Heat When Card Counting In counting circles, getting suspicion from the pit boss or camera surveillance is called "heat". Sometimes you may notice heat before it escalates into action, but sometimes this just is not possible. In this section we will talk about the methods casino's use to catch counters and the ways you can avoid these measures to play as much as possible. One thought to keep in mind when discussing heat is that casinos loose a lot more from mistakenly throwing out people who are not counting. For this reason they will often not approach you unless they are certain you are hiding something. Pit bosses Pit bosses have a lot to deal with (no pun intended) and are not actively trying to catch counters. They may know what counting is, but probably will not know a counting system.
Unless a situation is extremely odd, a pit boss will not be the one that makes the decision to confront a counter. The one thing that pit boss can do is to alert the surveillance room. Pit bosses are told to look for specific circumstances and notify surveillance if they occur. These circumstances would include the following. Someone (usually a young male) who seems to be betting much higher than their appearance would video poker if you win and keep playing it will take it back. Someone who has been consistently betting the minimum and then spiking their bet, only to lower it again soon after.
Someone who is paying far to much attention to the cards on the table (looking over the table multiple times each hand). In the rare case that the pit boss actually calls up to the surveillance room, you can bet that they will be following you like a hawk. Surveillance rooms Most of the focus of casino blackjack surveillance is not actually centered on finding card counters. For the most part they are watching the dealers. One corrupt dealer could cost the casino much more then any counter would, and they know this. That being said, there are still times where surveillance staff will be watching the tables for counters. How they try to catch counters usually runs along these lines: They will pick a table, either at random or because they have a suspicion.
They will count down the table using Hi-Low and as they count it down surveillance staff will watch to see if any players appear to be "betting with the count". Of course it is possible that a non-counter will happen to raise and lower their bet with the count, so they won't take action after only one shoe. However, if they find you following the count once, they will continue to monitor you. If after several shoes you have continued to follow the count, casino surveillance can take one of several actions. In the worst case scenario a surveillance manager will come directly down video poker if you win and keep playing it will take it back your table and ask you to stop playing blackjack. If this happens the best course of action is to be polite and leave immediately.
If they do not want to kick you out, they may take a more casual approach. This can include sending the pit boss over to talk to you, telling the dealer to start dealing faster, or both. By doing this they are hoping to throw you off the count and thus remove your advantage. If you think this might be happening to you I would again advise you to leave immediately. If you are able to keep up with their distractions they will only continue to put pressure on you until you can not count or are told to leave. In most modern casinos, once they think you are a counter they will probably upload your face into a facial recognition system. These systems are not perfect, but they can be very pesky. In my time playing I have sometimes been able to disguise myself well enough to dodge these systems, but I've also failed a few times as well.
If the casino finds you are counting after being asked to leave they will almost certainly forcibly remove you from the casino. This does not mean you will lose any of your chips, but it will pretty much guarantee that any dealer or bit boss at the casino will have a good look at you and remember you as a counter. Methods to avoid suspicion when counting cards There are a lot of Approved online casinos methods counters have come up with over the years to dodge heat.
The first and most effective method is to only play short sessions. If you only play for about half an hour at a time, the chance that surveillance will even count down your table is extremely small. If they do they will most likely only see you bet with the count for part of a shoe and will not have enough evidence to take action. Pit bosses and dealers are also less likely to recognize you if you play for short periods of time, which helps a lot when using disguises later.
The second most important move you can do to avoid heat is called pocketing. As you might have guessed, pocketing is the act of moving chips from the table to your pockets without anyone noticing. The reasons for this are simple. If video poker if you win and keep playing it will take it back have less chips on the table, everyone from the dealer to the camera crew will think you've either won less or lost more. Nothing is more suspicious to a pit boss then someone with a thousand dollars on the table betting the ten dollar minimum. Pocketing takes some time to master, but I will let you in on a little trade secret.
Say you have a stack ten green chips (250), if you take your hand and place it on top of the entire stack, you can lift one or two chips off the top with your palm. You can then casually move your hand under the table and transfer the chips into your pocket. If done well, it is basically impossible for anyone to notice this movement and over time it can make your stacks look a lot smaller then they actually are. One note of caution, if you pocket too much you may not have enough chips on the table to double or split when you need to. If this happens, do not reach into your pocket to grab more chips. You do not want anyone knowing you have been pocketing. Instead, just whip out your wallet and put down some more bills. Not only will this prevent people form knowing you are pocketing, but it will make you look like a gambler who has run out of chips and needs to buy in for more.
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