HomeOur Obsessions’21’ the movie: Could it happen in a real-life casino?

’21’ the movie: Could it happen in a real-life casino?

Card counting, also known as card reading, is a mental strategy that is most commonly used in blackjack games in any casino. Here's a look at movie '21'.

’21’ the movie: Could it happen in a real-life casino?

Card counting, also known as card reading, is a mental strategy that is most commonly used in blackjack games, to give the player an advantage over the house by keeping a record of all high and low valued cards that the player sees. 

Card counters make their decisions based on the composition of the remaining cards, which determines if the next hand gives them an advantage or not. The practice is not illegal in New Zealand but is looked down upon by casinos and regarded as cheating. Card counting is more common in Blackjack games. 

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What Is The Movie About?

21 is an American movie that was inspired by the true story about six MIT students who perfected the art of card counting and covert communication signals to swindle Vegas casinos millions in winnings. Actor Ben Campbell, a mathematics major at MIT, is looking for a way to pay school tuition after being admitted to Harvard Medical School. 

He is quietly recruited by a group of MIT’s most gifted students in a daring plan to mint millions from Vegas. With the help of the brilliant, unorthodox professor and statistics genius Micky Rosa, the group heads to Vegas on weekends, armed with fake identities, a covert system of card counting, and an intricate system of communication. 

They beat the casinos to win massive amounts of money, and things start getting out of hand, and they face the challenge of keeping the numbers straight and keeping a step ahead of the casinos.

How Real Is It?

Is it possible to count cards? Could the practice happen in real life? These are some of the questions most players ask when they watch the movie or learn about card counting. Yes, card counting is possible, and it can practically happen in real life. How does it work?. When a dealer shuffles the card in a Blackjack game, the number of high and low cards on the deck is equal. 

The ratio of high to low cards in the undealt cards is bound to change depending on the cards that are dealt in the opening rounds. If more high cards are played, then the low cards in the remaining cards will be more, and vice versa.

The most common strategy used by card counters assigns a value to each card group. For example, in a Hi-Lo game, a card counter assigns cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 a +1 value, cards 7, 8, and a 0 value, and cards 10, J, Q, K, and A a -1 value. The card counter will then watch every card that is played and add the value for each hand, including the dealer’s hand, until the round is over. if the count is positive, the counter will have an advantage in the next round and will place higher bets, and vice versa. 

How Do Online Casinos Deal With Card Counting?

Casinos consider card counting a taboo and have come up with ways to prevent it. Card counters risk being expelled and banned from casinos. One of the most effective ways casinos use to spot a card counter is by using surveillance cameras. Big casinos have hundreds of cameras, which are monitored by staff who are highly trained to spot cheats. 

In case they detect a card counter, they notify the pit supervisor who implements strategies that are designed to send the culprit away without causing a scene. The supervisor can switch the dealer with one who is experienced in handling cheats. In serious cases, the casino may decide to force a shuffle after the current hand is over. This means the counter has to start all over again. 

Card counting might not be illegal in New Zealand, but players should desist from the vice. Most people play casino games for fun and card counting takes all the fun out of a game. Playing fair is the best way to have fun and win big prizes.

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Frankie Stein is from Italy, but lives in Ingolstadt, Germany. Her hobbies are: reading about science, doing experiments, and travelling. She's been all around Europe and loves Scotland, London, and Russia. Her boyfriend is called Victor and they both love listening to The Cure, reading Byron, and gazing upon William Blake prints.

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