Card Counting: Risk vs Reward at the Blackjack Table

Card counting in blackjack has slim profits, reduces fun, and risks getting caught. Enjoy the game without counting and leave it to the movies.
Card counting

Card counting is a well-known strategy that some blackjack players employ to gain an advantage over the casino. Although it may seem like a lucrative way to beat the house, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t bother with card counting. In this article, we’ll explore these reasons and explain why it’s better to focus on having fun and playing responsibly.

Thin Profit Margins

One of the main reasons not to bother with card counting is the thin profit margins. While some players have won big through this strategy, most will only make small gains. In fact, there’s a chance you could lose money even if you’re using a card counting system. The house edge in blackjack is only tilted in your favor by a couple of percent when using card counting, which means you might have to wait a long time to turn a profit.

Lack of Enjoyment

Card counting isn’t much fun for most players. It requires you to spend hours at the table, focusing intently on the game and keeping track of the cards. This level of concentration leaves little room for chatting, enjoying a drink, or simply having a good time with friends. If you’re looking for a fun and social casino experience, card counting is likely not the right strategy for you.

Difficulty in Mastering the Technique

Another reason to avoid card counting is the difficulty in mastering the technique. To become a successful card counter, you need to learn basic blackjack strategy, perfect a card counting system, and work on your demeanor at the table. This takes a significant amount of time and practice, and even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful.

Large Bankroll Requirement

To make card counting work, you need a lot of cash to start with. Since the house edge is only slightly in your favor, you’ll need a substantial bankroll to weather the inevitable losing streaks and wait for the profitable opportunities. This can be a significant barrier for many players who don’t have the financial means to support a card counting strategy.

Risk of Getting Caught

While card counting is not illegal, casinos don’t like it and will eject you if they suspect you’re doing it. You’ll also be banned from the casino and possibly others in the area. Casino staff are trained to spot card counters, and they employ various tactics to make it more difficult for counters to succeed, such as using multiple decks or shuffling the cards more frequently.

Increased Use of Technology

In addition to the watchful eyes of casino staff, technology is making it even harder for card counters to go undetected. Many casinos now use facial recognition software and other advanced surveillance methods to identify and track suspected card counters. This means that even if you’ve perfected your card counting techniques, you’re still at risk of getting caught and banned.


In conclusion, card counting is a risky strategy that’s not worth the effort for most players. The thin profit margins, lack of enjoyment, difficulty in mastering the technique, large bankroll requirements, and risk of getting caught all make card counting an unappealing option for the average casino-goer. Instead of focusing on trying to beat the house through card counting, it’s better to enjoy the game, play responsibly, and remember that the primary goal of gambling should be entertainment.