Category Archives: Online Live Casino

Hand Ranks for Pokers & Hold’em

We often see a lot of Pokers or Hold’em games through casino (whether it’s landed or online), games, movies or even at your friend’s house. It is one of the most popular card games in the world. The rules are simple, get the best rank or combination of 5 cards. But not everyone knows how many ranks there are and which is higher. Now let’s have a look on the combination of cards below from the highest to lowers ranks order.

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10 Gamblers Who Beat The Casino

10 Ron Harris

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In January, 1995 Reid Errol McNeal defied roughly 1 million to 1 odds and hit a monster keno jackpot of $100,000 at Bally’s Park Place Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. What aroused suspicion of officials was that he showed very little emotion, did not have identification on him, and asked to be paid in cash.New Jersey law requires jackpots of over $35,000 to be verified by state gaming officials, and when they arrived at the casino they went up to McNeal’s hotel room with two state troopers. There they also found Ron Harris, who said he was a friend of McNeal. When McNeal went downstairs with the officials to answer questions he told them that Harris was a computer technician for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which regulates gaming in Las Vegas. When officials went back to the room to search, Harris was gone but they found computer equipment and books and notes detailing how Bally’s random number generator could be beaten.It was then discovered that Harris’ job was to actually check and test slot machines throughout Nevada to make sure only computer chips that were approved by the state were being used. He apparently had used his savvy, brilliance, and inside knowledge of casino gaming to access Bally’s programming for their keno machine’s random number generator, then used his computer equipment to duplicate the calculations that the actual machine made. Therefore, he was able to know the outcomes beforehand and he gave them to his partner, McNeal. McNeal was arrested immediately and Harris was later arrested in Nevada. Needless to say, Harris was not allowed to keep his job.

9 Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo

MADRID. 1-7-04. GONZALO GARCIA PELAYO. FOTO: JOSE RAMON LADRA.

Garcia-Pelayo of Spain was initially a record producer but proved to not be very successful in that endeavor. As a result, he decided to devote all his energies to his passion, roulette, and became the first person to successfully exploit wheel bias in the 90s.Others had suggested the idea of wheel bias but had never taken advantage of it in a casino situation. Wheel bias is the belief that not all roulette wheels are perfectly random, and that each individual wheel is unique in that certain numbers are more likely to drop than others. This aberration was a result of wheels being ever so slightly off level or because of other minute inaccurate measurements such as tiny differences in pocket sizes, or the way the wheel’s gears worked.He began in casinos in Spain by tediously staring at a specific wheel for thousands of spins, recording his results, then analyzing them with a computer. He also recruited his 5 children to help record results. Before he bet a cent, he did many observation sessions on the same wheel. When he felt it was time to bet on the wheel’s “hot numbers” he swung a 5% house edge to a 15% player’s edge and raked in the cash. When he began to feel heat he found a new casino and did the process over again. When every casino in Spain knew who he was he took his method to the United States and Las Vegas where he continued to profit. When he became just too well-known by casinos around the world he retired with an estimated $1.5 million in the bank. One casino sued to recover their losses but Spain’s Supreme Court ruled in Garcia-Pelayo’s favor saying that all he did was use “ingenuity and computer techniques. That’s all”.

8 Dominic LoRiggio

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“The Man With The Golden Arm” and “The Dominator” are LoRiggio’s nicknames. Through years of practice, hours at a time, LoRiggio learned “controlled shooting” which is a technique of getting the rolls you needs in the game of craps when you need them.The method involves setting the dice a certain way, gripping them precisely, tossing them so they stay together in the air, then having them land as gently as possible against the back wall of the craps table. He began with fellow dice control aficionados as the team known as Rosebud, and together they were the first to attack the Vegas strip with their specialized way of shooting. To this day, many still think that controlling the dice is impossible, but “The Dominator” says he is able to do so through simple physics. LoRiggio eventually left the group because he felt their steadfast adherence to conservative betting was restraining him from making serious money. He teamed up with famous gambler and writer Frank Scoblete, and using controlled shooting they have claimed to have won thousands of dollars at various casinos. Although nothing LoRiggio has ever done is illegal, thanks in large part to him many casinos now identify controlled shooters and will force them to shoot the dice using different mechanics. LoRiggio now conducts dice throwing classes so if anyone wants to learn how to win thousands of dollars in the casinos with a lot of practice.

7 Keith Taft

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Taft was a real-life Inspector Gadget (sorry to those who never saw the cartoon). He was a legitimate electronics genius who devoted roughly 30 years to developing devices that defeated the casino. With his son Marty he began his tinkering in the 70s and is considered one of the first to create a computer to capture digital video and a microcomputer.After a vacation in 1969 he became hooked on blackjack and recalled that Edward Thorp (see #1) had written that the game was mathematically beatable. He tried card counting but was unsuccessful, and that was when he concluded that he would use computers to get an edge in the casinos.He first completed a 15-pound computer named George to help with card counting which he controlled with his toes and wore under his clothes. Being too bulky, he created a more lightweight device which he named David and was shockingly advanced for its time. With it he made $40,000 the first week he used it. Taft then basically spit in the faces of casinos and marketed his mini-computer for $10,000 apiece and trained people how to use it. He was eventually detained at a casino and his computer was found, but because the casino and the FBI had not the slightest inkling of how to use it, and therefore couldn’t prove it was used for cheating, Taft was let go with no consequences.The “belly telly” was Keith and Marty’s next invention and was a tiny video camera that was placed in one’s belt buckle and could see the dealer’s hole card. The image would be relayed to an accomplice who had a satellite on a pickup truck in the parking lot, and he in turn would signal back to the player the best move to make. Other genius inventions included Thor, a computer which could deduce the positioning of cards in a deck if a perfect shuffle was used, and Naina, a sequencing computer.In 1985 Nevada made it illegal to use electronic devices to aid in gambling, with a punishment of 10 years in prison. However, this was after Taft had won thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years. For all his sweat, blood, and tears and pioneering computer work, Taft was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2004.

6 Ida Summers

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With striking good looks, Ida Summers was not a woman who would seem to be the epitome of a casino cheater, but in the 60s and 70s she reeled in tens of thousands of dollars in the casinos using guile and shiftiness.Her specialties were “hand mucking” and switching in “coolers” at the blackjack tables. Hand mucking involves concealing a card that has been brought to the table or removed from play, then through sleight of hand returning it to play when it will benefit the player. Her attractiveness, sociability, and unintimidating frame (5’3” and 100 lbs.) went a long way in deflecting heat from her as she effortlessly switched cards in and out of the deck. She made her way to Las Vegas and continued her cunning ways. It should be noted that during this time many Vegas casinos had mob connections and weren’t as “kind” to cheaters as they are today. This makes her next move even more brazen.She took it a step further and began to insert cold decks or coolers into the games. Cold decks are pre-stacked decks, brought in by the player, that are traded out with the deck being used in the game. It is an incredibly dangerous maneuver to pull in a casino, but somehow Ida was able to successfully execute it. The fact that there were really no known female cheats at the time made her nearly invincible for a while. Soon she became a legend among the shady underworld of casino cheats since nobody in their right mind had ever attempted inserting a cold deck before.Her boldness caught up with her however as the FBI and gaming officials ultimately brought her down.

5 Tommy Glenn Carmichael

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Tommy Glenn Carmichael, like Keith Taft, was a gifted individual who created prodigiously clever devices to gain an enormous edge in the casino. However, his game was the slots. “Give me a slot machine and I’ll beat it” was his motto – and he wasn’t kidding around.His cheating career began in 1980 at the age of 30 when he used a “top-bottom joint” to win large payouts. This device was a pretty simplistic piece of metal that produced payouts when inserted into the coin slot. Soon, larger casinos replaced their older slot machines with newer ones that had random number generators. As a result, Carmichael moved to smaller gambling halls in Las Vegas but he was arrested at one of these and sentenced to jail. Jail however only strengthened his reserve and when he was released got back to work evolving his cheating instruments.He developed tools called a Slider and Monkey Paw which when slipped into the machine tripped a switch and caused the hopper to release coins. When slot machines went computer-based he immediately went on the offense and went to a slot machine manufacturer posing as a customer. He had the salesperson open up the new machines as he studied their innards. That was all he needed to invent the “light wand”. This gadget consisted of a camera battery and miniature light and was used to blind a sensor inside the slots causing it to payout coins. It was nearly impossible for security to detect a person using this wand because it was so subtle, and in addition to Carmichael profiting from using it, he sold it to other cheats making as much as $10,000 on certain days.In 1996 he was arrested for using the wand but charges were later dropped. But in the next three years he was arrested twice in casinos for possession of a cheating device. The FBI became involved and in 2001 Carmichael was sentenced to time served and probation. Today he consults casinos and ironically produces anti-cheating devices. It’s quite amazing that because of one man’s ability to thwart slot machines, the entire casino industry had to make their technology increasingly more complex.

4 Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio

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In the late 90s law enforcement agencies from various states, the FBI, Secret Service, and others, descended upon the home of Louis Colavecchio. There, and at his orthotics business, they found thousands of manufactured slot tokens from dozens of casinos throughout North America.What sets Colavecchio apart from other counterfeiters is that he was able to duplicate just about anything made out of precious metals or stones. The slot coins found weren’t just counterfeits, they were precisely the same as the real things in every way; they essentially WERE the same thing.In order to pull this off, “The Coin” needed some seriously specialized equipment. These hard-to-obtain things included: precious metals such as copper, nickel, and zinc, laser-cutting tools to cut, shape, and create dies to stamp out the coins, and a 150-ton press from Italy.He was so good, that when coins were brought by officials to one of the casinos Colavecchio had hit, security experts there did not even believe they were counterfeit. He was able to decimate casinos in Las Vegas before law enforcement had any perception of his crimes. They finally became aware when large surpluses of coins showed up on casinos’ inventory in other parts of the continent and Colavecchio was suspiciously cashing in large sums of coins.It took weeks to sort out just how much “The Coin” stole from the dozens of casinos he had made coins for. It was impossible to ascertain a definite amount since those in Las Vegas refused to even acknowledge that they had been cheated. Estimates range from $100,000 to $500,000, and it was clear he had no intentions to slow down. The government had to rent two storage facilities just to store all of the loot they found in Colavecchio’s possession.A plea deal was reached when he promised to show law enforcement exactly how his operation had worked in order to help in the prevention of future, similar assaults on casinos.

3 MIT Blackjack Team

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This entry is perhaps the most famous of all here. Books have been written about it and a major movie chronicling the story was released in 2008.Beginning as an after-school club meeting in campus classrooms at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid 90s, this team came into inception when these brilliant students decided to use statistic-based systems to beat the game of blackjack. They would subsequently assail casinos for years following.The initial core of students and accepted associates then went on a recruiting campaign and even put up flyers around campus. Applicants were given tests so only the most suitable ones were chosen in the end, then they were thoroughly trained in the system. The system was card counting which, if done correctly, can give the player a slight yet substantial edge. The idea was not new, and thousands had tried their hand at it previously, but the MIT team really took it to a new level.They created casino mock-ups and environments and took a team-based approach. This complex arrangement of having a team minimized the chance of being caught, maximized opportunities, and disguised the betting patterns that are inherent to all card counters. Casinos were experienced in identifying counters and making their time there miserable, but it would be extremely difficult for them to do so if the team masked their activity well enough. Hours upon grueling hours were spent perfecting the system and each member had to pass a tedious and demanding battery of tests before they were allowed to enter live casino play.They began in underground card games to reassure themselves that their calculations and methods would transfer to real-life conditions. When they were sure, they acquired financial backing from anonymous investors and created their own corporation named Strategic Investments. With a bankroll of hundreds of thousands of dollars they then invaded Vegas casinos. Their impact was even greater than expected with returns far exceeding their goals. In one weekend alone they accrued $400,000 in winnings.Heat in time began to hamper the team and they were forced to move to smaller, sometimes unsavory casinos. Eventually they travelled to European countries but their reputation followed them there as well. After more than one brush with the law the original members quit the team. New students joined but casinos all over the globe knew about MIT students and yearbook photos from the school were downloaded to a shared database. This effectively ended the team’s reign.In all, it was reported that over the span of just a few years the team amassed a profit of over $5 million, and has also become a legendary entity in pop culture.

2 Richard Marcus

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Marcus may be the best full-blown cheater in the history of casino gambling. In the beginning he tried to support himself solely on gambling but soon enough he found himself living under a bridge. He got his act together and became a blackjack and baccarat dealer, but while he was on the other side of the gaming table sinister ideas percolated in his head. These ideas would come to fruition and in turn would wreak havoc on the casinos.One simple, but extremely difficult-to-pull-off, move made Marcus such an elite cheat. He dubbed it “The Savannah” and it involved betting a low denomination of chips, such as three $5 ones at the roulette table – nothing at all that would draw any attention. If he won, he would become very excited, screaming and yelling while throwing his hands up in the air. However, the dealer would be perplexed as to why a player was so elated over winning such a modest sum. Marcus would then alert him to the fact that there was a brown $500 chip underneath the three $5 chips, and when the dealer lifted the top three, he would in fact see himself that there was a $500 chip resting there.On the other hand, if Marcus’ bet lost he would quickly and surreptitiously remove the $500 chip from the bottom of the stack as the dealer was turned toward the wheel and he would only be out $15. It was only a rudimentary optical illusion, yet a brilliant one. The smaller denomination chips were pushed just slightly forward to cover up the larger one; the dealer never saw the brown chip – unless the player wanted him to. The idea of switching out chips, or past posting as it’s known, was not new, but what made Marcus’ method so innovative was that he performed it backwards. Past posters would bet small, and if they won would stealthily add more chips to their original bet. Marcus started with a large bet then changed it to a small one if he lost. It may not seem like it was a drastic change, but casinos had never seen this before and were not looking for it because security was trained to only look at wins, and his wins were completely legitimate, it was his losses that weren’t! At the pinnacle of their game, he and accomplices were dropping $5,000 chips under $100 ones.Richard Marcus was eventually caught and prosecuted but not after he bilked an estimated $5 million from casinos around the world. He currently sells gambling books and claims on his website that he is still involved in casino cheating but in a way law enforcement officials can never catch.

1 Edward Thorp

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Thorp is the father of card counting. Not only was he successful using it in real-world situations, he was the one who invented the original system. A mathematics professor who possessed a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate degree in mathematics, he clearly had above-average intelligence.As an adult in the early 60s, Thorp knew next to nothing about casino games and the world of gambling. But when a friend, Claude Shannon, brought him and his wife to Las Vegas he became interested in blackjack, and after playing the game a number of times became convinced that there was a mathematical way in which the player could gain an advantage.He studied the game in a systematic method and exhaustively examined every facet of the game. Using a computer owned by the university he taught at, he simulated billions of blackjack hands to delve even further into the mathematics of the game. This computer was so massive it filled an entire room, yet it was less powerful than today’s laptops. Through his calculations and observations he created his system which “accounted for the variations in those (cards) that remained after certain hands were dealt”. Basically, he realized that smaller cards were more advantageous for the dealer and when they left the deck, advantage shifted in the player’s favor so they should bet more. Concurrently, larger cards were more advantageous to the player and when they left the deck the advantage shifted to the house, or dealer, so less money should be bet. Using this method Thorp calculated that the player could own a 1% to 5% advantage over the house.Thorp and Shannon hit the casinos and would return with their pockets filled with cash. One typical weekend would net $70,000 in today’s money. The gambling industry was no match for Thorp’s flawless execution of his card counting method. After all, card counting did not yet exist to them so they had no idea what was happening. Thorp drew the attention of casino bosses when he began winning unusually high sums and most were convinced he was cheating. They intensely watched him play and studied videotapes of his play, but they could see nothing nefarious occurring. Before long, some casinos asked Thorp to leave because he was simply winning too much, yet they still did not know how he was doing so.In 1962 Thorp wrote his book “Beat the Dealer” which detailed his card counting “ten count system” and became an instant hit as well as a modern-day classic. With its sales he amassed a pretty handsome fortune. In 1966 he wrote a second edition which expanded on the intricacies of the system. It’s interesting to note that the sudden explosion in card counting worked in favor of the casinos since many people attempting to do it just couldn’t pull it off as effectively as Thorp did. However, his findings and methods have been the basis for every card counting system following, including that of the aforementioned MIT team’s.Following his gambling exploits, Thorp applied his mathematical genius to the stock market and made a huge fortune in securities and hedge funds. Due to his dominance over the casinos and revolutionary thinking, Thorp was one of the first seven inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

AFF Suzuki Cup 2014

Are you being caught up with all those international or European football matches? Back in South East Asia there is also a big football cup going on this weekend, the AFF Suzuki Cup will be on from 22nd November to 20th December 2014. Which co-hosted by Vietnam and Singapore.

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Below are the first group matches

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Just yesterday, Harimau Malaysia’s coach Dollah Salleh had annouced the 22 player squad list:

Goalkeepers: Mohd Farizal Marlias (Selangor), Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan), Mohd Khairul Azhan Mohd Khalid (Pahang)

Defence: Mohd Afif Amiruddin and Mohd Muslim Ahmad (Police); Mahalli Jasulli and Mohamad Fadhli Mohd Shas (JDT), Mohd Azmi Muslim (Selangor), Muhammad Zubir Mohd Azmi (Terengganu)

Midfield: Safiq Rahim (JDT), Muhammad Shukor Adan and Indra Putra Mahayuddin (Felda United), Mohd Badhri Mohd Radzi (Kelantan), Gary Steven Robbat (Harimau Muda ‘A’), S. Kunanlan (Selangor), Baddrol Bakhtiar (Kedah), Azamuddin Mohd Akil and Mohd Hafiz Kamal (Pahang)

Strikers: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali and Mohd Amri Yahyah (JDT), Abdul Manaf Mamat (Terengganu)

Continue following S188.com for the latest odds and live scores for all the football matches

Top 30 Best Gambling / Casino Movies

Here are a list of top 30 best gambling or casino movies, including some all time classics. How many had you watch it before?

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1 – Bad Lieutenant (1992) – While investigating a young nun’s rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness. (96 mins.)

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16 Legendary Stories Of Gambling In Sports

by COREY NACHMAN AND DASHIELL BENNETT

It’s no coincidence that the most successful athletes are the most competitive. That’s what makes  them so rich.

Unfortunately, the only thing that comes close to duplicating that rush of their athletic exploits is putting that money on the line.

A lot of money.

That’s why it’s not surprising so many athletes love to gambling… and develop gambling problems Risking it all on one play is what these ultra-competitors live for.

Of course, it usually doesn’t end the way they imagine it will. We gathered some of the most legendary tales involving prominent athletes and their wagers, ranging from the insane, to the silly, to the tragic.

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Cheating Expert – Steve Forte

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Steve Forte is a living legend. He is considered the best card manipulator in the world and is the leading authority in the gaming industry. His card mastery has reached a level unequalled and has set a new standard with cards.

Steve’s whole life has been spent around gambling. He has been a professional poker and blackjack player, casino dealer, casino consultant and gambling protection author.

His favourite domain of expertise encompasses all facets of cheating: scam detection, techniques and devices used by professional cheats, private game protection, casino surveillance and prevention.

He is also a gambling historian. His private collection is undoubtedly the largest worldwide, with more than 3,000 books and magazines, not to mention antique devices, loaded dice, gaffed dealer shoes and more.

Steve was the technical consultant in the movie Rounders, with Matt Damon and Edward Norton.

” I have witnessed lots of professional cheats in action and attended gambling demonstrations by top notch experts and they were impressive. But Steve Forte is the best. The best by far…”
Mr Mery
Books
Casino Game Protection (2004)
– Poker Protection (2006)

DVD
– Steve Forte’s Gambling Protection Series

Top 10 Worst Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em

Sure, you know that a pair of aces are the best hand in Texas Hold’em, but do you know the worst starting hands? Knowing that these hands are almost-always-fold’em hands in hold’em is just as important to improving your poker game and not playing like a donkey.

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Some of these “worst hands” are bad in the same way and will lose at about the same rate, so I’ve called them ties, even when one is a slightly better hand.

1. 2-7

7-2 off suit is considered the worst hand in Texas Hold’em. They are the lowest two cards you can have that cannot make a straight (there’s 4 cards between 2 and 7). Even if they are suited, they will make you a very low flush, and if either pairs, it’s an awfully low hand.

Because it is the worst, some players will play it for fun and in online games, it is known as “the hammer.”

2. 2-8

This is the same basic problem as above, only you’ve got an 8 instead of a 7. Still pretty bad for a high card. Suited or not, this is a fold’em hold’em hand.

3. Tie: 3-8 & 3-7

The 3 makes this hand able to beat the two above it, but with the 3-8 you still can’t make a straight and the 3-7 still, well, just sucks.

4. 2-6

While if the board gives you a miracle flop of 3-4-5, you will have a straight, someone with a 6-7 will have a higher straight. If you get a flush, someone will probably have a higher flush. Against even 4 players, this hand will lose about 90% of the time. Not good odds.

5. Tie: 2-9, 3-9, & 4-9

The only thing these three hands have going for them over the hands above is the 9. If the 9 pairs, you’ll have a middle pair that could still be beat by anyone holding pocket 10s, jacks, queens, kings, or aces, yet you might be fooled by a board filled with low cards into thinking you have the best hand and losing a lot of money. No straights can fill the gap between these cards, either. Beware.

6. 2-10

This hand has a legendary quality because Doyle Brunson captured two World Series of Poker Bracelets with it. But it’s not a good hand — Doyle Brunson is one of the all-time best in the game and unless you’re a Texas road gambler who’s logged thousands of hours at the table, you shouldn’t try and win with the Doyle Brunson.

7. 5-9

Another hand people play because it’s fun is the old 9 to 5, the “Dolly Parton.” If you’re playing to win, it’s not a good idea to play hands because they have a funny name. That may be how you pick the winning horse in a race, but poker’s a marathon, not a sprint, and over the long term there’s no doubt this hand is a statistical loser.

8. Tie: 4-7, 4-8, 5-8, 3-6…

All these hands will rarely win, especially unsuited. Toss ’em. Just toss’em. Yes, even in the little blind. If you see two low cards in the hole, unless you’re in the big blind and you can see the flop for free, fold.

9. Face card + low card, unsuited

One of the most common mistakes I see beginners make is that when they see any paintin their hand, they play it. J-2, Q-3, K-4 whatever — and most of these hands are losers. They’re junk that may win a few pots, but more often will lose you huge cash when you find the other player has a higher kicker and the winning hand.

10. Ace + low card, unsuited

This is another common beginner mistake, playing any ace. Again, it may win occasionally, and heads-up it’s a fine hand, but at a table of 4 or more, this hand shouldn’t be played if there’s a raise in front of you. You’re going to be outkicked a lot with Ace-little, and it’s going to feel like a kick in the junk when the other player shows their higher ace.

Legendary Cheaters 2 – Titanic Thompson

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Alvin Clarence Thomas was certainly the greatest American gambler of the 20th century. Not only brilliant, he was an ingenious professional hustler, be it cards, golf, horse racing or shooting pool. But his specialty was sucker bets, and his creativity made him a legend.

Here are a few of those worth mentioning:

In wintertime he would bet a group of people he could hit a golf ball 500 yards. Then he would hit the ball on a frozen lake.

He bet heavily that he could throw a peanut over any clubhouse rooftop. But the suckers did not know that the shell was filled with lead.

Another inventive one was the watermelon scam. As he was standing on a hotel porch, a truck loaded with watermelons drove past. Thomas bought a watermelon and shared it with his fellow gamblers. He then started talking and bet that he could guess the number of watermelons in the truck within five. Thomas announced 413. The watermelons were counted for a total of 415. Pretty impressive, except that Thomas paid the truck driver the day before to count the watermelons and to drive past the hotel.

Legend has it that he even fooled Al Capone.

Thomas acquired the name of Titanic because people said that he could sink any opponent. And Thompson was a misprint in the New York newspaper.

In 1929, his career took a major turn with a card game involving Arnold Rothstein, one of the nation’s biggest gamblers. Thompson, a master with a deck of cards, cheated the game and won more than $200,000. Suspecting a ruse, Arnold refused to pay and was killed a few weeks later. Thompson was brought to court, and charges were eventually dropped. But after this scandal the legend of Titanic Thompson grew, so suckers were harder to find. For thirty years he travelled the country with his scams and married a couple of times. He died broke in 1974.

Legendary Cheaters – Monique Laurent

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Back in 1973, a fatally attractive French woman named Monique Laurent managed to rob the Deauville Casino of $1 million in a week. Although she did not work alone, she was the most emblematic figure of the ‘French Cigarette Pack Scam.’

The scam was a pack of cigarettes secretly containing a radio transmitter which could control the roulette ball embedded with a radio receiver. The roulette dealer, a partner, would sneak the ball into play, and Monique would press an invisible button on the pack of the cigarettes to control the dive, giving the ball ninety percent accuracy to land on a group of six numbers. Another crew member would place bets and collect the money.

Casino security was helpless. The roulette was dismantled, the dealer was closely watched, but nothing was wrong.

Monique’s beauty unfortunately put an end to the scam despite herself. The casino owner, overwhelmed by the raven-haired beauty, approached her with direct advances. She turned him down as politely as she could, but the owner got hurt and began to watch her from a different angle. Why was she always standing at the losing table? Why was she always alone? Why was she only placing occasional bets? Something was definitely wrong. Suspecting something in the pack of cigarettes she was always holding, he asked her for a cigarette. Before she could do anything, a police officer confiscated the pack and handcuffed Monique.

This story inspired the film Les Tricheurs (The Cheaters) released in 1984.

10 Crimes of Blackjack

By Henry Tamburin

Many players make horrible mistakes when they play blackjack. Here’s a list of the 10 worst crimes a player can make.

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The crime: Believing blackjack is all luck.

If you think that all you need is a little bit of “luck” to win at blackjack, I strongly suggest that you stop playing the game. Blackjack is not all luck. The reason? The odds of winning are not the same from one hand to the next because the removal of a card from a deck of cards will affect the odds (sometimes in your favor, other times in the dealer’s favor). It’s true that on individual hands, or even a single playing session, luck can influence the outcome, but in the long term, the player’s skill will overtake luck and a player can win more than he loses, or at the minimum, play almost even with the house.

 

The crime: Not using basic strategy.

In was back in 1956 when a group of scientists changed the game of blackjack forever when they statistically determined the absolute correct way to play every hand. This strategy became known as the basic playing strategy and by using this strategy to play every hand, the house edge can be reduced to a minuscule 0.2 to 0.5% (depends on the rules and number of decks). The bottom line is this: blackjack is not a guessing game. If you hold a 10-5 and the dealer shows an 8 upcard, there is one and only one correct play. It doesn’t matter whether you are playing in a Midwest casino, in Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or whether you just lost five hands in a row, or just won five hands in a row, or whether you are winning a lot or losing or lot, the correct play for this hand is to hit. To be skillful at blackjack means you almost have to be robotic and make the same correct plays according to the basic playing strategy hand after hand after hand. You don’t hit 10-5 against a dealer 8 sometimes and stand othertimes. You always hit. If you can’t or won’t accept this, then you should hang up your playing cards and play a different game because you will never make it at blackjack.

 

The crime: Betting on side bets.

Nowadays, casinos have implemented side bets on blackjack tables as a way to increase their revenue because their edge on the game itself is razor thin. These side bets are cheap; usually, it only costs a buck to make them and they come in all different flavors: Pair Square (bet that you will be dealt a pair); Lucky Ladies (bet that you’re initial hand totals 20); Bonus Blackjack (bet that the dealer or player gets a blackjack), and so on. The problem with these side bets is that the house edge is high and although you might get lucky and win a few side bets, in the long run you’ll be donating a lot of money to the casino coffers by making these bets.

 

The crime: Using a Progressive Betting System.

The majority of blackjack players use some form of progressive betting which means the player sizes his bet based on whether he won or lost the previous hand. The problem with progressive betting systems is that they don’t change the casino’s edge one iota. The odd of winning the next hand in blackjack isn’t dependent on what happened in previous hands (it is influenced by which cards were removed from the deck). So a player who uses a progressive betting system is deluding himself into thinking he has found the way to beat the house.

 

The crime: Playing with a Continuous Shuffling Machine.

A continuous shuffling machine (CSM) is an automatic shuffler that randomly shuffles the cards after each round. Many casinos are replacing the traditional automatic shuffler with CSMs. The reason is because when a CSM is used, the house edge remains virtually the same from one round to the next. When a casino uses a CSM, they can also get roughly 20% more hands dealt per hour vs. a traditional automatic shuffler. The more hands that a recreational player faces per hour, the greater will be the player’s theoretical loss. So playing on a table that uses a CSM is a no-no. You should always play where the dealer is using either a traditional shuffler (where about 70% of the cards are dealt from the shuffler before all the cards are shuffled), or in a single- and two-deck game where the dealer manually shuffles the cards.

 

The crime: Playing a single-deck game that pays 6-5 for blackjack

Many casinos have implemented single-deck blackjack games where a player receives only a 6-5 payoff for a blackjack instead of the traditional 3-2 payoff (a 6-5 payoff means on a $10 bet you would get paid $12 for a blackjack instead of $15).These games are really bad news because the 6-5 payoff increases the house edge to roughly 1.4%. It’s a real crime to play any game where the casino pays only 6-5 on blackjacks.

 

The crime: Not scouting the tables

The playing rules are not necessarily the same from one table to the next or for that matter from one casino to the next. You shouldn’t just jump into a game without first knowing what the rules are and whether there are better rules on other tables. For example, a table where the dealer hits soft 17 is worst for a player than if the dealer stands on soft 17. Blackjack players should know which rules are player-friendly and which favor the house, and then scout the tables to find the best set of player-friendly rules.

 

The crime: Playing when tired or inebriated

How many times have you seen the bleary-eyed player playing blackjack? Or the player that has consumed one to many alcoholic drinks. If you are tired, you shouldn’t be playing blackjack because you will be making too many playing mistakes. Ditto for consuming many alcoholic drinks while playing. Playing blackjack skillfully requires concentration and anything that disturbs your concentration will result in you losing more money (that’s why drinks are free to players).

 

The crime: Not paying attention to the cards on the layout

Not too many recreational players pay attention to the cards on the layout. That’s a big mistake. For example, if you have seen a disproportionate number of small cards vs. large cards in the first couple of rounds after a shuffle, now would be a good time to bump up your bet slightly. On the other hand, if you see nothing but aces and faces in the early rounds, you should definitely not increase the size of your bet.

 

The crime: Not getting rated

You should always get rated when you play blackjack. The reason? This allows you to receive comps from the casino (free meals, free rooms, free shows, etc.). It cost you nothing to get rated. Just sign up for their player’s card and show it to the dealer every time you play. Your level of comps depends upon your level of play. You can always check with a casino host to find out what kind of comps you will be eligible to receive based on your betting level and the amount of time you play. The comps you receive will lower your cost of playing and sometimes they will turn a negative expectation game (where the house has the overall edge) into a positive expectation game (the game with the comps will result in the player having the monetary edge). The point is that you won’t get any comps unless you get rated, so don’t miss this opportunity to get your share of the billions that casinos give away annually to players just for playing.