How real was the card counting displayed in the movie 21?

Ask any blackjack fan about their favourite movie, and the most common answer you will receive is the blockbuster movie 21. The choice is pretty obvious since the movie depicts one of the most-talked gambling events, card counting. Also known as card reading, card counting refers to the part of blackjack games where the players have to memorize all the cards of low and high values just by glancing at the cards only once.

What is the plot of movie 21?

The movie is based on the life of a mathematics student Ben Campbell who was exploring new ways to pay his college fees. One fine day, a statistics professor of Harvard approaches Ben and encourages him to join his group of card counters consisting of the 6 brightest students of MIT.

Soon Ben joins the group and learns all the tricks and hacks of the card counting system, and the group starts travelling to Vegas every week after college. At some of the renowned casinos of Vegas, the group members use fake identities and communication signals to earn millions.

However, their prosperity and happiness do not last long, and they start facing problems which, if not handled the right way, can put them behind bars.

Is card counting a myth?

Absolutely not; card counting is as real as any other gambling activities you find across in online or offline casinos. Although in the movie you can see that the bunch of intelligent students are doing it with sheer ease, however, in reality, it takes some time and effort to acquire card counting skills.

Since you will be counting cards by exercising your memory, you need to focus real hard. After the dealer shuffles the card, you will notice an equal number of cards with high and low values. However, this number changes with every round when the shuffler will hand out the cards to all the players.

Your primary task as a card counter will be to assess whether more low or high cards played around. If you can find that the low cards are more, then the higher cards are remaining and based on this analysis, you will have to plan your moves.

You will have to assign values to the cards based on the following rule:

  • 0 value to card numbers 7,8.9
  • +1 value to card numbers 2, 3,4,5,6.
  • -1 value to card numbers A, J, K, Q and 10.

By following this principle, you will have to follow every card played in the rounds and then ascertain whether you will gain an advantage in the following round.

Can you practice card counting at online casinos?

Most players are interested if that’s possible to count cards playing blackjack online. The experts from casino reviewing site Casinomech say “Yes, but not recommended”. Even though card counting is not considered illegal, most online casinos can deactivate your account and take all your earnings if they find you counting cards. However, skilled gamblers still indulge in this activity secretly without letting the online casinos understand since they are playing virtually.

You will find plenty of exciting dealer gambling games in the online casinos, where you can even switch to more expert dealers. It is recommended not to indulge in card counting activities and instead play the game to have a blast.