Poker Cheating and Casino Cheating Blog: American Roulette:
All about Poker Cheats, Casino Cheats and Advantage Players, Be it Brick and Mortar, Live or Online Casinos and Poker Rooms.
Detailed Posts about all the current Cheating Scams and Scandals.
It has been quite the casino-cheat decade, I may say, and as we advance in both time and technological growth, it will only get worse.
So, with that in mind, what were the best and most dangerous casino-cheat scams of this decade? Not the top 10, just the ones that were really the VERY best.
Well, I'll tell you one thing: the absolute best scam taking place between 2010 and 2019 is, of course, one we don't know about and maybe can't even conceive. Surely out there right now, someone somewhere is practicing a highly sophisitcated scam (not necessarily high-tech) taking millions worldwide out of casinos and it's just not on the radar yet.
That said, let's take a look at the scams we do know about it. For me, there are two that occurred between 2010 and 2019 that stand out from the others, and some of those others, like Phil Ivey's baccarat edge-sorting scam, were pretty darn good if not great. But when choosing the best of the best and the most dangerous of the dangerous, I am speaking of the bacccarat "Cutters" scam, performed primarily by Asian cheat gangs, and the Russian reverse-engineering-random-number-generator slot machine scam.
The Cutters scam was simply ingenius. The person cutting the eight decks of baccarat cards gripped the cut-card in a way that concealed his finger as it spliced through the deck to reveal the cards' indexes to a hidden digital camera system which then transmitted the images to an associate in another location who deciphered and relayed the information of the order of the cards to a player at the baccarat table who, with other cheats involved, bet perfectly each hand with advance knowledge of the exact order of the cards coming out of the shoe. This scam went on for several years before an astute floor staff and surveillance team at PAGCOR caught on to and busted it in Manila in 2011.
The Russian reverse-engineering slot scam performed in the mid and late 2010s was so good that few people to this day are even sure of what they actually did, although the basic understanding is that Russian hacker/spotters video-recorded the activity of certain slot machines all over the world and sent the images back to Russia, where even more advanced hackers developed algorithims used with applications to predict when these slot machines would cough up jackpots. This scam was busted up at the Lumiere casino in St. Louis, Missouri by surveillance people who noted unusual placement and usage of cell phones among other tells of something fishy going on.
A third great scam that deserves mention, even though it actually came to light in the late 2000s but was immortalized into the Hall of Great Casino Cheat Scams by Phil Ivey in 2012, is the baccarat edge-sorting cheat scam. It is certainly the most publicized brick and mortar casino scam of all-time because of Ivey's celebrity status as a poker player, and certain game protection people will swear (and they're wrong in Ivey's case) that it's not cheating at all. The scam was simply taking advantage of being able to identify flaws in the backs of playing cards that were not cut proplerly and then sort the cards by means of duping casino personnel into turning them a certain way so that good and bad cards for the cheat could be read before the deal and, more importantly, before the betting. Ivey and his partner Kelly Sun made tens of millions pulling this off before some wise Brits working at Crockfords Casino in London caught on.
One thing these three great scams had in common besides being great: they all got busted for the same reason that all even lesser great scams get busted...GREED! People who come up with great innovative cheat ideas just prove to be plain old stupid when it comes to knowing when to stop or give it a rest.
As far as great non-high-tech scams we've seen during the last ten years, the best and most widespread in my opinion, despite its relative simpleness, is the roulette color-up scam where one person would buy in at a roulette table for non-redeemable chips and assign the table-minimum value to them, then when coloring out to casino cash chips, he held out several of the non-redeemables, which he later passed to a confederate out of view who returned to the same table and bought in for the same color chips but assigned a higher value to them, finally adding to his stacks the same-color chips he'd received from his cohort. The cheat occurs when he colors them all out together as the higher denomination chips.
So if the first roulette player bought in for $1 roulette chips, then passed ten of those to the second roulette player, who added them to his recently bought-in chips that he assigned a $25-value to, the illicit profit is $240 for those ten chips, each of which were bought at $1 apiece and colored out at $25 apiece. The scam was done literally thousands of times by hundreds of different cheats for significant sums of money but has since been busted several times across the US, and now most casinos, but not all, have adopted internal control procedures to stop it.
Another low-tech scam worth mentioning is the dice-sliding craps scam, where the slider skillfully slides one of the dice, not letting it tumble, therefore partially controlling the outcome, giving those players betting the slide a huge advantage over the casino. This scam should NOT be worthy of mention because it is so easy to stop, but casinos in the US and Canada, either out of ignorance and ineptitude or poor or no game protection training, just don't seem to catch on to the phrase I and others have uttered a thousand times, "Make sure both dice leave the shooter's hand together, tumble across the layout, hit the back wall and tumble back." Thus the scam continues to go on across North America, albeit a bit less as we move into 2020.
Somewhere out there it is possible that a super-duper low-tech cheat scam like the Savannah roulette pinch move of the 90s is in the works but we will have to wait to see it come to light.
It could be a very long wait.
And finally, what has been the most instrumental facet of casino cheating during the 2010s going forward?
My book, AMERICAN ROULETTE (St. Martin's Press), tells the true story of my twenty-five years as a professional casino cheater. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, in my early twenties, I supported myself solely through legitimate gambling. However, I soon found myself broke and homeless, living under a highway overpass. I eventually sought gainful employment in the only industry I had knowledge of, becoming a Blackjack and Baccarat dealer. Armed with experience on both sides of the tables, my mentor to be, Joe Classon taught the ways of a professional casino cheater.
Although retired, I keep up on the various cons and scams that law enforcement is largely unable to adequately police.