Originally Posted by Chu Gai
it's like the reason Ben Affleck was banned from certain games at a casino because he seems to have picked up on an ever so slight, but distinguishable to him, imperfection. One that neither the casino, the person dealing the cards, the manufacturer overlooked, and every other player overlooked.
Actually the person dealing the cards is
in on it. I've read an entire book on the technique and will now elaborate.
Even if you use a computer to make all betting decisions, it is simply impossible, long term at least, to win at blackjack, with one exception:
If the casino has a large ratio between the minimum allowed bet and the maximum bet, and you specifically bet heavily during the short windows of opportunity when the deck is unusually, and only momentarily, in favor to the players [let's say for point of argument 10% of the time], then you might win overall. This concept gave birth to the concept of "card counting" where a player makes note when the remaining cards are unusually rich in their percentage of 10s and aces [because they've counted up all the exposed cards since the start of that deck] and then strategically bets the maximum allowed amount only then when the odds are briefly in their favor.
Casinos figured out what was happening [1960s ?] and banned such players initially, but then worked out an even better safeguard. Instead of using one deck of cards they now use a "shoe" holding six or more decks worth of cards. [In theory one might even see two ace of spades on the table, or in one hand, at the same time.] Here the much larger deck almost never reaches a point of being advantageously rich in aces and tens, statistically, with one possible exception, and that's when the cards are really, really low, or almost entirely dealt out. How do they prevent this? They never allow
the deck to get that low because the dealer randomly inserts a marker card, perhaps 2/3s of the way down, which indicates they are due to reshuffle. Problem solved.
If however a player, especially a charismatic movie star like Ben, winks at the dealer with a secret wink which means "Hook me up and act like your insertion of the marker card is random, but instead insert it as low as you feel safe doing, such that the pit boss watching over you doesn't think you are in collusion with me, a card counter, and I will give you a really
big tip at the end of my stay here at your table".
That's the only way to win, short of straight up "cheating", like dealing from a secret stash of cards hidden under the deck.