The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is gambling a sin? How about blackjack card counting?

I recently learned how to count cards in Blackjack which on occasion I play at casinos. The High Low system works like this 2 - 6 facecards are +1 and 10 - Ace cards are - 1. When the running counts get to plus 3 and higher the count is in the players favor and you start raising your bets.
I learned this from Colin Jones a “Christian” card counter who formed a Church team called the “Holy Rollers.” His premise is that the bible doesn’t mention gambling and in fact the drawing of lots was used several times in the bible including by the Apostles to replace Judas. Also his premise is that when you count accurately you have a slight edge over the casino and over time you will actually win therefore it is not gambling. It is not a get rich quick scheme, it is a slow grind and I think people who have a love of money will not have the patience for this as it actually is hard work!

Any thoughts?

No sin in gambling, I myself prefer private table games, but the excitement is not the same I would expect. Though I believe the casinos take a dim view of counting, so don’t get caught! Good luck

Depends on who you ask. I don’t personally think it is wrong, if done with self control. It may not be particularly wise, however. I feel the same way with drugs, alcohol, junk food, anger… I don’t believe any are wrong, but it may not be a good idea to indulge in such things.

With drinking, I know many claim that they have never been drunk. However, this is ambiguous. Being intoxicated exists on a spectrum, and thus, the very definition of drunk is a moving target. It is observed that even a small amount of alcohol impairs the nervous system… So, when people justify their drinking, they are themselves declaring something that is really unprovable, yet is used to prove it to themselves and others. Better these people just say they drink, than try and create a dichotomy that exclaims how they are one of the “good” drinkers. That said, I have no issues with people who consume alcohol. But as for me, I do not consume it.

Yep, and my point was that the excitement of possibly counting cards at a Black Jack Table, and going over board (winning) could have dire consequences.

Go figure.

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Here is what Got Questions, has to say:

They even included a YouTube video:

I’ve had ‘coolers’ sent to my table when I was on a ‘streak’ counting cards. The casinos got very sensitive to card counters and moved away from single decks to those ‘shoes’ that had multiple decks in them, and also closed tables where 1 gambler was sitting with the dealer - which made the counting too easy.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done that, and I never was much of a gambler anyway.

Yes i previously read what GQ had to say about it which was negative but the premise is that Card Counting is not gambling since the player does have an edge.

Yes casinos use 6 or 8 decks now but you can still card count as you divide the running count by the number of decks unused by looking at the shoe. Obviously everything has to be discreet.

If I recall reading correctly, casinos don’t allow card counting. And they do have monitored surveillance cameras and spotters - to look for things like that.

The dire consequences are that they ban you from playing as it is not illegal to use your brain. At least not yet! In Atlantic City they can’t ban you by law but they will shuffle after every hand if they think you are CC.

Yes but they are not as brilliant as you may think. The good CC is very discreet and the personnel in Casinos have a high turnover so often they have no idea about this.

The thing that gives noobs away is their wildly fluctuating bet sizes. When the deck is wildly in their favor, instead of incrementally making larger bets, they go all in as if they KNOW something. That gets the pit boss’s attention.
When the dealer got an ace every time after shuffling for 3 shuffles in a row, I left a table once. I looked back and she was smirking at me.
I did not think of it as a sin. obviously; we took only a little money for entertainment, which is what the gambling was for us.

I present these following short videos, for educational purposes only!

Now try counting your hand, at zombies from Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). How many zombies are being led away?

Exactly, if you have a fav true count you have to bite your lip and incrementally increase bet size or play with a partner & have them come in at a high count & bet high right from the start!


You really counted cards?

Sure. Read the book, memorized the procedure, hauled my skinny white butt over to Reno and gave it a try. Early days, the casinos were not quite a strict as they were to become. Made a few bucks, enough to pay for the trip, food and lodging and for buying the wife a trinket. Did a little better the next few times and then the casinos began to crack down.
One guy used to bring in a sack of greasy fried chicken, find a table with just a dealer and a couple of players, sit down and gross the people out with his eating habits and smelly fingers so they would leave the table - just him and the dealer, pretty easy to win. Only worked a couple of times I understand.

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Here is the question you need to ask yourself about whether any action is a sin.
Does this action harm either another person or yourself? If it does, then it is sin.

But before you judge that it harms no one, look into it very carefully! You may be mistaken.

Gosh Don, if I didn’t know any better I would think you are a southern Baptist…

I hope he doesn’t go white water rafting! :rofl: