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by Dustin Marks

Back in the 1980's, 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 - The Real Work ( I was never caught. This is Part 6, the final article in this series.

Computer Coolers

Coolers would be the perfect play if the switching of the cards could be eliminated. But that's impossible, right? Wrong! Enter the computer cooler-a method of introducing a cooler without switching the cards! How can such a thing happen? Keep reading for the answer. (Note: This took place back in the '80s, when few people owned computers.)

It was accomplished with the aid of a personal hidden computer. The cheater records the cards as they are dealt via a hidden input device. The computer has been told to figure out a way to have the Big Player (BP or cheater) win every hand or as many hands as possible. The computer does this by varying the number of hands played by the BP, and the number of hit cards he takes.

Built into the computer's instructions are certain rules that cannot be violated. Some of these rules are: All hands must have a total amount of at least 12; 1-3 hands can be played; no doubling down on less than 9; and follow the basic playing strategy. The BP will play his hands according to the computer's results.

The computer gives back the number of bets per round and number of hit cards. An example might be: 1: 2-3; 2: 1-0; 3: 3-4. This is read as round one, two bets, total of three hit cards taken; round two, one bet, no hit cards; round three, three bets, four hit cards. The recorder signals the BP how to play the cooler. As always, prearranged signals were used. The cards are never switched, but must be retained and picked up in the same order as they were recorded. This is accomplished by the dealer false shuffling the deck. With the proper turns, the dealer doesn't have to be a serious mechanic to accomplish the false shuffle, and it's a lot less detectable than switching the deck.

The Play

The shills, turners, and rest of team members play the same part as they did in the old-fashioned cooler (see last month's BJI article). A cheater/recorder stands behind the players and records each card into the computer. When he tells the computer that the game is finished, the calculations are executed by the computer. The dealer false shuffles, the shills leave the game, the BP sits down, and the recorder, who is now in the crowd, signals the BP how to play the hands.

The recorder gets the information from the computer by either a series of tiny tingles from a skin patch or audio (via barely audible ticks or a synthesized voice in an earphone). The recorder only sends two signals. One is for the number of hands, the other for the number of hit cards. The BP uses common sense when receiving this information.

Timing is important in the computer cooler...

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