Most Common Ways People Have Cheated at Casinos


Casinos are big money-makers and punters have been trying to cheat the casinos for decades — but what are the most common ways people have tried cheating in casinos?

The gambling industry generates a mammoth amount of money through casinos, and many shred players have tried their luck at beating the house, and not by playing fair.

It’s no secret that casinos spend millions on high-end security to stay one step ahead of cheaters, but that doesn’t mean they are not targeted by scammers, cheats, and criminals. Unfortunately for them, cheats have a very low success rate against casinos. Let’s look at some of the most common ways players try to cheat the house.

Working with Other Cheats

Most cheaters will collaborate in teams, like Mike Postle did, and deliver signals to the player at the table. One example is if a player gets a good vantage point of the cards a dealer is holding and then uses a digital or analog signaling system to communicate with the player up against the dealer.

Back in the day, cheats often hid transmitters in packets of cigarettes. Nowadays, with the development of technology, transmitters have gotten way more advanced and harder to spot. However, casinos make sure they are up to scratch on their fraud detection technology too.

Working with the Dealer

The most common form of cheating in a real money casino is by using an inside man, a casino dealer. If the cheater and the dealer are colluding then the dealer can favor a playing by making a ‘false shuffle’, keeping several cards in the same order as the previous deal.

This form of cheating is very hard to uncover because of the difficulties in proving if the dealer is guilty (perhaps they’re looking to supplement their casino dealer salary the illegal way) or they’re simply poor at their job.

Either way, casinos heavily monitor the dealers in a bid to prevent this form of cheating. The level of security on the dealers is usually enough to discourage this form of cheating.

Marking the Cards

This form of cheating is exactly how it sounds, you subtly leave a mark on the cards so a player can distinguish them later. It’s a bit more sophisticated than it sounds because the marking is usually through invisible ink.

The cheater would then use infrared lenses to identify the marked cards. This scam has been going on for many years and casinos are aware of it, and dealers will usually riffle the cards and look for any animated effects, or even don inferred glasses themselves.

Replacing Cards 

Although there are many sophisticated ways to try and cheat a casino, most forms of cheating are very simple, like replacing cards with better ones. This primitive task is carried out by sneakily replacing a card with one of their own or working with another player to shuffle cards in and out. Of course, this requires a skilled hand and some slick movements to pull it off.

The casino’s way of dealing with card switching is as impressive as the switch itself. Aside from the dealers being extra vigilant on players with longer sleeves, the casino uses a new tool called the Angel Eye. The casino will have a special code on the back of the cards.

The Angel Eye reads the cards before the deal and records which players received what cards, if a card is switched, the player will be identified.

Creating Counterfeit Chips

Yes, it’s no surprise that some cheats try to create counterfeit chips and cash them in at the casino. Of course, a high level of skill and sophistication is required to pull off something of this level.

However, in modern times, this method has become near impossible thanks to developments in technology Casinos now use RFID tracking, (with some casinos even going cashless) which is usually integrated into chips worth over $20, allowing the casino to immediately flag any questionable chips.

Past Posting

Past posting is a trick where players replace chips with better-valued chips. It’s a technique that is rarely used in today’s world because chips are so closely monitored with cameras. But the most skillful cheat can use sleight of hand to get away with post-packing chips.

The way this works is that players would stack chips with low-value chips on top and higher value chips on the bottom. On losing bets the player will grab the chips and before tossing them toward the dealer, switch out the higher value chip for another lower value chip, effectively switching higher losses for smaller losses.

A twist on this scam is placing chips on the roulette table after the ball has landed. Of course, the dealer will need to be distracted to pull this off, and dealers are highly trained to ignore distractions.

Edge Sorting

This is a more subtle and less serious form of cheating. Edge sorting requires you to be highly observant to look out for small existing defects on the cards. This type of cheating is very difficult to prevent, which is why the dealers will regularly switch up to fresh card decks, so any defects will not be within the playing deck for very long.

Why Cheaters Will Never Win

The chances of getting away with cheating casinos are lower than ever. The casino security is just too advanced for players to scam their way to lucrative wins, and the risk versus reward is heavily outweighed. Ultimately, casino cheats have been the biggest threat to casinos, because the scam can go unnoticed for so long and cost the casino millions. The latest upgrades to technology have played a key role in keeping the cheats at bay. However, there will also be cheats devising new ways to beat the casino, so maybe we will see some ingenious ways to cheat the casinos in the future.

The best way to beat the casino is by studying the game and finding the best ways to increase your odds of winning, such as studying the blackjack strategy and bringing down the house edge.

Learn more about how to spot a dangerous casino site, or learn more about safe casinos

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