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Casino Cheating

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I have often been ridiculed on other forums when I talk about casino cheating. Many Players like to believe the casino is their friend. They think in terms of "Casinos would never cheat because they cannot risk losing their license." It always seems that the players with the least experience are those sticking up for the casinos. Ha, if you've been playing casinos for more than a couple years, I can guarantee you you've been cheated at least once and probably several times W/O your being any the wiser.

I was cheated hundreds of times out of thousands of dollars, perhaps tens of thousands before I got wise to it. This is not as often as it sounds. I was averaging 70 - 100 tables per week when i was playing full time. But even once is too often. There are several major areas of concern: In order of frequency:

Table bet payouts

Table color ups

Buy ins

Cash ins

Rigged games

Other players stealing your chips

First I'll tell you how I learned to avoid most of this cheating.

Keep your chips in even piles of a known quantity as close to you as possible.

Make sure your score card score and your chip piles agree after EVERY play.

Always know and check your table payouts.

Color up in even hundreds only and always tell the dealer the amount you are coloring up.

At the cashier arrange your chips in one pile with largest denomination on the bottom to smallest on top and ALWAYS tell the casier the total that you are cashing in. Whether dealer or cashier you always want them to know that you know.

The breakdown trick: The most outrageous trick was the breakdown trick at Foxwood at their $100 big bac tables. This could happen anytime but mostly they waited for long Bank runs. These were good players so usually everyone was on the run. It takes a long time for the pit crew to compute all the commissions at a 14 player table. So everyone has a large pile of black chips bet on bank. But during the commission stage they take their attention off the table and are talking to each other or studying their score cards or what have you. The pit boss yells out, "break down those piles". All the bet piles are broken down to two piles. Recognize there is absolutely no reason to do this - except to set the stage for a huge scam. Players look up, see two piles and therefore think they have been paid and pull the two piles down before ever being paid. Players seldom caught this. But if a player complained: "Hey, I never got paid!" "That's because you pulled your bet down."

See that? The perfect scam and it's not the casino's fault - it's your's.

Even after knowing this scam Ann and I were playing with our member Aegis and his wife. After the first shoe, John says "Hey, we bought in the same, we bet the same, how come each of you two have $400 more than each of us???" "Oh shit John, remember that $400 bet we all won? You pulled your bets down before you got paid." And there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it - they did, in fact, pull their bets down prematurely as soon as they saw two piles of chips. See that? It is a thing of beauty and the casino can never get called on it.

That time it was only $800. I've watched this scam pulled for thousands. I told a player once that he just got scammed out of $4,000. He called me an idiot. That was the last time I ever bothered to tell a player. I just watched my own payouts a whole lot closer. It was none of my business.

The "snatch trick": Turning Stone had a dealer named Philip. Instead of dealing a card to Player, a card to Bank, A card to Player, a card to Bank, per the rules, he dealt 4 cards to his right hand, then snatched two to Player. You never knew which two he snatched. All you knew is you lost every single hand.

The Bahama hole card trick: I learned this neat trick in the Bahamas but I caught them red handed at Caesars Vegas. The BJ rules everywhere state that the first dealer card is her up card and the second her hole card. But, the VERY common Bahama hole card trick is when the dealer deals both her cards down, sneaks a peek and turns the highest up instead of her second card. That's it. You can't possibly beat that game because you are nearly always playing against a dealer ten up - your worst possible situation.

To make matters worse, the casino is in on it. Consider this: There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to deal both cards down and then turn one up. It slows up the whole game. So why, like Atlantic city does, doesn't Vegas and the Bahamas and other island casinos turn the first card up. There is only ONE reason. To set the stage for the Bahama hole card trick. Think about it. The whole damn city is organized to cheat you.

Want more proof?

Slipping the 5: You've got 16 and call distinctively for a hit. On the way down the dealer sees its a 5 and gives it to the next player instead of to you. So you call the pit boss over. The whole table agrees you called for a hit. So the pit boss says: "Well we can't back the card up - do you still want a hit? See that? Organized casino cheating. - nothing less.

I could go on all day - casino cheating is rampant even in the most prominent casinos, perhaps especially!

So, you think it is over doing it to tell the cashier how much you are cashing in? Consider this tidbit sent to us by our friend Dennis Foley:


Thanks for the response. Interesting that they didn't want you to see the tapes; maybe they showed something else (like somebody picking their nose or something). Or, perhaps they knew you are an attorney and were afraid of further repercussions.

I am forwarding your experience to other players who have had very large payouts, as well as ex dealer, to see if this resonates with them. Perhaps on large payouts one should take a cell phone picture of the chips next to your driver's license.

Thanks again for the info, and best of luck to you at the tables in the future...df

On Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:53 PM, Michael Doran <mdoran@leestreetlawyers.com> wrote:

I apologize for not getting back with you sooner. I misplaced the business card you gave me. You gave my wife and I a cab ride from the Palms to the Wynn Encore on November 11, 2013. I asked you whether you had heard of anyone being scammed by the Casino Cashier personnel. I had received a call during the day telling me the cashier came up $1,000 short and, when they reviewed the tape, they claim that I was overpaid $1,000. You said you had not heard of any such scams and you asked that I let you know how it played out.

I went to the black jack pit boss first to see if they had anything to do with the claim that I had been overpaid by the cashier. They said they had no knowledge of it and that it was a matter for me to address with security at the cashier’s window, which is what I did. When I discussed it with the security person, he called to the “upstairs” security office. He relayed to me that they had the tape and it showed me handing in chips of $1250 and getting paid $2250. I asked him how do I know the cashier didn’t palm one of the yellow $1,000 chips and I told him that I distinctly remembered leaving the black jack table with 2 yellow chips. He simply repeated they had it on tape. I asked to see the tape and I told them I also wanted to see the tape of me leaving the black jack table to show I cashed out with two yellow chips. They would not let me see any of the tapes.

I asked them what they wanted me to do and they said pay the money back. I told them I would gladly return the money if I had been overpaid but I did not believe I was overpaid. I asked him how we got past the dispute and he just shrugged. I asked if my player card would be revoked or if there would be a charge added to my room and he said no. I left saying I was not overpaid and that I would need to see the tape before I would be convinced I had been overpaid.

I did not gamble that night and, when we checked out in the morning, there was not any extra charges on the bill at checkout. Several weeks later, I received another “invitation letter” to stay at the Wynn over New Year’s or into January, so my name had not been removed from the marketing materials.

Once I got home, I searched the internet to see if anyone had similar tales. I did not see any stories about a false accusation. Also, the procedure followed in my incident was apparently standard protocol. Anytime there is a shortage at the cashier’s cage, the cashiers are suspended pending an investigation and the tapes are reviewed. If a customer is overpaid, the customer is contacted and asked to return the money. However, in each of those instances, the customers discussing the process acknowledged being overpaid and they wanted to know if they had to give the money back.

Anyway, you were nice enough to listen and you did ask that I let you know how it played out, so there it is.

Michael Doran

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