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Is Card Counting Legal?(Or, Is it Legal to Think in Casinos?)By Arnold Snyder
August 16, 2017 – 05:57 am
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Is Card Counting Legal?
(Or, Is it Legal to Think in Casinos?)

If youre the type of person who lets the word out among your friends and acquaintances that you are a serious blackjack player one of those notorious card counters you may have noticed that quite a number of people, upon discovering this character flaw of yours, will cock their heads and say, with a disapproving grimace, Oh . . . Is that legal?

In the twenty years that Ive been a professional gambler writing about the game of blackjack for seventeen of them I have been asked this question at least a hundred times. It still flusters me.

My immediate response, which is always something on the line of, Of course, its legal! Card counting is just thinking while youre playing. How can it be illegal to think? is usually met with something on the line of, Oh . . . The casinos let you do that?

This always steams me, the suggestion that I must first get permission from the casinos to think while I play. But I usually say something like, Well, if they know youre counting the cards while you play, theyll throw you out . . . But its not illegal to count cards.

Interesting facts

Steven "Steve" L. Heston is an American mathematician, economist and financier. He's also prominently active in the field of gambling-related research, where he sometimes uses the nom de plume Kim Lee.
Steve Heston studied Mathematics and Economics at the University of Maryland, wherefrom he obtained his B.S. In 1985, he completed his M.B.A...

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