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Apparent Cheating - Not recent
Posted by Dr 21 on April 07, 1997 at 08:08:16
One suspicious experience that I had was at the Casino Royale in Las Vegas in January 1996. They advertised (on their marquee) that blackjacks paid 2 for 1 (up to $50 I was told by an employee). Even though the place is a real hole in the wall, I decided to check it out. I was surprised that everyone was only playing for $5 (and less) yet the table had a limit up to $100. I bought in for $400 and started playing $25 on each of two hands which got immediate reaction from the pit. Shortly, I got a blackjack and was paid 3 to 2. I asked about the promotion and was told that it was only for the table with "the sign". I then asked for the location of "that table". The pit boss looked around and said that the sign was not out yet as they had just changed shifts.
I then spread my bets from $5 to $50 on each of the two hands based on the count. However, I used sufficient cover so that they could not determine for sure whether or not I was counting. After about 20 minutes (and some badgering from me) "the sign" finally appeared - at another table of course. I ask to color in so that I could move to "that table". They told me that "the sign" rotates from table to table and that I could not follow the sign. So I stayed and continued to count and watch "the sign".
They kept the sign on each table for about 10 minutes and then moved it to the next table. After the sign made its way around the room, it finally made it to my table. By then I was up about $200. Knowing that blackjacks would now pay 2 to 1, I flat betted $50 on each of the two hands. It was obvious that the pit was not happy about this. The sign stayed on my table for less than 4 minutes. (I was not happy about this.) I went back to spreading between $5 and $50 on each of two hands based on the count (with cover).
After about 2 hours, I was up about $500 and it was obvious that the pit was not happy. Out comes a new dealer that I had not seen at any table that night. He was Asian and dealt very fast. I thought to myself that this was insurance in case I was counting. They were foolish enough to think that I wouldn't be able to keep up with this dealer. The truth is, I can count fast dealers with much less effort than slow ones. I stayed about even with this dealer but I did notice that he did not break very often especially when I had a large bet out.
After closer inspection, I noticed that when he had a 4 or 5 card 15 or 16, he would stop dealing and move his dealt cards to his left as if to make room for the next hit. When he did this, the undealt deck was upside down which would have allowed for a peek. (I also think I heard the strange clicking sounds that I have read about when he would finally hit his stiff). It seemed silly that he would do this since there was often enough room for his hit. (After all, when he had a 16, the next card would be his last.) After playing for about 30 minutes with this dealer, I continued to win at a very modest rate and it seemed that the pit was giving heat TO THE DEALER. (Hey, aren't you good enough to win when you're cheating!) In any case, the dealer started to "make room" for his hit card when he only had 2 or 3 card stiffs! Okay, now I was sure what was going on so I started flat betting at $5 even though I was still winning with this dealer. (I think the fact that I was getting the tens that he was skipping while dealing seconds was helping me.)
Now after more than an hour with this same dealer (no breaks for him), "the sign" finally gets back to my table. Just for fun, I upped by bets to $50 on each hand and watched the DEALER GET THE HEAT! About 4 minutes later (and another small win), the sign is removed from my table. I colored in (up about $750) to "take a break". Wow, now they finally let that poor dealer take a break too. After about a ten minute break, I decided to join the shoe game that was next in line for "the sign". When the sign appeared, I flat betted $50 on one hand (I could not get a second hand as the table was full). One of the small stakes players made the comment to me that the "high rollers" usually played the hand held games and wondered why I wasn't. I informed him (loud enough for the dealer and pit to hear), that they were dealing seconds and that I felt safer at the shoe games. Neither the dealer or pit seemed alarmed at my accusation. After one shoe, "the sign" left and so did I.
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