Blackjack Cheating

Ever since casinos have existed there has been a fascination with cheating particularly surrounding blackjack since it can be such a lucrative game with an unfair advantage.  While there has been tons of methods used throughout the years to try and cheat at the blackjack tables, most have been discovered, foiled or become unusable due to increased security.  That being said, you can bet that there are savvy players from around the world working daily to figure out new and ingenious ways of cheating at the game.  In this article we will look at some of the popular methods used by cheats over the years to try and gain an unfair advantage when playing blackjack.  We haven't covered card counting in this article since it's not illegal or cheating - please see that article for full details on how to use card counting.

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How To Cheat At Blackjack

  • Dealer Involvement - The most obvious and easiest way to cheat at blackjack is to make an arrangement with the dealer whereby they will expose their hole card to you while you are playing.  If you have this knowledge before hand you will have a significant advantage while playing at the table.  Another method that can be used is to have the dealer allow you to change your wager after the hand has been played to increase your payout when you have a winning hand and vice versa.
  • Hole Carding - This isn't exactly cheating but the casinos definitely don't like it - hole carding is when a weak and/or inexperienced dealer exposes his down card during each hand because of poor dealing skills.  This is most common in lower end casinos with low paid and less experienced dealers.  If you are lucky enough to find a dealer where hole carding is possible, use this information for your decisions will playing but don't make it too obvious (hitting a 20 for example) or the dealer/pit boss will figure it out.
  • Card Marking - One of the older tricks in the book card marking is basically where you use either an invisible ink or some physical device to distort the appearance of the cards.  The idea with this tactic is that as the dealer is dealing from the shoe you will get a glimpse at the next card coming out of the deck.  This is a huge advantage for players, however this one is very difficult to pull off since you aren't supposed to touch the cards and if you are caught this will mean seriously big trouble from the casinos.
  • Sleight of Hand - Some players who are really good with their hands have used sleight of hand to cheat by changing their cards during play.  This is almost impossible to do without the dealer being in on it however the basic principle is you play two or three hands and swap your cards accordingly to give you favourable totals against the dealers cards.  This method has basically fallen out of favour since it's so difficult to pull off however is still used by some cheating teams in casinos around the world.
  • Past Post Betting- This method simple involves you adding chips to your original wager if you receive a good hand, say a 20 against a dealer up card of 6.  The problem with this method is that dealers are trained to remember all bets when the hand begins so you have to be careful, but if you get an old, inexperienced or very tired dealer this can be pulled off - don't forget about the eye in the sky though.
  • Electronic Counting - Using electronic counting is basically doing card counting but with the assistance of an electronic device to keep track of the cards.  This is illegal since the thing that makes card counting legal is that you are only using your memory.  With an electronic device you will be violating the law however this can be a really easy method to find the optimal betting situations.
  • Online Blackjack Cheating - Lots of people wonder if it's possible to cheat at online blackjack and the simply answer is no since everything is randomized by random number generators.  That being said, if you could hack the software it is in theory possible however this is a complicated method to use.

Overall, these are the main tactics that are used by cheaters to give themselves an advantage in blackjack games.  It's important to note that some of these methods are highly illegal and can get you in serious trouble so if you are considering using them you've been forewarned about the consequences.