Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Some Clever Early Gadget Cheaters

Check out these articles about some crafty early gadget cheaters who worked the casinos when Vegas went legal in the early 1930s. You'll see that today's modern cheaters had some very cool ancestors!

Cheating gambler technology roundup from 1933
This Popular Science expose on crooked gambling
technology from November, 1933 is a maker's dream --
these con artists were genius tinkerers, it seems:
Even so simple a gambling proposition as spinning or
flipping a coin is made crooked by relatively common
alterations now being made in underworld workshops.
There are on the market coins with beveled edges sure
to stop spinning and fall with the high side
uppermost. Again, dollars are sometimes sawed in half
and the two heads and the two tails sweated together
in such a way that the line of joining is practically
invisible. They are substituted for genuine coins by
the cheaters during play. Whichever side comes up, the
result is the same.
Not long ago, in a western city, police raided a
gambling joint and confiscated, among other thmgs, a
crap stick that had won thousands of dollars for the
house. Such sticks, made of rattan and curved at the
end, are used to rake the dice back after they have
been thrown upon the table. When an officer
accidentally twisted the handle of this stick, the
secret of the players’ ill luck at this table became
apparent and very simple to explain to the victims.