It’s true to say that with any type of gameplay, be it casino, board game, video game, or whatever, there’s always someone who will find a way to cheat. It comes with the territory these days.

As far as casino gaming is concerned, because of the various games that are available at such, multiple types of cheating have been created and subsequently found out by players. Of course, sometimes these cheating methods have been very successful for the individual(s) using them. But what happens if they’re caught by the casino? And furthermore, what is considered to be cheating and what isn’t? There are certain methods of gameplay that have been marked as cheating, while others have noted them as skillful tactics.

Therefore, we’re going to uncover what cheats people have attempted to use before and what has transpired from their usage. This will relate to both land-based and online casinos, because yes, even online casinos have players that utilize cheating methods to try and win.

The Methods of Cheating That People Have Tried Using

Generally speaking, cheating has been something that has taken place within land-based casinos on a higher level than online. And this is because the games require you to physically play them, rather than have a computer spin reels or dish cards out to you, for example. That being said, most of the cheats that casinos experience have been found out via land-based establishments. Some of these include cheats like:

  • False Shuffle. With this cheat, the dealer of a card game needs to be involved in the scam. Basically, it sees the dealer employ a false shuffle, which is designed to look like a standard shuffle but leaves specific cards in certain places. This allows the other players who are involved in the scheme to track the cards and know when unshuffled cards are dealt. This one was highly used by the Tran Organization at one point, with the gang racking up around $7 million in false shuffles on baccarat and blackjack games across the US.
  • Past Posting. This one is known as perhaps the oldest type of cheating in the book, still remaining at large today. Basically, cheaters using this method will place their chips on a winning number after the ball has dropped in the roulette wheel. This usually requires one player to distract the dealer and a second to maneuver his chips into place.
  • Hidden Camera. To successfully employ this cheat, a player needs to have a hidden camera up his sleeve. When the deck of cards is cut, he or she will then take the cut card and drag it over the top of the deck, slightly separating the cards. The camera then records these cards and an accomplice watches, relaying this information back to the gambler via an earpiece. This is most frequently used on baccarat, but it is also usable on blackjack.
  • Card Switching. This one is also known as “hand mucking” and has also been around for many years. Previously, it was a sleight of hand trick, but it is now more of a method of using hidden “holdout” devices. This sees gamblers hide a specific card up their sleeve to utilize to their advantage. It’s a popular route to go when playing poker, and the gambling industry has found itself on the losing end of millions of dollars because of this cheat.
  • Card Counting. This one isn’t really technically considered as cheating, although it is very heavily frowned upon. This method sees a player keeping a tally of the value of cards that they’ve seen come into play. This then gives them insight into how many high cards there are in comparison to low cards left in the deck. Naturally, this information can then be used by the player to determine how they bet and play.
  • Hole Card Reading. As with card counting, this isn’t really a cheat, but more of an advantage play. Hole card reading takes place when players participating in blackjack or three card poker, for example, try to spot the dealer’s hole card to use to their own advantage. This is considered cheating on a higher level if a hidden camera or small mirror is used to spot the card.
  • Marking Cards. This cheat has been in play for many years, too, and it sees players placing a mark on specific cards, such as denting them with a chip, bending the corner, scratching them with a razor, or dotting with a pen. Once this card enters the game, the player is then able to use it to his own advantage because he knows what’s on the other side. Certain methods have been brought into effect to counteract this particular cheat, though.

And what about online casino cheating? Well, there are also a couple of methods that have been discovered in this area, including:

  • Account Cloning. This takes place and sees a player able to receive the first deposit bonus several times over without the platform noticing it. In this instance, the player gets more free money to play with and potentially win bigger amounts with on the games.
  • Hacking. Programmers of computers understand how the systems work and are able to sometimes hack into online casinos via vulnerable software. This allows them to potentially interfere with the programming part of games, especially if a low-grade software is utilized at a casino.

Disputed Cheats

As noted, the card counting method of cheating has actually been disputed as an actual cheat for many years now. While it is not particularly an accepted form of gameplay at casinos, many people are still able to use it quite successfully without getting caught. It’s perhaps the most known form of “cheating” in casinos, and many people believe that it requires players to keep track of every single card in the deck. In this instance, a card counter would then know exactly what cards are yet to come and use this information to provide themselves with an easier win.

Card counting isn’t actually quite as difficult as it sounds, though. After all, even the cleverest minds would have issues with remembering what has come and gone from an eight-deck shoe, for example. Furthermore, card counting won’t turn players into instant millionaires, either.

While there are many variations of card counting available to utilize, they all rely on a player keeping track of which cards have already been dealt out of the deck. If you’re aware of what cards remain within the deck to be dealt on a high-low level, this gives somewhat of an advantage, as you’ll know what is yet to come forth.

So, why is this and various other card counting techniques disputed as a cheat? Well, players claim that it’s a standard, tactical method of gaming without actually incorporating any sort of physical cheating. Of course, casinos don’t really appreciate players have any sort of edge over the house. Therefore, many security features have been brought into effect in order to dissuade players from card counting.

Generally speaking, being discovered card counting can lead to the casino refusing to serve you.

Is Cheating Worth the Risk?

It’s quite a common thought of some players that cheating will help them towards becoming big winners and duping the casino out of taking all their money. And while cheating has been successful for several individuals and groups over the decades, ultimately, most of them are caught in the end. It generally depends upon the type of cheat that a player employs as to how they are punished.

As mentioned, the card counting method will usually see the casino refuse to serve you if they catch you. Or potentially, you’ll be asked to leave the establishment as a slightly higher punishment. However, other cheating methods do bring harsher consequences with them.

For example, if you’re caught using hidden cameras and working as part of a false shuffling group, then the likelihood is that you’ll be punished for criminal activity. Especially if you’ve managed to use cheats in order to get away with a hefty sum of cash. This can lead to being arrested and served with a fine, and jailtime has also been given out to severe cases of casino cheating.

Furthermore, there are so many security measures in place at casinos today that it would be very difficult to get away with any kind of cheat for very long anyway. Cameras that can zoom in to spot even the slightest con or sleight of hand are usually installed within land-based casinos.

And when it comes to online platforms, there are security methods in place to catch gambling rings and such activity taking place. This is for the protection of not only the casino, but for other players as well.

Other Methods of Tackling Cheating

As well as the fact that security cameras and such exist in land-based casinos, most establishments have chosen to incorporate other ways of preventing cheating from occurring. For example, in order to stop card marking and switching, most casinos don’t allow players to even touch the cards that are being dealt.

Instead, the dealer will dish out the cards in a game of blackjack and then turn over the players’ cards for them, meaning that there isn’t anything particularly physical that a player needs to do other than place a wager.

Such methods ensure that a participant isn’t able to tamper with the cards to give himself a better advantage.

Many people may believe the method of countering cheating by “taking people into a back room and dealing with them” could also be effective. And while this method may have been employed in many distant decades past to a large extent, the fact that security is so tight within casinos these days deems it unnecessary.

Cameras will obviously provide security for the casino, but also for players. It’s never okay to take the law into your own hands, and what is recorded on security cameras is there for all to see. So, should someone be taken into a back room and beaten up or have a limb broken, this will be recorded in one way or another. Therefore, it amounts to the casino itself committing a crime.

How Is Online Cheating Dealt With?

When it comes to online casinos, this is a little bit of a different situation. After all, players at such don’t have cameras focusing on their every action when playing games. Of course, cheating methods like sleight of hand and card switching don’t have any use in an online environment. So, it’s more about catching groups of players participating in such things as money laundering or program hacking.

So, how is this something that an online casino can combat? Well, they still have security measures in place to be effective against such. Looking back at the earlier days of online gambling, some players figured out that the random number generator (RNG) at one poker site didn’t produce a completely random set of “decks”.

Instead, it selected such from about only 200,000 different possible configurations. If the hands being dealt by three players were known, then cheaters were able to know what kind of flop was coming.

That is just one example of how much less secure the online gambling world was following its inception. Today, though, cheating at online casinos is more likely to come from within.

For example, there was a “Superuser” scandal that took place at the Absolute Poker site. A player who had an inside job at the casino was able to see the hands held by each of the players in the poker games he chose to play. Naturally, this gave him the clear advantage to win high levels of money.

Some players today have even developed bots to be able to gamble for them according to pre-programmed strategies on a 24/7 basis. Collusions rings have also been found out in more recent years, seeing players share the content of their hands to work together and win pots. Poker rooms and online casinos have taken steps towards combatting such, though, with those uncovered being severely punished.


To put it bluntly, cheating is generally quite a big thing going on in many game sectors, be they offline or online casinos, or various video games and friendly board games. However, with today’s methods of security and the casinos’ abilities to combat such, it’s very much a risky and worthless route to take. Gambling and casino gaming should be all about entertainment and having fun on a fair level, not scamming other people and the casino itself out of money.
You need to go into casino gaming with the mindset that you’re there to have fun and that there’s a possibility that you’ll lose some games and potentially win some, too.

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