Scams, Swindlers and Cheats

By Geno Munari

Millions of dollars are wagered annually in legal casinos and illegal sneak and backroom joints all over the world.  Whether the game is operated by a soldier isolated at some remote military installation, or in a major casino with all the trimmings, they both are extremely vulnerable to cheating.

Cheating occurs in gambling everywhere, especially as gaming is becoming so popular almost everywhere.  The cheater, or crossroader as he is commonly referred, is at work either solo, or with partners, with inside casino help or without, busy trying to beat the casino operator out of his money.

Nevada’s strong and efficient Gaming Control Board is on the constant lookout for these culprits, but cracking a cheating ring is not any easy task.  It is almost like trying to crack a murder case cold, without a single clue.  The Control Board’s Enforcement Division is without doubt one of the strongest teams ever assembled.

For every counter measure taken to prevent, stop and discourage cheating, new modes of operation are innovated.  Somewhere, someplace, somebody is picking their gray matter attempting to find new ways to beat a game of chance.

There is no means available to estimate the amount of money that is stolen at slots, table games, and even bingo and lotteries yearly, however one gaming veteran puts the amount in the millions and most of the time the operators have no inkling that any scam had ocurred.

The reasons why the cheaters can operate successfully are many, but two key reasons are paramount:

1) the ease in which a cheat can operate, that is the operator doesn’t have the proper internal control, and

2) most victims are off guard and posses no knowledge of game protection.

Practically anyone can learn to cheat using playing cards in just about any card game, if given the proper instructions. The techniques and sleights used are for the most part very simple, notwithstanding the more complicated moves that take years to master.

For the most part, 80% of all blackjack cheating requires the aid of a conspiring casino dealer, which makes detection of a scam even harder.  The following moves and sleights may sharpen your knowledge of the game and make you more aware of what goes on in the mysterious world of the card hustler.


Although it is not a cheating method, it is still very good in “getting the money”.  The subject of blackjack card counting has been discussed in many journals and books by such authors as Revere, Thorp, Braun and Archer to mention just a few.  These authors describe exactly how to learn various card counting methods from a simple point count to the more advanced 10 point strategy.  The basis for counting is figured out from the cards that are in the deck.  The dealer must hit and must stand according to rules. There are no arbitrary decisions.  The player can choose to do what he likes.  One can clearly understand that in certain situations when there are fewer smaller cards remaing in play, such as 4’s and 5’s, the dealer will break more often, and so on.

Basically a counter varies his wagering units according to the running value count in the unused deck.  For example, in a situation where there are a few 3’s, 4’s, 5’s and 6’s, the counter would know this from his running calculation.  In this instance he would bet more than normal.  In the opposite situation, that is if the deck is rich in low value cards, he would wager less.



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