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By Vinny DeCarlo

Warning: This article is for casino owners and general managers only. Advantage players and dealers, no looking ;)


Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance – Insider’s 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. He also recently appeared on the Getting the Edge radio show from Las Vegas ( 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.


During my casino career, I played both sides of the tables. In my earlier days, you could say that I bent the rules occasionally; however, as I got older, I became a trusted gatekeeper. And rightfully so ... I never turned on anyone; in fact, everyone trusted me from crooked dealers to advantage players, from cocktail waitresses to casino owners. I can honestly say that I never let anyone down.

I learned about scams that were 50-years old (some are still going down even today). Though I helped put a stop to these scams in a casino in which I was employed to protect, I never tipped off the industry. In fact, I made it quite clear that such secrets were not to be exposed until after I was laid to rest.

Here now are just a few of those secret scams that cost both the casino and unsuspecting player’s untold fortunes over the years. Here now is the DeCarlo Code.

The Craps Table Lift-Off

The casino craps’ tables have been made the same way since the days of old, with the only real change being the felt layout. The "Big 6-8" used to be the "Over/Under 7" and who could forget the play on words like "30 to 1" to "31 for 1." The construction of said tables consists of five different pieces.

1- The legs

1- Tabletop

1- The Rim with the interior coated with a gator back cushion

1- Padded Gator Rail

1- Clear plexi-glass bankroll cover

Assembly is simple, yet deceiving. First, the legs are set up, followed by the tabletop set atop the braced legs via. Pre-positioned dowels.

Now, to help you understand the best-kept scam in the industry, we’ll set the plexi-glass bankroll on the tabletop and lock it down. The bankroll cover has two sides, a front, and a top. The back of the bankroll cover is exposed because it was designed after the table was completely assembled. In other words, it was designed to utilize the "table rim" as its back cover.

Now, let’s put the table rim on and the gator pad on top of the rim. Now, it’s scam time.

The Boxman sits in his spot, places his knees under the "rim" portion of the table and slightly lifts the rim.

Now the Boxman takes a ‘dog-eared’ table card and slides it under the cheque color of his or her desire (hooks it), and then pulls it out from under the "table-rim" and the scam is complete. I’ve seen this scam pulled on a live, loaded table with not one person the wiser. I’ve also witnessed this move via surveillance cameras and to my disbelief, it was unnoticeable. The only thing that could possibly draw the attention of a Pit Boss or surveillance agent to the evil thoughts of theft by a Boxman was if he had one hand over the rail and one hand that appeared to be on his lap. This would be the red flag and draw some heat.

There is a 1¢ (literally) solution that can fix this scam ... a 1 ½ inch woodscrew. When the woodscrew is used to hold the table rim to the tabletop, it thwarts any kind of chicanery.

I’ve seen this scam turn a Boxman’s Ford Pinto into a brand new Stingray Corvette. I know of one instance where a casino carpenter noticed the flaw after the table layout was replaced and decided to nail the two pieces together to hide his less than acceptable work. It only took a couple of days for the Boxmen to have a little meeting and a vote taken to buy the carpenter off. Needless to say, the carpenter was now part of the chop and was able to upgrade his life style as well. Last I heard, this scam is still going on to this day.



The "Clean Hands" Scam

Everyone has seen the dealers do the "Clean Hand" show before entering or leaving a game. They clap their hands in front of their chest, show their palms, and then the back of their hands. This ritual has always been a required procedure for all dealers since before I can remember. A very good procedure, yet, this too has been used to cheat many casinos...

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