• Cheating by Casinos - Is It Really an Issue?

    You've got to be very careful who you listen to. I talked to a player once who claimed to have been cheated by a Caribbean casino, which he said planted shills at third base who would either pull or not pull, depending on a "telegraph" from the dealer. He said the dealer was "waiting" to deal himself the a second card, contingent on what was going to come next.

    Sometimes the third base player won and sometimes he lost, but the house continued to win consistently, according to my acquaintance, and that's what caused the suspicion. It sounded like a job for Columbo. Or at least Columbus. I'm not sure whether I took the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria down there, but all I found was that the dealer wasn't taking a hole card on the initial deal - something that is not at all uncommon for venues with a European influence.

    There weren't any "mechanics" at work either. The casino was not dealing these games hand-held; they were being dealt out of a shoe. So I just didn't really see the angle there. The bottom line is that it was just another loser's excuse.

    Let me give you another bottom line. And this is something you can follow with complete logic. I don't care where it is located; a casino license is a valuable thing to have. Why would a licensee want to put that privilege at risk, and take a chance on getting awful publicity and word-of-mouth, by cheating people at a blackjack table? It just doesn't make any sense, especially with all the security measures in place at any decent-sized casino you go to, where there is an "eye in the sky" to catch every move on camera and on videotape.

    Anybody in charge of logistics at a casino knows understands that in the long run, and based on volume, the casino will have an edge over its customers. In fact, the "hold," which is what the casino keeps from the money that is dropped into its tables, consistently hovers around 20%. So why would they want to cheat anyone?

    Let me put it this way - if you were in an investment program that was yielding 20% on a consistent basis, would you break the law just to squeeze another point or two out of it?

    I don't think so.

    By Charles Jay

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