Is Card Counting Illegal in Las Vegas? Addressing the Legality

In the vibrant city of Las Vegas, where the casino industry thrives, the topic of card counting often stirs a mix of curiosity and controversy.

As a leading destination for gambling enthusiasts, Las Vegas casinos are at the forefront of adopting measures to ensure fair play and security. But, does this mean card counting is illegal in this gambling haven?

Let’s delve into the legality of card counting in Las Vegas, breaking down myths and providing clarity on this widely discussed subject.

Understanding Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy used in games like blackjack, where players track the high and low cards dealt to gain an advantage over the casino. Contrary to popular belief, card counting is not about memorizing every card but rather focusing on the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the deck.

The Legality of Card Counting in Las Vegas

Here’s the straightforward answer: card counting, in itself, is not illegal in Las Vegas or any other part of Nevada. The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld that casinos cannot treat card counting as a form of cheating. Since card counters use their minds to keep track of the cards without the aid of electronic devices or external assistance, it is considered a skill-based strategy.

However, this doesn’t mean casinos are powerless against card counters. Casinos in Las Vegas are private properties, and they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, including those suspected of card counting. They employ various measures to counteract card counters, such as using multiple decks, shuffling the deck more frequently, and employing sophisticated surveillance systems to identify and monitor potential card counters.

The Ethical and Practical Considerations

While legal, card counting is frowned upon by casinos. Players caught engaging in card counting may be asked to leave or be barred from playing blackjack in the establishment. The ethical debate around card counting is complex. Proponents argue that it’s a legitimate strategy that rewards skill and concentration, while opponents view it as an unfair advantage over the casino and other players.

Key Takeaways

  • Card counting is not illegal in Las Vegas or Nevada but is discouraged by casinos.
  • Casinos have the right to refuse service to anyone suspected of card counting.
  • Card counting requires skill and concentration, without the use of external devices.


Can I be arrested for card counting in Las Vegas?

No, card counting is not a criminal offence in Las Vegas, so you cannot be arrested for using this strategy. However, casinos can take actions like asking you to leave.

Do all casinos in Las Vegas watch for card counters?

Yes, most casinos employ security measures and surveillance to detect card-counting activities.

What happens if I’m caught card counting in a casino?

If detected, you might be asked to stop playing blackjack or leave the casino. Repeated offences could lead to a permanent ban.


Card counting in Las Vegas presents a fascinating intersection of skill, legality, and casino policies. While not illegal, the practice is closely monitored by casinos, which maintain the right to protect their interests. As players navigate the thrilling world of casino games, like Big Dollar Casino, awareness and understanding of such strategies and their implications are essential for a balanced and enjoyable gaming experience