People are always trying to find a way to cheat at gambling games. That includes blackjack. You might think that card counting is a popular method of cheating at blackjack but you’d be wrong. The most common form of cheating at blackjack has nothing to do with card counting at all. In fact, there is nothing illegal about counting cards. Let’s talk about blackjack cheating.
Card Counting is Not Cheating at Blackjack
Most people have a general impression that card counting is cheating when it comes to blackjack. This is completely false. It is a matter that has even been decided by the highest courts in the United States. Card counting is a skill that one can use to improve their chances to win the game of blackjack. You cannot punish one for having a skill.
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Many years ago when card counters were attacking Las Vegas and Atlantic City with a vengeance. They were making a killing. It all began with the publication of Edwin O. Thorp’s Beat the Dealer. The casinos were not pleased in the least as you might imagine. Their initial reaction was to brand the card counters as cheaters and ban them from the casino. They got away with it for a while, too, until card counters like Ken Uston and Tommy Hyland took them to court.
The card counters claimed that card counting was a skill no different than the skills one must develop in order to win at poker. It was no different from mastering basic blackjack strategy they claimed. The courts agreed. Casinos could no longer call a card counter a cheat and banish them on that premise.
Of course, the casino’s found other ways to eliminate the threat from card counters. They would change the rules of the game or even flat bet them. But the fact remains that card counting is not cheating.
How Do People Cheat at Blackjack?
Card counting is not cheating but that doesn’t mean people do not cheat at blackjack. They do. One of the common methods of cheating is called past posting. This is when the player tries to add chips to their original bet after receiving a winning hand. It can be very hard to do but there are some players that have pulled it off.
Another way of cheating is called hole carding. This is when a player tries to spot the dealer’s hole card. This is tricky because a player can do this in a way that would not be considered cheating. If the dealer is sloppy about protecting their hole card and reveals it during the course of play, that is not the player’s problem.
When hole carding becomes blackjack cheating is when the player has someone working with them to try and spot the hole card. This person might be located behind the dealer. When they catch a glimpse of the hole card they will then signal the player at the table. This exact thing is portrayed in the movie Casino. In the film the casino deals with it by breaking the hands of the cheater. A casino probably would not go this far today, but they would not hesitate to have a player arrested.
Even though these are popular forms of cheating at blackjack they are not the most common type. The most common type is something that you might not have considered. It is so simple yet very effective.
Lying at the Blackjack Table
The most common form of blackjack cheating according to blackjack dealers is lying. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? How can someone lie at the blackjack table and cheat? There are several ways that this is done.
Blackjack players can claim that they did not want a hit when they asked for one. This one is used when the card the player asked to receive causes them to bust the hand. They will then argue that they did not ask for a card. Some will try this when it is obvious that they scratched the table to receive a hit. Others have become so skilled at it that they can make a good argument that they never tapped the table.
You can probably guess that the next way the player attempts to cheat is by saying they did want a card and did not receive one. This cheat can be a little bit easier to pull off because the hand motion of sweeping across the cards can be vague. The player will use this one when the hand they have does not beat the dealer’s hand and they want to have another chance to improve it.
Next up is a player that lies about asking for a double down. They will claim that they wanted to double when in reality they never went through the process of doubling. The process involves sliding out another stack of chips equal to the first.
Cheating with Blackjack Bets
After lying comes blackjack cheating in relation to the bets that one makes at the table. The most common type of this cheat involves a player betting above or below the table minimum. All live and online blackjack games have a minimum bet. It can be as low as $5 or as high as $1,000 or more. The cheater will either bet lower or higher than this amount.
When this type of blackjack cheat happens it is usually the player betting above the table minimum. Sometimes the player that attempts such a bold maneuver is a card counter that knows the deck is in his or her favor.
Lastly, there are players who will try to cheat at blackjack by slipping in the wrong chip. They will bet a certain amount and then after they win attempt to slide a higher value chip into their bet stack. They will try to claim that the dealer did not see the different chip underneath the regular stack of chips.
These are among the most common ways that people try to cheat on blackjack. They are not the only ways. As long as there are gambling games there will be people who invent new ways to cheat. Most of them are eventually found out.