There are more and more articles covering Blackjack – our favourite casino game – and today we will take a look at the cheating methods in Blackjack. Of course by cheating we do not mean card counting, which is a play technique and it is not considered to be illegal.
On the contrary, it is considered an intelligent approach to playing blackjack and a legitimate method of advantage play, as long as the counter isn’t using an external device to help counting cards, such as a computer or invisible ink for marking cards. If the casino realises that you’re counting cards, you will most probably be banned from Blackjack and they will make clear that you are no longer welcome to their premises. However, if you get caught cheating, you risk ending up in prison.
This article refers to playing Blackjack on terrestrial casinos alone, as it is not possible for the methods described below, to be applied online.
Know when you are being cheated
The reason why we are writing this article is that when learning how to play a card game, we need to have a comprehensive view on the matter. Especially, we need to know when someone is using non-legitimate means to win. In other words, it is imperative to know when we are being cheated. One way to do that is to familiarise yourself with cheating. We repeat that this article is aiming at a comprehensive and integrated approach to the world of Blackjack.
The Cheating Phenomenon
There is no certainty that someone who knows how to cheat, will get caught sooner or later. If you’re good at it you might go unpunished, otherwise you will soon get yourself in trouble. In fact, many casinos in the US display photographs of people who have been caught cheating at times.
It is clear that technology along with strict security measures have minimised the number of such incidents in modern day casinos.
Common Cheating Methods
Spooking: The most common method of cheating in Blackjack is teamwork. It is achieved by having one person stand behind the dealer and peak at the dealer’s cards. Then, this person secretly conveys the information on the dealer’s hand to the partner player, in order for him to assess the game odds and bet accordingly.
Pegging: An old-fashioned way of cheating. It is achieved when cards are dimpled subtly to mark them and it is not particularly effective as it is easily identified.
Switching cards: This is the kind of cheating we often see in movies, but is not uncommon in real life either. All it takes is either palming or sleeving a card and swapping it out with a winning one.
Marking cards: This is also one of the most common ways of cheating. It requires access to all casino decks since one has to separate high value cards from low value cards and mark them with special inks or dyes. The markings on the cards can only be seen by players wearing special contacts or glasses.
Electronic devices: A widely used method in the past, which is now becoming obsolete as the casinos have developed some very good methods of detecting cheating devices. Electronic devices can be used to aid in card counting. It is more difficult than one can imagine as it requires teamwork in order to decode the signals that the player is sending. It is also possible for 2 or 3 three players who form a team to seat at the same table.
Casino cheating is not part of the game
At last, we must not forget that this article is of a purely informative nature. It does not in any way encourage cheating. You should also remember that casinos, nowadays, have sophisticated detection mechanisms. They use various methods, namely the so-called “eye in the sky” surveillance system. This means that cameras and advanced tracking software are monitoring all activities at every casino table. When a casino camera spots something suspicious, the security team is immediately alerted.