Blackjack card counting is one of the most well known strategies to be used. It is widely frowned upon by casinos which go to all lengths to discourage card counters since it gives them a good edge over the casinos. Card counting blackjack strategy allows players to bet more with less risk and adapt their actions depending on cards they have in hand. However, not many people are yet clear on whether or not it is illegal or not.
Card Counting - Legal Status
Card counting is not illegal by any means. However, the player must not use any type of devices for card counting. There are several electronic devices and small sized computers which may be used for card counting but in fact their usage is forbidden. Any player who is caught using these would be punished or even arrested for cheating. A player can only make use of his/her brain for counting cards.
Casinos and Card Counters
Casinos are always on guard for card counters. They are always looking for players who look like they are counting cards. They make use of special software to count the cards along with the card counter and when a player raises the bet when the count is in his/her favor, the casinos would be able to know that he/she is a card counter.
Casinos cannot legally bar card counters from entering their premises according to the law. However, in Las Vegas that is different. The casinos in Las Vegas are all on private property and hence they have a right to bar anyone from entering their premises.
Team Play in Card Counting
Team play became a big hit in the 90s though it was born a little bit earlier, and the father of team play counting is believed to be Al Francesco, the significant figure in the world of blackjack.
A typical card counting team would consist of more than one player at a table who would bet only the minimum and count the cards. This player would never increase his bet and for that reason the casinos are not able to spot such players. Once the count is in favor they would signal their big money player who would then sit at the table and start betting huge amounts. This player would then immediately get up and leave the table once the count is again not in his/her favor.
However, if a card counter is still losing money the casinos would not really mind much since they would anyway be gaining with the loss of the card counter. Often the casinos ask their dealers to shuffle the cards more frequently like in every three or five hands since this would make it necessary for the player to reset the count all the time and the deck is never hot enough for big player.
Players often try several different things in order to be not identified as card counters. Professional counters would appear and behave in a very relaxed manner. They also often break the basic strategy. Players who break the basic strategy are often thought of as recreational players and not all of them are ready to play in this risky way.
Also, professional counters are much careful with their bets. Very high bets will always attract a lot of attention. Increasing the bets according to the running count is always the best thing to do since it gives better returns and it is also hard to notice for casinos.