When it comes to using questionable tactics to win in blackjack, much of the attention has often been put on the players, who’ve used everything from chip placing to cards in their sleeve to cheat the house. Even card counting is sometimes construed as cheating by novice blackjack players (though it’s not).
In any case, it’s not always the players trying to pull one over on the casino, because casinos have also been known to use certain tricks on blackjack players. Some of these tricks are blatant cheating methods that are rarely used today, while others are more subtle tricks designed to keep people playing the game and spending money. With this being said, here are some of the most common casino tricks used against blackjack players.
Removing Cards from the Deck
Before we launch into the first way that casinos cheat in blackjack, it should be stressed that this method is rarely used by casinos today because of the severe consequences by gaming regulators. With that out of the way, some casinos have/will remove one or two 10-value cards from the shoe, which increases the house edge. The reason why this affects the house edge is because less 10-value cards reduces a player’s chances of getting a blackjack, which also reduces the amount of times they can get 3:2 payouts (or 6:5).
While this isn’t cheating per say, some casinos use a number of psychological and subconscious methods to cheat players out of money. For example, dealers are instructed to deal as quickly as possible to get more hands in, which exposes players more to the house edge. Another well-known trick involves offering blackjack players free alcoholic drinks to dull their senses and promote poor play. Finally, casinos offer fewer low stakes tables so that players are forced to play mid and high stakes blackjack, which leads to more casino profits.
Slight of Hand
One final blackjack cheating method that casinos have used to defraud players involves dealers and slight of hand tricks. Going further, some dealers are so skilled that they can slip a player a bust card without anybody even noticing. Now it should also be noted that dealers rarely have anything to gain from doing so, and very few casinos would ask their dealers to do such a thing.
Long story short, the majority of casinos out there today are regulated by powerful gaming authorities that have no tolerance for cheating of any kind. The only casinos you really need to watch are the remote ones that seem to have little regulation.