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CHEATING AT BLACKJACK - Part 4

by Dustin Marks

Back in the 1980ís, I "took off" several Las Vegas casinos, and other casinos throughout the state of Nevada, at their blackjack tables. After retiring from cheating, I wrote two books: Cheating at Blackjack and Cheating at Blackjack Squared. I also created the DVD: Cheating at Blackjack Ė The Real Work (www.dustinmarks.com). I was never caught. This is Article Four in this Series. (The previous articles appeared in March Ė May BJI).

The main moves I used to cheat the game of blackjack as a dealer were the flash and stacking the deck. I chose these methods for two reasons: They got the money and they were hard to detect. If you are going to cheat, you better get the money; otherwise, you are a bigger sucker than the squares at the table. Why risk your freedom on a move that has a small edge?

Flashing

There were many ways of flashing the top card of the deck to an agent. The method I used (when dealing) was very difficult for the casino to nail. When I would tuck my hole card, I flashed the top card of the deck to my agent at first base. This gave my agent a very high playing efficiency. He would never bust his hand with this card, all of his double down hands would total 20 or 21, and he could hit his stiffs when the dealer had a small up card without busting.

It got even better! As I picked up the cards on the table, I would flash my agent his first card for the next round. If he saw an Ace, he would have a 52% betting edge. If he saw a ten-count card, he would have a 12% betting edge. All other cards offered no advantage.

To make the move more deceptive, my agents learned to "see" faster, so I only exposed the card for a half a second or less. They also learned to identify the card by only seeing about a quarter of the index of the card. This made it virtually impossible for anyone, except my agent at first base, to see the card being flashed. Even the square next to my agent didnít have a chance of seeing the card.

Stacking the Deck

When done by an expert, stacking the deck is one of the strongest and most difficult moves to detect that a cheater can use. Trust me Ö it gets the money! Essentially, the agent wins every hand that the dealer stacks. But it gets even better because the agent also receives blackjacks and winning double down hands. Stacking the deck is so strong that itís one of the reasons that casinos now use automatic shuffling machines.

When done by an expert, this move is almost impossible to detect. In the hands of an expert, thereís no hesitation since the cards are riffled during the shuffle. What is stacking the deck? It involves manipulating the cards in a manner to create or preserve a certain desired sequence of cards that the agent then receives. Stacking the deck occurs in all card games and there are several methods. Blackjack is one of the easiest games to stack the deck, because in the simplest method of stacking, the dealer only has to control two cards.

My main weapon was...

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