No, Vegas casinos do not cheat because that would affect their standing with the Nevada Gaming Commission. Their games, random number generators, machines, and general operating practices are monitored closely by state officials.
And Vegas casinos don’t have to cheat because they already have an advantage over the gamblers in the form of house edge designed into each game or machine.
Essentially, Vegas casinos make money by giving players less than perfect winning odds.
The house edge is a mathematical advantage in the casino’s odds over the player. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the amount the casino will take from your bet as a profit. So, a game or machine with a house edge of 1% means the casino has an advantage such that it will take $1 from every $100 you wager on that particular game.
Casinos are prohibited from cheating by federal and state, or local laws. After all, the gaming odds are already designed to be in their favor, no matter the type of game you play at the casino. It is also tricky to rig games or cheats, so Vegas casinos cannot do it.
However, in certain games like blackjack or baccarat, Vegas casinos have used underhand tricks and tactics to cheat. They use strategies like removing high-value cards from the decks, shuffling cards blazingly fast, shuffling cards selectively to disfavor players, mishandling money or playing chips, and using holdout shoes. In slot machines, the casino may increase the house edge beyond the level set by the game developer.
Yes, casinos can legally cheat by changing the odds of the games to favor them. However, this is not always the case, especially in highly regulated jurisdictions like Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
That said, here are ways that casinos can cunningly and legally cheat:
Being too friendly to players
The casinos will cordially welcome you. They gratefully accept your tips. They’ll talk to you about anything and anything. When it becomes evident that you are not tipping, the casino staff may even vanish.
But their warmth quickly vanishes the moment you leave the table, let alone when you leave the casino.
Dealers do not walk around the floor with the players, and you will not see them in the food court or parking lot. Their duty is to be your buddy just when there is money on the table. Sure, they’re all dressed up, but no one is inviting you to eat the cake.
Giving players alcohol
Casinos use alcohol to cheat. They keep you intoxicated so that you can start making the wrong choices at the blackjack or roulette table.
What if other businesspeople continued to pour you drinks while you were making important financial decisions, such as purchasing a home or a car?
That is essentially what the casino is doing when they provide you with free drinks at the table. They are aware that you will be prone to making poor judgments. The beverages are full price if you walk 20 feet to the bar. They don’t want you to spend full money at the bar. You are more valuable to them at the table.
Asking for tips at every turn
Casinos not only take money from your wallet, but they also want you to assist pay their staff in the form of tips so they don’t have to. They make money, but they want you to pay for the expense, too.
They want a piece of the action when you win big. When you lose, though, they frequently argue that it is because you haven’t been tipping. In any case, it reduces the chances of winning. After all, the dealer does not tip you when he or she wins big.
Casino employees, especially dealers and pit bosses, are committed to giving players positive optimism. They want to make you feel as if the casino floor is a place where you can make your dreams come true.
The dealer is tasked with welcoming you, making small talk, and instilling a sense of optimism. That today is your day to win. And when you lose, they push it aside, saying you are having a bad run.
Sometimes, casinos cheat, but they don’t have to because the odds are already in their favor. Practically all casino games come with a house edge that ensures the winning odds are stacked against the player. Thankfully, there are several ways players can cheat a casino, as well…
- Fake or false shuffles – This cheating method usually involves the collaboration between a dealer and the player. The croupier usually makes a false shuffle of the cards so that the player can know the pattern or sequence of the cards. It works in baccarat, blackjack, and other famous card table games.
- Past posting – If you want to cheat at the roulette game, your best bet is to post your bets once the ball has landed. Past posting is one of the oldest and most effective cheating tricks.
- Using fake coins – Some slot machines still accept dimes and quarters. You can shave the metal washes to look like coins and use them to spin the reels for free.
- Switching cards – Also known as hand mucking, card switching is precisely what it sounds like. The player usually places a few high cards like Aces, Jacks, Queens, or Tens under the coat’s sleeve. This cheating trick works on baccarat, poker, and blackjack.
- Using a hidden camera – The cheater must hide a camera probe up their sleeves for this scam. The camera will capture the image of the next card and relay the footage to a computer screen. In turn, the accomplice will tell the cheater the card’s value via earpiece. This trick works best for baccarat and blackjack.
- Using a cellphone to influence the payout sensor – This scam often works on slot machines and video poker machines. Some casinos have discovered this scam, and they have retrofitted their gaming machines with payout sensors that cannot be affected by cell phone signals.
- Card counting – Card counters have made millions in the past, but this cheating method rarely works these days because baccarat and blackjack tables have been fitted with random shuffle machines. The cards are also shuffled after each hand, which makes it incredibly difficult for the cheater to keep count of the cards in the deck.
The short answer is that it is not likely for a dealer to cheat, especially in table games like blackjack which use a large number of decks of cards. Foul play is often easy to detect and every casino has a strict cheating law.
Dealers that do cheat have to use “mechanics” to control and manipulate the decks in order to maintain a constant sequence of the cards. That can be very difficult for dealers that deal hand-held games because modern blackjack and baccarat tables use automatic card shuffling systems.
Yes, some players still cheat casinos. They use several tricks, techniques, and hacks that may include:
- Card counting – Counting cards is still possible to legally count cards at a blackjack table. A card counter can determine the ratio of high-value cards remaining in the shoe. Most Las Vegas casinos and other players in the gaming industry frown upon card counting.
- False shuffle – This is an old technique that is still fairly common and it usually involves the dealer and at least one player at the blackjack table. However, most casinos have supervisors or the pit boss constantly watching the dealer dealing the cards.
- Past posting – This method of cheating works on roulette. It involves placing the chips when the ball has landed on the winning number.
- Using a hidden camera to read cards in baccarat
- Switch low-value cards for high-value ones in blackjack and baccarat
- Using bill validator device on slot machines
- Hole card reading – This is one of the cheating methods that give the player a good advantage play. It is a form of marking cards.
Legitimate casinos generally don’t cheat on slot machines because they have no reason to. Casinos already have a significant advantage play on slot machines, which means the player will always lose a certain amount of their bet in the long term.
Cheating casinos are usually fraudulent or scam websites in the online gambling industry. They typically used rigged, scripted, or fake online slot machine games.
Casinos also don’t cheat because slot machines are tested and validated before service and routinely after that by regulators like Nevada Gaming Control Commission and UK Gambling Commission.