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Can Players Win In the Casino?

668 Views Comments on 12/2/20

This is a question that millions of punters have thought about over the years

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Is it possible to win in the casino in 2020? This is a question that millions of punters have thought about over the years. 

You can, of course, win in the short term on any given day or week, but what about over the long term?

There is still one method that is commonly known about, but mostly thought of as obsolete. This is card counting at blackjack. The idea is well-known from the story of the famous team from MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who plundered millions of dollars from the casinos of Las Vegas.


Old Idea

To understand how we can win in the casino we need to take a look at how the system works from the ground up.

Blackjack is the game that offers the house the smallest edge out of any of the traditional table games. Using what is known as basic strategy the player gives up 0.5% of their wagers over the long run.

This is as good as it gets when following basic strategy with a fixed bet size. Some casinos will, in fact, even offer you a paper copy of this strategy with the idea that it gives you hope that you can win big.

This is, of course, impossible without utilising some form of card counting combined with variable bet sizes.


Basic Strategy

So, basic strategy will get you so far towards eliminating the house’s edge. How do we go even further and swing the odds in your favour?

Basic strategy takes advantage of the fact that the rules of blackjack dictate that the dealer must always take fixed actions depending on what their cards are. 

When the dealer draws a 17 or higher they must stand. When they draw 16 or lower they must draw. This being forced to draw with a 12 to 16 puts the dealer at risk of busting. With this in mind you will no doubt have just realised that with more high cards left in the shoe the situation has turned from advantageous to the house to better for the player.


Card Counting and Betting Systems

Card counters use a system where they track every card that comes out of the shoe and give it a numerical value.

  • 2-6 = +1
  • 7-9 = 0
  • 10-Ace= -1

The higher the count, the more advantageous the situation is for the player.

The player must also perform a calculation to convert the count to the true count by dividing the count by the number of full decks left in the shoe.

Then, depending on what the true count is, they are certain deviations from basic strategy that must be adhered to.

Once all this is mastered, all that is left is to decide on a betting strategy.

There is a lot of debate on what constitutes the most profit betting strategy for blackjack. All of them built around betting bigger when the situation is profitable and retreating to the minimum bet when the house maintains the edge.


The Real Key to Beating the Casinos in 2020

All of the above information, when mastered, is enough to turn you into a profitable blackjack player, but there is a problem, and it’s a big one.

Anybody researching blackjack card counting will be aware that brick and mortar casinos are ruthless in their fight against card counters who they see as cheaters.

There are no legal issues with getting caught card counting, but you will be banned for life from all of that casino’s properties and stand a chance of ending up in the “Black Book”.

This book is shared between all Nevada casinos and once you end up in it you are banned from all of the casinos in the state. This is obviously to be avoided at all costs.

If you simply sit alone at a table and play what is an obvious betting system that ties in with a count you will be easily caught. Probably warned once to stop it, and then removed from the casino.

For this reason a team is necessary to get all of the bets on in a profitable fashion. One player must play just to keep the count until it becomes a profitable situation, then some kind of signalling must be used to instigate a transfer whereby another team members joins and uses a bigger betting size.

When the situation returns to a negative count, this player will leave.

The number of systems for having a team member taking full advantage is almost infinite. One thing, however, is certain. You cannot do this alone or it will be game over. Casinos are savvy to what is going on and are always on the lookout.

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Author

Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes before the end of 2019.

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