Many people dream of winning big at non GamStop casinos, and for some the dream may come true. Some also do what they can to improve their own odds, for example by playing strategically and perhaps even resorting to clever tricks.
A classic trick in land-based casinos is counting cards in blackjack, and there are several players who have had success with this, at least until the casinos have exposed them.
Among the most successful card counters was a group of students from MIT. They have become known through both films and books and continued for several years before the casinos stopped them. How did they manage to win over the casinos?
Winning Odds in Blackjack at Non GamStop Casinos
Like all casino games, the house, i.e. the dealer, always has an advantage. If you succeed in reducing this advantage, you will increase your own chances of winning, and that is exactly what the MIT students did.
In traditional blackjack, the dealer wins 48% of the time. The player wins 44% of the time and the rest of the time it is a draw. These odds are based on perfect game strategy, and of course not all beginners can play strategically correctly, thus reducing their own odds.
Blackjack is a game where a good strategy is important. This is not the case in all non GamStop casino games, but then you can improve your odds of winning in other ways, for example by accepting free spins. Fortunately, many non GamStop casinos offer free spins that give you extra game rounds at no cost.
You cannot use these in blackjack, but there you can improve the odds by playing strategically.
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) gathers many of the smartest students in the United States, and when some of these wise minds got together, they developed a game strategy that was very successful, and it wasn’t cheating either.
It is not illegal to count cards in blackjack, but the casinos naturally try to prevent this from happening. The team from MIT succeeded because they managed to improve their winning odds and bet big when the odds were best.
How They Improved the Odds?
Key to the team’s success was game strategy, card counting and team-based play. All these elements were crucial.
The strategy consisted of playing each hand in the best possible way. This is something everyone can learn through online strategy tips, which tell when it pays to split, double and retreat. A good strategy will always improve the odds in blackjack, and it is perfectly legal to make use of such tips both at non GamStop casinos and in land-based casinos.
Card counting was the other key. Counting cards means keeping track of how many high and low cards are left. This is not an exact science, because you never know for sure which cards will be drawn. But by counting the cards, you get a little more insight.
The card counting the students used involved giving low cards the value +1, while high cards received the value -1. Low cards were defined as 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. High cards were 10, J, Q, K and ace. The cards in the middle were given neutral values.
During the game, players were to add 1 for each low card dealt and subtract 1 for each high card. This gives a sum that increases or decreases during the game. The more low cards that were dealt, the higher the value of the cards, and then it was time to bet more because the chance of winning was greater. This team of students could bet several thousand dollars per round when the odds were good, and it could yield really big wins. If the value on a table became low, they bet only small amounts or left the table.
Teamwork Was Essential
The third key to success was teamwork. Many card counters work alone, but then there is a much greater risk of being exposed and subsequently banished from the casino. The students from MIT worked in teams, and each player had a different role. Some functioned as pure card counters, so-called spotters.
Their task was to sit at the table and bet small amounts in each round while counting the cards that were dealt. When they discovered that there were most high cards left, and the odds of winning were therefore good, they gave a sign to the others in the group.
The major players in the team had the task of betting large amounts on tables with good winning odds. They waited until they received secret signals from one of the spotters. Then they came to the table by chance, bet big for a couple of rounds, and often secured big wins. When the spotter signalled that the winning odds were decreasing again, the high player left the table.
The spotter remained seated and continued to count. This was done so that the spotters would not cause a stir. They should just look like completely average players. The spotters could also use words and expressions that told the big players how good the odds were. The words were often camouflaged as jokes or small talk so as not to attract attention. To create even less sensation, the big players were generous with the dealers, so that the dealer became less suspicious of them.
A third factor the team from MIT used was a shared bankroll. That is, everyone used money from the same account, and everyone contributed to earning money. With more people playing for the same bankroll, there were more winning chances per round and per hour in the casino. Some of the money came from the players themselves, but a lot also came from investors.
Everyone who contributed as investors to the team from MIT made money from it, and this team is still considered one of the most successful blackjack teams in the world. They were eventually exposed by investigators hired by the casinos, and most of the players were banned from playing at the non GamStop casinos that exposed them. Some of the players went on to form new teams in other countries, and there are still many who use the same methods as the tea.