Card Counting in the US

Card counting has become a familiar term in US gambling. The term ‘card counting’ refers to a technique players can use to keep track of the cards dealt during a game. Generally, this would be used for games like Poker and Blackjack at casinos. Most Americans have probably heard of counting cards and how it’s done. So, our expert reviewers at River Nile Casino have put together everything we know about it.

Card Counting in the US

What is Card Counting?

By definition, card counting involves a technique some players use to track cards being dealt. This uses probability and some tricks to accurately track cards. As a rule, counting cards help these players to make the right bets based on the cards. However, most casinos take steps to prevent card counters from predicting the outcomes. These days, cards are dealt with electronic shuffle machines, called shoes. This randomises the probability of cards being dealt a certain way by the dealer.

Added to this, the system does not guarantee wins, no matter how many movies feature it. You will lose some hands, so it’s best to have a large bankroll. While card counting is technically legal, most casinos will ban US players for life if they’re caught. Also, counting cards usually goes wrong without practice, so the casino could benefit from your efforts.

Why You Should Consider Counting Cards

While card counting is legal, using an app or other aids is not. As long as you’re counting in your head, it’s legal. We recommend trying this method as a way to improve your strategies. After all, from a legal standpoint, this is considered a form of strategizing. Just keep in mind that casinos can kick you out at any time if you win too much.

Unfortunately, US players cannot count cards online. This is because online games are controlled by sophisticated systems called Random Number Generators (RNGs). These systems control the randomness and fairness of the game. So, it’s nearly impossible to count cards and to hack the RNG systems. You could always try card counting on live dealer games, though.

Card Counting Method of Choice

If you’re really set on trying this technique, it’s best to start simple. In card counting, the simplest method is called Hi-Lo. This system uses a basic category for low value cards, neutrals and high value cards. Low value cards are set between one and six, and are valued at +1. Neutral cards are seven to nine, but have a value of zero. High value cards are valued at -1, and these are all cards above nine.

Keep in mind that counting at the start of the game is fairly pointless. However, as the game goes on, it will help you to bet accurately. Further methods for counting cards get far more complicated, and are illegal.

How to Keep Your Card Counting a Secret

Most casinos in the US use a few steps to discourage counting cards. These steps are also tracked by CCTV at all times, so be careful.

  • Using a cutting card – this card has to be used when the deck is shuffled to counteract card counting.
  • Using multiple decks – to discourage players further, casinos use many decks of cards to make tracking harder.
  • Counting the cards – most casinos are now counting their cards with an automated system that scans each card being dealt and assigning values. The system will notify the casino if a player suddenly raises bets on high value cards.
  • Facial recognition software – the most important tool for modern casinos is using face recognition. This technology creates a database of known card counters’ pictures. As such, players are stopped well before they can sit at the gaming tables.

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