There is an ongoing battle between card counters and casinos. The casino is always trying to catch the counter, and the counter is trying to avoid getting caught. Many card counters can develop traits that make it more likely that they will get caught. Here are some behaviors that you should avoid if you are counting cards at blackjack in a live casino.
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Looking at Other Player’s Hands Too Long
The only way to keep a handle on the running count is to see each card that is dealt from the shoe. This means that the card counter has to look at the hands of other players at the table. Lingering too long when looking at other player’s blackjack hands can tip off the casino.
This seems to happen most often when a card counter is trying to decide whether or not to take insurance. The player may be trying to figure out there decision as they are getting the count. The solution to this is very simple. Separate card counting from decision making.
You should have practiced basic strategy enough that your decisions at the blackjack table are instinctive. You should know immediately what action to take based on the count and the cards you hold. Practice at home until you are able to execute with precision.
Getting a Player’s Card and Playing Blackjack Under Their Real Name
One of the most common mistakes that new card counters make is to sign up for a player’s card at their favorite casino. They then present the card each time they play blackjack in order to earn rewards points and comps. At this moment, the casino is able to track the player’s buy-ins, cash outs, and overall play.
Is it worth getting caught at card counting because you are trying to earn a free night in the hotel or a free buffet? Nope. You are there to win money counting cards at blackjack. You can use the money that you win to buy your own meal or accommodations.
Talking Too Much to Other Blackjack Players at the Table
There are some card counters who make the mistake of talking too much at the blackjack table. They brag about their prowess at playing cards and beating the casino. This is often a red flag that casinos will notice. It is also possible that the casino has a plant or a shill at the blackjack table who is on the lookout for such behavior.
Always remember that you are there to conduct business. You should be kind and cordial to your fellow blackjack players. Speak when spoken to, and congratulate them on their good hands. Leave it at that. Don’t get too chatty.
Staying Where You Play Blackjack
Another common mistake that is made by the novice card counter is to take a hotel room at the same casino where they are playing cards. This can be very bad when the casino discovers that you are a counter. There are many stories of blackjack players being locked out of their room when they are discovered counting cards.
You should opt to stay at another hotel when you are card counting. If possible, visit the casino and then return to your own home at night. This, of course, is only possible for those who live near a casino.
Playing in Poor Conditions
Some card counters are prone to playing in conditions that are less than favorable. An example would be walking into a casino and playing at a high limit game because there are no low limit games available. This is asking for trouble.
If you sit down to play blackjack at a casino and find that the game is uncomfortable, leave. By uncomfortable we mean anything that distracts you from the task at hand. If the other players at the table are bothering you, leave. If the dealer is being hostile, leave. You are not required to play a certain number of hands when you play blackjack in a live casino. You can leave whenever you want.
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