Ben Affleck banned for life from playing blackjack at Hard Rock Casino

wenn21154455
Ben Affleck is a big gambler and he’s incredibly good at it, to the point where he legitimately won the California State Poker Championship in 2004. Affleck loves to gamble, and there have been rumors for years that his gambling poses a problem in his marriage to Jennifer Garner. So that’s why I’m side-eyeing this report that Ben took Jennifer to Vegas with him for a “romantic break” before he’s about to film Batman vs. Superman. That’s like taking your non sports fan wife to the NCAA final four. That is not romantic, that is a guy pursuing a hobby by any means necessary. Still, at least Ben took Jennifer with him instead of leaving her at home, right?

This is news because Affleck was so skilled at the high rollers blackjack tables at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino that he was reportedly escorted out of the establishment and banned from playing blackjack there for life. Affleck was suspected of counting cards, which is technically not illegal, just not allowed. Hard Rock officials deny that Affleck is banned and say he’s still welcome, which we’ll get to in a moment. First, here’s what happened.

Actor Ben Affleck was banned for life from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas ­after security officers busted him counting cards, a source told The Post Friday.

The Oscar-winning star had come to Sin City with his wife, actress Jennifer Garner, to spend some time together before he ­begins shooting a new “Batman” movie, where he plays the caped superhero.

“Ben was told that he cannot ever play blackjack at the Hard Rock again,’’ the source said.

“He was there with Jen on Tuesday night for a romantic break before he headed off to Detroit to shoot ‘Batman,’ ” the source said.

“He was playing blackjack at a high-rollers table on Tuesday and was doing pretty well. He is really smart and a great blackjack player.

“Suddenly, managers approached Ben and told him. ‘You are playing too well. You are going to have to stop playing blackjack. You can play any other game at the Hard Rock, but you are banned from playing blackjack in our casino.’ ’’

The source stressed, “What he was doing isn’t ­illegal. He’s basically an ‘advantaged player’ because he knows what he’s doing.

“He and Jen decided to leave, and security arranged for a car service to take them back to their hotel.”

Although he’s down for the “count,’’ the hotel told him he’s welcome back at the casino any time — as long as he steers clear of the blackjack table.

[From The NY Post]

In light of this story, The Post has another article detailing Affleck’s history of gambling huge sums of money. He’s lost and won a bundle. There’s also of course the scandal from a few years back over the multi million dollar underground poker ring that Affleck, Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio were said to participate in.

Radar got a quote from the Hard Rock spokesperson, who said that Affleck wasn’t “banned from the property,” which doesn’t really specify if he’s banned from blackjack as The Post claims. The spokeswoman said “Mr. Affleck, a valued guest of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is not banned from our property and is welcome back any time.

Radar also got ahold of an internal email which suggests that this isn’t the first time that Affleck has drawn suspicions from higher ups at the casino. It was written by the Games Protection Manager, is dated April 22 and reads, in part “Ben Affleck (the actor) … Was informed that he was being way too obvious moving his money with the count. He was spreading $100 -10K on the double decks and $0-20K (2@10K) on the shoe games. As of now, he is still being allowed to play per casino management.

That’s all a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me, but I guess it means that Affleck was winning too much money, and was too skilled at it, for the house to tolerate for long. It also says to me that he’s been heavily gambling for a couple of weeks now at least. That’s more than just a brief “romantic break.” Still, at least Jennifer knows exactly where he is.

Thanks to Kaiser for the tip!

Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

151 Responses to “Ben Affleck banned for life from playing blackjack at Hard Rock Casino”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. PunkyMomma says:

    This is actually impressive – counting cards is no small feat. The down side is that it seems Ben has some gaming issues.

    • Dana m says:

      Is he really that smart to count cards ? That takes skill. Perhaps a PR a Stunt.

    • V4Real says:

      Ben Affleck is Rainman, who knew….

      Batman v/s Superman doesn’t start filming until next year so I would say he’s taking more than a break.

      • Algernon says:

        They’re already filming. They’ve been doing B unit stuff in Detroit and Chicago since early April, and are reportedly starting principal photography this month. They only moved the actual shooting schedule back a couple months, which to me makes their delayed release look even more fishy. You don’t need a whole extra year to accommodate an eight-week push. Iron Man 3 shut down for four weeks when RDJ broke his ankle, and they still made their original release date. Batman vs Superman could’ve still made a 2015 release, even with the eight week delay. Either they really just wanted to screw with Marvel, or their extra cushion is because they’re anticipating a rocky production with more delays.

      • The Original Mia says:

        Yeah. There’s something going on with this production and it starts with him. At first, we heard he was injured and unable to film. Now, we find out he’s been making monthly jaunts to Vegas. If he’s so injured they can’t film principal shooting, then how in the hell is he sitting for hours playing cards?

      • V4Real says:

        @Algernon, yep you’re right I forgot that I read an article about Henry Cavill in Detroit gearing up for Superman. I agree that all these delays seems fishy. Injured or not Ben could still do scenes that doesn’t call for any action. They also can use body doubles like they did with IM3. During the destruction of the house in IM3 that wasn’t even RDJ, it was a body double and they used the same effects that they used in Captain America to make Chris Evans look like a wimpy 5’4 man. Also in the last scene of IM3 where Stark throws his chest piece into the ocean was done without Downey, that was the body double again. Something is up with the production and Ben.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        i heard that they are filming Batman vs. Superman and Justice League back-to-back. That might be the reason for the delay, filming a second movie with some of the same actors, setting, crew, etc.

    • sienna says:

      Totally impressive, I watched a documentary on the “Taking Down the House” students before the movie was made. It was so fascinating.

    • Merritt says:

      Apparently card counting is not that difficult, However casino employees are training to spot people doing it and escort them to different areas of the casino or out of the building.

      • MCraw says:

        Seriously. He literally took a look around him and made a BET on his odds of winning. This just shows how crooked The House is. Casinos skew everything so that the odds of winning favors themselves. One person does something that make his chances better and he’s banned? Give me a break. I hate double standards.

    • Mia4S says:

      I’m not sure I can get behind the “impressive” assessment if he has in fact been treated for gambling addiction. It’s a bit like an alcoholic being able to mix an amazing martini. It’s a skill but…

  2. Lucretia says:

    I hope someone explains exactly what this means. Keeping track of cards is what good bridge players do. Why is it wrong in blackjack?

    • PunkyMomma says:

      If you’re able to keep track of the cards, you can adjust your bet accordingly. It takes away the casino’s advantage in the game.

    • Sixer says:

      I want to understand this properly, too. How on earth do you play PONTOON (that’s the proper name for it, you pesky Americans!) WITHOUT counting the darn cards in your head? My father taught us mental maths skills as children through playing cards (and darts) with matchsticks or counters to bet with, and card-counting was an integral part of that.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Sixer, the casinos want you to play. They just don’t want you to win.

      • Sixer says:

        So I’m beginning to see! What I can’t understand is why anyone would even bother to play if they’re not allowed to keep track of the cards in their heads. It seems like the whole point of the game to me.

      • Nighty says:

        If all players counted cards, all casinos would go bankrupt in a flash… And they exist to make money, not loose it… I also like playing poker and other gambling games (don’t do it often) and one has to count the cards in order to win.. What intelligent players do is win 2, lose 1, so that the house (casino doesn’t suspect you’re counting them… If you keep winning, they’ll notice it , and ask you to leave….

      • Sixer says:

        But surely, even when you are counting the cards, you are still betting on a probability, not a definite outcome? It’s like saying all the odds should be the same in a horse race and no-one should be allowed to study form. It really just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m sure I must be missing something, but it doesn’t.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        @sixer. Yes, you are still betting on a probability. But by having some idea as to what’s probably left in the deck, you’ve increased your odds at making the right guess. If you adjust your bet accordingly, i.e., if you haven’t seen a lot of high cards in the deck and up your bet, if you win the hand, you’ve won more with your larger bet. In like manner, if you see the deck (or shoe) is trending towards having a lot of lesser value cards (2′s, 3′s, 4′s and 5′s) and you lower your bet, should you lose the hand, you’ve minimized your loss by downsizing the bet. If you’re a card counter, you should walk away from the table with a net win.

      • Sixer says:

        Thanks. I do get all this. What I don’t get is: why on earth would anyone ever play if they’re not allowed to use their brain to try to win?

      • Bridget says:

        @Sixers: if the person downthread is correct and Affleck was arranging his chips to keep count, that’s a serious no-no. You wouldn’t bring a paper amd pencil to the table or use a phone app to count and expect to be allowed to stay,would you?

      • Nighty says:

        That’s why it’s called addiction….

      • Sixer says:

        No, I wouldn’t. I’m not really talking about Affleck here: more about card-counting in general.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Sixer, that has always been my question about gambling in casinos. Why on earth do people do this? The Las Vegas casinos do everything possible to confuse gamblers and keep them at the tables or slots too, so they lose track of time and how much money they are spending and losing. There are no clocks. There are no windows. Nothing indicates that the sun has set or risen and you have been sitting there for 5 hours. There is constant noise and commotion and flashing lights everywhere. Waitresses bring a never-ending supply of free alcoholic beverages. Cameras monitor every move. I realize that some derive a thrill from trying to beat the house but in the end, they never will. To me, it is just a tremendous waste of money and time but to each his or her own.

    • Sarah says:

      it is not wrong. the casino just wants you to lose money instead of winning money.

    • Lucrezia says:

      Basically, the problem with counting cards is that blackjack (or pontoon – gosh that name takes me back!), when played with basic strategy (aka common sense), is already one of the games with the lowest natural advantage to the casino.

      The goal of the game is to get as close to possible to 21 without going over. That math is pretty simple (easily memorisable), there are times when it’s obvious you should get another card (e.g., you’re on 14) and times when you obviously shouldn’t (e.g., you’re on 19). Even without card counting, if you play basic strategy the house edge is only 1%.

      With card counting, what you’re basically trying to do is figure out how many high cards are left in the deck so you know how likely it is to get a natural blackjack (ace plus a face card on your initial two cards). Natural blackjack you get paid 3:2 odds on your initial bet. If you bet really high when there’s a high chance of blackjack (if you haven’t seen any aces or face cards for a while), and really low when there’s a low chance of blackjack (when most of the aces and face cards have already been played), then you will easily overwhelm that natural 1% edge the casino has.

      And that’s what Affleck was doing. He was betting $100 on hands where there wasn’t much chance of blackjack, and $10,000 on hands where it was more likely to occur. That’s far too big a spread. Made it really obvious. A spread of 8 (so from $100 to $800) is enough to tip the advantage in your favour. A spread of 100 will get you banned from the table.

      @ sixer – were you really card counting as a kid – as in figuring out how many face cards were left prior to making a bet for that hand? Or just using basic strategy (like staying on 18?)

      • mimif says:

        Lucrezia knows her cards. :)

      • Sixer says:

        Lucrezia – I love you. Finally, I get it! I didn’t really understand how or what odds the casino paid out.

        My dad always played simple trumps and pontoon (!) with us when we were very wee, just using basic strategy. We bet one or two or three matchsticks! With the bank/house moving on when someone got a pontoon. Also gin rummy. We also played darts counting back from 301 (that also teaches slightly more than subtraction when you’re trying to finish). Later on – not sure how old? Eight? Nine? – we were card-counting and playing partnership whist and whatever that other one is where you have to lose all your tricks. And later on still, we played bridge. It all sounds very geeky now I come to type it out, but at the time, it was just fun, you know? Not learn-y. But the result was certainly good skills in mental arithmetic.

        PS: we also played a lot of cribbage. One for his nob!

      • Lucrezia says:

        I said this downthread, but – honest to god – I just had to do a statistics assignment comparing casino games once! I’m a math-nerd, not a high-roller!

        @ Sixer – I got taught pontoon (and basic strategy) by family too, for much the same reason :) We did 301 darts as well. I vaguely remember an attempt to teach me bridge, but I must have been too young, I sucked BADLY, and it ended in a combined tantrum from me and my grandfather, who’d been my very unfortunate partner.

      • Sixer says:

        HA! Perchance, you didn’t used to make up limericks during long car journeys, did you? That was always my mother’s game (and since our limericks always lampooned one another, it’s probably why I’ve grown up to be such a snark). My father did the numbers; my mother did the words.

      • Lucrezia says:

        No limericks unfortunately. Long drives were for eating lollies: Sherbet Lemons, Country Mints, Columbines, Chocolate Eclairs (candy, not pastry), Fantales. (Hmmm. You know, that may very well explain why I used to get horribly car sick on those trips.)

        But wait – you’re English. How long can a “long” car trip really be? Don’t you run out of island? :P

      • Nighty says:

        “But wait – you’re English. How long can a “long” car trip really be? Don’t you run out of island?”
        LOL… that was funny… she still has the tunnel that links to France…

      • Sixer says:

        London to the Scottish Highlands – a favourite holiday. I know, I know: nothing in comparison to Aussie-land. Although in my book, any drive lasting longer than three minutes is too long.

        We got Penguins (chocolate biscuits) and Ribena (blackcurrant drink)!

      • Sighs says:

        I played pinochle and cribbage with my grandparents. I can’t remember a lick about pinochle, but I’m the only person my age who seems to know how to play cribbage (mid 30′s). I’ve taught my husband, but he’s absolutely terrible at math and forgets everything so I have to teach him all over again every time we play.

      • bluhare says:

        My dad invented a game for car trips. Who Can Be The Quietest. Stupid thing is we suckered in a couple of times.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @ sighs-35 here and I LOVE me some Cribbage!
        So weird that I also learned Cribbage and Pinochle from my grandparents…

      • Hiddles forever says:

        @Sixer
        I used to live near John O’ G… by the time I was in Glasgow (8 hrs …) I started to yawn… sure, it is not like Miami – NY, or worse Miami – LA

        @Lucrezia
        Good explanation!! Thanks a million, because I never understood what tipped the casino off even in movies!! :)

        Regarding Ben Affleck, in comparison to me he is a genius.. I can’t even count the first ten cards out and I’m lost lol

    • Ennie says:

      Sixer, it becomes an addiction, just as bad as any addiction. For those that count cards and those who don’t, kind of the same, oh, and do not tell them to play without betting, that is a very important part, the possibility of winning, not just the game: “I can win the next one”, being an expert or a beginner, the thrill is important, I would guess that for an expert the feeling of “can” makes them more driven to play.
      I read an article of how casinos send limos to pick up known addicts to keep them playing and offer them trinkets to allure them.
      I live in a different country, but I am the daughter of a poker addict, who lost eyeery year money from the harvest and cattle sales that was supposed to be for the family. Sad, sad family situation. Great father on one side, sick on the other.

      • Nighty says:

        Sorry about that Ennie.. it must have been tough!!! I like playing, but the fear of losing is so big that I stick to playing with friends for 3 euros max… I guess my fear actually helps…

      • Lucrezia says:

        My sympathies too, Ennie. My aunt was a problem gambler who eventually committed suicide (partly due to gambling debt, partly other reasons). We weren’t close at all (my side of the family only saw her once a year if that), but it was still a shock. And the lying – urgh! No-one had realised how bad her habit was but when we started piecing things together, the number of lies she’d told to cover her tracks was astronomical. (I guess that applies to any kind of addict.)

      • Sixer says:

        Also sympathies. I can play card games but have never been to a casino or gaming arcade in my life. It’s how that part works that’s been confusing me here. It’s just why or how anyone would play WITHOUT counting I didn’t get.

  3. blue marie says:

    *snorts* please stop playing, you’re kicking our ass..

  4. QQ says:

    Oh so not just drinking, pain pills and chasing random tail? Homey is full on Bennifer 1.0 Implossion styles?

  5. mimif says:

    Impressive. I’m usually counting the minutes til the cocktail waitress walks by again.

  6. Sabrine says:

    He’s done nothing illegal, just using his brain to figure things out but the casinos don’t want someone outsmarting them. That’s not why they’re in business, so someone can actually win more money than they lose. It sounds like Ben is too smart for them and they don’t like it.

    • Sandra says:

      True. He just used his brain.

    • Nina W says:

      Ben did nothing illegal. This happens everyday at casinos, I’m surprised anyone is making a big deal out of it. Casinos want you to lose, they hold all the cards, so to speak, and have every right to tell you to leave when you start winning. In case people are naive about this, the casinos share information with each other and if you are caught card counting you could get banned all over town, maybe all over the state. Casinos are in the business of making money and they rig it all in favor of the house.

  7. MrsBPitt says:

    That is some real bullcrap from the casino…if you are smart enough to count the cards, to help you win, and its not illegal, they should have no right to shut you down, Its like going to an all you can eat buffet, but the waiter thinks you’ve eaten too much and tells you to leave…Thank God I hate gambling!

    • evasmom says:

      I agree. Color me ignorant and naive about this issue but would someone have a legal leg to stand on if they sued the casino? I mean really – how can you be thrown out for thinking and using your brain to play cards? This seems entirely asinine to me.

    • Kim1 says:

      People are banned from all you can eat buffets all the time for eating “too much”. When I worked at a pizza place years ago my manager banned a guy. He would eat 5-6 large pizzas at a sitting. The buffet only cost $3.99 at that time.

      • Yeah but how much skill does it take to eat 6 pizzas? I mean…I don’t know. It seems weird that it’s ok to penalize a customer for being good at a service that you’re offering them.

      • Reece says:

        You sure he was storing the pizza somewhere else?
        My friend and I used to do that in high school and early college days. We’d load up two plates one full of salad and the other with our “real” food. We’d slowly “eat” the real food (stuff it in the zip lock bags and containers we had in our backpacks or large purses which luckily were a trend at the time) then go back for seconds and thirds. Really we were loading up on salad while there and saving the rest for later.
        But we’d always leaving a chicken bone or something to make it look like we were eating more than lettuce and carrots.

      • V4Real says:

        @Reece Are you the reason “Sizzler” went out of business.” :)

        I used to see people bring doggie bags to that resturant and load up on food from the buffet. Purses were not just used for fashion back then.

      • Reece says:

        @V4Real There is still one within driving distance of where I live so Nooo. :P
        We used to order a plate (take it home) and split the salad bar there. lol And the garlic bread! But the last time I was at one it was really dirty and disgusting.

        Speaking of buffets and Vegas, I think it might be time for another road trip.

  8. Cora says:

    Ben went to rehab in 2001 for gambling (and drinking, as well). If he really was addicted to gambling back then, is it wise for him to be spending this much time in casinos now?

    • Artemis says:

      Yup, right after the J-Lo split, homeboy went to rehab. He’s got a lot of issues that he masks well by his charming exterior. His success after rehab helped people forget his issues (although he’s a man so it’s not that hard). I’m sure he’s fallen off the wagon and it’s only a matter of time before he digs his fingers (literally) in a stripper. He better watch out because after all those years of creating this great family image (thank you Garner), he’s about to mess it up.

      And isn’t Damon a gambler too?

      • kimber says:

        ^totally what I was thinking

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Artemis, who wrote: “And isn’t Damon a gambler too?”

        What is this … shade by association? Damon appears to be a ‘recreational’ gambler, who doesn’t do it ‘nearly’ as much as he did prior to his marriage in 2005. He got really good at it when he practiced for his roll in the (1998) film “Rounders,” which he co-starred in with Edward Norton, about a young professional gambler involved in the underground world of high stakes poker.

        What I mean by ‘recreational’ is it doesn’t seem to be an addiction for him as it is for Ben. Otherwise, you’d better believe there would be plenty of stories about him zipping off to Vegas now that he and his lovely wife Lucia live on the West Coast.

      • kimber says:

        when ppl say “shade” I giggle because their face looks so serious and it’s silly word to me.

      • Artemis says:

        There was zero shade in my comment. I just read something about Damon and gambling a few times but I haven’t heard any details and I don’t care enough to Google it. With Affleck it was strippers, booze and gambling so for me that was more gossip worthy because even if Damon would do it, I’m not sure that he wouldn’t be stupid enough to be so blatant about it and embarrass his partner/family. And because they’re friends Damon popped up in my mind for a sec.

      • V4Real says:

        @kimber I ‘m just laughing that the word recreational had to be explained along with the movie “Rounders.” Some people are too serious when it comes to celebrity gossip.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Artemis …

        You know, I almost put a ‘smile’ icon after the first sentence so you’d know I was kidding, but than I thought ‘nah, she’ll know I was kidding.’

        Sorry. I was kidding. What I said was meant more as a comment on Ben rather than a zealous defense of Matt. No offense was meant … honest.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Damon was implicated in a high stakes illegal poker ring.

      • Artemis says:

        Internet speak doesn’t pick up sarcasm or humour sometimes. It’s all good, I wasn’t mad!

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Artemis, who wrote: “Internet speak doesn’t pick up sarcasm or humour sometimes. It’s all good, I wasn’t mad!”

        :)

      • Rockymtnprincess says:

        He was in rehab for booze and gambling after making some unbelievably crazy bet. j.lo put her foot down. The funny thing was that Danny bonoduce (sp?) was in the same place on lithium and was doing his morning radio show remotely from there. Danny sometimes had a mystery guest join him and although they never confirmed it was totally Ben. I just really hope he hasn’t dove off the wagon head first. Just counting cards isn’t too big of a deal. I know some nerds that kick ass at it, I guess being asked to leave isnt too big of a deal.

    • kimber says:

      I was thinking about that. How everyone just forgot his addiction problems.

  9. Anna says:

    He is so, so hot to me. He has demons though – he talked about his father’s alcoholism and I think he’s fighting that battle too.

  10. lucy2 says:

    It’s impressive he can do that, but considering his past issues with addiction and gambling, I’m surprised he’s playing that much now. He’s got his career to a great place and a family now, i would hope he doesn’t slide back into old behaviors.

  11. Shelley says:

    All I’m thinking is Jennifer looks so pretty in this photo

    • Mia4S says:

      And all I can think is how badly I feel for her that he keeps embarrassing her. I know she plays the game but this story coming with the “romantic getaway” line is just the worst impression.

      • Lena says:

        Pray tell, what’s embarrassing about what he did? It’s not illegal and you have to be very smart to even attempt it. What’s embarrassing is the casinos who turn out people who are too good at the game and winning “too much”. In Atlantic City its against the law for people to get banned for counting cards.

  12. Macey says:

    what exactly does it mean to count cards? I’ve never played anything more than slots and thats was just 2x so Im not sure what it means. can someone explain how this is done?

    Kind of pisses me off tho cos it sounds like he was kicking their butts and they didnt like it.
    like someone above said, they only want you to play as long as you’re not winning, which Is why I never bother with casinos.

    • Nighty says:

      The explanation is on a post above…

    • Lucrezia says:

      A short/simple version is:

      Aim of blackjack to get 21, without going over. If you get it in just 2 cards (ace plus 10, J, Q, or K) it’s called natural blackjack and you automatically win (and get a bonus).

      Card-counting is about trying to figure out your odds of getting natural blackjack before the hand is dealt.

      Imagine a game has just started with a freshly shuffled deck/s. Throughout the game, keep track of every card you see (dealt to anyone, not just those dealt to you).
      If you see a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 card, count it as 1.
      If you see a Ace, 10, J, Q, K, count it as -1.
      If you see a 7, 8, or 9, ignore it.
      (When the deck is shuffled, your count resets to zero.)

      If your running count is high, bet high for the next hand (because there’s more chance you’ll get a blackjack), if your running count is low, bet low (most of the high value cards have already been dealt, so there’s little chance you’ll get blackjack). You won’t guess right all the time, but if you keep playing to your system you’ll be more likely to win than to lose in the long run.

      I feel like I need a disclaimer: I don’t do this professionally, it’s just that I had to do an assignment on this stuff for a statistics class once. (Working out the odds of various casino games is actually quite fun if you enjoy math.) The few times I’ve been to a casino I’ve just played the $2 pokies. Even the cheapest $10 blackjack table = high-roller to me!

      • ToodySezHey says:

        The internal memo is implying Ben was betting big in the games with fewer cards (double deck) and betting small on shoe games. The ‘shoe’ is what holds the cards on a blackjack table. The avg game will have 6 to 8 decks of cards in the shoe and those cards get shuffled every few hands making it nearly impossible to count cards. However it’s much easier to count in a one or two.deck game especially if they don’t shuffle as often.

      • Nighty says:

        No worries Lucrezia, I used to play poker with my friends at home… Each of us would put on 5 euros (2 for the beers, 3 for the game, to buy the chips)…. Darn, some of them were good at counting the cards…
        The only time I actually played at a casino, entering the game was 20 euros, when I was winning 60… “Well, I’m winning 3 times what I used to enter the game, better leave now… ” … LOl

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ ToodySezHey: are you sure he was betting more on the shoe games? The double card spread was $100-$10k, and the shoe spread was $0 – $20k (2 @ $10k), which I took to mean he was still betting $10k max per hand, but happened to get a split … and ended up betting $10k on each half of the split. How’d you read it?

        I also assumed the shoes were shuffled a lot less often than every 3 hands. But that’s based on me watching a $10 table in Oz, so if you know this particular casino or high-roller standard, I’ll bow to your superior knowledge :) It seems a bit odd though. There’d be no reason to kick him out if they were shuffling every 3 hands … there’d be no advantage in counting at that stage.

        (IMO, that’s actually what the casino could/should have done. Think you’ve got a card counter? Keep shuffling the deck. Problem solved.)

        @ Nighty – lol! I remember doing the same thing, except I didn’t know how much I had, just that my little cup of $2 coins seemed to be full enough, so I’d better “cash out” now. (Can you still call it still “cashing out” when you have actual real coins not chips?)

      • Dame snarkweek says:

        High limit tables don’t use a six deck shoe and they almost always hand shuffle. In Atlantic City, for example, even most of the $10 tables will just use one deck. They offset the players’ subsequent advantage by giving the dealer her turn card after each hand is complete as opposed to her receiving it in turn after the initial deal.

    • Macey says:

      Thanks for the answers everyone!
      This is actually really interesting to me, I dont think Id ever play in a casino tho.

      I have a friend whose mom actually “won” a large jackpot on the slots but the casino refused to pay her b/c they said it was a glitch in the machine. she tried to sue but lost (I think or at least I never heard anything come of it and I know she didnt get any money from them). A friend told me they have signs on the machines that they are not responsible for machine malfunctions and will not pay out b/c of those. Makes me wonder if they use that excuse to not pay out any jackpots. How would someone know if they hit on the pull or it was a glitch? The casino seems to be able to use the excuse at their will. Why would anyone put so much money in a place like that?

  13. Emma13 says:

    I know next to nothing about gambling, but why is counting cards against the rules? From my understanding, it’s a skill that gives him a boost in the game, so why not?

  14. Penny says:

    So he’s not even pretending he’s on the straight and narrow these days? Does he think he white washed so well that no one remembers he has major, major issues with gambling and drinking (amongst other things)?

    Btw, you don’t have to be smart to count cards, it’s really not hard at all, pretty much everyone can do it. If you really understand the games you’re playing you’ll basically be counting cards whether you mean to or not. What is hard is not letting the casino catch onto the fact you’re purposefully counting cards, that’s the part that takes serious skill.

  15. Luca26 says:

    Not one article or comment so far I’ve read points out how cushy celebrities have it at casinos even when they lose. So to me for them to banish him from the table must mean there was some serious counting going on.

    He clearly has a gambling addiction.

    • The Original G says:

      +! I missed you comment. As I posted below, for him to be publicly outed means that he’s got a very serious problem. This wasn’t their first action towards him. It’s their last.

    • taxi says:

      Anyone who regularly loses at a particular casino gets lots of free goodies – rooms, suites, meals, sometimes free transportation to town from wherever they live. The casinos want people to come & spend (lose) money. Most blackjack tables use 4 decks of cards – it’s harder to keep track of 208 cards than 52.

  16. Tippy says:

    If he’s banned from playing Blackjack at the Hard Rock then he will eventually be banned everywhere else.

    Apparently Affleck was arranging a stack of chips into a make-shift abacus in order to count cards.

    I remember reading that Affleck & Damon teamed up to systematically cheat Alex Rodriguez out of about $2 Million at one of Toby’s high stakes poker games.

  17. paola says:

    We only now about this story because it’s Ben Affleck we’re talking about. Usually when someone is caught counting cards they’re taken in a dark room and a few gorillas beat the shit out of them. To put them off the game for at least a little while. And their face is printed out and well visible in the security room so next time this person will walk in the casino he’ll be well taken care of and escorted out.
    Casinos want dummies to play and lose their money, Affleck clearly isn’t one of them.

    • Mayamae says:

      They could not care less if their patrons are blowing their mortgage, or leaving their small children unattended, but you can’t use a natural ability with numbers to win. What if a person has a photographic memory?

      Don’t mind me, I despise Las Vegas. I think Steven King got it right in The Stand by basing the devil in Vegas.

    • Nina W says:

      They don’t have to be that heavy handed, they do plenty of other stuff. The casinos employ tons of tactics to target and harass “advantage” players without resorting to violence.

  18. eliza says:

    With all that money and he still has to count cards to win. It is called gambling for a reason.

    • Nina W says:

      Well that would be the point of the card counting, it’s not gambling if you’re winning because you know when you will have a winning hand. It’s as if he’s betting on a horse race but he already knows the winning horse. That’s why the casino said, “hit the road.”

  19. Ash says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure I believe the counting cards bit. He seems of average intelligence, and I know extremely intelligent people who can’t count cards. It’s hard, I’ve tried to learn, sometime successful, other times not.

  20. HappyMom says:

    She wasn’t there for a romantic getaway. She went to try and keep an eye on him.

  21. Juliette says:

    April 22 – April 29, a full week of card-counting and gambling in Vegas; assuming he wasn’t there earlier than the 22nd. His intentions were not to leave on the 29th either, he was kicked off the tables, he’s like that drunk who gets thrown out of the bar after one too many.

    Somehow I don’t think Jennifer thought this Vegas trip was a “romantic break.” I’m actually surprised she was there at all.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      According to a commentary on twitter ,Affleck comes to Las Vegas casinos once per month

    • abby says:

      Ben has been very successful in white-washing his pre-Garner days.

      Many of the issues between him and Gwyneth and he and J-Lo had to do with his excessive drinking and gambling. Affleck even went to rehab back in 2001 for a bit. So it’s no surprise that he seems to be delving into these same behaviors once again. His father is also a recovering alcoholic, so Ben is very familiar with addiction and its pitfalls.

      As to the casinos? In general I have no problem with someone leveling the playing field but they actions are no shock. They are there to make a profit and the odds always favor the House. I agree with the poster above about the all-you-can-eat joints. They will ban customers that regularly abuse the service because it cuts into profits. Same with casinos and we can see that Ben was not winning modest amounts either but significant amounts of cash quite often. That had to raise a few eyebrows so they took action accordingly. Quite frankly it’s only because Ben is who he is that he was not beaten in some alley as a lesson. Counting cards may be easy and commonly done but it takes skill to avoid being obvious. If Affleck was already warned – as the internal email indicates – then the gig was up and he was foolish to return and try the same old tricks.

      btw, the Persona Non-Grata or whatever they sent out went to other Vegas casinos as well. And if Vegas banned him then you can bet other gambling centers around the world will follow suit or at the very least watch him like a hawk when he plays in the future.

      • Lena says:

        Wrong Abby ~Actually this post is wrong that he is banned from Hard Rock (or anywhere else) Hard Rock released a statement after that “banned” TMZ lie was published and said he was a very valued customer and was welcome any time and always. And honey – if it were easy more people would do it. The fact is people don’t win much because the house is stacked against them.

  22. aenflex says:

    It’s his money, who gives a shit? Let him stick it to the man (house) here and there.

  23. OTHER RENEE says:

    If they’re playing with 6 decks all the time, I would think it would be very hard to keep track. My dad got asked to leave many years ago for counting cards. But he was an MIT math nerd with an engineering doctorate… He’s not a gambler at all but I think he liked the challenge.

  24. OTHER RENEE says:

    If they’re playing with 6 decks all the time, I would think it would be very hard to keep track. My dad got asked to leave a Vegas casino many years ago for counting cards. But he was an MIT math nerd with an engineering doctorate… He’s not a gambler at all but I think he liked the challenge.

  25. megsie says:

    Don’t feel bad for Jen. She enjoys a bit of gambling and has often accompanied Ben on his gambling trips. In fact, she surprised him by having a room in their home designed to match his favorite Vegas blackjack room – even had the hotel send over pics and room specifications. It was JLo that didn’t enjoy or approve of Ben’s gambling.

  26. rtms says:

    I really hope Garner has her own finances because Ben is going to bankrupt himself I think. I guess we know where all that BvsS money is going right now.

  27. The Original G says:

    Casinos are VERY protective of the condfidentiality of their players, especially so in the case of high rollers and celebs. They also share info on advantage players across jurisdictions. Because he’s famous, it will not be forgotten, either.

    For Ben to be publicly outed means that they have exhausted all forms of private intervention. This is not a good sign for Ben.

  28. Dame snarkweek says:

    Oh this is just great. Now I want to go to Mohegan Sun.

  29. Ginger says:

    Having lived in Vegas for nearly 15 years I have heard multiple stories about him winning large sums of money and tipping very very well. So well in fact that when he was with Jennifer Lopez, a notorious penny pincher, she made him get the large tips back and give smaller amounts. I was under the impression that since he’d gone to rehab for alcohol and become a family man that he’d given up gambling. I guess he couldn’t stay away. All I know is that he’s well regarded and considered a VIP In Vegas. BUT my former statistics professor was caught counting cards and was black listed in Reno and Las Vegas for it so it does happen .

  30. Miss Jupitero says:

    Counting cards is not difficult nor does it require exceptional intelligence.

    If you can add single digits numbers in your head, manage your short term memory, and are not swilling martinis while you play, you can count cards. There is a Korean method of counting that looks like finger tapping and fidgeting which is a very effective method of keeping the count, but I would imagine casinos would recognize this. Affleck wash sing his chips as an abacus. Really lame.

  31. Sandra says:

    Both Ben and Matt D. play poker, I have a close friend who played with them several times.
    Ben likes other games too.
    He didn’t cheat at all, he just played smart and beat the Casino and Casinos know someone with millions like Ben could put a dent in them if he continues to win.
    Good for him. He mathematical and smart, he just played a game of logic and won.

    Applause..for him. IMO

  32. jferber says:

    I don’t get all the comments applauding Ben for what he did. If he knows he’s not supposed to count cards at blackjack and he does anyway, then he’s cheating, whether it’s “technically” legal or not. The casino has the right to make its own rules. He knows the rules and should obey them. Otherwise, he’s just an entitled asshole who thinks he’s so damn exceptional he can do whatever the hell he wants. If people feel strongly that the casino shouldn’t prohibit card-counting, then they should sue the casino and not try to surreptitiously count cards. That’s shady as hell. I think this speaks more to Ben’s addiction than anything else, though. Obviously, the high is in the winning, not in playing the game. Maybe it adds to his thrill to flaunt the rules and win because of that. There’s something here that seriously rubs me the wrong way. Doesn’t he also cheat in his marriage, break the rules of fidelity because he can get away with it ? To me that’s also not cool, but apparently Jennifer puts up with it. News flash: the casino doesn’t have to put up with his shit.

    • Nina W says:

      You’re siding with the casino? I’m sorry, I don’t even like BA, but no way do I come down on the side of the casinos. They are punishing a player for playing their game too well. He’s not “cheating”, he played their game, by their rules and because he was too good at it, they kicked him out forever. He may be an entitled idiot with too much money but casinos are the worst. They rig all the games in their own favor and resort to this tactic if someone actually walks away a winner. Casinos are evil.