Card Counting No-No in ‘The Hangover’

Wow, talk about irony. Last Friday I wrote a piece on using a pretty woman as a distraction when counting cards, and then I watch ‘The Hangover’ for the first time the next day. There you go, my blackjack playing friends, proof that distraction with a pretty woman works at the blackjack table.

Okay, so it was written that way, but it is still perfectly viable. It at least shows you how such a thing would work.

But while watching ‘The Hangover’ I noticed something else about that scene at the blackjack table: Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner is making a big card counting no-no: He is exhibiting outward—and let’s be honest, easily recognizable—signs that he is counting cards. Viewers can watch his lips move as he does all of his counting math in his head. And that is a big problem.

While card counting is no actually legal, casinos are private businesses that do have a say in who they will or will not serve. They can ask you to leave. Which is exactly what they will do if they catch a player counting cards. This is why all advice about blackjack and card counting says to practice, practice, practice until you can count through multiple decks with distractions around you.

Counting like Alan Garner in ‘The Hangover’ is not going to help you to win $80,000 plus. It is a good thing they planted Stu and Jade to be a distraction because otherwise it was likely that Alan would have gotten busted by the casino staff and tossed out.

The lesson here is to not do things that happen in ‘The Hangover.’ You do not want to pull your own tooth out and you certainly do not want to get booted from a casino because you a no-no for not practicing enough with your card counting. Practice!