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by Loudon Ofton


Loudon Ofton is a highly successful card counter and staff writer for Blackjack Apprenticeship features card counting training, drills, community, and resources.

I played professional blackjack for 6 years. During that time, I went through many airports, usually carrying upwards of $60,000 in cash. I never had my money seized. I never missed a flight.

Carrying money of any amount through an airport is perfectly legal, as long as you are taking off and landing in the domestic United States. That doesn’t mean doing so isn’t suspicious, and suspicion is reason enough for the local police or the FAA, or the DEA – or the PTA for all I know – to exercise their right to investigate any suspicions. Know what you can do to avoid arousing suspicion and—barring that—ease any suspicions that arise. If you aren’t prepared, you just might give them cause to act on their legally raised eyebrows and find cause to put your cool wad on ice.

I travelled with Ben Franklins in rubber-banded stacks of $10,000 each. I wrapped each stack in a sheet of 8 1/2-x11 paper and sealed it in a white envelope. I at least dated and initialed each envelope, but usually wrote a name and contact information. All of these are layers of legal protections. To a government official, they represent barriers, which they are usually hesitant to cross ala unlawful search and seizure laws. Of the dozen times (out of roughly 150 airport visits) that I was stopped for questioning, and my envelopes came out of my pockets for examination, only once did airport officials open the envelopes to confirm what I had, and only once did they make me open the envelopes.

Speaking of pockets, that is exactly where I kept my money when going through security. Pockets or socks. I never allowed the money...

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