3A Tiny Hidden Card-Spying Camera
Imagine playing a card game while possessing the power to see the cards in the dealer's deck. Perhaps you were bitten by a radioactive spider with a crippling gambling addiction. Think of the damage you could do, especially if you weren't just some schmuck off the street. The "cutters" gang did just that when they exploited a major hole in the game of baccarat.
According to this picture, baccarat is basically blackjack with paddling.
In baccarat, a player is traditionally asked to cut the deck after the dealer shuffles. It's just one of those weird rituals people do. In this case, one member of the gang would cut the deck, then drag the cut card over the top of the deck while slightly separating the cards from one another with an index finger (thus the nickname "cutters gang") while a tiny camera hidden in his cufflink recorded the card order.
"Those are sweet cufflinks, bro!"
Anyway, having a video of the cards in your dealer's hands is useless if you can't actually watch it before playing. So the player with the camera would then excuse himself from the table to use the restroom. There the images would be handed off to an accomplice and analyzed, and a cheat sheet recorded, all in the time that it would take a person to reasonably take a crap. The player would dump the camera, then head back with the cheat sheet to take the casino for everything that wasn't bolted down.
"Just a couple of dudes hanging out, with a camera and some math problems. Casually."
At the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, that meant more than $1 million. And when regulators in the Philippines finally caught and arrested three members red-handed, the cutters still escaped. Maybe at that point they finally used their creativity and genius to get real jobs. But probably not.
2Chip Sleight of Hand (That Worked Every Time)
Think back to when you were a kid and asked your mom for some cookies. She said yes, but only one. And because you were a little badass, you palmed a second cookie by hiding it under the first. Incidentally, that's why you now have Type 2 diabetes. Well, professional cheater Richard Marcus farted his way across Vegas with essentially the same childish sleight of hand strategy. And because he was classy, he named his signature move after his favorite stripper, the "Savannah."
"Awww yeah, baby, show me that acacia."
Here's how it worked: Marcus would boozily saunter up to a roulette table, drink in hand, and place his chips on the table. He would angle a $5 top chip so that the bottom one was unseen. And that bottom chip was worth, you guessed it, a kabillion dollars.
So the dealer sees what appears to be a couple of $5 chips. Now here's where the con comes in: If Marcus lost the bet, he openly grabbed his chips before the dealer got them -- which is a huge taboo in the casino world. Like, just-touched-a-butthole taboo. So the dealer would freak and Marcus would play up the drunk charade. Fine, fine, he would say, you can have your stupid pair of $5 chips.
"I hope you choke on them. And I also hope you aren't particularly observant."
But if he won ... hoooo boy, watch out. Marcus raised a ruckus, complete with shouting and high-fiving and spastic hip gyrating (so we've heard), all while the dealer gave a befuddled stare. After all, Marcus clearly just had a few baby chips on the table. "Not so fast!" Marcus would say, then reveal that the second chip down was worth many times more than the visible $5 one. Watch in the video below as he demonstrates the whole routine:
Keep in mind that Marcus was never actually caught doing the Savannah. Or the chip move. The only reason anyone knows about it is because once he was rich enough to retire, Marcus wrote a damn book about his life as a casino cheat.
Great. Now our book about how to steal extra doughnuts by shoving them down your shirt and claiming they're tumors is just starting to look stupid.
Delicious, sweet, glazed tumors.