Blackjack Cheats

Cheating in blackjack is very uncommon and ill-advised nowadays. Players are protected from cheating in modern casinos by the high levels of regulation and surveillance in place. The amount of scrutiny around the blackjack tables also makes it virtually impossible for players to successfully cheat the house.

Regardless of how cheating has diminished it stills pays you to be aware of what could happen. In order to provide you with this knowledge I have listed the common cheats dealers have previously used to influence the game. Following that is a collection of common cheats players have used.

Cheating Tricks Used by Blackjack Dealers

The majority of cheats dealers can use come from sleight of hand techniques. These methods involve manipulating the deck to deal out chosen cards to players, rather than having a random distribution. For the most part these techniques have been made redundant by casinos operating with shuffling machines and dealer shoes.

Dealing from the Bottom – The dealers deals the bottom card of the deck to players or themselves. Usually the dealer has been able to place a certain card on the bottom of the deck during the deal, or can glance at which card is on the base of the deck.

Second Dealing – Similar to dealing from the bottom, this technique involves dealing the second card off the top of the deck.

High–Low Pickup – This involves a stacked deck that has already been set up with alternative rounds of high and low cards. A cheating dealer can use shuffle techniques which look real, while leaving cards in the prearranged order. When cards are dealt, the order in which they come make it likely for players to bust.

Marked cards – Simply by placing a mark on various high cards, dealers can identify these. The term pegging is also used when cards are dimpled subtly to mark them. Decks are swapped often to prevent this as players can also use to as an advantage.

Manipulating Chips – Player could find themselves short-changed if dealers fail to pay off winning bets correctly.  While this can be done intentionally, it can also easily be a mistake by the dealer. Either way it can be avoided by observing and checking the amount of chips you are left with to ensure dealer is paying out correctly.

Cheating Tricks Used by Blackjack Players

The ways players can cheat at the game of blackjack have diminished greatly with the introduction of rule prohibiting players from touching the cards. Casinos have some of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment available and frequently employ security experts, often previous cheaters, to observe the games. Even the most sophisticated cheater now runs a very high risk of being detected and facing possible criminal consequences.  As a result, while the tricks listed below make for interesting reading as part of blackjack’s colourful history, it is not recommended they are attempted.

Palm and Switch –Cheaters can palm cards they have been dealt, replacing them with another card they have on their person or even claiming they never received it. This could involve cheaters bringing their own cards in to swap or just using the cards in play.

Late Betting and Removing Bets – As a dealer is attending to other players, cheaters can add or remove chips from their own bet in order to improve a win or reduce a loss.

Marking Cards – This is simply marking the highest cards to identify them. Players can do this in several ways from simply making an indent on the card with their fingernails to using hi-tech markers only special contact lenses or glasses can see.

Team Play – There are various forms of team play, made famous by the blackjack movie 21. These teams can assist the player by causing distractions or providing information making card counting and cheating easier.  A basic form of team play is Spooking where the cheater works with someone sat behind the dealer who indicates what the dealer has. Apart from being obvious to observers this has the disadvantage that in most casinos dealer’s backs are facing the backs of other tables.

Blackjack Cheats – A Difficult Task

Cheating on a large scale is no longer a real option for anyone operating in a modern casino. The majority of dealer cheats come from skilful sleight of hand techniques which they no longer have chance to perform with modern technology. Meanwhile cheats used by players are often crude and obvious to trained casino staff.

Apart from risking being blacklisted by casinos, cheating is illegal and could result in arrest and even prison time. It would be dangerous to cheat, so instead it is best to use the knowledge of what cheating looks like to protect yourself from it.