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Making A Killing: How Card Counting Really Works And What Casinos Do To Prevent It

2540 words - 11 pages

In the hilarious 2009 blockbuster hit The Hangover, “the three best friends that anyone could have” need to find a way to get the money they owe Mr. Chow in order to have the groom to be, Doug, returned to them. Phil, Stu, and Alan devise an intricate scheme that uses card counting while playing Blackjack to win a lot of money. The scheme uses many distractions such as Stu, and his stripper wife, acting as a distraction as well as Phil making lots of noise and obscene gestures to the cameras of the casino in order to bring attention to him and allowing Alan to do the card counting and win the money they owe Mr. Chow. When the casino managers begin to become suspicious of the possible card counting that is going on, Stu’s recently married stripper wife falls to the floor causing the security to focus on her giving Alan and Phil time to escape unseen with all the recently won cash. This scene, although entertaining, does not accurately portray what goes on when someone is card counting in these big time casinos, such as the one seen in this movie, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Card counting is much more subtle and not such a big scheme as it is portrayed in this very funny movie.
Masters of the very complex skill utilize card counting in order to beat the odds built into Blackjack and make a lot of money. However, it is an issue that casinos take many precautions to prevent in order to maximize their chances to win and make a very substantial profit. Many people consider card counting to be cheating without really understanding how one goes about counting cards while playing Blackjack. Card counting is a part of the betting card games, and it is a skill that can be learned and mastered by really anyone. If the player is able to make the odds go a little more in his own favor, there should be no preventing that and it should be a regular part of playing the betting game. Casinos run the risk of losing a lot of money to someone who has learned to create an advantage in the game. However, the games have a naturally built in advantages for the dealers and the casinos. In Blackjack, one of the games with the least house edge in favor of the dealer when compared to games like Craps and Roulette, the dealers get the advantage of knowing what they need to reach in order to beat the people playing the game. If one is able to master the mathematical skills necessary to count cards, then it should be permitted and expected while playing Blackjack.
The origins of gambling in general, are very unclear and scholars have being arguing for years about when and where the modern version of gambling began. Blackjack, is thought to have come out of popular fifteen century European card games, which is right when the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg. Before the invention of the printing press, cards where painted by hand and were very costly to own. According to historian Rev. Ed S. Taylor, “Vingt –Et-Un appeared in about the middle of the eighteenth...

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