Group Counting

Casinos tend to come with elaborate ways on how to watch out for card counters. For example, certain agencies are employed to keep an eye on and seek them out. Although counting cards is actually legal, casinos can kick out anybody they choose to since they happen to be privately owned. Naturally, casinos love amateurs who come down for a few days and lose $500 playing blackjack, but they aren't too fond of expert card counters that can win thousands of dollars in a single night. Because of this, casinos ensure that they can recognize card counters. Then, after spotting one, they are sent outside.

The Book

So, what happened to some MIT students form a group of card counters? What if they aren't your typical kind of hustlers?

These questions are examined in Ben Mezrich's book, which revolves around the story of the MIT students that took Las Vegas down for millions of dollars. In the 1990s, six students from MIT became millionaires, just by going to Las Vegas during the weekend when school was out. Trying not to draw attention to them by carrying lots of money, they even put velcro on their legs to stash the money inside their socks.

How They Did It

It was merely a sophisticated mixture of mathematical prowess and teamwork. A regular card counter is easy to spot: if they make big bets without any apparent reason, they are probably counting cards and expecting high cards to appear. However, the MIT students spread out four card counters, so they were much more difficult to spot.

The back-spotter stood around to count cards and not play. The spotter made small bets and sent messages over to the big Gorilla who moved around to make big bets whenever the back-spotter and the spotter indicated a table advantage. The Huge Player is the one who counted cards and played big hands.

This team would definitely be difficult to spot. In fact, the dealer probably won't even realize that something's up, most of all if there are several nerdy-looking women and men involved.

Who knows just how long this team could have gone unnoticed if somebody hadn't sold out their names. After that incident, they would get tossed out of a casino any time they attempted to enter one. Although counting cards is actually legal casinos do go through a lot to discourage it.

The reason why this story is particularly interesting is the fact that the students didn't suffer from any major repercussions. They simply made millions and stopped without ending up behind bars.

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