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4 Dirty Blackjack Tricks Casinos Have Used to Cheat

Oct 14, 2014

Instances of casino cheating happen...

Instances of casino cheating happen…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Instances of casino cheating are very rare, but they can and do happen. Here are a few schemes casinos have used to screw unsuspecting blackjack players.

Most of us associate blackjack tricks with advantage play techniques like shuffle tracking and card counting. There is good reason for that, because players are much more likely than casinos to try to use subtlety to tip the scale in their favor.

The casino’s motivation is to take money out of your pocket, but when it comes to blackjack their methods are straightforward and transparent. The dealer will be happy to explain the rule variations and house edge for their blackjack table, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

However, there have been cases of casinos getting caught using dirty tricks to take extra money off unsuspecting players. Here are a few dishonest maneuvers used by casinos in the past:

Removing cards from the deck

No self-respecting casino will ever try to pull this move, but in the past there were high-profile cases of casinos in Vegas and elsewhere getting nailed pulling tens or face cards from decks, literally stacking the decks against unsuspecting players.

All the casino needs to do is remove a ten, jack, queen or king from the deck and the instances of player blackjacks decrease significantly, meaning fewer times that the house has to give a 3:2 payout. And pulling one or even two cards from a deck most likely won’t be noticed by anyone.

Selective shuffling

During most blackjack games the dealer will shuffle once a certain amount of cards have been dealt from the deck (50-60 percent on average). However, if the dealer or pit boss notices that a certain player (whom they assume to be using a card counting system) is winning too much, the dealer will reshuffle on the spot.

They also may do this is they notice that a lot of low cards but few high cards have been dealt, meaning that players will have favorable chances at winning up upcoming hands. In the worst cases the dealer will reshuffle after only 2-3 hands.

This isn’t considered to be outright cheating but it should be, as it essentially gives the casino the right to adjust the house edge when it looks like the cards have tipped in the players’ advantage. If you’re playing at a table and you catch the dealer doing this, you have every right to voice a complaint.

Sleight of hand

This is a pretty nasty trick that has been known to happen, usually in poorly-regulated gambling jurisdictions. The dealer has extremely quick hands and notices that the player has had a few too many frosty umbrella drinks or is simply not paying attention, so rather than dealing the card from the top of the deck, the dealer intentionally hands out a bust card.

Selective shuffling, sleight of hand, hyper-shuffling, ... fair?

Selective shuffling, sleight of hand, hyper-shuffling, … fair?


 

This is most commonly done by the dealer pulling a card from the bottom instead of the top. Sometimes the pit boss will also instruct a cocktail waitress to distract the player in the middle of a big bet, thereby preventing him from seeing the dealer use a sleight of hand maneuver.

Hyper-shuffling

This isn’t considered to be outright cheating, but when the dealer is a “speed demon” the house edge always increases. Shooting through hand after hand allows the casino to make more money over the course of the night, and it also makes things easier for the dealer to play tricks.

Dealing hands extremely quickly means that the dealer can sometimes fudge the rules without the player noticing; for example miscounting a hand here or dealing a card from the bottom of the deck there. A few minor errors per hour add a lot to the casino’s take over the course of a night.

The faster the cards are dealt the harder it is for the player to follow along. For that reason, most casino strategy experts advise blackjack players to stay away from tables at which the dealer looks to be working extremely fast.

Why would a dealer cheat?

Dealers make a living from salaries and tips, and more winnings for the casino don’t necessarily mean more money in their pockets. So why would a dealer cheat in the first place? One explanation is that casinos keep detailed statistical records of their winnings at every table and with every dealer, and thus dealers are under pressure to impress their bosses.

Some older Las Vegas dealers have anonymously told journalists that back in the day when many casinos were mob-run dealers would be required to run scams against players. Refusing to do so meant kissing their jobs goodbye.

These days, however, there is very little incentive for a casino to cheat. For one thing, regulatory bodies like the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Gaming Commission are serious about auditing casinos and cracking down hard when wrongdoing is found.

Just as important, casinos need to look out for their reputations. In the internet age word spreads quickly, and if a player thinks they got cheated the casino stands to lose a lot of business. Cheating can and does occur (as this article makes clear) but it is most likely extremely rare.


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12 responses to “4 Dirty Blackjack Tricks Casinos Have Used to Cheat”

  1. Tampacrapsman says:

    That is the stupidest, least factual article I have ever read about gaming. The author must be a degenerate gambler that doesn’t want to blame his losses on himself. Dealers do not cheat! They do not deal from bottom of deck. They do not know what cards are on the bottom of the deck. Casinos do not keep track of dealers win/loss numbers. Ridiculous article.

    • Hi Tampacrapsman,
      We are glad that you shared your opinion with us, no matter how strongly you have put it. We believe everybody has a freedom of opinion and we would be glad to hear yours. Are you dealer yourself or do you know some? Same as with Naween’s comment – We would love to hear your story and then publish it. Please contact us through http://www.blackjackchamp.com/… and we’ll arrange for an interview.

  2. Naween says:

    All of their “facts” are about before regulatory commissions came in to play and that was over 40 years ago. So for dealers to still come under fire for things that happened when the mob ran the gambling “back in the day” is completely retarded. Actually talk to contemporary dealers and you’ll find how much things have changed in regards to “cheating”

    • Hi Naween,
      Thank you for your comment. Actually you have an interesting idea there. We would be happy to give “other side” an opportunity to speak out, too. Are you dealer yourself or do you know any dealers you were reffering to? We would love to hear their story and then publish it. Please contact us through http://www.blackjackchamp.com/contact/ and we’ll arrange an interview.

  3. Chris Lively says:

    This is the biggest piece of garbage I’ve ever read.

  4. Praveen says:

    Dirty tricks of casinos? This is a really entertaining article, if you didn’t get the drift then sorry, you are degenerate yourself…

  5. bass says:

    Are you serious? With exception to shuffling to prevent card counting which as it’s described here id’s even false not one aspect of this article hold any truth. This author is obviously a delusional individual who is likely just bitter cause he lost his life savings and is grasping at straws to justify it not being his fault and rather place the blame on the game. How pathetic!

    • Honesto Abe says:

      All these haters have ties to the casinos either as a dealer or a higher ranking position. Clearly because of how upset their reaction was to the article. This fellow has a right to voice his thoughts as all of us do. No reason to get all butt hurt except i guess if this article would affect my paycheck. Here is a thought, STOP CHEATING US! STOP BEING GREEDY WITHOUT CHEATING THE HOUSE IS STILL FAVORED! more more more never enough.

  6. alex says:

    I believe some casinos do cheat. At a Canadian casino, at the blackjack tables i always see lots of low cards been dealt and no matter how much cards are been dealt, the low cards keeps on coming more than the tens. And of course we know that it is to the house’s edge if there more low cards in the shoe

  7. Alice Snyder says:

    This information states facts as suspected by many professional blackjack players. On many occasions, I have noticed multiple ten and face cards omitted from the decks. Mathematically impossible for players to win.

  8. nycpro says:

    Cheating at BLACKJACK is very much alive and well.
    This is done by both dealers acting for their own benefit and more shockingly acting on behalf of the casino itself.
    Any fulltime pro or pit boss is aware of this
    I know this for a fact

  9. Vegas SIDNY says:

    One of the dirties trick every played on the customer is this when you win you sometimes tip the dealer out of your winnings just out of gratitude but I BET you never seen the house tip anyone after it picks up its winnings think think think .

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