First, I would just like to say that I never started out as being a “crusading player advocate”. I’m just sick of the B.S. from these stupid cheating casinos! I figure if I want to stay in the casinos and keep winning for years to come, then we need to make it so the games are fair once again. I can predict in the future that if nothing is done about this huge problem, then the casino/resorts might actually shut down – at least the gambling side of them anyway. Who would want to gamble – knowing that they are going to lose their money without even a slight chance of winning?
With the previous “normal” House Edge, it was hard enough to win, but at least it was a little bit easier. Now, with their additional “cheating edge”, it’s nearly impossible. In the past, you KNEW something was wrong when even your best systems fail – no matter how high your odds were. When I started seeing unusual trends, that’s when I began investigating and discovered things that just sickened me. I’m just really ticked off and I want this craziness with them to end! All I have ever wanted, was to play a “regular” fair game, with a “regular” house edge. That’s it. Is that too much to ask?
Now, I’m not saying that ALL casinos cheat…but I’m willing to bet they employ at least some of the unscrupulous tactics I am going to list.
Let’s begin by looking at some general guidelines on how to NOT lose your money when entering a casino.
First, Know the Winner’s Rules
Don’t drink and gamble. The more free drinks the casino gives you, the greater the probability you’ll lose your stake. Keep a drink in front of you to count cards in blackjack and avoid detection. Order another – even though your first might still be full – to let the casino think you’re a tourist. However, make it so that the drinks are non-alcoholic, but with a little umbrella or some fruit or something else “exotic” to make everyone else think you are drinking alcohol. In other words, give them the illusion of it. In fact, you can even “act” drunk as well. That will REALLY throw them off.
Know the rules of each game. If you don’t know how to play the game, your chance of losing is HUGE!
Don’t get caught up in the excitement. Ignore the story of the guy who won big. It might be true, but it’s the casino’s way of getting you to loosen up and bet more to recoup what it lost to that big winner. Also, sometimes this “excitement” is staged by “shills” to get you to play.
Don’t ever bet more than you intended. This is one of the signs that you have a gambling addiction, so be careful. Only bet what you can afford to lose!
Avoid Cash-advance machines. If you’re at the point of visiting a casino ATM, then you’ve probably already spent too much money as it is. There are also the fees of at least 6.6% for the casino PLUS an additional 2% for the credit card company. If you do this because you forgot to bring cash with you, you’ve already lost money without even placing your first bet!
Next, I am going to list some things that aren’t necessarily a “cheat” per se – mainly because their foundations are not based on fact and are very difficult to prove. The bulk of these, you’ll find that most casinos do today BECAUSE they are hard to prove. However, to the majority of the public, we know these tactics actually work.
FREE alcoholic drinks. I know we talked about this one before, but I cannot stress this one enough. Although this is not a technical casino “cheat”, it is STILL a good way to part you from your money. They look at the math. To them, what is the cost of a couple of stiff drinks in comparison to the hundreds, if not thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars they could take from you when you’re intoxicated and not playing the game properly with your wits about you. I’ve actually sat next to players who said they played BETTER when they were drunk. REALLY??? Wow. I don’t believe that for a second.
Implanting subliminal “lose” messages into your background music is also not a cheat, but it’s still very unethical nonetheless. Players don’t need to be “programmed” to lose, when a regular house edge should theoretically make them lose anyway. They (the casinos) are just using this method as “insurance” to make you lose.
Improper use of Feng Shui is another method that is not a technical cheat, but is a trick designed to make you either lucky or a unlucky, positive or negative, winner or a loser, healthy or unhealthy, and many other metaphysical aspects – depending on how they have everything arranged in their casinos (to make you lose, of course). The Asians (especially the Chinese) notice this one BIG TIME, but still play anyway! I have never understood why. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, please do an internet search on Feng Shui. It’s pretty interesting. Essentially, it is a philosophy on how design (of a building, for example) can affect your metaphysical well-being.
A general statement about cheating by the casino comes from a former casino owner, Harold Smith Jr. He states in his book, “We could cheat all the time, and they would never know it. We’re far more expert at this business than they are.” By “they,” Smith is referring to the agents of the Gaming Control Board, who are supposed to be experts at detecting cheating. If Smith’s statement is true, how can the average player ever hope to spot casino cheating?
The most effective way for a casino to cheat a player is to manipulate the gaming equipment, or “rigging” the equipment to make you lose.
Hard to believe in this day and age, isn’t it?
The biggest reason for this is a “loophole” that the Nevada State Gaming Control Board (for example) has in it’s Minimum Internal Control Standards (or “MICS” for short).
According to these documents, there are no such industry standards when it comes to Roulette Wheels, balls, card shoes, card shufflers, dice, tables, chairs, or anything else used to run table games!
One of my NSGBC contacts (I’ll call him “Joe” for now…) told me “If they wanted to, a Casino in Nevada could use anything from a Golf Ball up to a Basketball to run a Roulette game.”
Don’t believe me? I realize how difficult it is to believe, but it’s all true! Check out the regulations on their website for yourself! Here is their website:
Armed with this knowledge, I dug a little deeper into famed Atlantic City, New Jersey. According to New Jersey State Gaming Regulations, there are also no standards about other gaming items such as the use of Card Shufflers (another HUGE casino cheat), Dice, Gaming tables, and any/all other equipment used in Table Games!
If this is possible for Vegas and Atlantic City, then you can probably assume it’s the same around the world too. In the past, Las Vegas has set the benchmark example for all other States/countries when they developed their own Gaming rules and regs.
“How can that be possible?” you ask? Well, my NSGBC contact “Joe” told me that most Casinos more or less use their own “assumed” standards, for balls, wheel maintenance, etc. and that the NSGBC sees no wrongful doings with theirs OR the Casino’s practices so far. Yes, the NSGBC may do casino equipment checks constantly, but what are they checking against? There is absolutely nothing in writing as far as the MICS are concerned! So, ALL of their checks must be using those “ASSUMED” standards – whatever they are!
So what prevents Casinos from using Golf Balls, loaded Dice, or whatever? Easy. It’s called “fear”. That is to say, fear that they will get a bad rep as a cheat! If they gain this bad reputation, then they lose money to their competition.
So, since there is nothing in writing, how can the Nevada Gaming Commission legally charge a casino of cheating, using rigged equipment? This is the “loophole” that allows casinos to legally cheat. It is VERY easy to see a link of collusion if one was looking for it.
So, to keep the money coming in, in these hard economic times, the ways they cheat us today is much more sophisticated, subtle, and covert compared to the ways they openly cheated us in the past.
Now, let’s examine some of the more uncommonly known cheats.
Specifically, the deck. Removing one or more ten-value cards and/or Aces from the deck can dramatically increase the house’s edge, and few players will notice the difference between a deck of 52 cards and a deck of 48, or even an eight-deck shoe from which half a deck has been removed.
What if the machine shufflers arrange it so that many of the 10-count cards are at the end of the shoe, behind the cut card? Isn’t that the same thing as removing them to give the House a huge advantage?
Let’s say that the machine shufflers put an above average number of 10-value cards in the middle of the shoe. By default, most people cut the shoe in the middle too. Now, the dealer places the front half of the cut to the back and puts the card in about a deck’s worth from the end. Now, there are a higher than average amount of 10-value cards that are no longer in play – thus, giving the House a HUGE advantage! This is why many players choose to cut the shoe more towards the front or the back, instead of the middle.
Think about this too: Do Dealers actually show you the cards from a machine-shuffled shoe, so that you can see that the cards are all present? Or do they just take it right out of the hopper and let a player cut it?
Even when a Dealer shows you the cards, do you actually take the time to count them and make certain they are all there? Probably not.
I have played blackjack for quite a while. It is always sooooo hard to win in the Indian casinos. I have always felt they were pulling 10 count cards. Also, depending on the state, there is very little regulation of the Indian casinos. Pulling 10 count cards gives them a very big advantage, impossible to beat, and cannot be detected by the player.
Alternately, instead of removing high cards, adding additional low-value cards (particularly fives and sixes) can also be devastating to the player.
Sleight of Hand (Dealing Seconds)
Another way casinos cheat us is to use a “hold-out shoe”. This is a shoe that holds the top card in place so that the second card can be dealt (seconds) and the top card saved by the Dealer for his own hand. A man in Las Vegas makes and sells these shoes. He gave one of my former students a demonstration. It is impossible for the average player to recognize this shoe. It is different in only one respect from the honest shoe. The face plate (which has the hole in it) is about one quarter of an inch higher. In this way, the dealer can get a peek at the top card from behind. You may detect such a shoe from the way the Dealer pushes out the cards.
In this shoe, in order to hold the top card, he must hold it steady through the hole with one finger while pulling out the second card from the bottom slit with another finger. The tell-tale sign is a Dealer using two fingers to deal, but only one finger is moving. At the second annual conference on gambling, a veteran gambler told us that there was a special Dealers’ School in Las Vegas where Dealers learned how to cheat with the shoe.
Another blackjack casino cheating method involves Dealers and sleight of hand tricks. Going further, some Dealers are so skilled that they can slip a player a bust card without anybody even noticing. Now it should also be noted that Dealers rarely have anything to gain from doing so, and very few casinos would ask their Dealers to do such a thing.
It’s also fairly simple, in a hand-held game, for the Dealer to manipulate the deck by picking up cards in a certain order (high-low results in more busted hands), executing false shuffles, and manipulating the cards that are dealt. With practice, it’s possible to manipulate the cards to come out in any order one desires, and to use sleight-of-hand to “double deal” them (to deliver a card other than the one on top of the deck).
Preferential shuffling is the act of shuffling the deck when the count goes positive, and the player has an advantage. If the count goes positive they shuffle, and if the count goes negative (of course) they keep dealing. This is fairly common in casinos that deal hand-held games, not as a matter of course, but done to players they suspect are counting cards. It is an easy way to get a card counter to leave without any back off or hassle. It is clearly cheating. In Nevada, the cheating law is NRS 465:
NRS 465.015 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
1. “Cheat” means to alter the elements of chance, method of selection or criteria which determine:
a.) The result of a game;
b.) The amount or frequency of payment in a game;
c.) The value of a wagering instrument; or
d.) The value of a wagering credit.
You can see that shuffling when the count is positive does “alter the element of chance…” etc. No casino has ever been charged for this. It is one of those laws that is never enforced. Just as under this law it is illegal every time a baccarat player writes down the outcome of the hands on the cards the casino provides.
Dealing With The Dealer
Knowing when and how to tip the Dealer can be critical to winning. Here is how to go about it. First of all, the general philosophy is to never give the Dealer any money as a tip. Whenever you tip him, place a bet for him.
This is very common in the casinos. The proper procedure is for you to put a chip in front of your chips on the upper part of the betting spot. All Dealers know exactly what this means. They know that this is a bet for them, and they know that if you win your hand, they will pay you and will also pay off this extra chip that’s sitting in front of your pile of chips. Again, when you tip the Dealer, always place a bet for him. His/her tip is always in the form of a bet.
There is a purpose to betting for the Dealer. One very important reason is to tell him that you are on his side and that you are looking after him. If he is a cheating Dealer, this may make him think twice before he begins to cheat you. He will cheat you anyway if you are winning money or if the policy in that casino on that shift is for them to cheat players regularly. However, he may wait a few minutes before beginning to cheat you to show his appreciation for the fact that you have made a bet for him. If you are playing against an honest Dealer, it is also a good policy to make a bet for him because he may a deal further down in the deck instead of shuffling up on you quickly. As soon as I win a big bet or as soon as I win several small bets, I immediately place a bet for the Dealer. The idea here is to make a bet for the Dealer as quickly as you can after you start winning so that he will not begin to cheat you or shuffle up on you right from the beginning.
Hit and Run
Most Dealers deal honestly when you first sit down to play. I’m not sure why this is the case. Perhaps they are waiting – wishing that you would win the first few hands so that you would make a bet for them. Or perhaps they are dealing honestly to see how good a player you are so that if you are a counter, then they know they must cheat you. Whatever the case may be, I have found on a lot of occasions that I begin to win money after 10 or 15 minutes at the table, then things turn around, and I begin to lose money, especially by losing big bets.
The reason for this is that most Dealers in large casinos are cheating Dealers to begin with, and that most of them are told not to let anybody win any appreciable amount of money. I also know that the Dealer’s livelihood depends largely on the tips that he gets from players. Now if a Dealer is going to get tips, then he must allow the players to win a few hands at least. Nobody makes a bet for the Dealer if they are losing (unless they are crazy). Thus, a Dealer may deal honestly at first, hoping that you will get up a few units on him so that you will make a bet for him. Then later on, he knows that if he is to keep his job secure, he must gradually or very quickly take the money back that you have won. This is when to run. As soon as you lose two or three large bets, quit right away.
The majority of Dealers intimidate players on purpose. Here is how they do it.
If you should sit down alone at the table and begin to play, you’ll notice that the Dealer will start dealing quite slowly. Then very, very gradually, he will pick up the pace of the deal. He will be dealing gradually faster and faster, from shuffle to shuffle, from hand to hand. He wants to get you into his rhythm of play. Since the Dealer does this gradually, most players do not become aware of what is happening. What they do realize, though, after playing for 15 or 20 minutes, is that they feel rushed. Why? Most players do not want to admit that they can’t play as fast as the Dealer can deal, so they usually stand more often or don’t get as big a bet out as quickly as they otherwise would. Generally, they play an inferior brand of Blackjack. Don’t let this happen to you.
From the beginning, play at your own pace, and don’t let that Dealer get you into his/her rhythm. The way to play at your pace is to be very slow and methodical and give very clear signals to the Dealer. If you want a hit, scratch your cards. If you don’t want a hit, have a look at your cards first, look at them twice, then slowly put them under your chips. Take your time and really slow down the Dealer so that he is playing your game, instead of him forcing you to play his game. This can be done without effort, after you have consciously practiced it two or three times. After this, it will become your normal way of playing. Don’t overdo it, though. Don’t be too slow, or you may irritate the Dealer or any other players at your table.
Marked cards can be used for the benefit of either the house or the player, though the house has a greater advantage, as it controls the equipment. Players generally have to rely on visual cues such as smudges, folds, markings, or tears on the card, while the house can also use tactile cues, such as “pegged” cards that have a small indentation that is invisible to the naked eye, but can be felt by the Dealer. The markings tell the value of undealt cards, which can be used by the player (knowing the next hit), or by the house (in combination with double-dealing) to great advantage. Again, inspection of the cards at the end of the day makes this a dangerous proposition from the player’s perspective.
There are many other ways in which the Dealer can cheat, but they are all variations on those mentioned above. The important thing to learn is how to spot a potentially cheating Dealer or how to detect the fact that you are being cheated, without actually seeing it.
Most of what you’ve just read can be said for Baccarat as well. However, what I really haven’t covered was the actual equipment itself. First, let’s discuss the mechanical shuffling machines.
In my investigations, I found out these machines are actually programmed to overcome the “pattern bettors”.
Essentially, there are four major patterns that players generally bet with:
1. Avant Dernier (French meaning “before last”), which means you bet on the same as whatever the decision before the last was.
2. Follow The Last (popularly known as “FTL”), which has the bettor betting on exactly the same as what the last decision was.
3. Opposite Avant Dernier which, just as the name implies, has the bettor bet on the exact opposite of whatever the decision before the last was. And finally…
4. Opposite Follow The Last, again just as the name implies, the bettor would bet on the exact opposite of whatever the last decision was.
By themselves, these four popular bet selection strategies normally achieve about a 50/50 win to lose ratio. However, when applying certain money management strategies, you can usually make a modest profit in a relatively short period of time.
Knowing these very popular best selection strategies, the casinos hired a very large “Think Tank”, from the Eastern seaboard of the U.S., to develop a way to overcome these strategies. The result was a very expensive shuffler with about 4 computer chips that are specifically designed to do just that. Here is how they work.
Once your style of play is analyzed by the “Eye-In-The-Sky”, a remote signal is sent to these mechanical shufflers, which then programs the shuffle on the next shoe to put out a majority of decisions exactly opposite of what you are playing. If you won some money on the previous shoe, depending on your money management strategy (negative progressions being prevalent), you will usually lose it all back again, plus more! Obviously, the best way to overcome this is to simply play a single shoe. When it ends, move on – whether you have won or not.
The newest cheat is something called an “i-shoe auto”. It is a specially-designed shoe that will read how much money is on a specially-designed table that reads the RFID chips implanted in the gambling chips and will automatically shuffle the shoe (before it has officially ended) and make the betting position that has the most money on it LOSE! Check it out for yourself here:
Oh sure, they will try to put a positive spin on it (obviously for marketing purposes, and to hide their true purpose), but my sources say that these shoes will actually shuffle after their bets are put out – regardless if the cut card/ shoe end indicator has been drawn or not. Blackjack and Baccarat are in big trouble with this new device. So are other games, like 3-Card Poker, or Pai Gow, Pai Gow Poker, or even Texas Hold ’em…or ANYTHING that uses a shoe to deal the cards, for that matter.
This is a real game changer in the gambling industry! It’s like playing against those stupid continuous shuffler machines, which may or may not have the proper amount of cards in them to begin with too!
Yes, you guessed it. Nearly ALL of these machines are manufactured by the same company! And although I have not done the proper research into the background of these companies, it is almost a certainty that they are either owned by the casinos themselves, or have the casinos as major investors – probably using a false name or “dummy corporation” to hide their true identities.
So, how do you overcome these cheats? Find a hand shuffle game and hope the dealer is honest. The less experienced Dealer – the better…one who hasn’t been “corrupted” yet by the casinos, or just hasn’t had the time to hone their skills yet.
Some casinos won’t change out their dice for days…even weeks or months, like they are supposed to! They do this because their current dice worked well to give them a “cold table”, thus making them more money, as people don’t normally bet on the Don’t side. These dice are referred to as “biased dice” and are usually unbalanced and/or predispositioned to 7-outs. The longer dice are used the more chipped up, scratched, and worn-looking they become. If you see this, it’s usually a good indication to bet the dark side.
For now, it’s still not an actual cheat per se, but still unethical anyway. Again, this is because there is nothing in the MICS about gaming devices/equipment, like dice.
These biased dice can usually be found especially on weekends when High Rollers are invited in with big promotional giveaways. Other than that, evenings, when there are usually a LOT of players, is the other times you’ll see biased dice.
Almost every member of the MGM corporate casinos in Las Vegas use a common marketing ploy – have 1 table with fair dice that is near a major casino walkway with Craps patrons winning and yelling (probably packed with “shills”). Potential Casino customers walking by will hear and see the excitement and try to get on the hot table. However, it will be full so the unsuspecting customer will gravitate to any of the other tables employing unbalanced and biased dice. So while the casino may have 1 table losing money, it will have up to 11 other tables making money.
Avoid this trick and save your money.
There is a very big casino cheat here that has been going on for decades – maybe longer. It’s related to the skill that Dealers have to shoot against you! Yes, it’s a very real skill and I’ve had it personally demonstrated for me.
If dealers can alter the elements of chance, then isn’t that considered cheating? According to NRS 465.015, it is!!! The problem is, no one out there believes this skill is possible. So they therefore considered it “rumor”. However, when you’ve actually had Dealers demonstrate it for you, you have a tendency to believe it!
Learn more about the science and mechanics that are involved in this cheat by downloading a FREE system that will overcome it below. The system itself is a bit more complex, but this is really more or less designed to be informative about the cheat itself. VERY important to learn if you are a Roulette player.
Wheel Watcher System
Folks, I’ve only just touched on the things a casino can do to us to improperly take our money. I know I’ve painted a very dark picture here. Almost sounds like I am saying that no one should gamble because they ALL cheat. Right? No. I’m not saying that at all.
The purpose of this article is to simply open your eyes to the possibility of being cheated. Once you are familiar with the cheats, it’s easier for you to avoid or perhaps overcome them.
Again, I must stress that I am not saying that ALL casinos out there do these things.
Did you notice that the majority of what I reported on had a common theme?
It is my belief that some of them may be doing it on their own. Maybe they want to get back at a drunken player who had been insulting them all night. Maybe they want to get even with the people who don’t tip. Maybe they feel pressured that if they don’t bring in a certain amount of money, they will lose their job. Who knows why they do it?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the one thing I’ve always said about the casinos is that you should think of them like the Carnivals you see at State Fairs. All they want is your money and they will stop at nothing to get it…including rigging their games.
Best thing you can do is:
Fast hit-and-runs. Don’t allow them the chance to analyze your play and deploy their counter-measures.
Remember my tipping advice.
Doing all of these, you should have a well above average chance of getting out of a casino ahead of the game (no pun intended).
There is an even BIGGER question here that no one seems to want to answer.
Why don’t any of these states have any statutes in place within their respective Gaming Commissions, regarding the Policing of their table games? Seems like this should be a very basic thing to put in place in order to govern the Gaming Industry in general, right? Should’ve been in place at the very beginning too! That leaves room for speculation that the answer to this basic question could be because the casinos have paid off these commissions to “look the other way”? Remember, this is a billion dollar a year industry. ANYTHING and everything is possible.
Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?
Remember what I said about the NSGCB using “Assumed standards”?
Assumed standards???? Give me a break!!!
They must think we are pretty stupid.
The first step to avoiding all of this is getting educated on it and gaining awareness.
That’s why you’re reading this right now. Right?
So, beware and take care, my friends!
P.S. If you know of other cheats, please let us know about them and we’ll get them posted! They need to be real, though.