Casino & Poker

5 Reasons NOT to Count Cards

Blackjack cards and chips

When thinking about the ways in which you can try and beat the odds at the casino, one of the most common methods that comes up is card counting. This is a trick showcased in casino movies like 21, Rain Man and The Hangover as the ultimate way to defy the system, but hold your horses – card counting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

What is Card Counting?

Counting cards is a strategy for predicting the next hand to be dealt and is typically applied to Blackjack games.

In simple terms, card counting means keeping track of specific cards as the dealer works through the deck. This enables the player to optimise their bets by predicting the likelihood of certain cards coming up, with the aim of beating the house.

Why You Shouldn’t Count Cards

While card counting has been to some extent glamourized in movies and popular culture (you can even pay people to train you in the skill), we’re here to tell you not to bother. If you want to win at cards, this isn’t the way to go about it…

Here are the five main reasons why counting cards is a waste of your time.

People sat round a poker table


1 – It’s Difficult

Counting cards effectively takes a lot of practice, patience and luck. There are lots of variations to keep in mind and rules to learn by heart, not to mention the fact that you’ll need to memorize around 250 different moves.

You’ll need to be able to not only count as the pack is burned through, but also to divide fractions in order to arrive at the actual number, plus indices for assessing when a strategy change might be needed AND you need to do all this while making a sensible wager… Sound like a lot of work? It is.

2 – Casinos Are Wise

Casinos are wise to every trick in the book, and card counting is no exception. Remember that a casino is a business, and their goal is to make a profit, so they are always on the lookout for people who may be trying to trick the system.

They can make it near impossible for you to count cards through a number of tricks and rules, one of the most common being using multiple packs of cards. So, even if you managed to learn how to count cards, you’d come up against some difficulties when trying to execute in a casino.

3 – You’re Unlikely to Make a Profit

What else is card counting for if not for making you a profit? It’s not necessarily like the movies: counting cards is by no means a shortcut to riches, no matter how skilled you are.

In fact, it’s all about probability, and the probability of winning a decent amount of money (i.e. thousands) through card counting is very low – there’s still a great deal about Blackjack that is down to chance.

4 – It Ruins the Game

Playing Blackjack for any reason other than being entertained can be a slippery slope to not enjoying the game at all. Having to stay focussed and obsessing over card counting can really distract you from the simple pleasure of a good old-fashioned card game.

5 – It’s Not Worth the Risk

Card counting is by no means a new phenomenon, and casinos have plenty of experience in spotting card counters. If they suspect you of counting cards, you’ll likely be put under scrutiny; worse, if you’re caught, you could be banned for life from that particular casino, and your picture may well be distributed so you won’t be able to play anywhere else either.

If you love casino games, this seriously limits your options for future entertainment – it’s simply not worth the risk.

Cards & chips


Forget trying to beat the house, and instead sit back, relax and enjoy your favourite casino games online without the stress. Love Blackjack? Play this and more at NetBet Casino, where we’ve got all your favourite card games, including Blackjack, Baccarat and poker as well as hundreds of classic slot games, plus roulette. Sign up today and play.