Ben Affleck Barred from Counting Cards at the Hard Rock Casino

Ben Affleck recently was barred from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Contrary to reports on tabloid websites across the Internet, he was not banned for life from the Hard Rock Casino.

Affleck is said to have been caught counting cards, which can get a gambler on a casino’s black list. The actor apparently is a longstanding customer at the casino, because his experience was a great deal calmer than was initially reported. Days later, he was joking about the situation.

How the Story Really Went

According to sources, Affleck was stopped by casino security while betting on blackjack at the Hard Rock and told “you are too good”. Earlier reports said that Ben Affleck had been banned for life for counting cards. In fact, the casino allowed him to remain and play other games.

In a statement from the Hard Rock, the hotel managers said, “Mr. Affleck, a valued guest of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is not banned from our property and is welcome back any time.” A source in an entertainment magazine claims the casino got Mr. Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, a complimentary car ride back to their hotel.

Ben Affleck and the Gambling Industry

Ben Affleck is a gambling aficionado. He has played in the World Series of Poker on several occasions, along with other poker tournaments. Affleck also has played in celebrity poker events. The celebrity also starred in the 2013 movie Runner Runner, in which he played the owner of a lucrative online casino based in the Caribbean. The 41 year old actor and director is fascinated with gaming, it would seem.

What Is Card Counting?

Card counting is the keeping track of the high and low cards which have left the deck in blackjack. When high cards leave the deck, it hurts a player’s chances. When low cards leave the deck, it helps their chances.

A card counter uses one of countless counting techniques, then uses this information to vary bets by wide margins. If a player wagers $5 when the casino has an advantage and $100 when they gambler has an advantage, the player ultimately has an overall edge over the casino. They beat the house edge, which is small in 21.

Is Card Counting Illegal?

Counting cards is not illegal, but casinos have the right to ban players from their games. If they catch a player using these methods to play at a positive expectation, then the casino bans the player for life. If a twenty-one gambler is good enough, they might end up in a black book which bans them from all casinos in a region.

How Ben Affleck Was Caught

From a report in the Daily Mail, Affleck used the black $100 chips to keep track of his count. He was said to be using “uses perfect basic”, one of the original methods of counting cards.

Card counting experts teach players to be nonchalant about their counts. Such people are told that the casino will notice if they appear to be concentrating on the count, while varying bets. If they are gregarious and talkative and appear to be a high roller, they might get away with it. One can assume Ben Affleck might have gotten away with counting cards, had he not been using chips to keep the count.

Casinos spend considerable resources to spot card counters. Casino staff is trained to spot counters. If they notice a gambler varying their bets according to the count, the pit boss is alerted. Dealers, pit bosses, and the security staff (in the surveillance room) are trained to scan for such activity.

Taking a Break from Making Movies

Despite what is being called a “scandal”, Ben Affleck is laughing about the happening. He was seen pumping gas at a Los Angeles convenience store and was smiling for the camera. While he did not address the story, he seemed to be in good cheer. Despite the smiles, media stories days later continue to mention he was banned from gambling, before later mentioning it was a specific, limited type of ban.

Several articles say Affleck was in Las Vegas taking a short vacation in between filming scenes for Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Man of Steel 2”. In the film, Affleck takes on the role of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. The role has previously been played onscreen by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale.




About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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