Is Counting Cards Illegal? [BEFORE You Try]

 There aren’t any laws that explicitly forbid counting cards, but there are a few things that might land you in trouble. 

Whether you are talking about Atlantic City or Las Vegas, one of the most popular games in all regions of the US is card games. Many people love to play cards in casinos and other game spaces to enjoy in their spare time.

Due to this, it has become a great way to enjoy and try luck to win money or other prizes. But you need to learn different things about these games to avoid any conditions that you may not be expecting while playing. The most common question that comes to mind is “Is counting cards illegal?”

The core focus of this article is to tell you about this activity and let you know why is counting cards cheating in Las Vegas casinos. Just keep reading to understand whether you can fearlessly do this counting or if you need to avoid it.

Is Counting Cards illegal in 2024?

Counting cards is not considered an illegal activity in most countries including the US, but it can get you banned from Casinos so watch out!

Considering the legal status of such practices, you may not get a straight answer to this question. It depends on where you live and the local laws and regulations.

Counting cards is a simple activity that a player does while playing card games, especially poker, and blackjack. Normally, it is done to get an idea about the game’s condition and to set up a plan on how to move next.

No doubt, counting cards is not considered an illegal action, but you have to take care of every aspect while counting cards in the casino. It has been seen that many local casinos in Las Vegas are taking action against this activity because they want to protect an unwritten law.

If you have been caught in any of such casinos, you may be asked to leave the game or leave the casino instead of continuing your play. So one needs to be cautious if you are looking to count cards in poker while playing in any of the Las Vegas casinos.

Why is counting cards illegal?


Counting cards is not considered illegal activity, but Casinos have a problem with it so it’s ‘illegal’ within their premises. There are no laws written due to which no authorities can take any action against you.

Almost every casino in Las Vegas is taking measures to set laws for this activity because they think it is a type of cheating in card games. It costs them money, so they’re taking action even though there is no law regarding this.

They claim that the casino wants to protect the rights of every person and provides everyone equal opportunities to win the game. Therefore, they don’t give someone space to count cards and play differently.

If you have been counting cards and are caught by the security of the casino, you will be detained by them. Now, you have got an answer can casino security detain you instead of calling the police?

Why is card counting not allowed?


There is neither a legal obstacle nor an unethical issue regarding card counting, the reason it’s banned is that it costs Casinos money. Remember the more you win, the more they lose & vice versa.

The justification according to casino authorities is that you get an advantage over others by doing this. By counting cards, you may have an extra edge to win the game over other players playing at the same table.

Due to this, it might be considered an unfair act that prohibits the players to do so. There is no problem to count your cards because it is your property. But if you will ever use other means to do so like tools or any other device, you may be detained by the security or police who can arrest you under the allegation of cheating.

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Is it illegal to count cards at a casino?

Whether you are looking to count cards in blackjack or poker in a Casino, you will not face any legal issues, except for being kicked out if you get caught. The only issue in this regard is casino security. Casinos have a strong security system with cameras on almost every table that is specialized in cracking down on such activities.

So, if you’re found doing anything like card counting or other activities, you will be asked by the securities to leave your spot. They can tell you to stop the gameplay or go out of the casino if you are constantly doing something as such.

What is backoff in the casino?


Backoff means to ask a player to quit the game or stop doing specific actions while playing. You may have seen that many players leave the game in between while they have been asked to do so by casino authorities. This is called back off where you’ll be asked to quit by the Casino authorities.

Can casino security detain you?

No, casino security can ask you questions and limit your play too for a while. They don’t have the power to hold you there against your will. Typically they’ll usually call the cops on you if they find something suspicious, but if you aren’t indulging in anything illegal, you’ll get a clean chit. They can also ask you to leave their space if they have found you guilty of their unwritten law violation.

Can you go to jail for counting cars?


Counting cards is not a crime. Although it’s a violation of unwritten law but there aren’t any legal repercussions as it can’t be proved. But if you have been found counting cards using an inappropriate way, the authorities can call the police and take action against you.

Is it illegal to count cards in Vegas?

There are no federal or regional laws in Las Vegas due to which counting cards can be labeled as an illegal activity. But you may experience some hurdles in a few casinos in this city. The reason is those casinos take it as an activity of cheating that can give you an advantage over the other players.

Final Say

With the above discussion, you must have an answer to is counting cards illegal or a crime. Now, you can easily estimate how to count the cards even if you are playing the game in the casino. Also, you know the possible conditions you may have to face in casinos while counting cards to play games on the table.

E.A. Gjelten