Making a Killing: How Card Counting Really Works and What Casinos do to Prevent It

In the hilarious 2009 blockbuster hit The Hangover, “the three best friends that anyone could have” need to find a way to get the money they owe Mr. Chow in order to have the groom to be, Doug, returned to them. Phil, Stu, and Alan devise an intricate scheme that uses card counting while playing Blackjack to win a lot of money. The scheme uses many distractions such as Stu, and his stripper wife, acting as a distraction as well as Phil making lots of noise and obscene gestures to the cameras of the casino in order to bring attention to him and allowing Alan to do the card counting and win the money they owe Mr. Chow. When the casino managers begin to become suspicious of the possible card counting that is going on, Stu’s recently married stripper wife falls to the floor causing the security to focus on her giving Alan and Phil time to escape unseen with all the recently won cash. This scene, although entertaining, does not accurately portray what goes on when someone is card counting in these big time casinos, such as the one seen in this movie, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Card counting is much more subtle and not such a big scheme as it is portrayed in this very funny movie.

Masters of the very complex skill utilize card counting in order to beat the odds built into Blackjack and make a lot of money. However, it is an issue that casinos take many precautions to prevent in order to maximize their chances to win and make a very substantial profit. Many people consider card counting to be cheating without really understanding how one goes about counting cards while playing Blackjack. Card counting is a part of the betting card games, and it is a skill that can be learned and mastered by really anyone. If the player is able to mak…

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… Cited

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Golden, Leslie M. “An Analysis of the Disadvantage to Players of Multiple Decks in the Game of Twenty-One.” Mathematical Scientist 36.1 (2011): 57-69. Print.Mano, D. K. “Counting Cards.” National Review 38.14 (1986): 42-4. Print.Snyder, Arnold. The Big Book of Blackjack. New York: Cardoza Pub, 2006. Print.

Rose, Nelson I. “Dealing with Card Counters.” How Casinos Stop Card Counters and Card Counting. Casino City Network, 8 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

The Hangover. Dir. Todd Phillips. Perf. Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Justin Bartha. Warner Bros., 2009. DVD.

Tilton, Nathaniel. The Blackjack Life. Las Vegas: Huntington, 2012. Print.


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