Casinos want to maintain an edge in every game. Having the advantage ensures that casinos make long-term profits over players.

But some gamblers cheat to swing the odds in their favor. Cheating includes everything from using advanced electronics to simply hiding cards in your sleeve.

Skilled cheats can be successful for a long time. But everybody gets caught eventually due to casinos’ heavy surveillance and security.

This causes some players to seek help from dealer friends in their cheating efforts. A gambler and dealer who know each other outside the casino can hatch very effective plots together.

The reverse can also be true, where dealers who know their casino’s ins and outs bring friends into the fold. The buddies show up to the casino and pose as random gamblers, when they’reactually in cahoots with the dealer.

These cheating teams can use a variety of methods to make profits. And I’m going to discuss 9 ways that dealers and players can collude to beat the casino or other gamblers.

Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting you should use any of these plots. Casino cheating is illegal and can result in heavy jail time.

Instead, this discussion is for entertainment purposes. If you use any of these techniques, do so at your own legal risk.

1 – False Shuffling

False shuffling was created by famed casino cheater Richard Marcus. Normally used in baccarat, this technique involves the dealer shuffling cards so that they maintain a pre-arranged order.

The goal is to create a “slug,” or group of cards that appear in the exact order that they were put into the discard tray. Accomplices (players) track this slug and increase or lower bets based on what cards are coming next.

Fast shuffling requires a dealer who can make it look they’re actually shuffling the deck. But in reality, they’re using a series of fake shuffles to keep cards in their discard tray order.

Accomplices can track card values as they’re dealt under the guise of being a “trend bettor,” where one adjusts bets based on previous outcomes.

For example, a trend gambler might increase their bet size when the banker hand has lost several times in a row. The reason why is because they think that the banker hand is due for a win.

Trend betting doesn’t really provide an advantage. But some players are still convinced that tracking previous outcomes can help.

Cheaters use the card values they’ve record to figure out when the slug is coming, which normally happens towards the beginning of the shoe. They’ll then bet on either the banker or player, based on which is more likely to win.

False shuffling can either be done with a single accomplice or a group of players. The latter is more favorable, because it allows the group to pull their bankroll and place more max bets.
A cheating syndicate known as the Tran Organization made millions of dollars through false shuffling. They also used electronics to relay when the slug was coming to each team member.

The Tran Organization was finally caught when they tried bribing an undercover agent posing as a dealer. 31 defendants pleaded guilty to either direct participation in the ring or indirectly helping.

2 – Ignoring Past Posting

Past posting involves placing a bet after the outcome has already been decided. This is a common technique in roulette, where the chaos of multiple players making bets creates past-posting opportunities.

Past posting takes a combination of a skilled cheater and a distracted dealer. Players also need to find the crowded tables so that they’re more easily able to make late bets.

But working with the dealer provides a shortcut. Rather than waiting for the perfect conditions, you can collude with a dealer, who ignores your past posting.

A good way to pull off this technique is by waiting until the dealer’s table is empty. Two or more accomplices then slowly filter over to the table one by one.

Having multiple accomplices makes it harder for surveillance to hone in on a single gambler. One player can past post large wagers while the others act as decoys.

Having the table to themselves also ensures that other gamblers won’t pick up on the cheating.

3 – Ignoring Pinching

Pinching is the opposite of past posting in that you remove a losing bet from the table. The skills needed to pull off pinching are the same as past posting — it’s just that you’re using a completely different action.

Pinchers run into the same challenges as any other sleight-of-hand experts in that they need a crowd, distracted dealer, and good skills. Lacking any one of these traits can get you busted by the pit boss, dealer, or security.

This is where working with the dealer helps mitigate many of the risks involved with pinching. The dealer accomplice will ignore how you’re removing losing bets from the table.

Just like past posting, pinching works best when multiple accomplices visit the dealer’s empty table.

4 – Dealer Indicating Hole Card Value

Holecarding is a difficult advantage play technique that involves trying to see the dealer’s hole card during a shuffle. This technique is especially effective in blackjack, where you can gain up to a 10% advantage by knowing the dealer’s hole card.

Most croupiers are trained well enough to keep their face-down cards from being exposed. Only a small minority are bad enough that they consistently expose their hole card and give skilled players an edge.

If the dealer is working with gamblers, then they might suddenly flash their cards more often. This gives blackjack players sitting at either first base (seat to dealer’s left) or third base (to dealer’s right) an excellent chance to see the face-down card.

But dealers don’t have to physically show players their hole card. In fact, flashing cards makes it more likely that security and/or the pit boss will look into the situation.

The cheating group can instead use a complex system of signals. Here are examples of ways that the dealer can tip off accomplices to their cards:

  • The dealer could put their palm closer to the felt when a player should hit based on the hole card.
  • They could leave their hand more raised from the felt when the player should stand.
  • The dealer could leave dealt cards slightly touching if the player is supposed to hit.
  • They could keep the cards completely separated when the player should stand.

The number of examples are open to the imagination. But the key is that the dealer and player(s) must avoid being overly obvious.

A dealer saying something like “Maroon 5 has so many ‘hit’ songs” is a dead giveaway to a suspicious pit boss. But using subtle cues on what actions players should take reduces the group’s chances of being exposed.

5 – Dealer Overpaying Players

Casino bets are paid at predetermined amounts based on a game’s rules. In roulette, for example, betting $10 on a 2:1 wager means that you can win a $20 profit.

But a dealer who’s colluding with gamblers can overpay them for winning bets. Roulette dealers can especially get away with this, because they handle more chips than any other type of dealer.

Furthermore, roulette is unlike other table games in that each player receives the same-colored chips. Gambles designate what denomination they want all of the chips to be worth (i.e. $5).

This practice helps the dealer quickly identify a player’s bet by the color. But it gives a dealer an easier opportunity to award accomplices more chips when they win.

The premise behind overpaying is simple: the dealer gives a player more chips than they should normally receive based on the game/bet rules.

Here’s an example:
  • A roulette player wagers $10 on a square (4:1 payout).
  • They should technically only receive a $40 profit for winning.
  • But the dealer puts an extra $40 on their stack, making the final payout worth $80.

The dealer needs to be quick and skillful when overpaying players. But this technique is totally within reason for an experienced croupier.

6 – Dealer Paying Players More on Their Buy-in

Players buy into a table game with either cash or casino chips. When using cash, they receive a stack of chips worth different denominations (except in roulette).
The dealer could easily miscount, though, and either give players more chips or higher-value chips than they pay for.

Here’s an example:
  • A gambler gives the dealer $500 worth of casino chips.
  • The player receives $1,000 worth of chips.
  • The gambler has already made a $500 profit before play starts.

The dealer has to give the player substantial chips in order for this scheme to work. After all, the gambler must play for a while afterward so the chip buy-in exchange doesn’t look suspicious.

This scheme doesn’t guarantee profits, because the player could lose money on wagers. But the player and dealer will theoretically earn a lot of money over time.

7 – Dealer Not Collecting Losses

One of the dealer’s primary jobs is to pay winnings and collect losses after a round. But they can easily turn this task into a key cheating component.

Dealers can instead leave their accomplice’s bet on the table and treat the chips as a new wager. The player then avoids having to risk more money in the following round.

Losses being left on the table doesn’t sound as lucrative as being given more chips. But this can result in large profits, because the player is risking nothing to win.

Imagine betting $50 per hand and not having to worry about losses. If you win around 50% of your bets, it would result in a $25 theoretical profit per turn (50 / 25).

8 – Base Dealing & Second Dealing to Poker Players

Gamblers and dealers don’t just work together to beat the casino. They sometimes collude to beat poker players too.

One way that they do so involves base dealing, where select cards are dealt off the bottom of the deck. The poker cult classic Rounders features a scene where “Worm” (Edward Norton) uses base dealing to cheat a sheriff’s game.

Base dealing provides a big advantage since it’s easy to store preferred cards at the bottom. But unlike Worm, you need the proper skills to pull the bottom deal off without being obvious.

Another trick that croupiers can use is second dealing, where they deal the second card from the top. This differs from what dealers are supposed to do in dealing the top cards.

Second dealing is most often used to save a good top card for someone at the table. The advantage to this technique is that it looks less obvious than base dealing.

9 – Tipping Off Opponents’ Cards

Another live poker collusion method involves dealers tipping certain players off about opponents’ hands. The dealer may know exactly what cards a player has received and wants to fill in their accomplices.

This cheating method is similar to hole carding, where the dealer can use signals to tip off accomplices. Again, the dealer needs subtle cues that won’t cause other players tosuspect them of cheating.

Doing so is especially important in poker, where losers often feel they’re being cheated even when they’re not. Add in legitimate suspicious of dealer-player collusion, and losing players won’t stop until they get justice.

Tipping off accomplices about opponents’ cards works well in combination with base dealing and second dealing. Not only will the dealer give their cohorts stronger cards but also warn them about opponents who also have good hands.


I just covered a variety of methods that dealers and gamblers can use to win profits together. But is cheating in this manner worth the risk?

Dealers and their accomplices usually get away with cheating for a while. They may even tell themselves that they’ll quit after winning X amount of dollars.

But earning money in such an easy fashion becomes addicting. This addiction leads to using a cheating plot again and again until the group is busted.

In a way, dealer-player collusion is almost like a hot gambling streak. Players on a hot streak usually keep betting until their luck turns bad and they lose everything.

Likewise, cheating dealers and gamblers often use their successful schemes until they’re discovered. The perpetrators run a higher risk of being caught when they continue using a scam.
Casinos have refined their process for catching cheaters over the years. They now have well-trained pit bosses, security, and surveillance to monitor the floor.

Casinos also regularly run inspections on equipment to ensure that nothing has been altered. The staff even records gaming results to a spot any potential bias.

Even the chips can now help prevent cheating through the use of radio frequency transmitter chips (RFTCs). An RFTC makes it harder for players to pinch, past post, and cash out counterfeit chips.

Considering the high chances of being caught cheating, I suggest that dealers and their buddies avoid such scams. Not only are they going to eventually be caught, but they’ll also face serious legal repercussions afterward.

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