Ben Affleck is banned in Las Vegas for being too good at blackjack

Ben Affleck is banned in Las Vegas for being too good at blackjack

Ben Affleck is a dashingly handsome Hollywood star who is as rich as Midas, and lives a happy life with three kids and his beautiful wife, actress Jennifer Garner. A man could become jealous for way less.

In addition, he is still a successful actor himself, and has won two Academy Awards. And they weren’t even for acting. He shared the award for Best Original Screenplay with childhood friend Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting in 1997, and his second Oscar was for Best Picture with Argo in 2012.

And if that isn’t enough, he also seems to be a really nice guy. It’s almost rude of him to have that much success all at once. At least I am better than him at poker, although I am sure he is pretty good at that too.

People like to gossip, especially in Las Vegas. People are always talking about famous people, and since Ben Affleck has visited Vegas many times to play poker, I have heard a lot of gossip about him.

That’s why I write that he seems to be pretty nice.  Apparently he is a really good tipper as well. And of course, he is involved with charity causes just to top it off.

And just when you think a guy can’t get any closer to being a super hero, you find an article that describes how he has been banned from Vegas for being too good at Blackjack.

How cool is that?!

It is possible to win at Blackjack if you count the cards. The very simplified explanation is that you keep track of what cards have been played from the stack of 4-6 decks of card that are used.

When cards with 4, 5 and 6 are played, it’s good for you. When cards with the value 10 are still in the deck, it’s also good. The best situation is when there are plenty of aces left in the deck, because then you can get Blackjack and win 1.5 times your stake.

If the cards are unevenly divided, you can get a situation where the player has a clear advantage. At that point you have to play hard until the cards are reshuffled and then wait patiently for the next advantageous situation arises.

What Ben Affleck did was only to wait and play it slow until the cards that were left in the deck gave him an advantage, and then start playing hard.

This is not illegal in any way, but casinos don’t like losing money and they have the right to ban any player they want.

So in April, Hard Rock Casino banned Ben Affleck because he was too good and won a lot.

Maybe you think that it’s not fair play when the casinos do this? Well, I completely agree.

Ben Affleck is welcome to stay at the hotel and hang out in the casino. He may eat in the restaurants and drink in the bars. He is allowed to play other games, but he isn’t allowed to play Blackjack.

Blackjack pros are always trying to avoid being pegged as card counters. They do this by making certain zero sum-plays that the casinos will see as really bad and stop worrying if the customer is too good. By using different kinds of disguises. And by playing together in teams.

These days it’s harder to avoid being busted, with all the video cameras and sophisticated surveillance systems. In the past, when the mafia ran the town, card counters were sometimes taken into the back room and had their hands broken with hammers. Not just to make them realize that they were not welcome in town, but to make sure other people also got the message.

Maybe it’s better to just play online? At least then you will never be banned for playing too well. And the worst injury you could end up with is carpal tunnel syndrome.


Written by Ken Lennaárd.