How to Spot a Cheater at a Casino

Casino dealer deals poker cards, with chips on the table.
The Bond Trilogy and Ocean’s Eleven film series create a great depiction of the luxury that can be experienced in many casinos. But with all the glamor comes the bad too. Cheating in the gambling industry has existed for as long as land-based and online casinos have been around, but with the latest technology, it is becoming harder for people to cheat at casinos. The gambling industry has the best security facilities in place to aid them in catching cheaters on the casino floors.

How casinos can catch people cheating at their tables

1. Technology that can read license plates

There are some really well-known casino cheaters. Sometimes, their vehicle license plate can tip-off officials that they’ve arrived at a casino before they even walk through the door. The number on the license plate is run through a database of known gambling addicts and offenders. The casino then has the right to escort these individuals out or ban them completely from the casino premises.

2. Camera surveillance

Cameras are placed throughout the casino. Yes, you are always being watched, but you have nothing to worry about if you’re there to play honestly. Most of the cameras are covered which means you probably won’t know which way the lens is facing. Operators in the casino’s surveillance room often control these cameras. In some cases, the cameras will have motion sensors. If a person looks suspicious on the casino floor, security will watch closely. Suspicious behavior, facial expressions, and betting patterns are monitored closely. With the latest technology, casinos can use cameras with biometric recognition of facial features.

3. Casino staff

The dealers and technicians working on the floor are trained to look for and spot suspicious behavior. They will not confront the person but rather report it to their supervisor or casino security.
Casino dealer shows an ace card in front of the camera.

Mathematics as a way to catch cheating

All casino games and table results are analyzed. Casinos compare these results to past months’ performance. Of course, there is room for variations with all casino games, so these statistics are used to compare the gameplay data against models. Mathematics and statistics experts developed these models by using a huge range of data. This statistical model allows a casino to know what is normal for a table game or slot machine. Yes, it is possible for anomalies to occur but this will force the casino to flag a player for suspicious behavior. For instance, if a player wins consistently over a period of 3 days, it is considered unusual. This will catch the casino’s attention and they’ll start to take note of the player’s betting patterns and body language.

Ways people cheat in casinos

For some people, thinking of innovative ways to scam a casino is a job. This is a dangerous lifestyle as it could mean jail time. There are many ways that people try and sometimes successfully cheat at land-based and online casinos.  Here is a list of ways people cheat in casinos:

1. The false shuffle

The casino card dealer will help the player with this cheat. The dealer will pretend to shuffle the cards but will slyly and skillfully leave some cards in place. The player involved will track the cards and will know when the unshuffled cards are dealt.

2. Roulette past posting

This deceitful trick is one of the oldest ways players cheat in casinos and is still a major problem for the gambling industry. The cheaters will place their chips on the winning number after the ball has dropped in the roulette wheel.

3. Hidden cameras

This is commonly used in baccarat and blackjack games. The player will use a hidden camera for card-cutting schemes. A hidden camera is placed under the player’s sleeve to record the value and suit of each card. The player’s accomplice uses the hidden camera to watch what happens and then passes the information back to the player through an earpiece. Bets are then made based on the information gathered from the pre-recorded sequence.

4. Card switching

Also known as hand mucking, card switching has been used by cheaters for years. As of late, gamblers will use a device to hide a card placed strategically up their sleeve. This device can deposit a card on the table, and the gambler can then remove and hide cards from the table. Millions of dollars are lost in the gambling industry due to this scam.
Casino player cheats while playing cards.

5. A validator device for slot machines

Back in the day, cheaters would attach a piece of string to a coin, with a paperclip on the end to prevent it from falling into the slot machine. Nowadays, slot machines at casinos can be scammed with a tiny computer device that can trick the bill validator. Cheaters will disguise the device with a $1 bill. This device has two prongs that are inserted into the slots validator. This device tricks the validator into thinking any bill is a $100 bill.

7. Hole card reading

Hole card reading is considered an advantage play. In games such as blackjack, three card poker, and Texas Hold’em, players try to spot the dealer’s hole-card (the card that is face down). They will use the hole card in mind while playing the game. It becomes illegal when cheaters start using devices, including a small hand-held mirror or hidden camera to see the card.

8. Marking cards

Cheaters use a number of ways to mark cards, including infrared markings, denting it with a chip, or using a razor to scrape off some of the ink. The cheater will slide in these marked cards during the game.

Cheating in poker

Poker is one of the most popular online casino games. Has someone’s hot streak in poker ever made you think that they might be cheating? If you’d like to know whether a person is cheating in poker, there are a few behaviors you can look out for. If you’re playing online casino games, you won’t necessarily be able to see the person’s body language. However, when it comes to online poker, if a person is playing for a long period of time, a minimum of 18 hours, it could be a bot that has been designed to play online poker. However, it is always possible that it could be a human going on a poker marathon so be sure to spot other bot characteristics. The same playing patterns could also indicate that it’s a bot. These bot programs cannot account for all possible poker combinations.

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