Tricks to Set You Up for a Big Card Counting Win
Mar 30, 2014
Whether you’re an experienced gambler or a beginner, looking the part on the table is key.
Most top card counters will tell you that part of the reason for their success is in the character they portray, whether it’s of a millionaire playboy or of an early retiree just in from upstate. So looking the part really does play an important part of casino strategy. So what can you do with the cards to make sure you absolutely fit your environment?
Trick 1: The Uninterested Glance
Perhaps more practiced at the poker table than with the blackjack croupier, the uninterested glance is just telling your fellow bettors that your cards don’t really matter. The ultimate in ego trips: just give those cards a cursory glance before upping the ante with a new bet.
Of course, this move has gained more popularity as poker has moved to the top table of card games: being able to bluff your opponent with a careful “poker face” can be key to turning a decent hand into a winning one. At blackjack, however, it’s all about the look. It doesn’t matter what cards you have, you’re just playing to character.
So when should you use that uninterested glance? Many beginners pull it out to disguise the fact they’ve just counted their way to a decent win. Suddenly they’re all disinterested and the pit boss knows that you’ve counted your way to a big win.
So probably not the best time to pull it out. Instead, use it sparingly, as a kind of sneer to the croupier, and only when your character is something of a poker nut. Otherwise, it’s probably best to play the best card in your armory…
Trick 2: The Fidget
A style perfected by card counters up and down the US, and especially in some of Vegas’ less distinguished resorts is the fidgeter. Generally accompanied by a bright and boisterous Hawaiian shirt and plenty of noise, the fidget trick can really help to keep any heat off of you until it’s too late.
The card counters who dreamt up this particular trick spent all their time researching the average Vegas gambler, what they wore and what their casino table manners were like. It’s one thing to look the part, though, and another to act it, which is where the fidget comes into its own.
Sitting down at the blackjack table with your shirt drawing the eye isn’t enough: your hands have got to speak the language of the player, too. Don’t sit there and nonchalantly play hand after hand: the pit boss will spot you as a fake a mile off.
No, you need to be as loud and obnoxious as the shirt you’re wearing. That means looking at your blackjack strategy chart as much as possible, tapping the table often and loudly, asking the dealer to explain things and loudly celebrating each and every win.
Trick 3: The Dealer Choice
Don Johnson (not the actor) took several Atlantic City Casinos for a ride in 2011
• He won $6 million at the Tropicana
• $5 million at the Borgata
• $4 million at Caesars
• All of which he won playing blackjack and by using some pretty ingenious tricks
This is the one that beginner card counters fall over on time and again. It doesn’t matter how good you are at math, how well you play your character or how lucky you are with your cards if you cannot keep up with the dealer!
So picking the right guy or gal to play with is essential for a successful 40 minutes of blackjack.
What do you need to look out for in the perfect dealer, then? Well, one of the best things to look for is a beginner. Generally easy to tell, they will have the pit boss standing over their shoulder, and are generally a bit slower and clumsier with the cards. They often look nervous, too, and make little mistakes.
Why is that good, though? Well, as they’re that much slower, you get more time between each hand to count the cards. As each blackjack card comes out, there’s an extra few seconds for you to tally up your numbers in your head: that can be the difference between walking away with $100 and $250.
While the beginner is the best choice, there are some other dealers to look out for. Don’t sit at the table with a dealer who are giving themselves a great hand every time. While some visitors may love this if the dealer is good, it doesn’t really suit your needs: you’re there to win, not have fun!
There’s also a best time to catch those dealers: at the end of the day’s play, around 2 in the morning. Generally the casino is full of people just ending their evening’s entertainment, betting lazily and not giving in to the urge to go home.
So take advantage of it! Slip in and act like the others: you’ve had a great day, you’re tired but you want to make those few extra dollars before you head back to your hotel. With the beginner dealers and the exhausted crowd, it’s the perfect time for you to practice all those blackjack tricks you’ve learnt.
So there you have it: some great tips for you to try and fit in at the blackjack table while taking the casino for a ride. Sure, the card counting itself is harder, but you can always check out our card counting systems for pointers.
Good luck, not that you’ll need it anymore.