Blackjack Cheating

Cheating at Blackjack, as is the case with cheating at any other casino game, is illegal. There are various ways that scammers have managed to cheat the system and, from time to time, they still find cheats that can give them an advantage over the house. Remember that casinos are very adept at catching cheats and there are serious penalties for even trying to cheat. Expect to be banned from the casino in question, and likely all the other casinos in town, at the very least.

Any card game is susceptible to cheats which involve marking the cards in a way that allows players or the dealers to determine their value without actually seeing the card's face. Some forms of marking are very simple, such as adding a smudge or a small crease to a card which only the cheat will know has any meaning. Others are a bit more complex. "Pegging" involves putting depressions into the surface of the card. While these may be undetectable to the players, they are readily apparent to the sensitive hands of an unscrupulous dealer.

Sleight of hand techniques are probably the most famous of the methods used by card cheats. These can involve "palming" a card, having a card hidden up a sleeve or ducking a card under the table. For this reason, most casinos adhere to a rule that requires all cards to remain over the table at all times. Taking a card below the surface of the table will usually cause the dealer to call "Card down!" and invalidate the hand. It will also likely get the player removed from the table. If you've ever wondered where the term "under the table" comes from, now you know.

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More coordinated methods of cheating are sometimes employed. Players may coordinate in face-down games with one player standing in a location where they can see the dealer's hand and signal the player with whom they're working as to its value. If you plan on trying this in a casino, plan on getting caught, as well. Good dealers, in any regard, know how to view their face down cards in a way that makes this essentially impossible.

Players may also work with a dealer as a part of their scam. The dealers may deal the cards in a way that favors the player with whom they're working or signal their accomplices in a way that lets them know when to bet and when not. Gangs working together in this way can potentially make huge amounts of money but risk serious legal consequences.

When you're in a casino, remember that there is a great deal of time and effort put into monitoring the tables and the action during the games. In a modern casino, it's essentially impossible to get away with any of the more common methods of cheating. Card counting, one of the most sophisticated methods of cheating, can even be spotted by casino operators. Sleight of hand and other scams are long passed from usefulness.