While it’s true that casinos are technically able to cheat to maximise their profits and keep players on the floor, they have a code of ethics they must follow. Gaming Associations have a number of guidelines for casino behaviour.
For example, casinos are not allowed to tamper with slot machines or other gaming equipment to increase profits. They also cannot change the odds of any game without first adjusting them in a way that will be visible and transparent to all players.
This blog post will look at how casinos try to cheat. We will also explore recorded methods players have used to cheat casinos and why it’s not a good idea.
Let’s dive in!
Do Online Casinos Cheat?
All casinos are businesses that need to make money. Like any other enterprise, they have to find a way to turn a profit, even if that means taking advantage of their customers. However, the law does not allow cheating casinos from doing so.
If a casino is caught cheating, it can be fined and lose its license. This makes it in casinos’ best interest to play fair with their customers. They have to make money, but they don’t want to do so at the expense of their reputation.
The gaming control board can also step in and make sure that casinos are not cheating their players. They will often send in undercover agents who attempt to catch casinos breaking the rules. The casino may face severe penalties, including revoking their license if they do.
With all these safeguards in place, it is unlikely that a casino would risk losing everything by cheating.
So, How Do Casinos Make Money?
Casinos don’t make their money from the games themselves. Here are the most common ways that casinos make money:
1. The House Edge
This is the amount of money that casinos make from each game. The house edge is the percentage of each bet that the casino keeps for itself. It applies to all games the establishment offers, regardless of whether they are online or land-based.
2. Membership programs
Some casinos offer membership programs that give their members special offers and bonuses. The most common membership types are loyalty cards and tier levels, the latter of which usually come with higher benefits than the former.
Casinos design their membership programs to include incentives to encourage you to keep gambling. For example, cash bonuses involve the casino rewarding you with extra betting cash depending on your deposit to the in-house casino wallet.
As such, you spend more time on the casino floor, increasing their chances of earning more money from the house edge they implement.
3. Good Reputation
Casinos invest heavily to maintain a positive brand image, enabling them to lure more customers to their establishments. They make it a top priority to maintain their integrity as they attract more players.
The casinos that fail to do so run the risk of losing their license, spelling a disaster for their business.
Because of this, casinos take measures to prevent cheating from occurring in their establishments. When players attempt to cheat at the tables, casinos may disqualify them from playing at their properties again.
A positive reputation is crucial to the success of a casino. Casinos that do not take measures to prevent cheating may face legal action, which could result in a loss of business. Casinos should have an effective anti-cheating program to maintain their integrity and avoid legal repercussions.
4. Strict operating requirements
These are other ways that casinos prevent cheating. State or local governments set these requirements to ensure that the games are fair and regulated. The rules include everything from the minimum age to enter a casino to the type of games allowed in casinos.
Casinos also have strict policies regarding player behaviour, such as prohibiting players from using profanity or making threats against other patrons of the casino.
These policies add to the casino’s positive reputation and help to instil a sense of trust in the players. The rules are enforced by casino security staff, trained to spot cheaters or players who break the rules. They also work with local law enforcement officials if necessary.
Are casinos allowed to cheat?
As we have seen, casinos are not allowed to cheat their players. The casino’s reputation depends on a fair and honest game that offers the best odds possible. If caught cheating, they would lose all of their business overnight.
Below is a further rundown of how casinos keep your money.
#1. Odds vs Probabilities
As an average gambler, you may think that odds and probability are synonymous. However, they are not. In casino language, odds refer to how much the casino stands to make against every player’s bet per gaming round. Conversely, the probability is the total sum of chances a player has to win per round.
Casinos take advantage of your ignorance to retain as much of your money as possible. For example, suppose 36 of you place different bets in a single spin of European roulette wheel. In that case, your payoff odds are 34:1, and the probability of you winning is 1:37.
Therefore, the casino guarantees itself earnings of 1:36 of the total bets, regardless of whether you win or not.
#2. Your inattention to the terms of service and house rules
Gambling rules mandate that casinos publish the terms of service and house rules in a manner that’s easy to understand. However, most players pay little attention to these documents because they assume that casinos play fair.
Many gambling game outlets have hidden clauses in their contracts that allow them to change the odds at any time without notice.
When you consent without fully grasping the terms, operators may use this against you if any disputes arise.
For example, casinos have the right to withhold your winnings if you place a bet using another person’s credit card. If you report it, casinos will validate their action by showing your consent form to the relevant authorities.
#3. Custom gaming rules
It is legal for casinos to customise their in-house gaming rules as they have your documented consent. Therefore, they can easily alter the casino game to work in their favour.
Some online casinos offer you Sands roulette, where you have three green numbers instead of the one in European roulette table. As such, your chances of winning are incredibly worse. And the casino is not liable to compensate you for your loss, given that they already have your consent to the alteration.
#4. Free drinks
Casinos are incredibly generous with alcohol, especially in high-stakes games such as poker. High rollers enjoy a continuous supply of potent drinks each gambling round. Their intoxication level causes them to be more liberal in their wagering and gameplay. In turn, the casino makes more money from their accumulating losses.
#5. The casino’s décor
A casino’s revenue depends on the number of people present at each gaming station. Therefore, operators intentionally eliminate any objects that give players any perception of time.
In this case, it is extremely rare to find windows and clocks as part of the gaming hall’s décor.
#6. Over-the-top celebrations
Another tactic that casinos use to maximise their profits is over-hyping player wins. You may think the celebrations are genuine. However, casinos do this to incite false hope in other players that they can also win big. The fear of missing out, coupled with the illusion of great winnings, is enough to keep players spending at the tables.
#7. Complementary services
As casinos require a constant supply of cash to remain operational. They utilise any means to squeeze every penny from you.
Casinos use cash-advance machines to supplement their gaming hall revenue. They do this by charging you extra fees to utilise these facilities. For example, a casino can earn a minimum of around 7% of the total amount from a single withdrawal through its cash-advance machines.
Do casinos cheat at Craps?
Legitimate casinos do not conform to any form of cheating in any of their service offerings. Stringent mechanisms are in place to prevent and punish any attempts to this effect.
Some of the anti-cheat measures casinos use at their crap tables include:
- The Shooter selects five identical dice for each game in full view of the players.
- Then, the Boxman records the serial numbers of each dice before the game begins.
- Each game is under strict surveillance from those at the table and the casino’s hi-tech security system.
- The Boxman carefully verifies each dice’s serial number whenever participants report a Too Tall to Call Incident.
- You are also free to request new dice during gameplay without providing a reason.
These mechanisms make it virtually impossible to cheat at craps. And while it’s true that you can never completely eliminate the possibility of cheating, these measures make it exceedingly difficult. You can enjoy a thrilling game of craps without worrying about any casino cheating attempts.
How Do Casinos Cheat in Blackjack?
Yes, casinos do sometimes cheat players in blackjack. Despite this revelation, there is no law that outlaws this practice. However, it is in land-based casinos where this malpractice is more prevalent. The following are the methods casinos use to gain an advantage over you when playing blackjack:
1. Short-changing the players
Players often find that the casino has short-changed them. This is a sneaky way of cheating players, but it is also easy to detect.
If you notice that there are too many chips in front of you or fewer than usual, then it’s possible that someone has tried to cheat you. But to protect yourself, you must be vigilant during your blackjack sessions.
2. Hyper shuffling
This is a more sophisticated strategy that can be used to cheat players. Here, the casino dealer attempts to cheat players by mixing the cards more rapidly than usual. They do this to confuse you, thereby increasing the casino’s take through unsuccessful wagers.
3. Selective shuffling
The practice involves the dealer re-shuffling the cards mid-game. They do this to lower your chances of getting a better hand in the next turn. Dealers employ this tactic when you are on a winning streak, or there are fewer cards on the deck for subsequent turns.
You can avoid falling victim to these cheats by playing online, where the odds of cheating are closer to none.
How Do You Cheat at a Casino?
Despite casinos improving their safeguards against player cheating, stories of individuals unsuccessfully attempting the vice are still emerging. Below are some of the cheating methods currently on record.
#1. The inside job
You can attempt to cheat at a casino by enlisting the dealer’s help during gameplay. Casinos report the incident mostly happening at their blackjack table games.
Usually, it involves the dealer issuing a favourable hand to their accomplice via a false shuffle. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to execute this cheat, given the thorough background checks and polygraph tests that casino employees undergo during the hiring process.
#2. Card Counting
Card counting is another way of boosting your winnings in a blackjack game. It involves assigning values to each card and maintaining a running count on each deal. Then, depending on the accuracy of your count, you can estimate the value of the remaining cards and alter your wager accordingly.
However, the odds of pulling this off successfully are minimal. Casinos now conduct 24/7 surveillance across the floor to spot any indications of such practices. Also, they thoroughly investigate most winning streaks to determine their validity. As such, relying on this cheat to maximise your profits may prove to be a tedious endeavour.
Casino cheats also use fake chips to falsify the value of their wins. The method involves duplicating a casino’s chip design and discreetly presenting them to the cashier as legitimate wins. However, casinos now use unique RFID signatures to authenticate their chips, making them immune to duplication.
#4. Player collusion
You can also work with other players to maximise your wins in casino games. This strategy involves you and your partner communicating via coded messages to signal when to place a successful bet.
Your accomplice can either do this as an active player or as a discrete fan watching from a select vantage point. However, casinos are well-equipped to handle this threat. They do so through surveillance cameras and gaming floor inspectors.
This cheat involves attaching a string to the slot machine token, enabling you to pull it out once the machine registers a deposit. However, modern slot machines now come with fail-safes to ensure that players make legitimate deposits. Slot machines may also utilise digital payments, eliminating the need for tokens.
#6. Digital Hacking
Modern casinos now employ digital technology as a security measure for their gaming equipment. Casino cheats are using their programming skills to compromise the equipment’s in-built software. This method enjoys limited success, given the high-end anti-hacking software game developers use.
Also, the skill level and time required to pull off a successful hack are enough to dissuade most people.
Casinos are not allowed to cheat. However, they can be a little sneaky with their games and might try to win you over with a big prize if you’re winning too much. If you suspect that a casino is cheating, then it’s best to contact the relevant authorities.
We hope this article will help you understand how to recognize a scam casino and what steps you can take if you think one is trying to cheat. You should always play the games at a casino licensed by the Gaming Commission of your state or country.