Blackjack Cheats | Cheating in Blackjack

Gambling operators and casinos do not take kindly to a players who find ways to beat the beautiful game of blackjack by bending the rules or cheating, and some of the best blackjack players in the world have been severely punished for cheaCheating in Blackjackting at the blackjack tables.

Despite this, there are still a lot of people out there who attempt to get away with bending the rules to beat the house. However, no matter how good they are at cheating, the fact of the matter is, with all the technology and security protocols in place, getting caught trying to cheat in blackjack is not a case of if, rather it is a case of when.

Fundamentally, players should avoid out-right cheating at the blackjack tables because it just isn’t right to do this. However, moral compasses aside, the fact is, since casinos caught on to the prospect of blackjack decades ago, they have dealt sternly with cheaters.

Many honest blackjack players are of the opinion that blackjack cheats should never be allowed into casinos. Although a fair point, the sheer number of casinos around makes it unrealistic. This said, in the blackjack world it is generally agreed that blackjack is an interesting game, meant purely for the honest players who possess the necessary skill set, and that blackjack cheats are simply not allowed into the picture.

Why Players Must Avoid Cheating

Back in the days where many casinos, especially in Las Vegas, were mafia run and owned, blackjack cheats were dealt with very harshly indeed. Commonly, through the method of taking them out to the desert with a shovel, or via causing some other form of physical injury to the suspected cheater.

Luckily for those who cheat at blackjack in this day and age, casinos are much more legit, which means that they now pursue other methods of dealing with the offenders.

Modern casinos are equipped with the latest security devices and strictly follow predetermined methods of opening new decks, shuffling cards, dealing them, storing them, retrieving them, and so on. Casinos also use a wide range of sophisticated software to recognize regular cheats, identify new ones, analyze game outcomes, and pinpoint unusual betting habits on the part of their players. Cheating at blackjack is, therefore, not only inadvisable but also highly dangerous and difficult.

Cheating in casinos has been criminalized in several states; however, the severity with which captured cheats are dealt with depends on the penal code of individual states. For instance, Nevada considers cheating as a felony, and in most other cases, cheating in casinos is taken to be a fraudulent act and is dealt as such.

There is a number of honest blackjack strategies and card counting methods to reduce the house edge, which allow you to get an ahead, but in a legit manner, and which require you to work towards perfecting your skills, rather than cheating. This method is not only legal, but you will also find that is likely to be more rewarding alsArrested for cheatingo.

Blackjack Cheating Methods

There are many ways to cheat in blackjack, but each cheating method is fraught with dangers and is very difficult, considering the fact that casino security takes the help of the latest technology to nab cheats.

Cheats can also use their fingernails or some other tool to mark the cards in some way. If they have nimble fingers, they can somehow substitute the cards in their hands with a card or two hidden up their sleeve. They can also bribe the dealers to fix the game in such a way that they will win the pot, or use a wide range of electronic devices to keep track of the cards dealt at the blackjack table.

These are the most common methods used by cheats to make a few quick bucks at blackjack tables;

  • Spooking – Spooking is a way of cheating in which the cheater, with the aid of an accomplice, learns the value of the hole-card. It is a simple method by which the accomplice of the cheating player will stand behind the dealer and will peek at the hole-card at the same time as the dealer. The accomplice will then convey through sign language the value of the card to the cheater, so he can make his decisions reflective of this. This is also common in other card games where the player is playing against other players, the difference being that in these scenarios, the accomplice reveals the other player’s cards to the cheat.


  • Card Marking – This is the practice of altering one or a number of cards with a specific marking or markings to reveal the value of the card. Of course, for this to work it has to be on the obverse side of the cards which is visible to the player. For blackjack cheats, marking Aces or cards with the value of 10 is most useful. Various ways of marking cards have been implemented in the past, including blocking-out or tinting sections of the cards, or even putting luminous ink that can only be seen through lenses. Casinos often sell cards in their style, which then makes it easy to alter and swap back into decks at this date. They combat this by only selling altered cards to tourists to prevent doctored cards being re-added to the deck. As such, to mark cards at these casinos, you would need access to the decks on the tables specifically.


  • Card Mucking – The way mucking works is all about sleight of hand and the cheat would attempt this after the initial deal. The concept behind this scheme is the cheat will have two cards in his hand but would like to save one to use later in the game. As such, they would ask for another card, then switch the first card that they want to keep with the fresh card. Of course, this is definitely not easy and requires skill, as you have two issues. 1) The cheater has to hide the card somewhere, and 2) The dealer should notice that the cheater is missing a card. If the dealer is well trained and perceptive, this cheat is incredibly hard to do and is possibly one best suited outside of casinos, in private games with amateur dealers.


  • Card Switching – This works with essentially the same principle as mucking, whereby you are replacing one card with another. The difference being that the cheater doesn’t hide a card dealt to them, but rather, they bring cards from home. As some casinos have their own specialized decks, the card is either stolen at an earlier date, or in some cases, handmade to match the ones in the casino’s deck, otherwise, detection would be simple. The card is then smuggled in, usually under the cheater’s sleeve, and slipped into the cheater’s hand at the optimum moment. Please note, this is not to be confused with Blackjack Switch, which is a legitimate game that can be played at many casinos.


  • Card Bending – This cheat is exactly what it says on the tin. The cheater will bend or crimp the card in some way to make it identifiable. Most good dealers will make sure their deck is in perfect condition, which prevents this. However, if this process isn’t done, then it can be done with ease with a cheater able to alter a card one day and return another day to cash in.


  • Electronic Devices – A more sophisticated and modern method is to use some form of electronic device to get ahead. It was first coined in the 60’s by a failed card counter, called Taft, who opted for a new method to help him get an advantage. Essentially, the device card counted for him. The second version was more intricate and required an accomplice. The device counted the cards, which was monitored by the accomplice. Once the computer clocked that the cards were in good favour, they could signal the player. Taft also created other devices, including one that peeks at the hole card the value of which was transmitted to another accomplice who would then figure out the best way to play on it. As well as one that calculated the shuffle of the deck to determine where the best cards were.  These have evolved into more modern devices that are used today. Namely the Blackjack Beater, which keeps a tally of low and high cards.  Simply push a button and it will signal through a variety of vibrations, whether or not the count is in your favour. Another device, a CV Shuffle, will track the shuffle and will indicate where the high, low and ace cards are. As well as today, the option to download card counting apps on to your phone has become widely available. However, none of these devices can be used with ease at any well-monitored casinos.


  • Dealer Cheating – Another trick, which requires next to no skill, is to simply to persuade a dealer to do the dirty work. If a cheater can persuade a dealer to deal cards in a way that assists them, then, of course, it is a very effective way to get ahead.

DISCLAIMER: We do not advise using any of the aforementioned cheating methods at casinos. This article’s purpose is strictly to highlight the methods that are sometimes used by cheaters for informative purposes.

Can you Cheat at Blackjack in Online Casinos?

At online casinos, to cheat on blackjack is neigh-on impossible. In a virtual blackjack game, the deck is shuffled repeatedly by an RNG. This means that unless someone can hack the RNG, then there is no way for them to know what card is next, nor what the dealer has in the hole. Of course, none of the above techniques, which involve altering the cards in some way, will be of use to anyone.

In Live Dealer Blackjack, cheating is slightly more possible, but still very unlikely. Again, the altering of cards is off the table and although card counting is possible, it would be much more difficult. This is due to the regular shuffling of decks and a high amount of decks being in play at all times. Unless the live dealer assists you somehow, then it simply wouldn’t be plausible with any of the same tricks people may use in a casino. As well as this, everything that takes place is streamed and on camera to be accessed if something seems amiss.

Naturally, this is a very good thing, as it ensures that playing online is as fair as possible and is yet another positive of opting to play at live casinos online, over the brick and mortar versions.

Are Card Counters Cheats?

Card counting is not cheating as long as players use their mental abilities. A card counter who uses electronic devices to keep track of the cards dealt at a blackjack table is definitely considered to be cheating. Card counting can be the best blackjack strategy, as long as players use their mental abilities alone. Casinos, however, dislike card counters and kicked out do not hesitate to chuck them out of their premises.

Blackjack Cheat Sheets

Despite the name, this is also not a method of cheating. Blackjack Cheat Sheets are widely available online, including on our own site. They simply give an insight into how and when to play certain side bets, or the optimum strategy for specific types of blackjack, such as Blackjack Switch.

They are not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination and are simply reference points for people who are looking to play or who would like to know certain tactics that might lower the house edge. They are all about not going into games blind and losing unnecessary funds due to a lack of game knowledge.

The main difference is that these cheat sheets are made widely available by people who love blackjack and want to share expertise, whereas cheaters simply want to benefit themselves at the expense of other players and casinos.

Do Casinos Cheat Players?

The simple answer for this is no. It is extremely unlikely for any reputable casino to knowingly take advantage of their players. This is primarily due to the fact, that they have nothing to gain from doing so other than a bad reputation.

All casinos make enough profit, from inexperienced players, or players who make mistakes, for them to not need to cheat their guests. As well as this, nearly all games you find in casinos will have a house edge in favour of the casino and as the old phrase goes “The house always wins”.

Far more money is lost in casinos each year than is won each year, so don’t worry, they are quite comfortable enough financially to not need to cheat you.

Of course, if you venture down a back alley into a casino which doesn’t look habitable, let alone trustworthy, and you get ripped off, then you only have yourself to blame. There is always going to be crooks, so it always pays to make sure you go to a casino that is considered trustworthy by the populace.

Online, the likelihood of a casino cheating a player is even more minute. Apart from live dealer games, the games outcomes are based on RNGs, which is usually operated by a third party software provider, outside of the casino HQ. Meaning, they simply couldn’t do if they tried. There would be nothing for the software provider to gain either, as they get their money from providing the service to the casino, with all money lost or won coming from the casino.  All aspects of online casinos are also monitored by third-party governing bodies, such as the British Gambling Commission and the MGA, who ensure no foul play is happening.

What’s more, to this date, there has been no cheating reported by any online casino, and if one was to do so and get found out, you can be guaranteed that it would be splashed all over the internet and in the news. With hefty lawsuits and closure likely to follow very soon after.  In short, playing online at casinos could not be safer.

Overall, the casinos aren’t going to cheat you, so you should attempt to treat the casino with the same respect. As long as you play safely and responsibly, at a reputable and well-established casino, all money lost and won is fair and square.