How To Count Cards

Count Cards

“When the true count reaches +2 or above, you have a clear advantage,” Aponte says. This is when your bet is statistically more likely to pay out. And while, say, suddenly doubling your bet might seem suspicious to you, chances are the casino won’t notice. “Our team bet really high stakes because we had a big bankroll,” Aponte says. “Most people who count cards aren’t going to be betting that much, so they’re not going to get noticed.” Nevertheless, if you go on an incredible run, you may want to excuse yourself once the count is no longer in your favor. (And please remember to tip your dealer.)

We told you card counting is legal — we didn’t say that casinos tolerate it. “In states like Nevada and Mississippi, casinos have the right to ask card counters not to play,” Aponte explains. “Since it’s private property, they can go so far as to declare trespassing and escort you from the property. But they can’t detain you, and you can’t get in trouble.” Before that happens, casinos may attempt to distract you if you’re having a string of, uh, luck. “Many card counters have a tough time carrying on a conversation while keeping track of the count, so casino managers come up and talk to you to break your concentration.” Also, needless to say, you may want to forego the free cocktails in favor of club soda. You can celebrate later.