Strategies Casinos Employ to Outsmart Card Counters

SEASON 6: Card Counting / LESSON 7

Lesson description

In this lesson, Mr. Blackjack, a seasoned expert with years of experience at the blackjack table, will explore the various methods and techniques employed by casinos to deter card counters. By understanding these strategies, you can learn how to avoid being caught and increase your chances of winning at the game.

How the Casinos Beat Card Counters

Meet Mr. Blackjack

Allow us to introduce Mathieu Blake, better known as Mr. Blackjack. With a career spanning over two decades, Mr. Blackjack has mastered the art of playing blackjack. Through his popular YouTube channel, NeverSplit10’s, he has shared his knowledge and skills with over 100,000 subscribers. In this series, he aims to guide you through the fundamentals of the game, including basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. So, take a seat with Mr. Blackjack and equip yourself with the tools you need to become a winning player.

How Do Casinos Catch Card Counters?

Casinos have developed various techniques to identify players who may be counting cards. They look for specific signs, such as a player increasing their bets towards the end of the shoe. In addition, some casinos even go as far as hiring ex-card counters to help spot others. Online casinos also employ sophisticated software that closely monitors players’ moves and wagers, making it challenging for card counters to go unnoticed.

Tools Casinos Use to Prevent Counting

To combat card counting, casinos utilize different tools and measures. One such tool is the Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM). These machines thoroughly shuffle the cards, making it impossible for players to count cards effectively. By randomizing the order of the cards, CSMs eliminate any patterns that card counters rely on. It’s important to note that CSMs are not rigged; instead, they create a truly random shoe.

Contrary to popular belief, most casinos do not shuffle after every hand. Doing so would significantly reduce the number of hands played per hour, resulting in less revenue for the casino. Instead, they implement other strategies to deter card counters, such as flat betting restrictions or requesting that the player leave the table.

Tricks Casinos Deploy to Throw You Off Your Count

When a casino suspects a player of card counting, they employ various tactics to disrupt their counting efforts. One common approach is to introduce automatic shufflers. While these shufflers do not alter the odds of the game, they eliminate the 1% edge that card counters typically gain. Additionally, casinos may change the dealer, add more decks to the shoe, or increase the frequency of shuffling to prevent players from maintaining an accurate count.

Can a Casino Kick You Out for Card Counting?

It is essential to understand that casinos are private establishments and have the right to ask individuals to leave. However, contrary to what some may believe, card counting itself is not illegal, and players cannot be imprisoned for this practice. Most casinos will initially ask players to stop playing at the blackjack tables or, at worst, request them to flat bet for the remainder of the game. The objective is to limit the advantage gained through card counting while still keeping players engaged and willing to spend money.

What Happens if a Casino Catches You Counting Cards?

In the event that a casino does apprehend a card counter, their primary goal remains to protect their profits. Instead of immediately kicking out the player, the casino may resort to alternative measures. These can include flat betting restrictions, changing the dealer more frequently, adding more decks, or shuffling the cards more regularly. These techniques aim to disrupt the player’s count and minimize any potential monetary losses. However, if all attempts fail to deter the card counter, the casino might resort to more severe actions, such as adding the player to a blacklist and asking them to leave the premises.


Understanding how casinos combat card counting is crucial for anyone looking to excel at blackjack. By familiarizing yourself with the casino’s tricks and tools, you can adapt your strategy and increase your chances of success. Remember, casinos may go to great lengths to identify and deter card counters, but with the right knowledge, skills, and a bit of luck, you can still come out on top at the blackjack table.


How do casinos catch card counters?

Casinos keep an eye out for signs that a player may be counting cards, such as increasing bets towards the end of the shoe. They may also employ ex-card counters to help identify others. Online casinos even use software that monitors players’ actions and wagers according to optimal blackjack strategy.

Do casinos beat up card counters?

Contrary to what Hollywood films depict, casinos do not physically harm card counters. Usually, they ask them to flat bet for the remainder of the game or, in the worst-case scenario, request that they leave the premises.

Are Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSM) rigged?

No, CSMs are not rigged. In fact, it wouldn’t make sense for a casino to manipulate these machines. CSMs shuffle the cards thoroughly, creating a genuinely random order that prevents effective card counting in blackjack.

Do casinos shuffle after every hand?

Most casinos do not shuffle after every hand because it reduces the number of games that can be played per hour. Fewer hands mean less revenue for the casino. However, there are other tactics they employ to discourage card counting.

Do automatic shufflers change the blackjack odds?

The introduction of automatic shufflers does not alter the blackjack odds of the game itself. However, it does nullify the 1% edge that card counters typically have.

Can a casino kick you out for card counting?

As private establishments, casinos have the right to ask players to leave if they suspect card counting. Many players incorrectly assume that card counting is illegal and may lead to imprisonment, but the truth is that casinos are more interested in protecting their profits than punishing players.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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