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by Vinny DeCarlo

Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance Ė Insiderís Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, and surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager for two different casinos. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.


Itís easy to criticize casinos for not allowing you to take full and complete advantage of any given situation but have you ever thought of what it would be like if you were the casino owner? Letís look at this from a neutral prospective.

In most wars, they train us to hate and kill our enemy. The enemy also trains their soldiers to hate and kill their opposition. When the smoke clears, we kiss and made up. What does that say for the generation that gave their lives for the cause? They faced off everyday to do battle while the fat cats got fatter.

Today, in casinos, instead of a daily casualty count like the one they did back in Nam, itís now measured on a daily "per" count. How much "per" person did we make "per" game "per" hour? They donít look at the big picture anymore. Did we win or did we lose? They ask this on a daily if not shift-by-shift basis. How can you judge a football game by anything other than the final score? You canít. However, they try. They donít understand that the win/lose fluctuations raise and lower every minute of the day but itís usually within a +/- 5% margin of the previous months hold by the end of the month, but they canít wait that long. They have to know who to yell at right now!

From the casinosí perspective, they attempt to offer a semi-competitive game that brings in lots of players. Their profit comes in the form of foot traffic. They donít want you to lose all of your money right away. They would rather harvest you like a tobacco plant, slowly extracting a percentage of your paycheck that you have set aside for "entertainment" purposes.

Maybe the shift manager and the general manager have other objectives but overall, the floor people could care less. If you win, youíre easier to get along with which makes their job easier and their day go by much easier. Do they catch hell if a game in their section loses? No, but the pit manager will. The pit manager will have to investigate the loss but the floor person is in the shade. Theyíre not watching their games. Youíre lucky if they even know the rules of their games. If the floor person catches a suspected advanced player, it may accelerate their career. But if they donít, the worst-case scenario is to blame it on surveillance if an advanced player is found loitering in their pit. "I called surveillance, itís their fault! They should have watched that player." Think Iím kidding? It happens everyday. In the old days, we used to say, "You can win a floor person over, but a pit manager will cost you."

Sometimes upper management offers the most ridiculous rules or addendums to the rules and, if thought out, they would realize that this "enticer" is a sure fire money loser! BJ pays 2 to 1. Get real! It takes them weeks to figure this out after the fact. First, the Einstein that came up with this losing proposition has to blame it on employee theft. Next, itís blamed on advanced players. Only after numerous people lose their- deck game dealt to the last card, resplit aces allowed, both early and late surrender with double after split and Blackjack pays 2:1, and a Five-Card Charlie bonus is a losing proposition for the casino. What the hell were they thinking or were they even thinking at all? Better yet, what were the advanced players thinking when they became overwhelmed with gold fever, a.k.a "greed" and stood in line for hours waiting for their turn to whack the goose that laid these golden eggs. Had the advanced players not been so greedy, this offer would still be in effect.

So, can we blame the casinos? Well of course, but letís put the shoe on the other foot. Ploppies fill the void and we both know it. If not for the ploppies, we would both have been out of business years ago. So, letís take a second to recognize the ploppyÖ thatís enough, back to the conversation at hand.

So, say you owned the casino...

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