How to Cheat at Spanish Blackjack

As long as there are games, especially games that money can be made from, there will be people who will try to cheat.

It’s no different in blackjack.

Of course, that’s easier said than done nowadays though, since casinos are familiar with all the common methods for cheating in blackjack. And cheating in blackjack online is nearly impossible, unless you work at the casino and have access to the games and/or player accounts.

Anyway, the point of this article isn’t so much to teach you how to cheat at blackjack to make a profit, but instead to show you what to look for. That way, if someone tries to cheat you or the casino out of money, you can stand up and say something.

Methods for Cheating in Spanish Blackjack

Cheating in Spanish blackjack isn’t going to be any different than cheating in traditional blackjack, European blackjack or blackjack switch. So once you know how cheating works in blackjack, you’ll be able to apply that knowledge or awareness to any variation.

The following are the most common ways to cheat in blackjack.

Marking Cards

Card marking is one of the oldest and most common forms of cheating in blackjack, as well as other card games like poker.

Cheaters will mark the cards so that they might know what the dealer’s down card is, since in most games dealers have to hit until they hit 17. They might also mark 10-point cards so that they can see when the dealer has a 21, as well as to keep a more accurate count overall.

Cards are marked in one of several ways – cards can be marked with fingernails (the back is scratched off), a special paint marker that is only seen by special contacts or glasses, or by slightly bending the corners of the cards.


If you’ve ever seen a blackjack movie, such as 21, then you’ve seen how teams are used to cheat in blackjack. Usually one player is the distraction or the one giving intelligence. The other player can then place a late bet, palm cards or hit/stay with extremely high accuracy.

Palming Cards

Another way to cheat in blackjack is to palm cards. Cheaters will bring their own cards and switch cards as needed, or they will palm cards they’ve been dealt by the dealer to use later or to get a new card altogether (based on marked cards or their count) claiming that they only received one card.


Spooking is the act of one playing sitting behind the dealer and letting their team member know what cards the dealer has, as well as (maybe) the cards being dealt to the other players.

The problem with this tactic is that in most casinos that I’ve been in, the backsides of the tables are usually facing the backs of other tables, which are surrounded by the floor managers. So this tactic would be nearly impossible to pull off, other than maybe in an older casino, or maybe in someone’s home game.

Late Bets / Removing Chips

Players can also cheat by making late bets or removing chips, which is a method used in other casino games as well. For example, a player will be dealt a blackjack, and while the dealer tends to the other players at the table, they add more chips to their bet. That way the only risk the smallest amount possible when they lose, and they’ll make the most possible when the win.

This can work the other way too. If a cheater’s hand busts, they might try to remove some of the chips from the bet to lessen how much they lose.

Cheating is Extremely Difficult to Pull Off

Those are the most common ways to cheat in blackjack. Other than maybe tag teaming the casinos, you’d have a difficult time pulling any of these tactics off. Walk into a casino, take a look around and you’ll see what I mean. There are multiple cameras on the ceilings, pit bosses keeping track of the action at all the tables, the dealers are trained to know what to look for and they special tools and lights in place to pick up on marking tactics. And of course, if you have long sleeves or fingernails (especially as a guy), or are acting funny in any way, you’ll only draw attention to yourself, increasing the chances that you’ll be caught.

The Consequences of Being Caught Cheating is Severe

Between the difficulty of cheating and the consequences, cheating in blackjack is far from worth it. Cheating in a casino is a crime in every casino and state that I can think of. In some states, such as Nevada, cheating is the last thing that you want to be caught doing. In most cases (if not all), it’s a felony, and it’s very likely that you’ll face prison time, fines, restitution and you’ll be banned from the casino you cheated, as well as any other casino that specific owner owns – which can be many, many casinos in Las Vegas, Reno and many other casinos from all over the USA (and maybe the world).

Worse of all, cheating is reserved for absolute scum. It takes all the fun out of the game, and people who are known to cheat are some of the hardest people to trust. So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t cheat, but instead, only know what cheating looks like so that you can prevent it whenever possible.