The legality or illegality of card counting in BlackJack is the question, and the answer is somewhat ambiguous.
What is Card Counting?
This is a system whereby a player keeps track of certain cards played. Card counters use a method to arrive at a particular sum. This sum is called the running count. While high cards favor the player, low cards favor the dealer. So if the cards in the shoe have a higher number of high cards, this would allow the player to win blackjack and pay 3:2 odds. As an example, when a counter has a good run, this infers that there are more small cards then high cards played. So if a player has a good run, the house edge is in his favor and he can then increase his bets. But if the count is not in his favor and the dealer has the edge, the player will only bet the minimum.
Are Counting Cards Legal?
This is a question that has two sides to it. The most likely answer is that if a card counter is not using any other method of counting cards, it is not illegal. Then why are players who count cards banned from their casinos? In Las Vegas, for example, they use the private owner law which gives them the right to remove someone from their property for any reason. While this may be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as far as discrimination is concerned, card counters are not among those who are classified as such. There is no law that has been passed that says card counting is illegal. However, if a casino finds that a player is using this process, they will bar him or her from the casino for life. But there is another side to this. Most states will use the trespassing statute if that person has been counting cards. But it is also important to note that no warrants ore arrests would be made.
Can you Count Cards Online?
The answer is No. According to one source “Card counting successfully in online blackjack relies on good penetration. "Penetration refers to the percentage of the cards which are dealt before the deck is reshuffled. The higher the percentage, the more accurate your count will be. The more cards you are able to look at, the more accurate your estimation will be regarding what is left in the deck. Online casinos are not going to offer you high penetration and the chance to sit there counting cards at a leisurely pace. The house is always ahead of you. This is why the majority of online casinos are set up so that the deck will be reshuffled after every single hand. This also means that penetration is ridiculously low, so it is impossible to get a strong running count.”
Can Special Software Enable you to Count Cards Online?
Again, according to sources “There are some online casinos which have higher penetration blackjack. There are programmers who have written software specifically to try and exploit this and run the numbers for you. Using that software, you can play through your hands with next to no effort; the software tells you the ideal play, you make it, and you profit. But before you download that software - warning Will Robinson —online casinos that offer higher penetration blackjack are on the lookout for card counting, and have algorithms that help them to detect the use of such software. If they catch you, they will ask you to leave, and they will not let you return. In essence, you are barred from the casino for life.
What is Surrender in Blackjack?
Surrender is a blackjack term that gives you the option to fold your hand. Instead of playing out your hand, you can surrender and automatically lose half your bet. You won’t find this option at all casinos regardless of whether it is blackjack or other table games. In fact, you would rarely hear the term mentioned. So before you begin the game of Blackjack, for example, you’ll need to ask the dealer if Surrender is okay at the table. To surrender your hand, it must be done before any betting is placed. When you are dealt the two cards and you feel you have no way if winning, you simply tell the dealer you want to surrender your hand.