Talk:Card counting

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Repititon[edit]

Does anyone else notice the first paragraph of the "Design and selection of systems" section is a copy of a previous paragraph. Is this a copy paste mistake? I think that the second occurrence should be removed entirely. SentientSystem (talk) 04:26, 30 June 2011 (UTC)


Countermeasures[edit]

I came here to find out about the aspects of card couunting seen as cheating by the casinos and what countermeasures are being taken... Right now it's just a description of the technique itself. --Lenton 19:55, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

This section is just utter drivel. It needs a complete rewrite. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 62.173.76.141 (talk • contribs) .

Well go ahead and do it then. -- Chuq 23:35, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I have only a superficial knowledge of card counting but I sense it would be good to include info on how casinos counter card counting. Georgeslegloupier 12:43, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Currently there is no discussion re countermeasures taken by online casinos offering live blackjack via video feed. This is not the same as a traditional bricks and mortar live deal, as the player is not physically sitting in front of the dealer and viewable by the dealer/pitboss/casino security. Rather, they are playing remotely and can for example sit at their computer with their iPhone card counting application and count the deal with ease - something no terrestrial casino would tolerate. For this reason, different measures are in fact taken by online casinos streaming live blackjack to render counting ineffective. I initially came to the wiki counting page to find out if it was possible to count playing live (online) blackjack but had to find the answer elsewhere. My subsequent edits to add this fact to wiki's discussion were undone.202.168.101.242 (talk) 04:17, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Welcome. The countermeasures used are a subset of the same used in B&M casinos -- continuous or frequent shuffling. As an aside, the iPhone app does not count correctly.Objective3000 (talk) 11:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

"In the past, casinos would sometimes resort to harsher methods (up to and including physical assault) to deter card counters" Citations, anyone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.77.111.9 (talk) 18:43, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

MIT Blackjack Team[edit]

In the history section, there's a lengthy paragraph regarding the MIT Blackjack Team. Does anyone agree that this information would be better placed in that article? Rray 03:22, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, it would be good to take it all and put it there, and just leave a see also to that article. 2005 03:49, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi Lo Count?[edit]

Is this clause missing jacks queens and kings?

the cards number 2 through 6 are counted as +1 and all tens and aces are counted as -1.

-if not, why are only tens and aces counted as high? 213.219.161.27 01:12, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Jacks, queens, and kings are considered 10's, since that's the point value for the face cards. Rray 01:45, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Typical traits of card counters[edit]

Please do not re-add this information without citing a source. Encyclopedic content should be verifiable and the Wikipedia has a policy against including original research. The official policy on original research can be reviewed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research and the policy on citing sources can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability. (This isn't the place for logical deductions; it's an encyclopedia, and it's meant to provide verifable, factual information.) Rray 21:38, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Why did you remove it completely? What next I remove the whole article because none of its states any source for Verifiability? If You are going to trust the rest of the article (which was written by me anyway, not on this account) why stop at believeing part of it and not the rest? And logically deducing facts isnt research - its pointing out the obvious. I suggest you read the article and you would see clearly why such traits are common - because a counter would play that way to achieve maximum advantage.--Dacium 23:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I removed it completely because you indicated that the source was your own logical deduction. That is original research, and there is a clear policy regarding original research in the Wikipedia. I also added a note to the rest of the article indicating that it needs citations and references. Just because there aren't citations doesn't make the rest of the article original research; it could (and probably does) just mean that no one has referenced any sources yet.
Thanks for your suggestion that I read the article, but as you can see in the history of the article, I've not only read the article, but proofread and copy-edited a great deal of it for grammar, style, and spelling.
If the policies regarding original research and verifiable facts aren't clear to you, perhaps you might read them again a little more closely, and ask for clarification from some of the more experienced Wikipedians here. I'm assuming you made the edits in good faith, but it seems like you misunderstand what a Wikipedia article is supposed to consist of, which is verifiable facts with references. Rray 00:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I understand that am I am not trying to start a fight or anything. I am just saying that I wrote pretty much all the other sections too so you should probably remove them, because they are just as bad.
I've edited quite a bit of the article, maybe the first half, so if you see anything that seems mistaken or unclear, please feel free to help out with it. I've tried to add references and footnotes to a good deal of it too, but it's obviously far from finished still. You're obviously quite familiar with the subject matter. :) Rray 16:22, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Remaining tasks[edit]

I've edited and cleaned up quite a bit of the article, and added footnotes where appropriate, but the following sections of the article still need to proofread and rewritten:

Expected profit from card counting Countermeasures against blackjack card-counters Detecting card counters History of blackjack card counting

Future appropriate articles might include individual articles about different card counting systems. If we decide to move forward with such a thing, it would be good to create a sub-category of the blackjack category for card counting systems. Rray 03:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Is giving a full description of a card counting system relavant to an encyclopedia?--155.144.251.120 20:47, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
It's relevant to people looking for information on the subject, yes. It's certainly a notable gambling activity. In an encyclopedia that includes such far out subjects as the seven different forms of Light saber content, it's hard to say that something like card counting isn't relevant. Rray 01:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
I have subject-matter relevant expertise. Is your list of tasks still current? I rewrote and extended Detecting. Having skimmed the other three sections I don't see anything too terribly objectionable. It's all pretty straightforward and supportable other than that the "History of" part looks to be full of arcane trivia, possibly rewritten from a web source. (For instance, the aside mentioning that four people who wrote in 1957 are known among card-counters as "the four horsemen" - I'm a card counter pretty well-versed in the relevant literature and I'd never heard of these bozos. Why mention the nickname without some context to explain why anyone should care?) Okay, so I should take a scalpel or a meat cleaver to "History Of", but other than that: do you just want more footnotes and crosslinks everywhere, or are there specific assertions you find dubious? Blogjack 09:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Blogjack - it's surprising you haven't heard of The Four Horsemen. They are 100% responsible for card counting today. Thorp did his thing after reading their paper - it got him thinking. The Four Horsemen developed the first basic strategy on hand-operated adding machines - a monumental task. Their book, once rare, but now reproduced and available, even suggested that the strategy would vary according to the composition of the deck - exactly what card counting exploits. Thorp published the first counting system, but the Four Horsemen were first to determine basic strategy, and to understand that card counting was possible. Solinas (talk) 07:27, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

If you think removing some of the "History of" section will make the article better, then by all means, cut away. The important thing is that the article be accurate, useful, and well-written. More footnotes would be appropriate in the lower part of the article; I think most of the top half of the article, or maybe even the top 2/3, is pretty well referenced. Rray 16:18, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
"Is giving a full description of a card counting system relavant to an encyclopedia?", Is giving a full description of the mating rituals of a spotted yellow frog relevant* to an encyclopedia? of course.... that's what encyclopedias are used for, vast amounts of factual information. Just because the systems involved have not been written about fully in many areas, does not mean it should be overlooked. ~~Garratt —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.171.214.178 (talk) 15:15, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Disputed Statement: probability of winning is lower at higher counts[edit]

The article currently reads as follows:

"Another interesting aspect of the probability of card counting is the fact that, at higher counts, the player's probability of winning a hand is actually lower than at lower counts - so that, with an optimal strategy, the player places his highest bets on hands whose probability of losing is actually the highest."

This is not true. See for example the website http://www.bjstats.com/bjsc.asp and select the "Win, Loss & Tied Percentages by True Count" table for this case: Decks: 6 Decks, 83% penetration; Betting: no cover; Rules: S17, DAS; Strategy: High-Low. Look at the column labeled "Including Ties, Wins" and notice that for true counts in the range of -12 to +12 (which encompasses over 99.9% of the hands in the simulation), the Win% increases monotonically with increasing TC.

140.158.46.101 22:47, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Correct this is not true. The opposite is true. Although it is true that the difference is fairly minor. Mostly Pushes increase. I changed the paragraph.Objective3000 00:29, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

To be precise, the statement is generally not true, but there could be cases where it is correct. Take the case where there are only 10's left in the deck. Every hand pushes, so the player has no advantage. At a slightly lower count, the player would have an advantage. This is a "special case", but understanding it has some value. Most card counting computers use a complex count to determine betting advantage, and if you enter data into the computer to show only 10's are left, the computer tells you you have an edge, when in reality you will only push. So - blackjack computers should be taken with a grain of salt for betting decisions. In any event - I agree the statement should be removed, since it is generally untrue. Solinas (talk) 07:11, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Whole new deck for every coup most simple method?[edit]

In the german Wikipedia it says, that nowadays there are automatic set mixing machines, that use a whole new deck for every coup, therefore eliminating card counting for good. Why are there so many issues on recognizing and banning counters there yet?

Here's some pure opinion: Card counting was developed in the US. The book that made the concept famous was published in the US. It was a bestseller (from 1962-4, and still in print) and inspired a counting fad in the US. US casinos were the first to have to deal with relatively significant numbers of counters and would-be counters. They went through several phases, first of indifference, then paranoia, then massive paranoia. But soon American casinos realized their blackjack revenues were breaking all records. The counting phenomenon was luring huge numbers of dreamers, drifters, and crazy people to the blackjack tables, and the amount the casinos lost to good counters was trivial in comparison to their winnings from incompetent losers. As a result the casinos made the strategic decision to accommodate counters generally -- by continuing to offer beatable games -- while developing methods to identify and thwart the few truly dangerous players. A kind of equilibrium has existed for decades now in the US.

European casinos have not had the same experience. Counting has never been as popularized in Europe as it is in the US. It has not drawn nearly the numbers of would-be counters to blackjack tables. Casinos have not come to see it as a revenue-enhancer, but simply as a threat; and they are probably correct. It probably is the case that a much higher ratio of the people attempting to count in European casinos actually know their stuff (especially if they have US passports). This is the reason you find more count-proof games in Europe than in America.

While some US casinos do use continuous shufflers, the more sophisticated operators in this country understand that making blackjack completely unbeatable will kill the myth, and change the game enormously; and that's why they've experimented with continuous shufflers but largely rejected them. Casinos, of course, are not ashamed to offer "sucker" bets. A majority of the revenue in all major US casinos comes from slot machines. But if the casinos do business with suckers exclusively, they'll run into marketing problems. The fantasy of the beatable game is intrinsic to the way they sell themselves. They need at least a few these games. They want them. Poker rooms (which barely existed on the Strip in the early 2000's) are in all the big casinos nowadays; not because there's significant revenue in poker (there isn't), but because poker is very popular, especially among a class of "thinking gamblers" who would not otherwise be drawn to the casino floor. They put poker there to draw them. They put blackjack there to draw them. Eliminate those draws, and you're left with ghetto casinos riddled with total doofs, like what you have in Germany.

If Las Vegas casinos are trying to preserve the card-counting myth, they're certainly not doing a very good job at it. The best game you can get on the Strip these days is a 6- or 8-deck shoe with dealer hits on soft 17. The Basic Strategy odds for such a game are so poor that even with perfect counting and generous comps you'd still be hard pressed to break even. You may be able to find some 8-deck $50+ tables where dealer stands on soft 17, but deck penetration there will never be any better than 60% or so, and you'll quickly attract attention if you triple your normal bet. The traditional one-deck game is gone from the Strip, replaced by the 6:5 Blackjack rip-off, which--with a 1.5% house edge--is worse than some slot machines.
In downtown Vegas you can still find a few tables playing the true hand-held single deck game, but in those tables they won't let you increase your bet between shuffles. When it comes to Las Vegas, I believe counting is mostly limited to downtown dealers, who are trained to count in order to spot counting players. Owen× 18:07, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi Owen. Conditions are worsening in Vegas, but not as bad as you say. Six-deck, stand-17 games are available in most of the major properties, although generally at higher limits. The 6:5 game is a curious thing, and you're right that it's alarming. It's a sucker game designed to simulate a player-favorable game. Casinos would prefer to perpetuate the old blackjack myth without actually offering the beatable game, I guess. Will they get away with it? With players like yourself spreading the word -- and a little help from the Internet -- they might the find the public a bit more educated than they hoped.
Vegas aside, it's an extraordinary time to count cards. The proliferation of new legal venues in the US has created a lot of opportunity. Even today, inexperienced casino managers are making unbelievable mistakes with their games, all around the country. You have green managers, green surveillance teams. Sometimes it gets pretty neat, out there.
Even in Vegas on the strip you still find decent games in many properties so long as you don't mind a $100 minimum bet. Treasure Island, Bellagio, and NYNY all have S17 double-deck games (house edge ~.19%) and also have 6 deck games with decent rule combinations (house edge ~.26%). --Blogjack (talk) 02:30, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Links[edit]

Does this make sense as an external link? http://www.qfit.com/privacy1.htm. It covers card-counter identification, facial recognition, surveillance and other issues related to card counting in casinos. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objective3000 (talkcontribs) 20:18, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems it would fail point 14 of WP:EL: Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject: the link should be directly related to the subject of the article. If the information were organized onto a "identification of card counters", then it seems that would be a fine link. As it is though, it seems like a better link for advantage gambling, but even then it is still "indirectly related" more than directly. 2005 (talk) 21:31, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I see the point and some of the text certainly could apply to general areas of privacy. But the document was written by a card counting team manager specifically to help team members avoid detection in casinos. Objective3000 (talk) 21:57, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Replaced link for http://blackjackhero.com/ as the site no longer exists. Forehand (talk) 08:57, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Preferential Shuffling[edit]

"Automated card-reading technology has known abuse potential in that it can be used to simplify the practice of preferential shuffling—having the dealer reshuffle the cards whenever the odds favor the players."

Anyone have any information on the legality of this? Seems to take 'house always wins' to extremes, but I don't know anything about gambling, so not sure to what extent the casinos are allowed to weight their games. Cheers.

(86.152.217.26 (talk) 14:44, 6 April 2008 (UTC))

See http://www.blackjack-scams.com/html/mindplay.html Objective3000 (talk) 15:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

History of Blackjack Card Counting[edit]

The ace sequencing info in the current entry is unsourced and also wrong factually. (The entry conflates the cuts game with the sequencing game.) This is fine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paleoriffic (talkcontribs) 18:20, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Agree it's wrong. And it's also wrong on the Shuffle Tracking page. Been meaning to rewrite it; but been too lazy. Objective3000 (talk) 00:01, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Best theoretical card-counting method[edit]

Let us assume that Basic Strategy(i) is the best course of action that a player can take, given that he is playing against an infinite deck, and knowing only his own total and the dealer's upcard. In this case, counting cards will do no good, as the probabilities remain static, given the infinite deck. However, real blackjack is not played with an infinite deck. Every time that a card is dealt and seen, it changes Basic Strategy(i) ever so slightly. At some point these changes add up, to where some of the Hits become Stands, some of the Stands become Hits, some of the Hits become Doubles, etc. My question is, has anyone ever done a computer program that calculates the changes in Basic Strategy that occur after each and every single card is dealt (and thus known) based on the percentage of remaining cards of each of the ten different card values counted separately, and for number of decks from one to (say) ten? (I will assume that playing with more decks would render Basic Strategy to be close to that of an infinite deck.) I assume that this would be the absolute best playing strategy. Given that this is so, has anyone ever done a computer program that calculates how much the player should bet at any point along this running calculation of changes to Basic Strategy changes? Of course, my whole point is theoretical, as no computers are allowed in casinos, and no human (?) could possibly do this in his head while playing a real game. Mamarazzi (talk) 20:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

If you are asking if tables can be built in advance, the tables would be near infinite. If you are asking if a program can be built to determine exact plays depending on a specific set of spent cards, yes combinatorial analysis can easily and quickly do this and several people have developed such programs. But, the gains over traditional counting are not major. Maybe at single-deck with significant penetration. Questions like this are better answered on a BJ forum.Objective3000 (talk) 00:12, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Jargon[edit]

There's no discussion, apparently, about the jargon template. I'm no expert in the matter at hand and my mother tongue isn't English. Still, I read the article without difficulty. It's time to remove the template. 22:11, 19 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.234.207.20 (talk)

Since there's been no disagreement, I agree. JimScott (talk) 22:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Material from Thorp bio[edit]

The following material is not suitable for a bio, but may be useful in the accompanying article if not already covered:

The technique eliminated the advantage of the house, which had an estimated maximum of approximately 5% (when following strategies with the smallest possibility of winning, either mimicking the dealer or never busting), and instead gave the player an advantage of approximately 1%.<ref name="Thorp Gambling Theory">[http://www.edwardothorp.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/tog1.pdf The Mathematics of Gambling by Edward O. Thorp (Online Book)]</ref>

--Jerzyt 19:29, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Material removed from "Detection" section[edit]

I removed the following:

There have been some high-profile lawsuits involving whether the casino is allowed to bar card counters.<ref>http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BX&s_site=sunherald&p_multi=BX&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB623979FD6448A&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM</ref> Essentially, card-counting, if done in one's head and with no outside assistance from devices such as blackjack computers, is not illegal. Making calculations within one's own mind is not an arrestable offence. Using an outside device or aid, however, was found illegal in a court case in Nevada. In this case, two individuals were convicted of cheating for using a video device to gain knowledge of a blackjack dealer's hole card.<ref>"Interview with Keith Taft: Blackjack Computer Pioneer". Blackjackforumonline.com. Retrieved 2009-03-20. </ref> While this case is clearly distinct from pure card-counting, the precedent could possibly be applied to electronic devices used by players to assist in counting cards. At the time of the trial, however, there was no anti-device law in Nevada, and the law that was written after this case is considered by many attorneys to be unconstitutionally vague.[citation needed] Still, the law has been adopted by most other states with casinos, and no player has yet tried the constitutionality of the law.

Casinos do not tolerate card counters or practitioners of other legal professional gambling techniques willingly and, if permitted by their jurisdiction, may ban counters from their casinos. In Nevada, where the casinos are ruled to be private places, the only prerequisite to a ban is the full reading of the Trespass Act to ban a player for a year. Some skilled counters try to disguise their identities and playing habits; however, some casinos have claimed that facial recognition software can often match a camouflaged face with a banned one. In the experience of most professional gamblers, this is untrue, and a 2004 book by a Las Vegas casino surveillance director, The Card Counter's Guide to Casino Surveillance, also declares this assertion to be an overstatement. Approximately 100 casinos in the United States used the Griffin Investigations consulting firm to help them track down and monitor card counters, before the firm's bankruptcy as a result of a lawsuit for libel filed by professional gamblers.

The 1st removed 'graph is about the law (BTW, not about detection), and includes 2 refs and an 18-month old cite-needed tag.
The 2nd is (more or less) about banning for counting, and not about detection of counting but rather the recognition of counters -- those who have been detected counting -- or, presumably, of those associated with counters. (Except in the sense that recognition of counting-team members presupposes previous detection of counting.) It goes into law for a sentence in the middle. It lacks any references whatsoever.
I'll comment piecewise.
--Jerzyt 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

  • The first ref in the 1st rem'd 'graph is for a paper (the Biloxi-Gulfport 'Sun Herald) that has 57% the daily circulation of the 100th-highest-circ US paper.
(The paper in question is the The Times of Northwest Indiana; if you want to put that in perspective, you remember NW Ind, right? The Times
_ presumably competes with the 2 Chicago papers (each counted among the country's 15 largest) for the attention the half of Gary's population that's left after the decline of the steel mills,
_ probably is little read in South Bend, which is probably considered north-central, especially since it has its own local paper with only 15% smaller circulation,
_ but likely is a staple of Purdue University's pop-30K college town, and some other 5-figure-population cities.
)
The cited Web site provides, for free, 72 words out of the article's 320, and searches for the same content elsewhere fail. I didn't register in order to learn what the article would cost. The headline is "Card-counter sues companies - Professional player charges casinos with fair credit, antitrust violations" and the relevant portion of the sample is "has filed suit against virtually every casino company in the United States". The Thomas Hyland doing the suing is described as being from Marlton, and the suit as being filed in federal district court Camden. There seems to be no Marlton in MS or adjacent states, nor federal courthouses in the Camdens in those states.
W/o going into the causes of the irrelevance of 75% of the
4 for "federal district court" Camden " Thomas Hyland" OR " Tommy Hyland"
hits on Google, we do have from a casino company's SEC filing ("Notes to Consolidated Financial Statement" for the 3rd quarter of 1995 from "[the] Elsinore Corporation and [it's] subsidiaries")
Thomas Hyland, a professional card counter and blackjack player, filed a complaint on August 23, 1995 in Federal District Court in Camden, New Jersey, No. 95CV2236 (JEI), against the Company and virtually every other casino company in the United States. The complaint alleges violations of the antitrust, consumer fraud and fair credit reporting laws by the defendants in illegally conspiring to prevent Mr. Hyland and other professional card counters from playing blackjack in their respective casinos. The complaint alleges that the defendants share information concerning card counters and then act in concert to implement an industry wide policy in banning them at the blackjack tables.
Management believes that the claims are without merit and do not believe that the lawsuit will have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial statements.
That has 2 kinds of relevance:
  1. The wording, and sparseness of hits from other sources makes it hard to imagine that the Sun Journal article was based on anything more than a pro-forma press release from one of the defendants in the suit (about which almost no one gave a damn).
  2. The extreme level of neglect of the story requires comment here:
It's sometimes said that "Anyone can sue anyone else for anything, with or without any basis." (That's not quite true; there's a guy in my county who can't without some sort of specific permission; i was never clear whether there was a court order forbidding him to file any suit, or one forbidding any clerk in any of the relevant courts from accepting his filings, but he can't sue, bcz of his history of filing merit-less suits.) The corollary is that someone having filed a suit is a fact that has, in itself, almost zero significance, i.e. no notability whatsoever. The obscurity of the citation, and the lack of any sign of followup coverage, requires us to presume that the Hyland suit is a bubble of swamp gas that broke the surface without producing a detectable ripple.
The reference is evidence not of even one "high-profile lawsuit", but of a high-profile group of targets, which is entirely different; the material preceding it has to be discarded for non-notability.
--Jerzyt 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The material between the two refs is a mixed bag of four sentences about the law. The first two are about what is legal (with the 2nd introducing the curious terminology "not an arrestable offense", seemingly implying that the first sentence errs in saying flatly "not illegal". The third and fourth are specific to one case; 3 is clumsily stated, and 4 is essentially SYNTH, inviting the reader to speculate whether the law means what it says or applies to certain kinds of unsportsmanlike conduct, w/o any basis whatsoever.
    I don't recall whether the interminable, rambling, interview -- BTW almost entirely based on decades-old personal recollections -- cited as a source actually mentioned that device case, let alone the preceding supposed principle. I found it most relevantly interesting bcz of the abysmal quality of the journalism, which undercuts the implicit claim of a reliable source. For instance, transcription includes the phrase "a sentronic plug". There was (and may still be) a company named Centronics, but leaving it as "a sentronic plug" was deemed good enuf.
    Here's an exchange:
Marty Taft: They were all connected together by hair-fine wires. They each had a computer, and it was a network. The computers all shared the information.
RWM: You invented network computing?
Keith Taft: That’s right.
RWM: Were there network computers at this time?
Keith Taft: Not that I know of.
RWM: Do you know how much money you could have made if you became Microsoft instead of pursuing blackjack? What year was this?
Keith Taft: 1982.
One can argue about whether slaving micros as data collection devices to drive a single recurring computation constitutes "network computing", but it is a fact that far more sophisticated networking than that of mainframes existed before 1982 (Microsoft founded 1975): IBM System/360 announced 1964; they described to Fortune the capability of one mainframe setting up data to be processed on another, and by 1966 provided DOS/360 JCL, which provided very flexible specification and transfer of tasks between mainframes. In 1969, Arpanet went up. The Tafts (assuming their memories are accurately remembered and stated) may have been doing some cutting edge stuff, but there is no reason to think they were first with anything that could have been important, and every reason to think they were relevant only in the history blackjack, and mere curiosities in the history of computing (paralleling Leonardo's Renaissance helicopter design, or his leg-powered viol bow -- for a marching orchestra).
The best that can be said for that interview is that it ends with a correction, apparently added after publication, admitting that either the interviewer or subjects or both had made statements of fact about the legal strategy that were based on erroneous beliefs, when apparently speaking out of sheer ignorance.
A truly unreliable source; the four sentences preceding that ref would be unfounded, even if the talk page clarified what parts of the enormous ref'd pg are supposed to support specific sentences of the article, making attempts to check the refs feasible.
--Jerzyt 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The two sentences in the 1st rem'd 'graph preceding the CN tag are PoV and speculation, and tagging them for verification was exceedingly generous. Leaving them in place after the tag has been ignored for 18 months would be grossly irresponsible.
    --Jerzyt 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Following the CN tag in the 1st rem'd 'graph, what is relevant about the Nevada device law would be a clear statement of what it means, or (if that is unclear) how it is presently interpreted. If other states have adopted the same language, they should be named. Same goes for laws affecting the ability to impose bans on individuals. In each case, the established knowledge on the matter is what the law say and what it means. Opinions about what courts will do are hopelessly irrelevant if they come from casinos, players, or eithers' hired guns. If there is a leading constitutional lawyer who has commented on potential constitutional issues, that needs clear documentation.
    --Jerzyt 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Well put. The removal makes sense to me. And the comment about inventing networking is quite funny.Objective3000 (talk) 23:29, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Group counting vs. teams[edit]

The article now has a "Group counting" section and a "teams" section, which appear to be about the same concept. I think they should be merged. Thundermaker (talk) 18:21, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The Group Counting section has some problems as well. I've been a spotter on a team, and two things hit me as very wrong: 1) "...reduced comps as the spotters aren't sitting down" - not an issue. Spotter who play through shoes for the BPs bet LOW. Table minimum. They are there simply to count the shoes, and call in the BP. Playing table minimums won't earn much, at all, in terms of comps. Also - they pass on any comp they may earn, since it would be small, and they'd rather NOT identify themselves. 2) "...vastly increased suspicion, as blackjack is not generally considered a spectator sport". A spotter wanders the pit, first looking for a shuffle in progress. He then starts counting down the show as it is dealt. If it goes bad, he wanders off looking for another shoe. If it gets good, he stays and calls in the BP if appropriate. This behavior does NOT vastly increase suspicion, since it's pretty common for people to watch a few hands (to see if the dealer is hot or not!) before playing. Solinas (talk) 07:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

More sourcing[edit]

This article is currently poorly sourced. I tried to fix some of this problem but my effort was quickly [1] reverted. If anyone has a problem with using Axelrad's book as a source, please explain why here. Cla68 (talk) 12:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I explained this on my talk page. The refs you added already had better refs. You don't need a ref in every single paragraph if the facts are already reffed. For example, you added a ref for Wonging. But, the previous paragraph already had a ref for Wonging. You added a ref for HiLo. But, a ref already exists for numerous counting systems, including HiLo. I am assuming good faith. But, it also looks odd when four refs to a brand new book are added in one shot on subjects that are discussed in dozens of earlier, respected books. I really don't think the article, in general, is "poorly sourced." The Detection section could use some refs, as flagged. Regards, Objective3000 (talk) 14:35, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Every paragraph needs a source, even if it's a duplicate of the source used in the preceeding paragraph. Do you have an objection to Axelrad being used as a source? If not, then why would you need to make an effort to "assume good faith" when someone uses the book as a source to cite several unsourced paragraphs? Cla68 (talk) 23:37, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Where do you see that "every paragraph" needs a source? WP:V states "in practice not everything need actually be attributed." Further, I see nothing about every paragraph requiring a physical cite. One cite can cover more than one paragraph or a section. Otherwise, you would end up with massive duplicate refs. On the particular book, Axelrod's book is a personal memoir, not one of the numerous Blackjack math texts. IMHO there are more established sources that better match the needs of an encyclopedia. regards, Objective3000 (talk) 12:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

The Law[edit]

How can we say "As of January 2012, there are no federal, state or local laws which prohibit card counting in the United States" and then cite a 1999 book as the reference? Kendall-K1 (talk) 14:13, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Placing of Commercial Self-Published Websites as References[edit]

I would like the comments of other editors on the following issue. On August 9, 2012, I deleted a reference in the Card_counting article to a WP editor's self-published commercial website that was in fact placed by the editor. I commented that the reference was not authoritative and therefore did not serve to improve the article. I quoted words from that self-published website reference, "Ease of use . . . is based strictly on my own opinions (sic) and a few phone calls" and I editorialized that such "does not establish authority for inclusion [as a reference] in an encyclopedia."

The owner of the self-published website then reversed my deletion without rationale but with an ad hominem attack on me, in violation of WP:Civil (one of the 5 pillars of WP!) and WP:PA.

The sole issue here is whether or not the reference, which indeed calls itself into question as authoritative, does in fact improve the article Card_counting. (This editor has systematically placed references to his various self-published commercial websites in other gambling-related articles that he has edited, in some cases deleting references to highly respected authorities.)

I welcome the feelings of other editors on the issue of a WP editor using WP articles to place references to his self-published commercial websites in all cases, and particularly when the reference does not serve to improve the article. Drlesmgolden (talk) 20:18, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Your edits on WP have all been for your own self-promotion including pages that you have created and have been removed. You have been attacking me and removing my edits for years, often using sock puppets, in violation of WP policies because I was one of several editors that !voted against you in an RfC resulting in the removal of an article about you created by you using socks. You also made a very disturbing phone call to me during which you made several claims about a person that you invented. You have been barred and have had at least ten sock-accounts removed from WP. As to the edit in question, the page used as a ref has been used as a ref hundreds of times on numerous Blackjack sites by numerous people. In fact, I've issued several DMCAs as it has been copied so many times. ONE field is based upon opinion, and that field is not the purpose of its use as a ref. Your comment that I have deleted refs from highly respected authorities and replaced them with mine is a flat-out lie. The claim that I have several self-published “commercial” websites is a flat-out lie. In fact, unlike many other refs that are littered with online casino ads, my sites have zero such ads. My Blackjack forum, which is listed number one or two in Google (one at the moment) has zero ads of any kind. Objective3000 (talk) 20:43, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit on card counting strategies[edit]

The edit by Drlesmgolden contains a very large number of refs. I'll be as nice as I can. They appear to be a collection of random Google hits, including small forum posts. Most of the sites I have never seen and they were clearly written by people with little understanding of card counting. Statements like true count is calculated by the total number of decks in a game, or Revere count is used for long sessions, or an unbalanced strategy is best for single-deck are simply nonsense. One claims Hi-Opt I is called Einstein because it is so complex. In fact, it's simple and called that because it was developed by Charles Einstein. What's really humorous, is that of all the strategies that exist (there are many more than in this table), he has taken the exact list from the table on www.qfit.com/card-counting.htm (removing REKO, which I developed), and then removed the ref to the table from which he obviously took the list. Objective3000 (talk) 21:27, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Just for the record, I've received an email today from no one I recognized (at time, now on this page I see the sender's name) about Objective3000 post above. No idea why me, but since asked I will put my 5 cents. I think I have to side with Objective3000 on this. Those are some dodgy references. One or two references look good to me, but majority of them come from pages full of affiliate links - and in between the banners and sign up links is a bit of content sprinkled in, and on some of the references, even written anonymously. Mr. Anonymous wrote something at some unknown date .... why should that something be taken seriously as a source? If your goal is to add information, I am sure it is available elsewhere and was not discovered by Mr. Anonymous, and if it was, then back it up with some real sources. If your sources were solid, you wouldn't be having this discussion now. :Cheers! Meishern (talk) 01:44, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
If you received an e-mail about me, that might suggest that Drlesmgolden is yet again canvassing using yet another sock. He used about a dozen socks in an attempt to add pages about himself to WP and has used socks to canvass in his support before. He was barred for socks and his pages removed. In the last year, all of his posts have been about me. Seemingly in retribution for my small part in the WP group decisions to remove his pages. Perhaps it wasn't a sock. But I, frankly, do not understand the purpose of sending e-mails about editors to other editors not known to them. And, I remain unnerved by the strange phone call I received from Drlesmgolden. regards, Objective3000 (talk) 02:07, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Urban Myth[edit]

This topic is an abject urban myth.

There is no such thing as card counting, not least because, firstly, any one player does not know what cards have been played, because the cards within losing hands are never revealed to other players; they are discarded unseen by other players.

Secondly, any bias in a deck applies equally to players and the dealer alike; the dealer is just as likely to draw favourable or unfavourable cards as any player is.

Thirdly, all gaming houses use multiple decks, and regularly discard them after just a few hands, to prevent anything such as "counting" from occurring.

This topic is simply garbage. An urban myth of the first order.

<ref>common sense</ref> 49.181.10.202 (talk) 11:59, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

“Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.” ― René Descartes Objective3000 (talk) 12:34, 20 January 2015 (UTC)


Has the person who wrote this ever BEEN to a casino? You seem to be describing POKER...not blackjack. Because yes..in most blackjack games, you see every single card that is dealt. Because they are dealt both cards (and all subsequent ones) face up for the players and the one dealer card that is originally face down is always flipped over at the end of the hand. And while casinos do use multi-deck shoes, they do NOT reshuffle after just a few hands. Not unless they actively suspect someone of counting. That would be idiotic for a casino to do this as it would result in fewer deals per hour which would mean less money coming in for them with regular, non-counting players. It is just really strange to call this an urban myth when it is easily verified that people DO count cards when playing blackjack. IT is baffling since clearly you have never been to a casino. So why join in on the conversation?
No, it's baffling because the article implies, but appears not to explicitly mention, that a deck is doled out sequentially until exhausted i.e. if you know the first 51, you will also know the last one. But if this is the case, it's easily defeated by reusing the played cards and shuffling between hands, so therefore shouldn't exist. So to the uninitiated, it's a little opaque. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.171.66.72 (talk) 06:51, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
This is not how BJ is played in a casino. Casinos do not deal to the last card, or reshuffle after each hand. Shuffles take time. Objective3000 (talk) 12:30, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

accuracy of devices section is wrong[edit]

This page talks about the iPhone app as one of the devices that people can use, and then claims that they are not as accurate as doing it in your head. It then gives a cites an article that doesn't say anything about the iPhone app. IT is talking about the 40+ year old primitive computers like you see in the movie Casino where you have some mechanical counter strapped to your thigh that you can input values with your finger in your pocket and gives you a shock or something in your shoe. Obviously modern counters..even smartphone apps are going to be more accurate than using your head. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2604:6000:D500:3D00:D07D:6E77:C66D:76A3 (talk) 01:41, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

You appear to be assuming that all modern software is well written.:) The app that was discussed did not count neutral cards and miscalculated TC. Objective3000 (talk) 11:06, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Why is card counting considered cheating?[edit]

I came to this page specifically to find out why card counting is considered cheating, but no where in the article is it explained. If anyone could add a section to explain why it is cheating, I think it would edify the article more. I know card counting is widely considered to be cheating, but it is not intuitive why it should be and there seems to be no explanation. Card counting is the logical way to play this game--why would anyone NOT card count? Adding this information to the article would be helpful IMO. I'm off to find the answer elsewhere on the internet, thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.39.231.186 (talk) 01:32, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Card counting is not cheating. I explain this here: Is card counting illegal. Objective3000 (talk) 11:05, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Countermeasures section[edit]

There’s been some back and forth delete-restore of this section as it’s unsourced. The section certainly needs work as well as sourcing. For that matter, other sections are also largely unsourced. I’d like to try to save the section. Unfortunately, even though there exists substantial sourcing for this info, few sources would pass WP:IRS muster. Suggestions are welcome. O3000 (talk) 20:34, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

WP:BURDEN makes clear that unsourced information which has been removed "should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source". I'm not clear why you've decided yourself to be above that policy but you're wrong and should self-revert before someone else does.Amisom (talk) 20:37, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I restored and tagged it with the hope of salvaging it. This isn’t a WP:BLP requiring immediate deletion. You are welcome to help improvement of this section and other poorly sourced sections in the article instead of making wholesale deletions, as I believe is the spirit of BURDEN. O3000 (talk) 20:51, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
WP:BURDEN says that unsourced information which has been removed "should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source". Those are its actual words. How can the spirit of BURDEN possibly include you doing the exact opposite of what it says?Amisom (talk) 21:04, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm trying to fix this and you are taking up my time WP:WIKILAWYERING instead of helping. If you have a problem with what I'm doing, take it to one of the drama boards. O3000 (talk) 21:16, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
WP:WIKILAWYERING is an essay (that anyway doesn't apply in this case). WP:BURDEN is a policy that you have deliberately breached because you, apparently, think you know better. Yes, I will have to take this further.Amisom (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I am busily adding refs to this article, as you know from discussion on my Talk and my edit comments, and you are interfering with my work. This is disruptive. O3000 (talk) 21:28, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
No, it isn’t, because your ‘work’ is not more important than oir core content policies. You can look for sources just as well whether or not that list is in the current version of the article- just look in the page history if you want to see it. Amisom (talk) 21:36, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I am moving text between sections. Not possible when you delete a section WP:DE. As you've stopped my work, I've added to the current discussion about you on AN/I. O3000 (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Exciting times Amisom (talk) 21:56, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

RfC on unsourced material[edit]

Was it right that unsourced content was restored, still unsourced given WP:BURDEN's statement: "Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source"? And if not, should that unsourced content be re-deleted until sources can be found? Amisom (talk) 08:19, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes - no-brainer given the statement in BURDEN. And some of the material in question is contentious and potentially defamatory of the casino industry. Amisom (talk) 08:19, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
One can not "defame" an industry. SPECIFICO talk 12:56, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
perhaps I was talking in the everyday sense rather than the legal sense. In any event, we seek accuracy, so what’s the difference. Amisom (talk) 13:48, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. Whether to delete or salvage. I took the salvage road. (With apologies to Robert Frost.) O3000 (talk) 13:50, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
You could salvage without restoring the material – especially since restoring the material was in DIRECT violation of a clear policy. I know you don’t consider yourself bound by policy, but you’re wrong. Amisom (talk) 13:52, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
No policy violation. Not controversial content. BTW "defamation" would violate BLP but this does not apply to a description of industry practice wherein no individual is cited as having done this or that. SPECIFICO talk 13:55, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
(A) WP:BURDEN says that unsourced material, once deleted, shouldn’t be restored. It was. That’s a policy violation. Really simple. (B) Once again, I suggest you look ‘defamatory’ up in a (non-legal) dictionary. It’s an ordinary English word and is quite appropriate here. Amisom (talk) 13:58, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
(C) nope. SPECIFICO talk 14:29, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
If you don’t have anything useful to say maybe its time for you to back away before something goes wrong. Amisom (talk) 14:32, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Like what?47.137.183.192 (talk) 21:34, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • This is an absurd RfC. It's malfomed, posing a question, upon which a second question is asked, using the words, "and if not". It is not at all neutrally worded, nor is it even particularly clear. Its initiator has asked: "was it right that unsourced content was restored", and responded to his own question with: "yes - no-brainer". Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Amisom, your behavior here is quite disruptive. You're making a mockery of WP:BURDEN, as well as the RfC process itself. You have an issue with the article. An editor has addressed it, and is working to correct it. You should be happy as a pig in shit. Joefromrandb (talk) 21:23, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment--Please rewrite the RFC poser per WP:WRFC and re-launch it.As things stand, however valid your arguments or stand on the issue may be, the poser is not neutrally worded and you are sort of begging the question.Regards:)Winged Blades Godric 06:29, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Gambling template[edit]

@Valoem: I think I agree with your addition of the gambling template today. But, I wonder about your opinion of the relevance to so many other articles related to sundry financial markets. Actually, many counters are also involved with financial trading. And, no wonder, as they share so many traits. I have difficulty understanding how the template is more relevant on this article than articles on so many financial instruments, the use of which have caused massive losses as well as bankruptcies and recessions. This is not a criticism. I don't know the answer. O3000 (talk) 00:50, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

@Objective3000: I think Casino gambling might be a better name for the template, but we would need an article on casino gambling vs other forms of gambling. Valoem talk contrib 01:40, 26 June 2018 (UTC)