5 Reasons Card Counting Is A Waste Of Time

Counting cards is a waste of time! If you’re considering heading to a casino to play a few games of blackjack, you might have heard that you don’t want to run into a card counter. Card counting is perceived as a sure way to win. Thankfully for all players, this is not the case. Nevertheless, card counting has a reputation. Many people have written books about it, and countless videos and websites give tips on doing it.

Card counting is essentially a memory trick where you try to keep track of the number of ten-point cards and compare the number of lower point cards played to this number. It takes a lot of time and practice to master for a very minimal benefit (or worse). There are also a few other ways to count cards, but all of them boil down to the same thing; you mentally adjust the probability of winning based on what has already been dealt and bet accordingly.

1. Casinos Put Safeguards in Place to Deter Card CountingBlackjack dealer coming in after finding a card counter

Card counting is not something the house likes. It is a form of advantage playing and is considered to be cheating by a lot of people. Because of that, casinos try to deter the practice.

One way they deter it is through multi-deck games. A good dealer knows exactly when to switch the deck to make card counting all but impossible. When casinos offer single-deck games, they keep the payout low, at 6-to-5 rather than 3-2. A good dealer will also make sure to reshuffle the shoe frequently. Some casinos use a continuous shuffling machine, which constantly shuffles the cards. Used cards are returned to the shoe immediately. (This also has the advantage of reducing interruptions in play).

Casinos might also switch out the dealer for a slower dealer. A slow deal makes it harder to count cards, and a dealer switch always comes with them dropping the shoe and reshuffling. Finally, if they suspect you might be counting, the pit boss will start watching you. They may even strike up a conversation to try breaking your concentration.

2. Card Counting Doesn’t Guarantee A Win

The very best card counters can get an edge against the house of about 1%. This edge is significant because the house typically carries a 1% edge, which swings things in their favor by 2%.

Although counting may give you the ability to win a bit more, you can go through all the trouble of learning how to count cards, concentrate through the game, and still lose. You can play an entire game, and the deck will never actually swing to your advantage, with the random factors of the deal simply not going your way.

The typical win rate while counting is about 50/50.

3. Even if You Win by Counting Cards, the Payouts Aren’t High

Stack of chips as a small payout for a card counter

Another reason why counting cards is a waste of time is that the payout is not usually that great. For example, a typical card counter can get the edge to 0.5% in their favor. If they make an average bet of $25 and play 60 hands an hour, they can expect to win roughly $7.50 an hour. That’s less than the minimum wage in Colorado. The only way to make more is to bet more.

Another factor to consider is the difficulty of actually playing enough hands to make a living. It is far better to learn how to play skill-based games like poker and put that energy into studying advanced strategies to win more.

Add to that the fact that you can have a brutal “bankroll swing” (losing streak) at any time. Professional card counters can have losing streaks that last for hundreds of hours simply because the deck doesn’t always swing in your favor. Professionals can quickly end up well into the red just because Lady Luck went to somebody else’s table.

4. Casinos Will Catch You, Kick You Out & Inform Other Casinos

When it comes to card counting, it isn’t a matter of if you will get caught, but when you will get caught, and there are serious consequences. Casinos hire the best experts possible to catch card counters. Most casinos hire former or retired card counters. They used to play the game, so they are experts at spotting fellow card counters.

Casino security is watching for things like big bet spreads, that being the distance between the table’s minimum wager and the player’s max bet during a favorable count. Counters often go from a minimum bet to a huge one quickly. They also watch for people sitting at the table mid-game and placing large bets. Usually, these players are using a spotter betting the minimum, so they can come in and look like big rollers. Some casinos even ban joining mid-shoe for this reason.

Card counters also tend to deviate from good strategy in several ways, such as splitting 10s, standing on 15 or 16, or doubling on a soft 19 or 20.

When casinos identify a card counter, they will ask them to leave. They will then tell the other casinos and send security footage of the card counter who will be put on watch lists. Card counters can easily get blacklisted across multiple casinos, forcing them to move from casino to casino and even from town to town just to keep playing.

5. There Are Plenty of Better Ways to Make Money at a Casino

Professional card counter counting cards at a blackjack game

Card counting is a lot of work for a small payout, makes gambling feel like a chore, and can get you kicked out. If you want to make money, or at least to come away without a loss, there are lots of better ways. Here are a few:

  1. Play with a simple but sound strategy. Learning the “basic strategy” of blackjack won’t guarantee a win, but it will definitely help.
  2. Sports betting can make you more money if you are willing to put in the time to learn how to work the odds. You can also bet on both sides of the game if the casino is offering different lines.
  3. Know when to stop. When you’re ahead, that’s the time to stop playing, before the cards come crashing down. Cash in some chips, get something to eat, and come back later.


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At Triple Crown Casinos, we offer the very best slots and table games. We also provide sports betting, and you can watch the game while enjoying good food and drink.

We have both live and electronic table games, including 24-hour blackjack. Our Triple Play Club gives discounts on food and hotel rooms, points towards play, and prizes!

Don’t Want to Drive? Use Our Shuttle Bus

If you don’t want to drive (or don’t have a designated driver), you can use our shuttle bus from Pueblo, Colorado Springs, or Woodland Park. Our shuttle bus includes an optional return ticket (meaning you don’t have to commit to leaving at a specific time). You’ll also be helping reduce congestion.

Don’t Waste Time Counting Cards. Play Like Pro at Triple Crown Casinos

Remember, counting cards is a waste of time, but with the loosest slots in town, we have better ways to have fun and win more money. Come play the slots and tables at Triple Crown Casinos and win big today!

McGills Hotel and Casino
232 Bennett Ave,
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Phone Number: (719) 689-2446
Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino
256 Bennett Ave,
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Phone Number: (719) 689-0303
The Brass Ass Casino
264 Bennett Ave
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Phone Number:(719) 689-2104

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