What Are The Most Common Cheating Methods In Casinos?

While films like Ocean’s 11 glamourize massive casino heists, smaller cheating methods are used every day. These don’t reel in anything nearly as impressive as the movies, but it does generate some cheater’s regular cash. By shooting for smaller targets, some punters manage to swindle casinos out of steady money. Find out What Are The Most Common Cheating Methods In Casinos?

This goal is easier to pull off since simple wins don’t attract attention. By keeping things unassuming and simple, cheaters can avoid generating unwanted attention. From simple hand tricks to calculated moves, there’s no shortage of widely used cheating techniques. Find out what are the most common cheating methods in casinos?

Consequences of Cheating

Even though smaller cheating methods aren’t going to make anyone immediately rich, they remain permanent in the culture. This is due to the fact that you can use it with little to no risk. Instead of facing years in prison, casinos can also ban them to gamble. While this is still a daunting punishment, some punters are willing to take the risk.

Throughout history, punters have tried to outwit casinos in every imaginable way. While most techniques wouldn’t survive a minute in today’s casinos, are few remain prominent. To give our readers an idea of what cheating methods are in trend, we compile this list. It covers the most common casino cheating techniques that are prevalent every day around the world. They are so common it is hard to dump them, so discover how some punters are getting back at casinos!

How do players cheat at the casino?

cheating by players
A player using camera under his sleeve to cheat

Common cheating methods in casinos are often specific to individual games and include the following:

  • Past posting: After winning, a player replaces smaller-denomination chips with large-denomination chips.
  • Hand mucking: Palming desirable cards, then switching them for less desirable cards that the gambler holds.
  • Using a “holdout” device to remove a card from the game until needed at a later time.
  • Card marking: Various methods exist to mark cards during play.
  • Marked decks: Usually involving the collusion of casino employees, it may be possible to introduce a marked deck into play. There are many different ways to mark decks of cards, some of them very difficult to detect. Casinos often replace their cards at table games and either sell or give away the used decks. These decks are usually cut or altered before they are sold or given away. This to prevent cheaters from buying used decks and then using the cards to cheat at table games.
  • Pokies machines: Methods exist for altering the outcome of pokies machine games.
  • Collusion: In poker games, the practice of two partners signaling to each other the values of their cards can be very difficult to detect. Also, in table games, players can collude with the dealer.
  • Top hats: In Roulette, players place a bet after the ball has landed. The chips are disguised using a third party’s chip – the “top hat”.

Common Cheating Methods In Casinos

1. Pokies Bill Validator

Casino Cheating Techniques
This area of the pokies machine has been repeatedly targeted by cheaters.

Even though this trick is as old as pokies machines, it’s evolved in recent years. Back in the day, even a child could outthink a casino. By stringing a coin, nefarious punters were able to pull the coin back up and use it again. Casinos quickly caught on to this elementary trick, so now cheaters have resorted to more devious techniques.

Instead of trying to reel their money back out of the machine, many cheaters focus on the bill validation unit. This part of the machine is in charge of calculating what size bill has been inserted. Once it’s been hijacked, cheaters can get $100 worth of credit from $1 bills. All modern casinos have figured out how to combat this trick, so this only works on machines in remote venues.

2. Sliding Dice

Casino Cheating Techniques
There are many ways to toss dice.

While some children use similar techniques to cheat at Monopoly, some punters have adjusted it for casinos. Instead of randomly tossing dice, many cheaters have figured out how to manipulate them to fall in their favor. Through constant practice, some cheaters make dice fall into position without anyone noticing. By causing the dice to bounce or spin, this trick becomes hard for even the most seasoned dealer to spot.

3. Card Counting

Casino Cheating Techniques
Some punters use this technique to give themselves a calculated advantage.

Even though counting cards isn’t technically cheating, it’s still an unforgivable offense in most casinos. This grey area has been made infamous by organized crooks and modern films. The public’s infatuation with card counting is understandable since it’s hard for the average punter to pull off. By calculating the ratio of high to low cards in the deck, users can choose the most advantageous ways to play. It takes a special mind to count cards, but the rewards can be great for those who do.

In Nevada, New Jersey, and other jurisdictions, using any device which helps to forecast the odds or aid in a legitimate strategy such as card counting is regarded as cheating. Also, players using a computer to gain an edge, illegal in Nevada since 1985.

Do casinos also cheat their players?

Live dealer cheating
Live dealer cheating

Of course, casinos do cheat their players. After all, it’s their business and you are pumping money into their business by visiting the glamour and show where your eyes are enticed and you are lured to play at their venue.

How Casinos Cheat

  • Casinos can cheat by using a rigged roulette wheel.
  • False deals: A dealer may be able to deal the second card from the top (used in conjunction with marked cards), or the ability to deal the bottom card of the deck (used in conjunction with placing desirable cards at the bottom of the deck), for example Mechanic’s grip.
  • False shuffles and cuts: In this cheat a dealer may seem to mix or cut the cards, while retaining certain cards or the whole deck in a desired order.
  • Casino can use a deck of cards with non-standard composition or use a cold deck or loaded dice to cheat players in the game.
  • Using rulesets not sanctioned by a gambling control authority.
  • Casino can put pokies machines which pay lower than the statutory minimum.
  • Also go for False advertising  by not paying advertised promotions.
  • Circulate Mail fraud or sending a mail offer but not honoring the offer once the customer is at the casino, also called bait and switch.
  • Display rigged video poker machines, such as the Vegas “American Coin Scandal”
  • Rigged drawings, such as at The Venetian, Las Vegas
  • Have corrupt regulators, such as Ronald Dale Harris
  • Or use a computer to gain an edge over the players.

Cheating can be reduced by employing “proper procedure” – certain standardized ways of shuffling cards, dealing cards, storing, retrieving, and opening new decks of cards.

Casino Security Measures

Most casinos are obliged to have an extensive array of security cameras and recorders which monitor and record all the actions in a casino, which can be used to resolve some disputes. Some casinos use facial-recognition software to detect known cheats and criminals.

The easiest and most common types of cheating require no skill of manipulation, but rather merely the nerve. Such methods include shorting the pot, avoiding house fees, and peeking at other players’ cards. However, it is very difficult to prove because when confronted, at least the first time, the cheat often calls the cheating an honest mistake.

Security at the casino
Security at the casino

One minimal-skill method that occurs in non-casino and casino games happens when a player who has folded appoints themselves the tender of the pot, stacking chips, counting them, and delivering them to the winning player. Check-chopping is when such a “helpful” player palms a chip. Odorless adhesive can be used for this purpose.

Another minimal-skill method is going south (also known as “ratholing”), where a player covertly removes a portion of their chips from play while remaining in the game, normally in order to preserve the winnings as profit, or prevent a major loss in “big bet” games.

Online play has allowed for new methods of cheating while other methods based on physical objects such as cards or chips are impossible.

One new form of cheating is the use of bots. These are programs that play instead of a real human. Though their accuracy and their ability to win are disputed, their use normally violates the rules of online cardrooms, so using them is, by definition, cheating.

Remember when caught you can land up in jail, imprisonment of several years, and hefty fines.

About the author

Nathaniel Mansfield