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As long as there have been gambling games, people have been trying to cheat at them. This includes blackjack. While it is almost impossible to cheat at online blackjack, card marking in live blackjack games still happens today. We don’t recommend cheating at blackjack in any circumstance. The following article is offered purely for information.

Cheating at Blackjack with Marked Cards

One of the oldest methods of cheating at cards involves the so-called marked deck. Marked decks can take many shapes and forms. The DeLand Automatic Deck is a popular deck among magicians that uses an elaborate marking system. It allows the magician to observe the suit and the number of the card just by taking a glimpse at the back. Card marking in blackjack is not usually this elaborate.

The purpose of most card marking in blackjack is to identify aces and 10-value cards. The remainder of the cards do not need to be marked. The marking is done so that the player can spot what the dealer has in the hole.

Unlike a prepared marked deck, a marked deck for blackjack cannot be brought to the table. This means that the cheating player has to mark the cards that are being used, as they are being used. Such an activity exposes the player to greater risk.

This History of Card Marking in Blackjack

Card marking has probably been around as long as blackjack itself. Blackjack is believed to have originated in France as Vingt et Un, or 21. It then found its way to the United States and the gambling halls of the American west.

In the earliest days of blackjack in the casinos and saloons, only one deck of cards was used. It was a simple thing then for a player to mark cards for use in the blackjack game. The player also actually handled their cards back then, something that is rarely done in the casinos of today.

Most casino blackjack games that are held today are played with between four and six decks. The decks are contained in a shoe, and players never touch the cards. To do so would provoke a rebuke from the dealer first, and then the pit boss. If the player continued to touch the cards, the pit boss would likely ask the player to leave the table and perhaps the casino.

There are some double deck and single deck games in blackjack. In these games the players are allowed to handle the cards, and this may be an opportunity for cheaters to engage in marking the blackjack cards for cheating.

How Card Marking Helps in Blackjack

The way blackjack is aided by card marking is very simple. Players try to use card marking to identify the dealer’s hole card. If they can determine if a dealer has an ace or a ten-value card in the hole, the player can then have an advantage. They will know how to act on their own hand. This can reduce the house edge and make the game more profitable for the player.

Aces, especially, can be revealed to the player for an added advantage. There is not a single player who would not like to know if the dealer was holding an ace. Just this simple piece of information could make a big difference for the player.

How Are Cards Marked in Blackjack?

There are a few different ways that cards can be marked at the blackjack table. As we mentioned, all the ways involve the player being able to handle the cards. The most common way is to use the thumbnail to make a small crimp in the corner of a card that needs to be marked.

When the card that has been marked is dealt again, the player is able to recognize it by looking for the crimp in the corner. When the player sees the crimp in the dealer’s hole card, the player knows that the dealer has an ace or a ten.

Is Card Marking Edge Sorting?

You may have heard about a gambling scandal that involved something known as edge sorting. Edge sorting is different from marking cards. In edge sorting the player is looking to have certain cards in the deck reversed so that the patterns on the back of the cards is different. A player then spots the reversed card and knows what is is.

Perhaps the most famous example of edge sorting in recent memory involved professional poker player Phil Ivey. Ivey was found to be guilty of using edge sorting to win millions playing baccarat in the UK. He was forced to return all the money that he had won, and was also banned from some playing establishments.

Don’t Risk Cheating at Blackjack – Play Online

We have a very simple recommendation for you. Don’t risk cheating and being caught when playing live blackjack. In fact, we recommend that you choose to play blackjack online. When you play blackjack online all you need is basic strategy and the tips on our website to be a winner. . You can read our Casino Max review, Miami Club casino review , High Country casino review, Cherry Jackpot casino review, or Roaring 21 review to name a few.}


  1. Is card marking illegal?
    • Yes, card marking is considered cheating and is illegal in casinos. Players caught marking cards can face bans, forfeiture of winnings, or legal prosecution.
  2. How can players mark cards without being noticed?
    • Cheaters might use moments when they handle the cards, like in games where players are dealt face-down cards, to discreetly mark them. Distractions or sleight of hand techniques might also be employed.
  3. How do casinos detect card marking?
    • Casinos use high-resolution surveillance cameras to monitor gameplay. Dealers are also trained to spot suspicious behavior. Additionally, decks are frequently replaced and inspected for any inconsistencies.
  4. Can card marking be used in games where players don’t touch the cards?
    • It’s much more challenging. Some sophisticated cheaters might use devices or collaborate with a dishonest dealer, but it’s less common since the risk is significantly higher.
  5. Are there any famous incidents involving card marking?
    • Yes, there have been several high-profile cases of card marking in various card games over the years. Casinos have tightened their security measures as a result.
  6. How do marked cards compare to other cheating methods in blackjack?
    • While card marking can provide an advantage if done successfully, it’s riskier than methods like card counting (which is legal but frowned upon). Other cheating methods, like device usage or dealer collusion, have their own sets of risks and rewards.
  7. How can players ensure they aren’t unintentionally accused of card marking?
    • Players should avoid unnecessarily touching or handling the cards more than required, especially in casinos where touching the cards isn’t standard practice. Always follow casino etiquette and be mindful of the game rules.

While card marking might offer a short-term advantage, the long-term risks of getting caught are significant. Playing honestly ensures a more enjoyable gaming experience without the looming threat of repercussions.

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