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Old 08-13-2015, 01:19 PM
Habeed Habeed is offline
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Suspected of cheating/too lucky at a Vegas casino : does the movie cliche every happen?

The movie cliche, the protagonists of the film use their rain man powers/time travel knowledge/magical luck to win too much money at a casino. They get dragged into a back office - it's always small, has a desk with a casino boss who accuses them, and there are several large goons keeping the protagonists custody. Threats are made or sometimes the casino goons assault the protagonists.

This never happens, right? The real casino crew would just call real cops to arrest someone they thought was cheating, or decline to offer any more action to someone who was too lucky but they didn't have proof of cheating, right?
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:30 PM
crazyjoe crazyjoe is offline
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I suppose it depends. A friend of mine worked a casino on a NA Reservation. He caught someone cheating, informed the pit boss, and a couple of bruisers took the guy out back and beat the shit out of him. So it does happen, but it is probably overly-dramatized in the movies.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:43 PM
Bones Daley Bones Daley is offline
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The real casino crew would just call real cops to arrest someone they thought was cheating, right?
Never in a million years

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The real casino crew would just decline to offer any more action to someone who was too lucky but they didn't have proof of cheating, right?
^^^ this
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:10 PM
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The movie cliche, the protagonists of the film use their rain man powers/time travel knowledge/magical luck to win too much money at a casino. They get dragged into a back office - it's always small, has a desk with a casino boss who accuses them, and there are several large goons keeping the protagonists custody. Threats are made or sometimes the casino goons assault the protagonists.

This never happens, right?
If I recall past news stories local to Vegas correctly, it does ever happen, though it doesn't every happen. I'd say it has happened but mainly in connection with card counting. If there's cheating involved, such as with use of an electronic device, they would just call the police and have them arrested.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:14 PM
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Back in the mob days, taking suspected cheaters out to the loading dock for some education in gambling etiquette was rather common. Now, Vegas casinos are run by very large publicly-traded corporations with rather unexciting liability policies. Actual cheaters are simply handed over to the police when caught. Suspected card counters will be backed off or banned from the property as management thinks appropriate.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:15 PM
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A guy I work with goes to a casino every weekend and says that they actively encourage people who win a lot to return and play more: (a) it inspires other people to go gamble (and lose) and (b) they probably won't keep winning forever.

Another guy who works in security at another casino told me that somebody hacked into their wifi system once and tried to cash in a slot machine ticket with a million dollar payoff on it. He was, in fact, arrested, and the van full of equipment he had backed up against the wall of the building was impounded.

Whoops, hey, GQ. Purely anecdotally, this all is.

Last edited by Ethilrist; 08-13-2015 at 02:15 PM. Reason: I like string
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:21 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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As friedo said. But ...

Nevada law provides that casinos may restrain errant customers until the police arrive. So a cheat is typically escorted by some uniformed casino security detail to a backstage area that's a jail holding cell in all but name and held there until the local police gambling detail arrives to deal with the situation. Which may take a couple of hours. And which will certainly feel like being detained (although not roughed up) by goons. Which goons are free to question you about your identity, activities, accomplices, etc.

The closest I've been to backstage like that was after an fender-bender in a casino parking lot. They security response team (yes, team) persuaded both drivers to go with them to "fill out a report." It took awhile to get turned loose, although I didn't choose to make a big stink about it.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 08-13-2015 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:38 PM
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Casino security guards have the same power to detain people as anyone making a common-law arrest - same deal with store security and shoplifters, for example. In both cases the person doing the detaining has an obligation to turn the suspect over to the police as soon as possible.

But like the cops, security guards will frequently do their best to persuade you to come to the friendly back office and chat. They can't (legally) force the issue unless they've witnessed you commit a crime (like cheating. Or stabbing your blackjack dealer (I actually saw that happen once.))
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
A guy I work with goes to a casino every weekend and says that they actively encourage people who win a lot to return and play more: (a) it inspires other people to go gamble (and lose) and (b) they probably won't keep winning forever.

Another guy who works in security at another casino told me that somebody hacked into their wifi system once and tried to cash in a slot machine ticket with a million dollar payoff on it. He was, in fact, arrested, and the van full of equipment he had backed up against the wall of the building was impounded.

Whoops, hey, GQ. Purely anecdotally, this all is.
I'm guessing that it depends whether they think the big winner is a big time cheater or just a guy with "a system" who had an early run of beginner's luck.

If a nerdy looking guy with a notebook and a calculator wins a pile at the roulette wheel, casino managers will probably let him play. They LOVE guys with "a system," because those guys usually lose big eventually.

By contrast, when they see what looks like an organized group winning too much (like the famed MIT card-counting group that inspired the movie 21), managers will probably toss the bettors out and try to get them blackballed from all area casinos.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:33 PM
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Here's a video of one exchange. The guy doesn't get dragged to a back room, but he is pulled from the table and given an ultimatum: either he leaves now (and gets to cash out), or he can continue to play but without his betting strategy (he can't change his bet in the middle of a shoe).
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:55 PM
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Casino security guards have the same power to detain people as anyone making a common-law arrest - same deal with store security and shoplifters, for example. In both cases the person doing the detaining has an obligation to turn the suspect over to the police as soon as possible.
Much of what the casino considers cheating is not illegal so they can't legally detain you or make a citizen's arrest.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:32 PM
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Card counting is not cheating. It is merely turning the tables on the house advantage. If a casino wants to defeat it, they could do their own card counting and shuffle whenever the odds look a bit unfavorable. Yes, that would slow them down a bit, but so what?

That said, how could you cheat in Vegas? I suppose you could have collusion at a poker table, which is cheating, but the house doesn't suffer; only the other plays. The house rake is just that and not a question of odds.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:40 PM
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That said, how could you cheat in Vegas? I suppose you could have collusion at a poker table, which is cheating, but the house doesn't suffer; only the other plays. The house rake is just that and not a question of odds.
Past-posting is the most common form of cheating busted by casino security. Stealing chips from other players. Marking cards with barely-visible schmutz in pitch games. Various inside jobs to rig slot machines also happen from time to time. Collusion with dealers happens from time to time as well.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:48 PM
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Past-posting is the most common form of cheating busted by casino security. Stealing chips from other players. Marking cards with barely-visible schmutz in pitch games. Various inside jobs to rig slot machines also happen from time to time. Collusion with dealers happens from time to time as well.
In my example above, it was a really cool trick in blackjack:

The gambler would set up a stack of chips as his bet (usually small value, $5 - $10 chips). On a win, while the dealer was paying out to position 1, this guy (at the other end of the table, slot 5 or 6), would casually flick a high-value chip from his reserve stack so that it would knock the bottom chip out -- which he would catch in his other hand. If he lost, he simply let the bet go. They had to review it via the overhead cameras to actually see it in action....the dealer just saw something funny out of the corner of his eye.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:26 PM
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In my example above, it was a really cool trick in blackjack:

The gambler would set up a stack of chips as his bet (usually small value, $5 - $10 chips). On a win, while the dealer was paying out to position 1, this guy (at the other end of the table, slot 5 or 6), would casually flick a high-value chip from his reserve stack so that it would knock the bottom chip out -- which he would catch in his other hand. If he lost, he simply let the bet go. They had to review it via the overhead cameras to actually see it in action....the dealer just saw something funny out of the corner of his eye.
I saw something similar once. Dude was at third base on a crowded blackjack table. He was betting tall stacks, but always randomly, usually between 5 and 8 chips per hand. When he got dealt a strong hand (say a 18 or better, or an 11) he would cheer vociferously and clap, which was his cover for sneaking an additional chip on his stack. Since he was at third base, the dealer was always looking at the first-base player for instruction while he was dropping extra chips. (That player happened to be me.) He was very smooth. The result was that his even though his initial bets ranged randomly, his average bet on strong hands was higher. By the time I discreetly alerted the pit boss, it turned out they had been watching him for some time already. He left with a pair of complimentary bracelets. I got a free ticket to Criss Angel. I should have gone to jail instead.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:36 PM
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Card counting is not cheating. It is merely turning the tables on the house advantage. If a casino wants to defeat it, they could do their own card counting and shuffle whenever the odds look a bit unfavorable. Yes, that would slow them down a bit, but so what?
Many (most?) casinos in Vegas use continuous shufflers now, so counting cards is practically useless. You can count cards in the current hand, but you rarely get a big advantage in doing that.

--Mark
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:02 PM
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A friend of mine goes to Vegas a few times a year with a group of guys who "cheat" in that they attempt to eat and drink as much as possible while spending as little as possible. They are all alcoholics with great attitudes and their tales are epic.

Chris told me about a "system" they use in bars where you drink free as long as you are playing video poker/BJ. The machines need a twenty to start, so they all feed a twenty. The machines are on timers, so if you do not play they charge you a minimum bet anyways. So they drink and refill as fast as they can, while playing the video games as slowly as the machine allows. When someone in the group has his machine run out of money, he takes his time leaving, all the while chugging down drinks from their seated neighbors.

One time Chris got into town way before check in time. He hit the buffet where free mimosas were offered. Taking two each trip, he was very drunk by the time he could check in. He took his luggage to the room, then went to the bar again. A few hours later, exhausted, he went to take a nap. But he couldn't remember his room number.

He thought he knew the floor number, so key-card in hand he began trying one door at a time. Security was called. They took him to an office where, after showing his DL and credit card, they wrote his room number on a post-it note, stuck it to his chest, and booted him out.

Hearing their stories, I'm surprised none of them has ever taken a beating.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:41 PM
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Many (most?) casinos in Vegas use continuous shufflers now, so counting cards is practically useless.
Not on the Strip, except perhaps at some 6:5 scrub tables. But if you're playing on those you deserve to lose your house anyway.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:48 PM
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A friend of mine goes to Vegas a few times a year with a group of guys who "cheat" in that they attempt to eat and drink as much as possible while spending as little as possible. They are all alcoholics with great attitudes and their tales are epic.

Chris told me about a "system" they use in bars where you drink free as long as you are playing video poker/BJ. The machines need a twenty to start, so they all feed a twenty. The machines are on timers, so if you do not play they charge you a minimum bet anyways. So they drink and refill as fast as they can, while playing the video games as slowly as the machine allows. When someone in the group has his machine run out of money, he takes his time leaving, all the while chugging down drinks from their seated neighbors.

One time Chris got into town way before check in time. He hit the buffet where free mimosas were offered. Taking two each trip, he was very drunk by the time he could check in. He took his luggage to the room, then went to the bar again. A few hours later, exhausted, he went to take a nap. But he couldn't remember his room number.

He thought he knew the floor number, so key-card in hand he began trying one door at a time. Security was called. They took him to an office where, after showing his DL and credit card, they wrote his room number on a post-it note, stuck it to his chest, and booted him out.

Hearing their stories, I'm surprised none of them has ever taken a beating.
Another strategy is to pool your money and go play roulette, one guy always betting on red and the other guy black. Not a winning game but you have a decent chance of breaking even or close to. Just make sure your friend doesn't stiff you if he wins big.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:00 PM
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So if a gambler is really good, he should intentionally lose just enough to not be under suspicion, right?
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:32 PM
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What's a "really good" gambler, though? Casino games run by the numbers. It's certainly possible to get very lucky without attracting suspicion. It happens all the time. Just not to most people.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:59 PM
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A "good" gambler doesn't gamble. He plays the odds correctly. That means poker, video poker and maybe sports bets. Anything else is for suckers - too much of a house edge.

Craps also needs to be included, if you play at a place that allows 3, 4, 5 X odds. Taking the odds can reduce the house edge to almost zero.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:09 PM
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Another strategy is to pool your money and go play roulette, one guy always betting on red and the other guy black. Not a winning game but you have a decent chance of breaking even or close to. Just make sure your friend doesn't stiff you if he wins big.
Is the intent here to "win" the free drinks? It actually seems reasonably expensive - every spin of the wheel represents an expected loss of 5.3% of your combined bets (the two green spots will come up 2/38, or 5.3%, of the time.) I don't play a lot of roulette, but if you're betting $10 / ea per spin, and the house can spin the wheel once a minute, that's $63.60 / hour for some free drinks. (Are those assumptions reasonable?)
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:13 PM
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Is the intent here to "win" the free drinks? It actually seems reasonably expensive - every spin of the wheel represents an expected loss of 5.3% of your combined bets (the two green spots will come up 2/38, or 5.3%, of the time.) I don't play a lot of roulette, but if you're betting $10 / ea per spin, and the house can spin the wheel once a minute, that's $63.60 / hour for some free drinks. (Are those assumptions reasonable?)
Those assumptions are accurate, but at a crowded roulette table, spins-per-hour is more like 30 or 40, and single-zero roulette can still be found in some places, in which case your expected value per bet is just -2.7%.

Of course, the whole point of people doing this is that they're having more fun getting "free" drinks and playing roulette than spending an equivalent amount of money at the bar.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:20 PM
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A "good" gambler doesn't gamble. He plays the odds correctly. That means poker, video poker and maybe sports bets. Anything else is for suckers - too much of a house edge.

Craps also needs to be included, if you play at a place that allows 3, 4, 5 X odds. Taking the odds can reduce the house edge to almost zero.
Basic Strategy blackjack also reduces the house odds to almost zero -- less than 0.2%, depending on the house rules. Counting cards gives you the advantage.

--Mark
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:09 PM
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6:5 and continuous shufflers kick the edge right back up, though. And playing basic strategy is a slog.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:21 PM
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6:5 and continuous shufflers kick the edge right back up, though. And playing basic strategy is a slog.
Nobody who's playing 6:5 blackjack is thinking very hard about optimal strategy.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:30 PM
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In my experience, the easiest way to get free-ish drinks in Vegas is to sit down at one of the electronic craps tables they're gradually replacing live tables with and place the minimum bet on the pass/come line every roll. I did that four or five times during this last visit, spent about an hour at the table, and walked away either even or up about five bucks.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:36 PM
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I saw something similar once. Dude was at third base on a crowded blackjack table. He was betting tall stacks, but always randomly, usually between 5 and 8 chips per hand. When he got dealt a strong hand (say a 18 or better, or an 11) he would cheer vociferously and clap, which was his cover for sneaking an additional chip on his stack. Since he was at third base, the dealer was always looking at the first-base player for instruction while he was dropping extra chips. (That player happened to be me.) He was very smooth. The result was that his even though his initial bets ranged randomly, his average bet on strong hands was higher. By the time I discreetly alerted the pit boss, it turned out they had been watching him for some time already. He left with a pair of complimentary bracelets. I got a free ticket to Criss Angel. I should have gone to jail instead.
No good deed...
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:53 AM
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Here's a good National Geographic documentary about the constant battle between casinos and cheaters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wlKK7FeNGc
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:03 AM
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Here's a video of one exchange. The guy doesn't get dragged to a back room, but he is pulled from the table and given an ultimatum: either he leaves now (and gets to cash out), or he can continue to play but without his betting strategy (he can't change his bet in the middle of a shoe).
Well I watched that vid and can't figure out what he was doing that was so offensive. What exactly is he is doing that is illegal?

Fuck this shit, this is like a grocery store telling me I'm banned for only buying loss leaders or deeply discounted stuff. I'd not set foot in one of these casinos, I have social anxiety as is and they look like hellish pits of scrutiny where if you manage to win you're told to leave.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:12 AM
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Well I watched that vid and can't figure out what he was doing that was so offensive. What exactly is he is doing that is illegal?
He wasn't doing anything illegal. What he was doing was massively spreading his bets when the deck was slightly in his favor, which is strong evidence that he was counting cards. (These guys made this video specifically to document a typical casino backoff; they were being extremely obvious on purpose.)

Casinos don't like card counters for obvious reasons, so they will kick them out or flat-bet them (you can play but must bet the same on every hand.)

People who try to make money at counting cards also try to disguise their behavior so they don't stand out as much and get tossed. Lest you think card-counting is as glamorous as in the movies, 99% of the time it's a grind.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:33 AM
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He wasn't doing anything illegal. What he was doing was massively spreading his bets when the deck was slightly in his favor, which is strong evidence that he was counting cards. (These guys made this video specifically to document a typical casino backoff; they were being extremely obvious on purpose.)

Casinos don't like card counters for obvious reasons, so they will kick them out or flat-bet them (you can play but must bet the same on every hand.)

People who try to make money at counting cards also try to disguise their behavior so they don't stand out as much and get tossed. Lest you think card-counting is as glamorous as in the movies, 99% of the time it's a grind.
Ok here is what I don't understand, the casino is obviously saying their official stance is that it is not a game of skill with these actions. It almost seems like they are saying unless you mostly lose get the BLEEP out.

So......why would anyone play when you aren't allowed to use skill or mental strategy to win?

I'd think casinos would want these power players to draw people in to watch them play or give it a hand them self.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:35 AM
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That said, how could you cheat in Vegas? I suppose you could have collusion at a poker table, which is cheating, but the house doesn't suffer; only the other plays.
I have been in Vegas casino security for almost 8 years. I can (kind of) answer this question.

There are numerous ways to cheat, mostly involving trying to distract or confuse the dealer, or collusion with the dealer. There is a "big wheel" game in Vegas casinos where players are paid based on what number the wheel lands on. A guy saw that the wheel stopped just short of his number while the dealer was looking at the other end of the table. He reached across and nudged the wheel one more tick before she turned and paid the bets based on the altered result. This was of course very easily spotted on camera, and we detained the guy until the police could come take him to jail.

People try to slip extra chips onto a winning bet, or remove chips from a losing bet, while the dealer is distracted. People take advantage of malfunctioning slot machine ticket dispensers. One person famously used slight of hand to make it appear the dice were tumbling down the craps table, when in fact only one die was tumbling and the other was "sliding" on an unchanging face. The way you're imagining that is pretty much exactly how it happened. Casinos have added a small ridge on craps tables now which "trips" a sliding die and causes it to tumble in response. Occasionally people will even try to smudge or otherwise mark cards (this is never successful).

There are lots more sneaky (and sometimes successful!) ways to cheat, which I won't get into here. The surveillance and security teams in Vegas are pretty good at spotting that stuff, but with so much activity in so many places all at once, it would be silly to assume the cheaters never get away with it. Cheating at gaming is a pretty serious crime in Vegas though, and certainly not worth the risk.

Also, the house has a very large incentive to prevent cheating even when the players are just playing against each other instead of the house. The first incentive is the reputation of the house, and another incentive is that it's preventing crime on their property. There's no reason to consider a poker player cheating another player any differently from a mugger stealing someone's purse. Security would intervene (and with vigor!) in both cases.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:51 AM
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Ok here is what I don't understand, the casino is obviously saying their official stance is that it is not a game of skill with these actions. It almost seems like they are saying unless you mostly lose get the BLEEP out.

So......why would anyone play when you aren't allowed to use skill or mental strategy to win?
Because lots of people find gambling fun. And counting cards properly takes a lot more effort and practice than most people are willing to put in.

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I'd think casinos would want these power players to draw people in to watch them play or give it a hand them self.
They don't really need any help convincing people to play blackjack. If you're a casino owner there's really no point in allowing someone with a skill advantage to take your money. Casinos games are not designed to be fair.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:27 AM
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Casinos games are not designed to be fair.
And they tell you that up front with the odds of winning. It's just they have the perogative to not allow someone on their property that bends the odds in their favor.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:30 AM
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Because lots of people find gambling fun.
Precisely. I, personally, don't gamble with any money I can't afford to lose, and I never expect to come out ahead. If I do come out on top, then I figure the meal I'll be having on my way home from the casino just paid for itself. If I lose my money, then at least I had fun doing so.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:28 AM
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A "good" gambler doesn't gamble. He plays the odds correctly. That means poker, video poker and maybe sports bets. Anything else is for suckers - too much of a house edge.

Craps also needs to be included, if you play at a place that allows 3, 4, 5 X odds. Taking the odds can reduce the house edge to almost zero.
Video poker is only worthwhile for those who have the bankroll to withstand the variance. You're steadily losing money until you hit one of those jackpots.

The easiest money in a casino is, imo, blackjack tournaments. The competition is easier than poker tournaments, and you really only need to play basic strategy with some deviations at appropriate times, plus you aren't playing against the house.

Last edited by GreenElf; 08-15-2015 at 09:28 AM.
  #39  
Old 08-15-2015, 11:24 AM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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When card counting was invented (or popularized) by Edward Thorpe in the early 1960s, the casinos didn't believe it was possible. They weren't concerned about it, so you could bet $2 on one hand and $200 on the next hand and they wouldn't bat an eye. They soon discovered their mistake, and now you'll get the pit boss watching your every move if you quadruple your bet. Many pit bosses and dealers can count too, so they know if you're adjusting your behavior to match the count. Counting in modern casinos is not a way to get rich. I read something by one of the big counters (maybe Ken Uston?) who said that by playing blackjack full time (say 8 hours a day every day), he was making about $30,000 a year. There are plenty of jobs that pay more than that, without the risk of losing your job if you're too good at it.

--Mark
  #40  
Old 08-15-2015, 01:01 PM
Do Not Taunt Do Not Taunt is offline
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Those assumptions are accurate, but at a crowded roulette table, spins-per-hour is more like 30 or 40, and single-zero roulette can still be found in some places, in which case your expected value per bet is just -2.7%.
I've usually heard the two-green-spot wheels as being 'American' wheels and the one-green-spot wheels as being 'European.' I've never seen one of these one-green-spot wheels, but never played roulette outside Vegas, so there's that..

Quote:
Of course, the whole point of people doing this is that they're having more fun getting "free" drinks and playing roulette than spending an equivalent amount of money at the bar.
YMMV of course, but for me a lot of the fun in gambling (I tend to play craps and blackjack when I'm in Vegas) is the anticipation and - especially - the winning. The camaraderie that occurs when everyone wins together in craps is pretty awesome too. The problem with this system, though, is that there is literally zero chance of ever winning a single spin. The best case on a spin is that it comes up red or black, and you break even. The worse case is it comes up green and you lose.

Last edited by Do Not Taunt; 08-15-2015 at 01:02 PM.
  #41  
Old 08-15-2015, 01:09 PM
Habeed Habeed is offline
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Is it really true you can cheat at roulette by just pressing a switch whenever the wheel passes a certain point, and having a computer calculate a few parameters for a roulette wheel? I just don't see that being accurate enough - I read about cheaters having computers in their shoes and toe switches, but I would assume human factors would make it too inaccurate.

Reason I bring it up is that obviously there are vastly simpler ways to do this now, such as a button camera and an accomplice outside or something. It might be possible to build a rig to cheat with that would be pretty hard to spot.
  #42  
Old 08-15-2015, 01:10 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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The catch in the movie "21" was that some people were counting cards and then signalling to others about the state of the deck. When multiple people are playing "together" like that, is that considered cheating? I presume if I tell my friend or a total stranger "this table is hot!" it's legit?

Recall reading an article by someone who started off by cheating in Vegas for a while, many many years ago. His technique was to stack a pair of chips so that the top one was slightly toward the dealer, making it difficult to tell what the bottom one was. Somehow if he won he would switch the bottom one for a bigger chip, or maybe if he lost he would swap the bottom one for a smaller chip - don't recall the details or technique. But yeah, video would probably catch that today, and I assume nowadays it's "hands off the chips" once the action is under way...

I assume too, that the size of Vegas businesses today, it's less important that they "teach a lesson" to cheaters who might make a few thousand, so much as it's a matter of catching and identifying and getting rid of the cheats, and plugging any flaws in the system. Salaries for a huge security staff and the cost of video equipment probably exceed what they lose in petty cheats. Vigilance just means they aren't giving away the store.

As for giant cheats - how often does someone have the chance to win over $100,000 - and how closely are those games scrutinized, when someone wins?
  #43  
Old 08-15-2015, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
As for giant cheats - how often does someone have the chance to win over $100,000 - and how closely are those games scrutinized, when someone wins?
Often and very, very closely. There are whales who regularly play $100K/hand in the high-limit rooms. But the regular shmoes on the floor? About the only way to score that big either takes a bit of time, which means the pit bosses and camera guys will be well alerted to what is going on early, or a slot machine hit, in which case you aren't getting paid until they go over the footage with a fine-tooth comb.
  #44  
Old 08-15-2015, 03:18 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
The catch in the movie "21" was that some people were counting cards and then signalling to others about the state of the deck. When multiple people are playing "together" like that, is that considered cheating? I presume if I tell my friend or a total stranger "this table is hot!" it's legit?
Depends on what you mean by legit. Card counting IS NOT ILLEGAL. However the casinos are not obligated to let you play. Count cards all you want, alone or in a team, but if the casino thinks you're going to walk away with their money they'll just refuse to let you play.
  #45  
Old 08-15-2015, 04:01 PM
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Loach Loach is offline
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
Depends on what you mean by legit. Card counting IS NOT ILLEGAL. However the casinos are not obligated to let you play. Count cards all you want, alone or in a team, but if the casino thinks you're going to walk away with their money they'll just refuse to let you play.
In New Jersey casinos they are not allowed to ban you from counting cards. It was a state Supreme Court ruling years ago. They do other things to decrease the advantage to counting.
  #46  
Old 08-16-2015, 12:55 AM
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In New Jersey casinos they are not allowed to ban you from counting cards. It was a state Supreme Court ruling years ago. They do other things to decrease the advantage to counting.
That's true. They can flat-bet you or tell the dealer to shuffle every few hands, or shut down the table, or just generally annoy you until you leave, though.
  #47  
Old 08-16-2015, 01:41 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Often and very, very closely. There are whales who regularly play $100K/hand in the high-limit rooms. But the regular shmoes on the floor? About the only way to score that big either takes a bit of time, which means the pit bosses and camera guys will be well alerted to what is going on early, or a slot machine hit, in which case you aren't getting paid until they go over the footage with a fine-tooth comb.
But by the same token (chip?) the people who can afford $100,000 bets are not likely the sort that need to cheat in Vegas to make a living.
  #48  
Old 08-16-2015, 11:19 PM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
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Casinos won't get on your case for having a good luck streak and winning big. It happens all the time, and they know what it looks like.

They also know what cheating or card counting looks like. When they suspect it, they have ways to either spot it clearly (can footage) or change the situation in ways that an honest better who just happens to look fishy wouldn't mind, bit would thwart or expose a cheater/counter.

If gamblers were smart (and perhaps many are), casinos would mostly redistribute money, while skimming a small percentage. For example, if the typical gambler bet any given dollar only once, and left when his "fresh" stack was empty, taking whatever his winnings were with him, they'd only skim 1 to 6%. Some would leave winners, some losers, and most only down a bit.

Fortunately for casinos, lots of gamblers just keep feeding those dollars back in, whittling it down by the expectation, and quitting far too late. But others do get lucky, and as mentioned above, the casinos make the most of it, comping their rooms or other perks, because in the long run it's good for business.

Regarding 1-green roulette wheels, I saw them I 1986 in Australia. IIRC, it was a legal requirement.

What does 6:5 mean regarding blackjack?
  #49  
Old 08-16-2015, 11:35 PM
pianodave pianodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learjeff View Post
Casinos won't get on your case for having a good luck streak and winning big. It happens all the time, and they know what it looks like.

They also know what cheating or card counting looks like. When they suspect it, they have ways to either spot it clearly (can footage) or change the situation in ways that an honest better who just happens to look fishy wouldn't mind, bit would thwart or expose a cheater/counter.

If gamblers were smart (and perhaps many are), casinos would mostly redistribute money, while skimming a small percentage. For example, if the typical gambler bet any given dollar only once, and left when his "fresh" stack was empty, taking whatever his winnings were with him, they'd only skim 1 to 6%. Some would leave winners, some losers, and most only down a bit.

Fortunately for casinos, lots of gamblers just keep feeding those dollars back in, whittling it down by the expectation, and quitting far too late. But others do get lucky, and as mentioned above, the casinos make the most of it, comping their rooms or other perks, because in the long run it's good for business.

Regarding 1-green roulette wheels, I saw them I 1986 in Australia. IIRC, it was a legal requirement.

What does 6:5 mean regarding blackjack?
As I understand it, 6:5 means they pay 6 to 5 odds on your blackjack instead of the more favorable 3:2 odds. In 3:2, if you put down 50 dollars and get blackjack you get 75 dollars. In 6:5, that same 50 dollars only gets you 60 dollars for blackjack.

Never play a blackjack table that says 6:5. Also, never play a table that says Dealer hits soft 17. That's also a bad deal for the player.

--pianodave
  #50  
Old 08-17-2015, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
That's true. They can flat-bet you or tell the dealer to shuffle every few hands, or shut down the table, or just generally annoy you until you leave, though.
Mostly they just shuffle more. They already have long shoes to make it more difficult and shuffle pretty early. I've spoken to quite a few pit bosses over the years. They are not that concerned with individual card counters. Most are not very good at it. When you have an eight deck shoe and routinely shuffle long before the end it already takes away a lot of the advantage.
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