Counting Cards at Casinos

It’s something that can get you thrown out of a casino in Las Vegas or Reno, so if you’ve just watched Rain Man then forget it.

In that film, Tom Cruise’s character teaches his autistic brother (played by Dustin Hoffman) to count cards and ends up winning big time.

Counting cards in a casino, while not strictly illegal, is something that is frowned upon.

At the end of the day, casinos reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone, and if you count cards you’ll be noticed. It’s one of the first things they teach you at croupier school.

At best you’ll be asked to leave. It’s just not a good idea.

The principal behind it states that high cards, particularly aces and 10s, are better for the player while low cards aid the dealer.

There are other security rules you should know before going to a casino, regarding roulette and craps.

In roulette, you are not allowed to touch chips after the dealer announces “no more bets”.

Once the dealer has placed the dolly – the plastic marker used to mark the winning number – you cannot touch any chips on a winning change.

To prevent any possibility of collusion, dealers are not allowed to take money for change from players’ hands, the cash must be placed on the table.

A more recent rule bans the use of electronic equipment such as mobile phones and cameras at the table.

In craps, players are not allowed to handle the dice with both hands. In the past, before this rule was introduced, it was possible for cheats to use sleight of hand to replace the casino’s dice with another pair.

A casino will have its own rules on how far the dice must be thrown to be a legal throw. Some insist the dice hit the farthest wall on the table, others allow any throw that goes past half way – anything less would be a “no roll”.


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