Casino Gambling: Advantage Play vs Cheating

The thin line between advantage players and casino cheats.

Advantage Players versus Casino CheatsCasinos have some of the tightest security protocols on the planet. Like government banks, they handle exorbitant amounts of money, and will do anything it takes to keep that money safe. They also want to ensure they get to keep their fair share of it from the countless patrons who tread their gaming floors each day.

In order to accomplish that goal, land-based casinos employ a variety of security measures. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to place state of the art security cameras all over the premises, leaving no square-inch without continual supervision. Many of those cameras are equipped with facial recognition technology, instantly alerting security if a player who’s previously been banned happens to enter the establishment. And that’s just the electronic side of the process.

A multitude of muscle-bound security guards are tactfully positioned in key areas throughout casino. Specially trained employees man the security monitors 24/7/365 to spot any unsavory activity that may take place, and to review the recordings should a question arise. Dealers receive extensive training in spotting casino cheats, as well anyone attempting use advantage play to turn the edge in their favor.

Advantage Players vs Casino Cheats

On the surface, a player who uses mathematically skillful methods to gain an advantage over the house seems much less threatening than someone who’s outright cheating the casino. One act is perfectly legal, and the other is not. But casinos draw a very think line between the two.

By law, casinos have the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, without prior notice. This gives them the right to remove, and/or ban, any player from the premises they deem fit. Players who compromise the intended house edge—for example, gaining an advantage by counting cards in blackjack—make up the majority of banned patrons. Despite being wholly legal, anyone caught trying to gain an advantage over the casino may find themselves subject to an abrupt and gruff dismissal by casino security.

Cheating the casino, on the other hand, can induce a whole other level of malevolent anger from security staff. This illegal activity won’t get a player immediately ousted, but they’ll wish it had. Instead, they’ll be detained in a back room, interrogated, stripped of their winnings, likely threatened, possibly roughed up, and—before it’s all over—taken into police custody. How long it takes authorities to arrive will generally determine the displeasure of the overall experience.

Advantage Play is Okay, Cheating is Not

If you want to count cards in blackjack, my advice to you is to get in a lot of practice first. The MIT Blackjack Team didn’t succeed for so many years by sending amateurs to the tables. They also didn’t work alone, so don’t expect to get rich quick, even if you do manage to be inconspicuous enough not to get caught.

If you’re thinking of cheating the casino, however, think again. Every casino cheat gets caught, sooner or later. Casino security is simply too high-tech these days. Fortunately, due to the same technology, they can’t just drag cheaters out back and ‘take care of them’, either. But the fact remains, only an intelligent and crafty advantage player can turn the tides into their favor.

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