Monday, November 19, 2007

Casino Cheating Tip Of The Day

December 13, 2007

"When playing poker, make sure that all the players at the table speak only the native language of whatever country the poker room happens to be in, unless, of course, everyone is in agreement to speak English (or some other common language), which is often the case in many European countries including Scandinavia."

The reason for this is that players speaking a foreign language at the table, especially a very foreign language like Farsi, Pashto or Dari, may be exchanging information crucial to the game, such as what cards they have in the hole. I am in no way accusing any native speakers of these languages of being more likely to collude than anyone else, just using the uncommon languages as an example of conversation that would rarely be understood by non-native speakers of them. The curious thing about minority players (in terms of being foreigners at the game) speaking their native tongues at the poker table is that often they fall into playing collusion without even realizing it, just having a laugh and innocently telling their comrades what "a lousy hand I have," or "finally I have a pair of bullets!" I'd even say that much more than not, that verbal form of collusion is completely innocent, but it still has a negative effect on your earnings...or losses. So if you find yourself in that situation, gently ask the floorman to inform the foreign-language speakers, "English only please!" These scenarios happen very often in the UK, and a sly professional cheating team can take advantage of it.

December 12, 2007

"While shooting craps and winning, beware of that sexy woman who's snuggling up beside you and rooting for you to roll another winner."

She's not flirting with you because she likes you. She's rubbing her body up against yours to get your attention away from your expanding rack of chips. On the other side of you is her partner, undoubtedly the guy she's sleeping with, who is nibbling away at your chips while your attention is garnered by the babe. Watch out and keep your eyes on your chips...or at least your hands over them if your eyes have to wander.

December 11, 2007

"While playing blackjack, make sure you watch your winning bet and corresponding hand until it is paid."

Dealers take winners for pushes more often than you might think. It happens on average 1.5 % of the time, and believe it or not, more with experienced dealers than those who are new to the game. Conversely, they make mistakes in your favor less frequent, so be vigilant at the blackjack tables. Doing so will save you a betting-unit every hundred hands.

December 10, 2007

"If you play online poker, make sure you have a tracking program at your side."

Programs like Poker Tracker are able to monitor hand histories on the poker sites with a great amount of detail. What they do is create databases of games that occur on the site. Then they run through them to look for statistical inconsistencies. They search for unusual deviations in deck shuffles, draws and other details picked up by their trackers. By using them you not only can analyze your own play and improve on it, you can also analyze the play of your opponents, and by doing so, pick up on various cheating scams going on in the games, especially online collusion.

December 7, 2007

"Good card-counting teams no longer use the old counter/big player method."

Ken Uston and the MIT Blackjack Team just about finished off this decades-old method of beating blackjack games. What do good teams do now? All their members sit at the table and play as ONE person. Of course they all bet, but when the count goes up they mix up their increased increments; for example, one guy betting two units, another three units, and a third only one unit. Then the next hand at the same count they switch around their bets, keeping the same total. Then if the count goes up higher, one player might actually decrease his bet while others at the table bet threefold or even more. This type of betting effectively disguises the card-counting team because if each individual is tracked by the casino, none will be exposed as a counter. This method even fools casinos' card-counting detection software!

December 6, 2007

"Try to avoid poker tournaments that have open seating."

This opens avenues of cheating, mainly collusion, softplay and chip dumping. Most brick and mortar poker rooms have the policy of assigned seating for their tournaments, but many still don't. If you happen to live near poker rooms that only offer open-seating tournaments, just be a little more aware of collusion groups in your tournaments. Watch for the telltale signs of collusion--lots of re-raising, and chips placed in different positions on hole cards by the same player or players. For more on collusion sign languages, see my book "Dirty Poker" or refer to my "Collusionspeak" article in Bluff Magazine's October edition (Bluff Europe as well).

December 5, 2007

"Unless you're counting cards at blackjack, avoid handheld games, especially at small out of the way casinos."

Although cheating by blackjack dealers in casinos is rare, it does occasionally happen. When it does, ninety-nine percent of the time it's in handheld games, where the dealer can peek at the top card and deal seconds. Usually this involves a dealer helping his partner playing on the game win, and in order to conceal this, he must help other players lose. So if you're not counting cards you have nothing to gain by playing the single and double-deck blackjack games. Just go find yourself tables using card shoes and automatic shufflers.

December 4, 2007

"If you're gonna play poker in the neighborhood, best is to play in your own backyard."

This means that there are lots of crooked players in home games, some of whom you may work with or even be friends with, so always be on the lookout. When the games are at their houses, they have more opportunities to cheat you, i.e. use marked cards, hidden mirrors or even cameras to see your cards. But when they come to your house, they can't really insist on using their cards, can they?

December 3, 2007

When playing poker online, track your hands and determine if you are losing more pots on the river to either of two or three players, regardless which one of them wins the pots. Then examine hands that you folded on the turn after a raise or reraise. If the last raisers in these pots are the same two or three players more often than normal, you may be getting chopped up in a collusion game.

December 1, 2007

"Cheat with your head, not over it!".......I'm only kidding!

Here's the real tip: "While playing cardroom poker, don't peek at your hole cards until it's time for you to act."

By adopting this practice you will cut down on opportunities for others to cheat you.
Most professionals won't look at their hole cards until it's their turn to act. There are intelligent reasons for this, and it's definitely something you should do yourself. Why? Because there's simply no upside to looking at your hole cards before it's your turn to act. You shouldn't need much time to decide whether you want to play the hand, especially if you're seasoned. But more important than this, if anyone's out to snatch up your hole card information, they will have more time to do so. With the advent of hidden micro cameras, this high-tech cheating is now a reality.

Most poker players like to believe they have faces of stone. They think they're incapable of revealing any physical tells. This is not true. Everyone has tells, even professionals, and if you watch players at the table carefully, you'll eventually spot them. The same thing applies to you. Pros, or even good amateurs, will catch on to your tells, so in effect, by allowing this to happen you are cheating yourself.