Card Counting and How to Hide it
Card counting has a bad rap because the casinos want it that way, even though it's not illegal. A skilled blackjack player has the tools to reliably take a casino's money, which directly contradicts the typical casino's stance that everyone's a winner at such and such casino. So, in the ultimate act of hypocrisy, proven winners are treated as criminals so that the industry can still claim that it loves when people walk away winners!
As for why the public has embraced this darker notion of counting as well, has to do with the sense of authority that casinos project when handling this situation. Just like people tend to believe whatever police officers tell them, only to sometimes find out in court that the truth was misrepresented for the purposes of an investigation, the casinos' negative stance on counting has a similar curious effect on the public, who end up believing that there must be something wrong with it.
The perception of card counters is almost always negative, because to get casino cooperation to shoot inside a casino or get any casino involvement, comes this element of control. And let's face it, there's nothing new under the sun. The image of the underground, dangerous lives of card counters can be kind of sexy now that the more negative, outlaw connotations of the card-counter myth are so rampant in the media. It would almost ring false to say otherwise.
Bottom line is, casinos are absolutely terrified of organized groups of intelligent players descending on their blackjack tables. And of the truth coming out, that almost anybody willing to learn and practice the relatively simple mathematics behind card counting can and will get a very real edge over the house. It's just that easy.
Camouflage is one of the most crucial aspects of playing blackjack, because ultimately it doesn't matter how amazing a counter you are if you can't get away with it!
Casinos look for certain betting and playing patterns that indicate knowledge of card counting. Camouflage techniques are things you can do as counters to throw them off the scent, so to speak. Camouflage can be psychological, such as acting drunk or physical, like wearing a disguise. This last one is the most important, since these days it doesn't matter if you convince the pit bosses that you're just a harmless drunk playing crazily, there are computer surveillance systems to analyze your betting to determine if you are consistently betting low in low counts and high in high counts, regardless if you've fooled all the humans present.
There are ways to trick these systems, such as making bigger bets as the count drops, or vice versa, but you have to be careful because every time you don't bet or play with the count, you are effectively giving up your edge over the house, which translates into losing a percentage of your profit. And since card counting only gives you about a 2 percent edge, give away too much of your profit through camouflage plays and you're actually giving yourself the best cover of all, being a losing player. And no casino has a problem with that!