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21 - the movie (2008)

Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
An excellent movie based on true story. I would recommend to watch it. I saw this movie last night and I have few questions.

- How can card counting be illegal? It is your smartness using that you are trying to beat the house.
- They have formed the team and with team effort they were playing it. OK this might be illegal upto certain extent.
- Let's say it is illegal, but how could casino have the authority to beat the player? I mean they can not even touch the player.
From Wikipedia wrote:
Casinos have spent a great amount of effort and money in trying to thwart card counters. Countermeasures used to prevent card counters from profiting at blackjack include:

* Harassment of suspected card counters by casino staff. This may be as simple as engaging a suspected card counter in a conversation to break their concentration.
* Decreasing penetration, the percentage of the cards dealt before a shuffle. This reduces the ability of a counter to take advantage of a high count that has developed.
* Card-counter identification, using books of photos and new facial-recognition technologies to "blacklist" known counters.
* Computerized scanners in blackjack tables that can identify counting systems when in use.
* Heuristic systems that keep a count and track players' bets, looking for increases/decreases matching rises and falls in the count.
* Computer systems used in surveillance rooms that surveillance staff use to target suspect players to quantify their threat to the house.
* Shuffling when a player increases their wager.
* Changing rules for splitting, doubling down, or playing multiple hands. This also includes changing a table's stakes.
* Flat betting a player or making it so they cannot change the amount they bet during a shoe.


They DO this kind of stuff. But now a days, you can play Blackjack and all other casino games online? Who is gonna stop you there?

- This movie is based on true events, what is the guarantee that other people would not do the same?

At last what are the chances of me becoming billionaire using the same tricks?
Mike Simmons
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Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3014
    
  10
Vikas Kapoor wrote:How can card counting be illegal?

It isn't. However casinos, which are private establishments, can choose not to allow you to play on their premises if they don't want you to. Casinos are under no legal obligation to allow everyone to gamble under the same terms. If someone is very good at winning money from casinos, then a casino can simply ban them.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30502
    
150

I read the book, but have not seen the movie.

Aside from card counting not being illegal, neither is "team" counting and sending signals to the best of my knowledge. Which is the issue in 21. That they don't just rely on what is in one person's mind. They use signals to pass that info around.

It is illegal to physically beat someone in the United States. That has nothing to do with gambling. Illegal things do happen though. Something doesn't need to be legal to occur. After all, killing someone is illegal and terrible. But it still happens.


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Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  40


The primary two locations -- Vegas and Atlantic City -- actually vary. In Vegas, casinos are considered private property, and hence, you can be arrested for trespass. In AC, the issue was pushed to the gaming commission, which I don't think ever ruled on the matter.

Also, I think in AC, the casinos dropped the issue -- and actually starting welcoming card counters. The idea being that most people who think they are card counters, are not, and hence, it may actually bring in more cash flow. There was also another lawsuit that states that if card counting actually existed, then blackjack can not be a game of chance, and hence, should be barred. Interesting idea -- never found out the conclusion though.

Henry


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Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
The idea being that most people who think they are card counters, are not
I do not get this. Infact the whole second paragraph. If somebody is good at counting and can win the game, she automatically becomes card counter. So why they are not?

There was also another lawsuit that states that if card counting actually existed, then blackjack can not be a game of chance, and hence, should be barred.
What do you mean by if it actually existed? This movie is based on true events so ofcourse card counting exists.
Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18824
    
  40

Vikas Kapoor wrote:I do not get this. Infact the whole second paragraph. If somebody is good at counting and can win the game, she automatically becomes card counter. So why they are not?


I did not say that if someone is good at card counting that they are not card counters. I said... that most people who say that they are card counters are not good at card counting. Heck, my brother claims that he is a card counter -- yet, I don't think he is. And I am willing to bet that this is true for most people, who makes such claims.


Vikas Kapoor wrote:
What do you mean by if it actually existed? This movie is based on true events so ofcourse card counting exists.


I think that you need to read the subtleties in the statement. Or at least, the context.... Basically, if the lawsuit would have preceded, and actually won, then the casinos would be the first to claim that card counting doesn't exist. This is because, they would rather deal with card counters, than lose the rights to have blackjack entirely.

Henry
Jamie Richards
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 11, 2011
Posts: 5
I watched this movie several months ago and I really liked it as well. I found it crazy that they beat this guy up for knowing how to count cards. You cannot just attack someone like that. But in real life, that wouldn't happen anyway. Usually when they suspect that someone is really intelligent and able to count cards they try to distract him, send waitresses over to ask him for drinks, etc. Because after all, nobody is perfect and even people who can count cards don't always manage, etc.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11301
    
  16

There are tons of other measures the casino can use to defeat card counting. 6 or 8 deck shoes and re-shuffling more often. If you still have 40% of all the cards left, then the odds of the count getting very high in either direction goes way down.

I've also seen machines that effectively shuffle the deck after each hand, so the count really has no chance to swing either way.

Further, they can watch your betting style. If you're playing for an hour, making $5 bets, then all the sudden you make a few $500 bets until the deck is shuffled, then go back to $5, you're gonna get barred rather fast.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30502
    
150

fred rosenberger wrote:Further, they can watch your betting style. If you're playing for an hour, making $5 bets, then all the sudden you make a few $500 bets until the deck is shuffled, then go back to $5, you're gonna get barred rather fast.

In 21, it was more complicated than that. They had one person betting the same amount constantly and someone who came in when the count was good. But even that's defeated by the shuffling and the like that you mentioned.
 
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