|All Attendees Participate|
My main goal in training surveillance staffs is to remove them as much as possible from their video equipment and technology. In other words, teach them to be highly efficient even in the hypothetical circumstance that cameras did not exist. This is because floor supervisors and surveillance departments have become so dependent on the technology that many of their employees have very little knowledge of what cheating and advantage play are really about.
I always like to say, "A camera cannot tap you on the shoulder and tell you there´s a cheat-move going down on BJ 4." You´ve got to be able to identify what you see on the video or what you´re watching on the live game. If a floorperson does not recognize a cheat or advantage-play team at the tables, the cameras above are not going to alert them to it.
Game protection must work from the floor up.
If you have read anything about my cheating days, I was able to use cameras and surveillance departments to actually help me cheat casinos (see the Savannah move on my website). Capable cheats can actually separate the casino floor from surveillance departments by using psychology that overcomes game-protection procedure. For example, I was able to place $5,000 bets without dealers notifying supervisors, and as well was able to prevent the floor from notifying surveillance when I was actually caught cheating, all by use of psychology.
Seminar structure is suited to your individual casino's needs. Apart from the basic course structure that applies to all casinos, upon arrival I spend as much time as I can conducting an "undercover" surveillance of your gaming pits and cage operations. Here I can determine its strengths and weaknesses and work specific training into the presentation. Dealer and supervisor performances are noted as well as how players are behaving and taking advantage of weaknesses.
Often I come across advantage players and cheats operating in the casino, and worse, dealers who are cheating in partnerships with players or stealing for themselves. This is definitely an important factor in all casinos.
Sometimes when I conduct seminars, the attendees are a mix of floor and surveillance people. I find that this works well because communication between the two and working as one is integral for good game and casino protection. In more casinos than not, surveillance and the floor are not on the same page. I stress the urgent need for thorough communication between floor and surveillance staffs.
When I train table games departments separate from surveillance departments, I stress through examples and hypothetical situations how each department needs to thoroughly communicate with the other to achieve optimum game protection results.
In my seminars and training, all the attendees participate actively. I organize cheat and advantage-play teams and they work with me to demonstrate the various cheat-moves and scams. Nobody sleeps when I am there. Everyone is by my side at the tables. I get people involved, talking and asking questions, and at times they feel like they’re learning by themselves and I’m just there helping along.
One thing I like to do in blackjack and baccarat is have a few members of the casino floor and surveillance staffs, unbeknownst to the rest of the seminar attendees, participate in my cheating demonstrations while their peers are also seated around the gaming table. I have already met with these individuals before the seminar and taught them how to do cheating moves. Then when they actually do a cheating move during the seminar, the audience is shocked to see how easy it was for them to do it. This type of active-attendee participation works really well in generating more interest and closer attention from the audience.
It also adds some fun. My belief is that when the attendees enjoy themselves, they learn and retain a lot more from the seminar. Time permitting, I will tell a story or two about my experiences back in the day. Attendees seem to love that!
I do not do any tired-old PowerPoint presentations. I do not waste time going over videos of moves you have probably seen a thousand times. Nor do I try to dazzle attendees with memory and card tricks that have nothing to do with cheating casinos or advantage play. The only time I use video is for demonstrations of high-tech electronic games cheating using visual ballistics and slot machine cheating via cell phones and other equipment.
Everything is hands-on work on tables and throughout a casino setting. I not only teach how casino cheat-moves and advantage-play teams operate at the tables, I stress how they prepare inside the casino before their moves, how they communicate on and away from the tables, how they use psychology to control floorpeople and avoid surveillance, how they cash out their chips, and all the other necessary facets that must be known in order to have a chance of spotting the professional teams BEFORE they leave the casino with your money.
I have found over the years that casinos have very little idea how cheats communicate, nor do they invest much time in learning how cheats, especially those working with high-denomination chips, obtain them and cash them out without drawing suspicion. For example, in my later cheating-days I worked exclusively with $5,000 chips and on some nights had more than $50,000 of chips to cash out. However, I never once in my life cashed out a single $5,000 chip. So how did I turn them into cash without raising eyebrows?
As far as direct training to surveillance departments alone goes, I like to put them in the shoes of a cheat or advantage player, show them how they think, plan and act. As I do with the floor staff, I take one member of the surveillance department and work with him/her alone before I meet the rest of the attendees. Then I teach him/her some cheating moves, and later we do a demonstration on the table while the rest are watching. As everyone is thinking I am going to do the cheat move, the surveillance person does it and of course no one sees it happen.
The point of this is twofold: firstly to show how everything at a suspect table has to be watched; the second, how the best cheat moves are so easily done. My Savannah move, which arguably was the best low-tech move in history, could be taught to you in under five minutes and can still be done at any casino if the staff cannot properly defend against it, which is still the case in most casinos.
We would also discuss the high-tech scams, the baccarat edge-sorting and other current scams--but remember, the vast majority of casino scams are not high-tech. We would also spend time talking about inside-dealer and floorpeople scams, on which I have much experience. As a dealer back in 1977, I may have been the first to do the infamous false-shuffle baccarat scam later done on a huge scale by the Tran organization 25 years later.
The seminar structure is determined by the different games in your casino and their relative importance to the casino drop. Each game is covered through all cheating and advantage play aspects. Sometimes during seminars we discuss my previous undercover observations in the casino and the weaknesses and vulnerabilities I documented, although some casinos prefer that such a discussion take place only with upper management.
Finally, at the end of the training, I give a 20-question quiz to everyone entitled "How good a casino-cheat-and-advantage-play-catcher are you now?" Then we go over it. The purpose is to see how much of my presentation the attendees retained.
I like to leave a property thinking that if a professional cheat or advantage-play team came to the casino three months later, the staff would catch on to a greater percentage of it than it would have before I'd been there. In fact, in some areas where gaming control is less rigid and permits, I actually arrange with casino surveillance and upper management to go back inside and actually do the cheat moves I'd taught the staff months earlier, and I am happy to say that they always catch a fair share of it right on the floor. Of course this cannot be done in all jurisdictions.
This is a general overview of how I work. Of course each training/seminar is tailored to the property depending on your exact needs and who will be attending.
Finally a note on choosing your game protection consultant/trainer, which although is self-promoting it is also true:
I can teach you this...because I lived it for 25 years!