Cheating Vegas

The art of casino cheating comes in many disguises...

Posted by Chuckmonster

While the act of counting cards IS NOT illegal in Nevada, the casinos do have the right to bar you from entering their establishment if they suspect that you are an 'advantage player.' Advantage teams have sprung up (as exposed in "Bringing Down the House") where teams will post players at numerous BJ tables whose only job is to keep a running count of the deck composition. When the count gets to a pre-determined number signifying heavy advantage to the player - the counter signals a "super player" to come over to the table and make a giant bet (which, based on statistics is usually going to win). The casinos can't suspect that the super player has been counting because they haven't even been at the table. However, the eye in the sky easily tracks these super players and watches where they strike, the similarities of players on the tables they strike at and information gleaned from other casinos about Blackjack Teams that have been working in town. Some blackjack teams are so bold that exchange cards at the table during play when dealers are distracted in the hopes of making guaranteed winners out of junk hands.

Roulette cheaters use many of the same techniques as blackjack players, however they have to do these by slight and speed of hand to avoid being caught by dealers and pit bosses. The whole roulette layout is ripe for capping, past posting, pinching and snatching bets. Usually roulette cheats work in teams where one distracts the dealer while another places a winning column bet. More brazen roulette cheats will go so far as capping bets underneath the marker as the dealer sweeps away losing bets. This is dangerous work and one false or unsure move will surely get you backroom-ed and trespassed from the casino. For a full-on expose of Roulette cheating techniques check out Richard Marcus's autobiography "American Roulette - How I Turned The Odds Upside Down - My Wild Twenty-Five-Year Ride Ripping Off The World's Casinos".

In addition to the aforementioned railing and orphan poaching, Craps cheats employ other techniques to help them get the bones to roll their way. Nowadays, the stickman and the boxman keep their eyes on the dice at all times, however sometimes a set of hot dice sneak into a game. What are hot dice? Hot dice are dice that are weighted slightly on some sides so certain numbers continue to be thrown. Dice cheats also employ 'glueing' to dice - some stickyish pine tar like substance to the sides of the dice that they cheat wants to be face down. Dice cheats also toss the dice in certain ways so certain numbers always appear. One of these techniques - sliding - is done by tossing the dice outwards with out spin so they will land and slide down the felt. Vegas Gaming Regulations state that dice must hit the back wall of the table (and the bounce-inducing angled-rubber wall guard) for the throw to be valid. One short throw will usually get a warning from the boxman... repeated short tosses will get you bounced from the game.

Cheating in Vegas takes equal parts balls and brains. Balls to attempt and brains to outwit the myriad of techniques developed by the house to pounce the mouse. Cheaters often say that getting paid isn't the hard part, its keeping a steady stream of winnings without raising suspicions and therefore getting booted, backroomed, busted, booked or sent up the river.

Relevant Links:

Nevada Gaming Control Board's Most Wanted
NGC's List of Excluded Persons (The Black Book)
Griffin Investigations keep a database of known and suspected card sharps, casino cheats and other creepy crawlies. They continually fax information directly to the casino pits when known cheats and teams have been spotted in town and have developed facial matching technology so casinos can quickly send your eye-in-the-sky mug shot to them for instant identification. They ain't fucking around, yo.

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