Beating The System
Those who are obsessive about gambling are always going to come up with ways to beat the system. Virtually everyone knows about card counting, which has been portrayed in many movies, most famously in Rain Man. In the movie the character played by Dustin Hoffman was able to keep a mental record of which cards had been played in a game of blackjack, which gave him an idea of which cards still remained in the deck.
This, of course, allowed him to know if high or low cards were more likely to be played, giving a major advantage to the player over the house. But the method is not easy, and takes an enormous amount of skill in order to do correctly. It need not be said that the average gambler is not going to be able to do this method, unless they dedicate some serious time and patience. And even then may not be able to do the method well. More realistically, an average gambler may keep track of just a few cards, such the aces and kings, and know which still remain in the deck. This is far easier, and still provides a level of advantage.
Another method of beating the system is known as edge sorting, but is not only less sophisticated then card counting, but also relies on elements that are less substantial. The basis of edge sorting is to take note of the design on the back of cards. This design may be subtly different if a card is turned upside down, from the player’s perspective.
Since, in blackjack, cards are first dealt face down, then turned face up, the player studies the backs of the cards, then gets the dealer to turn the card upside down, saying it is a based on superstition. What is really occurring is that the player can now identify this card later. When combining the design differences with other small imperfections in the cards, the player will eventually have sorted cards into high and low categories, and even know individual cards.
This allows the player a substantial advantage in playing blackjack, and will soon have them winning huge amounts. Players have won millions of pounds using this method, but later found themselves in a whole load of trouble for their efforts.
Legality Of Edge Sorting
When walking out a casino with millions in your pocket, you can bet that a few eyebrows are going to be raised. Once edge sorting was discovered, casinos were not going to take the losses lying down, and took players using the method to court.
However, when a new method of getting rich off casinos comes to light, courts initially have a difficult time deciding what is and is not cheating. In the first case of card counting, it was stated at the players using it did not consider it cheating, and that if the casinos did consider it cheating, they should have protected themselves from letting it occur.
It was decided later, however, that the method is indeed cheating, although the player was allowed to appeal this decision. As of 2016, the case is still on going, although it should be noted that many casinos have already taken steps to prevent this from again happening.