend to bet high when the "count" is high, and bet lower when the "count" is lower. Even with different counting systems, counting always points in the same direction. If someone is betting high when the count is high and lowering the bet when it drops, then perhaps he or she is counting. If the person is sitting out when you are sitting out, then the person might be a counter as well. To a counter there are some very clear signs that people are counting. This is why many casinos hire former counters to detect and confirm counters.

If you are not counting cards, there are still many ways to check if someone is counting. If someone bets on average much more towards the end of the shoe than in the beginning, then this is a positive sign that someone is counting (but in no way conclusive). Counters bet more on average as the game progresses because that's when the true count (which is the value on which you set your bet by) is potentially the highest. A high true count indicates a higher player win rate. Another way to detect a counter by looking at their bet size is seeing bet increases when a number of lower value cards come out and are played. Again, this is in no way conclusive but it is also a positive sign someone is counting. You don't have to keep a count yourself to notice this behavior.

There are some game plays that are red flags. The first red flag is splitting 10's. It is a no-no in blackjack to split 10's. Many blackjack players say only dumb people and card counters would ever split 10's. If someone split 10's and is mostly following basic strategy this is very suspicious, especially with a large bet on the table. A lot of advantage players don't do this anymore, even though it does bring in a bit of advantage.

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