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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. He also 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.

Note: The true story you are about to read occurred in the mid-1980ís. Vinny DeCarlo was a dealer at a casino in Las Vegas when this incident occurred.

Back in the day when I first started dealing, we used silver dollars at the tables. Not the kind the Government minted. No, it was the coins that the Government tried to shut down Las Vegas for counterfeiting.

Now, using silver dollars was all about winning the public over. Dollar coins (back then) were very popular but we couldnít keep enough in the joints so that people could play. Mind you, silver coins were also used on the blackjack and craps tables, and they were even used in poker games so there was quite a demand for them.

After the smoke cleared, the Feds backed down and allowed casinos to mint their own coins based on a certain recipe of mixed metals. The name of the casino had to be stamped on the coin, and the dies had to be located somewhere on the casino premises for inspection at any time. (Itís kind of like owning a machine gun these days.)

Anyway, I wonít get into the numerous back injuries suffered by the crap dealers due to bending over while handling stacks of more than twenty coins for payoffs. Man, it was hell, and Iím still waiting for that class action lawsuit so I can jump on board.

Now in the poker room, there were always a slew of characters playing, but one particular character happened to be an employee. We called him "Cowboy Bob" because he wore cowboy boots and one of those bolo ties, which he had to have permission to wear from the upper-class casino bosses.

Cowboy Bob was one of the most proficient dealers in poker that I ever had the pleasure of watching. He was fast, funny, and just plain entertaining; however, as I later found out, he was as crooked as they come.

It all happened one night after Cowboy Bob missed his break because the players were...

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