Category Archives: Other Games

Full-Time Gambling — Viable Profession or a Fool’s Trap?

Professional GamblingBy Trent Sissoko

If you’ve ever had a couple of successful gambling rounds, you’ve probably wondered whether the thought of becoming a full-time gambler is plausible. Even if it is, is that a practical career choice? Some of the most prosperous full-time gamblers would say that this career choice is definitely an option.

Take, for example, Dan Bilzerian and Matthew Benham. Aside from being an actor and a businessman, Bilzerian is a full-time gambler, while Benham is also the owner of Midtjylland FC and Brentford FC1)Midtjylland FC and Brentford FC are professional football (soccer) clubs.. So, why shouldn’t this career be an option for you.

However, even before you set your sights on expanding your gambling career, you should consider both the pros and cons of that venture. Keep reading to find out both the negatives and the positives of full-time gambling, as well as how to make it in this line of work.

Disadvantages of a Full-Time Gambling Career

Although there are plenty of benefits of being a professional high-roller, take a look at a few cons first.

  • High chances of failure — Before anything, there is a higher chance of failure than success with professional gambling. Compared to other occupations, full-time gambling is the one that could bring the largest financial crisis. Many failed gamblers have never recovered after a futile endeavor.
  • Vices — Because of the nature of the business, being exposed to vices is inevitable. If you fail to discipline yourself as a career gambler, you might wind up surrounded with bad choices.
  • Social stigma — The social stigma of being a professional gambler is still present. You might find yourself in a bit of a problem if you’re at a business or social event and you need to introduce yourself as a full-time gambler. Although people will find your career choice interesting, they’ll also probably give you side-eye.
  • Internal conflict — If you come from a religious background, you might find yourself in disagreement with your new way of life. Even if your gambling career turns out to be a success, the chances you’ll be struggling with internal issues are high.
  • Dependence — If this turns out to be your profession, you will be dependent on the whims of many gambling institutions. Whether you’re an offline or online gambler, you will need to keep up with the constant changes that could hinder your success.

Advantages of a Full-Time Gambling Career

Now that you’ve gained insight into the negatives of a professional gambling career, let’s look at the positives.

  • More time — With a career such as this one, you’ll have more time on your hands to spend traveling, with family and friends, exploring other options, etc. Professional gamblers don’t have 9-to-5 jobs, so their schedules are much more flexible.
  • Mental strength — Your mental capabilities will improve without a doubt. This line of work forces you to develop and practice your mental resilience that can help you in many other spheres of life.
  • New connections — Due to the nature of the business, you will be able to meet many new people and make new connections. This could pay off if you ever decide to venture out outside of gambling.
  • Celebrity lifestyle — If this is something you’re interested in, you could definitely become a celebrity. Thanks to social media, you will be able to live a celebrity lifestyle if you expose yourself enough. You probably won’t be an A-lister, but you will be more famous than you are now.
  • Travel — If you get good enough, you will be able to travel the world to play in first-class tournaments. That’s a win-win combination as you will be able to travel and earn money doing the thing you love.
  • Financial security — Although financial failure is an option, lifetime financial security is an option as well. If you manage to develop top-of-the-line playing skills, you’ll be able to secure your family’s financial security for many years to come.

Is It Worth It?

Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right balance between risk and reward. One of the most crucial things is to keep your head clear and make good and conscious decisions. Make sure you understand the odds of becoming a professional gambler, practice your discipline, and be clear about the advantages and disadvantages of this full-time position. Additionally, there are other things you should be aware of, so keep on reading.

Not All About Luck

People watching from the sidelines might think that professional gambling is all about luck. On the contrary — full-time gambling is anything but pure luck. Some of the best career gamblers are among the top strategists, which significantly increases their chances of succeeding.

That’s one of the reasons why you’ll see so many professional gamblers with the so-called poker faces. They know they will be able to make their way back to the top even if they have a bad hand. By simply sticking to a strategy, believing in yourself, and managing your bankroll, you will be able to achieve a lot and stay in control.

Embrace High-Skilled Games

Undoubtedly, playing online casino games or bingo is a great way to get you started. However, such games are not enough if you want to make a career out of gambling. With that in mind, sports betting and poker are two of your best bets to make it big. For that reason, the majority of players that want to become professional gamblers focus on poker.

There are plenty of advantages to playing poker once you upgrade your skills. First of all, you’re playing against other players as compared to the casino. That’s a positive thing as your chances of winning depend on your opponents’ skills, and the casino doesn’t have a say.

Secondly, once you get into it, you’ll be able to choose who you’ll play against. You will have a better understanding of the game and you’ll get to know the people you’re playing with. So, if the table you want to join has potentially strong players, you can move on to the next and keep your edge.

Bear this advice in mind as it will definitely help you if you decide to try out this profession and a great place to try get it started is at a €10 bonus casino.

Professional Gambling Is Hard Work

Contrary to popular belief, professional gambling is not a piece of cake. Although making large sums of money is probable, it takes a lot of hard work to get there. Before anything, you will need to be better than your opponents, and many of them have been doing this for much longer than you have.

Next, you will need to learn how to minimize your losses and maximize your gains when playing against those same players. To do that, you will need plenty of practice. Practice will help you build the right level of skill needed to venture into professional gambling.

So, before you decide to quit your day job, spend months practicing and bettering your skills. Once you see that you’re making continued success with your gambling, think about going full-time.

Have a Plan

Just like you would have a plan for any other business venture, you need to have a plan if you decide on a gambling career. This goes for every gambling session, not only the career in general. So, before you start your poker or blackjack tournament, make sure to have a plan. Think about when it’s the right time to give up, when you should stop reinvesting and take your earnings home, and similar. Ask yourself these questions every time you decide to gamble.

Revenge Gambling Equals Loss

Even though you might be disappointed or angry, revenge gambling is not the solution. There are countless stories of revenge gambling leading to tremendous losses and disastrous results. If you decide on revenge gambling, that means you’ll be leaving all of your strategy and hard work behind. Similarly, becoming a millionaire overnight does not happen if you lead your gambling career with revenge in mind.

Stick to Your Comfort Zone

Even before you start your gambling career, you will notice that you excel at certain areas more than others. If that’s the case, the best option is to stick with what you know. If you are good at poker, avoid the roulette table. If sports betting on cricket is your thing, do not waste your hard-earned money on basketball wagering.

If you have two or three areas that best showcase your gambling knowledge, don’t get greedy and spread out to numerous other areas. The point is that your success will be much more evident if you stay within your comfort zone.

On the other hand, if you decide to try other gambling activities, you should do so without investing real money. Start with free online games and practice your strategy. If you see that you’re doing well and that there might be a future for you in a particular area, widen your horizons. You can always update your portfolio with new skills; you just need to be patient and take things slowly.

Stay Grounded

One of the most crucial things in professional gambling is the ability to stay grounded. Winning thousands of dollars will easily get you over excited and ready for a new adventure, but you should lead with your head and not your heart. Having a lot of money at once might lead to making some bad decisions, like putting a down payment for a new house.

This also applies to your state of mind during the game. Try to keep your head cool and stay grounded at all times so as not to make any rash decisions that might lead to your downfall. Try not to put any pressure on yourself during the game as it can affect your success.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a list of pros and cons of professional gambling, as well as some advice on how to make it in the business, you should decide whether it’s worth it. Although it is not a stable career, it can lead to opportunities and financial gain. If you’re serious about making gambling your career, try to be sensible, practice every day, and come up with strategies that will give you an edge. Good luck!

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Midtjylland FC and Brentford FC are professional football (soccer) clubs.

The Top Casino Card Games That You Can Play Online

Ace of Hearts - King of HeartsBy Leslie Alexander

Every industry has its origin story. And if we would look for the game that started what we know today as modern-day casinos it would be any card game. Card games have always been interesting to players since they include factors like quick thinking, the powers of perception, as well as socializing.

Card games have evolved over time. As technology slowly integrated itself with the gambling industry, players worldwide got the opportunity to play their favorite card games wherever and whenever. In the past decade, online casinos proved that even though technology changed the way we play casino games, it certainly couldn’t change which games we choose to play. For this reason, card games still remain players’ favorite and in this article, we’ll take a look at the best ones that you can find online.

Poker

When talking about casino card games, the first thing that pops into anyone’s mind is poker. There are different variations to this classic casino card game like Texas Hold’em, Draw Poker, Omaha, Stud and others. One of the main reasons why poker is so popular among players is because it requires skills like patience, observance and quick thinking. It’s said that playing poker can improve your skills in other areas of life. The main goal of the game is to have the best hand possible or, at least, make other players think that you do. Nowadays, you can play video poker or play poker against other people in virtual poker rooms. What is more, there are several online poker tournaments that you can play at if you think that your skills are unmatched.

Blackjack

Blackjack has been appealing to players worldwide simply because it’s very easy to play. All brand new online casinos in the UK that have an optimal gambling environment and amazing welcome bonuses include blackjack as part of their offer. Therefore, it’s the players’ task to find the best online casino that has the ultimate blackjack version and benefit from playing with the most trustworthy and reliable operators. Playing on top-notch gambling platforms will improve your gaming experience, and that can be of crucial importance for all blackjack fans who want to win.

The object of the game of blackjack is to beat the dealer with a better hand (21 or less) or allow the dealer to bust.  Winning at blackjack involves playing all hands optimally with a basic strategy.  In blackjack, it’s important you don’t go over 21 or you lose immediately.

The payouts can be particularly high when playing blackjack, especially if you opt to play progressive blackjack. With the right strategy, you can improve your chances of winning and this is why many players visit online casinos, so they can practice before playing for more serious sums of money. As with poker, there are several variations of this game and they include Spanish 21, Vegas Style, Pontoon, Single Deck and others.

Card GamesBaccarat

Online casinos and online card games have been gaining in popularity recently, simply because they are extremely accessible and easy to play. People don’t have to waste any more of their precious time to reach land-based gambling venues to play a game of cards or to organize private gatherings. Everything they need is right there, in the palm of their hands. This is how another card game that can seem a bit more complicated to play managed to survive the passing of time and remain popular with the new generation of gamblers. Baccarat is actually very easy to play since all the player needs is a total of nine or the closest to nine. In the game of baccarat, after the dealer deals the “coup”, the players have two options – they can either bet on themselves or on the dealer.1)In baccarat the “coup” is simply the round of play where there are three possible outcomes: “player” has the higher score, “banker” has the higher score or “tie”.  There are a few variations of this game to explore.

Conclusion

Card games have and always will be popular among casino fans worldwide. No matter which game you like to play, the entire experience will be thrilling, fun, and gripping. The possibility to win the prize is sometimes a less important aspect for card fans since they always come back to the table (or virtual table) for the unique feeling that each of these games has to offer.

Bio: Leslie Alexander is the Content Lead at the Gamblizard team as well as a dedicated writer of all topics related to the online casino industry. Leslie enjoys writing informative articles that provide guidance to all online players and fans of online casino titles. In her free time, Leslie loves playing different card games like poker and blackjack.

Image credits: Pixabay | Pixabay

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1In baccarat the “coup” is simply the round of play where there are three possible outcomes: “player” has the higher score, “banker” has the higher score or “tie”.  There are a few variations of this game to explore.

Bill Zender’s Newsletter and the Buster Blackjack Side bet

The Bill Zender Newsletter

Bill Zender and Associates

October 29, 2020

Dear Friends and Business Associates,

As the pandemic continues, I have had to change my way of conducting business.  In the last few months, I have gravitated towards conducting more business online.  This includes providing short training session presentations through Internet medias such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and a high limit winning player analyses over WebEx.  This process works effectively, but I believe that offering my services in person is the best method for providing project quality.  With that said, following are some of the “virtual” services that I am currently providing to my clients and casino operators seeking my help and knowledge:

Sessions on basic table game mathematics; understanding mathematical house advantage of the different table games and side bets, as well as understanding the mechanics behind game hold percentage.  I have taught this topic as a one-hour session. I have found that split sessions of one-hour each with a 15-minute break in between is more productive (total time 2-hours and 15 minutes).

A series of sessions on card counting in blackjack.  These sessions include (1) Basics of card counting, (2) Understanding Basic and common strategy, (3) Detecting card counting from the casino floor, and (4) Confirming card counting from surveillance.  Each session is one-hour and would be accompanied by handouts and informative charts and spreadsheets.

Conducting Winning Player reviews and evaluations.  All I require is the ability to review portions of the player’s video and a PDF of the player’s gaming hand tracking sheet records.  I have found that conducting player reviews over the Internet is quite efficient if I have access to view video and review hand tracking information.  If you have a customer who is continually beating your game, I can provide you with an expert’s “second” opinion.

In addition, I have accurate information on COVID-19 and procedures for the casino.  If handled correctly and consistently, procedures can be established to make the casino a very safe environment for both the customers and employees.   I can provide your organization with a virtual presentation or assist in compiling safe and adequate COVID procedures.

BTW, on November 17th from 1100am to noon EST, I will be giving a one-hour presentations at this year’s BNP Media’s Table Game Cutting Edge (Virtual) Conference (please see the information below).  The topic presented will include the effect rules changes have on the game, procedures, and side bets and how these changes effluence table game hold percentage.  I feel this presentation is a must for any casino executive involved in table games.  This session is more advanced than my standard table game courses.  At this time, I will only have this presentation available through BNP Media. 

If anyone is interested in any of these presentations and/or winning player reviews, please feel free in contacting me at [email protected] or 702-423-5734.  My prices are extremely reasonable at this time.

Email

Interesting Emails

Over the past month I only received one interesting question regarding table games that I wish to pass along to my readers.  The question has to do with protecting the Buster side bet from card counting attack.  A lot of game protection professional try and apply a blackjack count system to all aspects of the game including side bets.  In some situations, the object of the side bet is parallel to the primary game which dictates that higher value cards (specifically ten-value cards) are important to the players successful wager outcome.  However, many of the side bets are NOT designed to follow the object of the main game, and to successfully attack those side bet, a totally different count system needs to be employed.  This is the case with the Buster sidebet.  The following email outlines this exact situation:

Executive’s Email

In the past month or so we’ve experienced a rash of card counters at our property. What makes this all the more intriguing is that three out of the last four have wagered on the Buster Bet side wager upon the count hitting -4 or below. Is this anything you’ve come across recently? The last two using this strategy I asked if they had any information for me, realizing that they didn’t owe me a thing, one of which let me know that it was -5 but he had no mathematical evidence to back this. Only that he had been told to do so.  I read Eliot Jacobson’s two articles in AP HEAT, but this was far more advanced and was hoping to discover something easier to train, if it existed. Any insight would be welcome, as usual. 

My Reply

First off, counting the Buster side bet requires a different count system than the main game of BJ.  If you count using a hi/lo system, you will notice that side bet counters of Buster would bet in a negative hi/lo true count.  The Buster count system usually has the 7,8,9,T labeled as +1 when removed, and cards like A,2,3 labeled as -2 (or greater).  The system used depends on your pay schedule, but the count labels will vary only slightly.  In addition, pay schedules that pay 3:1 for busts with four cards are more likely to get attacked.  With that said, the return for the player counting the Buster is not as good compared to counting the main game.  I would assume the maximum bet limit on the Buster would have to be greater than $25 if it is the primary area of attack.  If the players are professional level counters then they could be attacking the main game using a hi/lo (or similar) count system, and have another person on the table or standing behind, counting the Buster using the Buster count system as mentioned above (signaling to the others).  My two cents on the situation.  I hope that helps.

My reply to this casino executive is based mostly on supposition, since I am not observing the play directly but analyzing it though the executive’s narrative.  As mentioned in the reply, the Buster is only vulnerable when the maximum bet limit exceeds $25, and when the pay schedule indicates a four-card bust pays at least 3:1.  Also, it goes without saying that a double deck Buster game is more attractive than a six or eight deck game under the same limits and pay schedule.  Any comments regarding attacking the Buster side bet are welcomed. Email me at: [email protected]

Scheduled Seminars and Workshop

Bill Zender SpeakingTable Games Cutting Edge Conference (Virtual) November 17th

How rules, procedures, and side bets effect table game hold percentage

Tuesday November 17th online from 11AM – Noon EST
At this year’s BNP Media’s Cutting Edge Table Games Virtual Conference I will be seated comfortably (and safely) in my own home.

Hold percentage is the primary measurement used by upper management to gauge table game performance. Do you know the factors that influence whether your hold percentage is respectable or terrible? In this 60-minute session you will learn how the number of hand decisions and wagering spots influences hold percentage (and win). How changing game rules alters the hold percentage range, and why adding side bets is so important. You will also come away with an understanding of “buy-in churn” (number of times the player’s buy-in is placed in action), and how it has a substantial effect on your hold percentage. This session is a “must” for anyone involved in table game management.  Here are the topics I will be discussing during the 1-hour presentation:

  1. The basics: How hold percentage is calculated based on table win and drop.
  2. Effect of gaining more decisions per hour: More revenue (win) same drop.
  3. Effect of offering “less” betting spots: Hold% goes up, but revenue goes down.
  4. Effect of rule changes: Do minor rule changes effect hold%; what about major rule changes?
  5. Effect of utilizing side bets: Side bets reduce decisions but increase revenue potential.
  6. Effect of buy-in churn: What effect does time on table have on hold% (and revenue).

For more information please go to the website https://www.casinojournal.com/table-games-conference/agenda

On the MoveOn the Move

Since I’m sheltering in place right now, I’m not on the move.  No one’s on the move.  I plan to get back on track sometime after the first of the year (and a successful vaccine!).  Call or email me! 702-423-5734and [email protected].
 
Questions???
 
I am always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; do not hesitate to contact me through email.  I answer emails about gaming every day[email protected]I really am here to help.
 
Cheers, good luck, and stay safe!
 
Bill Zender
Bill Zender and Associates
[email protected]
702-423-5734

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PRESS RELEASE: John Terry and BK8 Development

John Terry

It should be known by now that the Chelsea FC’s best captain, John Terry has agreed on a deal to be BK8.com’s brand ambassador. Besides that, John Terry has become BK8.com’s first ever brand ambassador. The deal and appointment were announced on February 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

John Terry appointment news has leaked out as soon as Entourage Sport & Entertainment, John Terry’s commercial agent has agreed to collaborate with Samson Sport Consultancy. 

In an interview upon his appointment as BK8.com’s brand ambassador, he said “I’m excited to begin this partnership with BK8.com! They share my great passion for football and I’m looking forward to playing a role in their many future plans to promote the brand to new and existing players throughout Asia.”

In the agreement, BK8.com will own the authority and rights to use John Terry’s image in all kinds of marketing campaigns and advertising platforms regarding BK8’s businesses all across Asia.

Throughout the past 3 months, John Terry has been a part of several BK8’s marketing campaign. For example, Chinese New Year Ang Pao campaign and BK8 Thailand Songkran campaign. It was proven that John Terry’s appointment has significantly helped BK8.com to grow its brand visibility. In the recent Songkran campaign that was targeted to regions in Thailand, BK8 Thailand has gained a great number of traffic to their site. We believe with the addition of John Terry, BK8 will have even more room to grow and develop as the best online casino in Asia.

John Terry is by far the best and most successful captain for Chelsea FC in the club’s history. He is leading every player in his position who have played for Chelsea FC in terms of titles achievement and also football stats. John Terry has led the Blues to accomplish amazing achievement by winning a UEFA Champions League title, 3 League Cups, 1 UEFA Europa League title and also 5 Barclays Premier League titles.

BK8.com is one of Asia’s biggest and most trusted online casino brand that have attracted millions of players to join and play. BK8.com also provides a number of Asia’s top Casino, Lotteries, Game brands and Sportsbook for its customers to choose and play in. Besides that, BK8’s customer service and support team will be available and online for 24 hours daily, to provide help and assistance.

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Tips to Find the Best Online Gambling Apps for Card Games

Gambling Folder on iPhoneby John Stone

When you enjoy card games, you may want to play and gamble on your Smartphone or other devices. A key part of enjoying a game on your phone or tablet is having the right apps. Fortunately, you can find the online gambling apps for card games by comparing the options and focusing on legitimate sources.

Focus on Your Phone

Before you can decide on the mobile gambling card games you want to play, you need to clarify the options available on your phone or device. Android phones and iPhones have different apps and may not allow you to use every application available for a device. Many of the best gambling sites will have apps for all of the major devices, but you should focus on options that apply to your device.

Research the Company

Do not assume that an app is ideal for your favorite card games without looking into the company. Mobile and online gambling is a growing industry, so you will find a variety of different options available on your device. Apps may have a specific type of game, like slots or poker, and they may offer a variety of different options. Pay attention to the description of the app and then look up the company running and maintaining the application.

Pick out apps that have several card games or variations of your favorite card games. You also want to make sure the company is a legitimate gambling app to avoid unnecessary risks when you place a bet. Research is the foundation to limit your risk and ensure that you get the right app for your interest.

Look for Mobile Bonuses

A legitimate gambling app for card games like blackjack often provides a bonus when you download the app and sign up for the game. The mobile casino free bonus offer will vary for each app, so make sure you understand the details and read the fine print before you assume that it applies to card games. The ideal bonus is a no deposit bonus. That means you can start playing a card game without putting in a deposit. The amount varies between companies and apps, but the initial no deposit bonus allows you to try out the app and play a game without taking any risk.

While a no deposit bonus is an option, you may discover that the apps offer different types of bonuses for players. A common option is to match your deposit into the game. Matching a deposit up to a stated amount allows you to double your bet or play longer. The purpose of a bonus on the best online gambling apps for card games is allowing you to figure out how to play the game without taking a large risk.

Enjoying card games when you are on the go starts with finding the right applications for your phone or tablet. By focusing on games that offer a bonus, were put out by legitimate companies and apply to your device, you can feel confident in placing your bets. The key is focusing on legitimate companies that comply with legal standards and have several card games available so you can enjoy the experience.

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Use of Rolling Chips in North America

From Bill Zender’s email discussing his upcoming activities and events.
 

June 6, 2017

Dear Friends and Business Associates,

I am sorry that I haven’t kept in touch with everyone.  Between closing out my house in Las Vegas and working abroad, I didn’t have much time in which to pen my usual monthly eBlasts.  Now things have settled down, and I have some much needed breathing space.  I can start catching up with my normal routine which involves keeping everyone informed of my availability (for my benefit), and to discuss some of the issues and problems I have seen in the gaming industry over the last several months (hopefully, your benefit).

The Use of Rolling Chips in North America

Attached to June’s eBlast is a link to a report I just finished.  Over the past spring, it has come to my attention that a number of North American casino operators are searching for information on the use of non-negotiable chips in conjunction with a marketing program known in other parts of the world as “rolling chip” or “dead chip” programs.  The rolling chip/dead chip program is used extensively overseas to market and track high limit VIP baccarat customers.  A number of casinos have started similar programs domestically here in the USA and Canada.  I have also realized that the motivation to enter into a rolling chip program is stemming from requests by junket representatives, and marketers who work outside the casino operations.  In some instances, this could turn out to be a costly situation for the casinos.

These junket reps have informed the different casino marketing departments that they can provide a number of high limit baccarat players if the casino offers this non-negotiable chip form of player tracking. Unfortunately, many executives in casino operations who have either started the rolling chip programs or are strongly considering starting one, are misinformed as to the mathematics behind rolling chip “theoretical win” (T-win) projections, and are relying on the outside promoters and marketers for this information.  As one can imagine, this presents a seriously dangerous situation for the casino operators.

Because of this disturbing trend, I have compiled a report, or “white paper” if you may, that discusses several issues everyone considering entering the rolling chip/dead chip program needs to know.  The link is as follows: Rolling Chip Program in North AmericaFor some reason, a very inflated T-win percentage has been “floating” around that I’m having difficulty in pinning down the mathematics.  The higher percentage might be related to the mathematical win difference between the standard 5% Banker commission game, and the 1 to 2 Banker payoff on the “Punto Banco 6” version that is used extensively in Asia.  Regardless of the way it is calculated, the higher T-win percentage projects a higher than expected game revenue potential that subsequently helps to falsely support higher commission paybacks to either the customer or the junket rep (or both).  In many cases, domestic casinos are giving back a “lions share” of the win potential to outside interests while maintaining 100% of the gaming “risk”.  It is in the best interest of anyone entering into or considering a rolling chip program to read this report.

Marking Cards in Face-up Blackjack

A week ago I received an email from a casino executive who inquired about possible marked playing cards he had recently found on a face-up game of blackjack.  This is the second time I’ve heard about this possible scam in the last several months.  I think his question and my reply needs to be read by everyone on my eBlast list.  The question he sent me will be followed by my reply to him.

Question:
I have something that came up that has me really stumped.  While sorting cards from a six deck game at the end of the shift, one of the dealers found that a number of cards had a dimple or dent in the middle of the backs of the cards.  The cards were a number of 10s through Aces but not all.  When we went back over the play on that table, we only had one player betting black chips, but he won several thousand dollars.  Surveillance ran the player down for counting but found nothing.   My question is how would only a certain group of cards get dented like that in a face up game, and do you think we might have been hit by cheaters?  I haven’t seen anything like this before.

Reply:
There is a strong possibility you experienced a card marking team.  If the tens and aces were dented, the cheater were probably using a “top card” marking system.  If a card sitting on top of the shoe is marked (dented) the player sitting in first seat (before the shoe) will wager up to maximum bet, and if the card is not marked, the player will wager around their minimum bet.  Not all the cards are marked because it takes a long time to make sure all the “target” cards are marked.

Usually with this scam, the cheaters send in a team of players who “dent” the faces of the cards hours before the play actually goes down when the table has minimum action.  They dent the cards by hitting the faces of the cards with a chip or the tip of their fingers.  By denting the face of the playing card, one also creates a dent on the back of the card as well.  Cards marked in this manner must be read while in the window of the shoe when glare from overhead lighting reflects off the dent or bend.  After several shoes (and hours of play), the card marking team leaves the game.

As I mentioned previously, hours later the cheaters return with their “big player”.  They approach management and request a higher limit (sometimes).  Then they either get a private game for the big player, or have him sit in the first seat position in order to always receive the first card (top card) of the shoe.  A second cheater either stands or sits at the table around 5th/6th position to read the top card of the shoe.  When the top card is dented (marked), he signals the big player to place a maximum bet.  This gives the cheaters an approximate 20% edge on that wager.  If the team marking the cards is able to mark 70% of the tens and aces, a marked card will appear as the top card prior to the next hand about 25% of the time.

If you still have the video of the black chip customer’s play, see if there is a correlation between his increase in wager size, and the appearance of a ten or ace as his first card.  If so, then you need to go back over the entire day to see if you can spot the cheaters who marked the game.  You may be able to get enough video evidence to take it to the authorities.  If you have any other questions, please let me know.  Good luck with your review.

Unfortunately, I never heard back from this individual so I don’t know whether or not his surveillance personnel found anything suspicious.   Some executives believe that marking cards in a face-up game is impossible.  This is not true.  Although the act of hitting the face-up card in plain sight is obvious, these teams train to make the move look like a show of excitement, or pointing out a “lucky” card to their friend.  Here is more information on the scam setup:

First, the cheaters must find a table where the overhead light shines down and reflects off the top card of the shoe.

Second, the cheaters have to mark up the cards using a highly overt action of touching the face of the cards as they lay on the table.  This motion is usually done at the moment the dealer starts his/her bet settlement process.  The card markers will sit in the last two positions on the table and will usually control two to three hands.  The cheaters have to mark the cards without drawing suspicion to their intentions so they may use several different players over a several hour period.

Third, hours later they will confirm the marked cards are still on the game, and if so, have their “big player” buy-in and play the first hand positon.

I hope the information in this email, reply, and follow up comments gives you better insight into protecting your blackjack games.

Seminars and Workshop
As of today, I have no public seminars or workshops planned.  Since I do have some open time this summer and early fall, I may look to holding a Game Protection or Table Games Management class in different areas of the country outside of Las Vegas.  Please watch for future eBlast to find out what seminars, dates, and locations will be available.

On the Move
The dog days of summer are upon me.  Right now I’m almost filled for June, but have a couple of weeks in July, and the most part of August open.  If you have any questions, let me know [email protected].

June
Maryland
Washington DC
Northern California

July
Las Vegas BOD Meeting
Northern California

August
Northern California
Las Vegas BOD Meeting

Usually, I’m pretty much booked two months in advance.  As you see I have a bit of time open throughout the summer.  Please let me know if I can provide one of my services for your organization.

Questions???

I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate in contacting me through email.  I answer close to a half dozen email on gaming every day [email protected]

Cheers and good luck.

Bill Zender
Bill Zender and Associates
702-423-5734

 
Copyright © 2017 Bill Zender and Associates, All rights reserved.

Bill Zender Newsletter 01/17

Some interesting comments from Bill Zender on the state of advantage play:

January 10, 2017

Dear Friends and Business Associates,
I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and are looking forward to a prosperous New Year.  It seems that I am always asked about what I see as the biggest Table Game problems, cheating and otherwise, for the year to come.  Following are my answers.  I’ll start with the “core” table games first, and then comment on other factors not specific to table games.

2017 Table Game Advantage Play and Cheating Scams to Watch Out For

Blackjack – Still the dominate table game on the casino floor, I believe the primary avenue of attack will come from advantage players finding weak dealers in order to spy the dealer’s hole-card.  Please don’t rule out shoe dealt games!  Finding dealers that give up the hole-card (unintentionally) in shoe games is more common than you think.  Also, don’t rule out card marking (both daub and punch) and card switching in hand pitched games.  The biggest cost to the gaming industry will come from card counting; however it’s NOT the players at the table creating the cost.  It’s the FEAR of counters that hurts our industry.  For example; do you cut off more than one deck from the back of the 6 or 8 deck shoe games?  If the answer is “yes”, there’s the cost!  Cutting off more cards than necessary decreases hand decisions per hour which costs blackjack revenue.

Baccarat – Baccarat is internationally popularity, simplicity, and offers “sky-high” wagering limits, and it will remain the primary game to beat in 2017.  My biggest concerns lie with cheaters gaining access to playing cards, and either recording pre-shuffled card sequences, or using invisible paints to mark the card (primarily the sides, surprised!)  If you question my thoughts on using invisible paints to mark the sides of cards, please go on YouTube and watch videos (there are several) regarding the “Holdem Analyzer”, and consider how that principle would work in regards to baccarat and card sequence knowledge.  Also, beware of the high limit customer who requests changes to the games dealing procedure (dealer turning up the cards, as well as determining the method for inserting the shuffle point card).  Procedure manipulation through social engineering has been a big problem over the past several years, and probably won’t diminish in 2017.

Craps – One of the hardest games to cheat or gain an advantage by the customers.  Be on the lookout for dice sliding (not controlled throws).  Dice sliding appears to be on the rise in smaller, less game protection educated casinos, or in high limit games with “demanding” VIP players.  Make sure the dice hit the back wall and be done with it.

Roulette – The color scam, buying in for a minimum denomination chip, and getting another person to cash those chips out at a higher denomination, is still being accomplished.  Educate your staff on the technique.  The cheating scam of past posting is becoming a dying “art” with the advent of HD cameras, however don’t rule it out.  Also, be careful with computer “clocking” and “number bias” regarding the roulette wheel head…but not necessarily on the “cloth” table games; on the physical roulette wheel heads used in conjunction with electronic roulette games (you know….the games the slot department think they own).

Alternative Games and Side Bets– Some of the smartest people in the world are advantage players, and they closely examine every new table game and side bet released each year for advantages.  Be sure you understand the procedures and mathematics of any new game or side bet before offering it to the public.  If in doubt; keep the maximum limits low.  Also, be on the constant lookout for dealers unintentionally exposing dealer controlled cards, either a hole-card or a community card (or both).  Educate your dealers and floor staff, and then hold you managers responsible for guaranteeing proper dealer hand/community card protection.  One other point; watch out for possibilities of card switching between two players, especially in Three Card Poker.  Other alternative games are susceptible as well.

And the biggest area of concern moving forward into 2017… Marketing Promotions. – More money is lost every year from bad promotions and programs.  Be sure that someone in your organization runs the numbers!  In addition, don’t copy someone else’s promotion, and then deem it OK just because someone else is doing it (especially from big gaming companies).  If you think your organization’s marketing strategy is OK, ask yourself this question; “Do we use Match Play Coupons and/or Promo Chips as a strategy to attract table play?”  If the answer is “yes”, then you have a problem!

At this point in time in the gaming industry’s history, we operate the safe table games ever.  The recent developments in equipment technology, time tested game procedures, quality floor and table camera coverage, and the availability of game protection education, have made are jobs a lot simpler and easier.

With that said, every organization still needs to stay up to date with the new advantage plays and cheating scams.  One of the best ways to stay up to date is to send at least one person from your organization to the World Game Protection Conference (WGPC) each year in Las Vegas.  This year the WGPC will be held from February 21st through the 23rdat the M Resort.  Anything threating to the casino bottom-line which has arisen in the past year is discussed at length by some of the top game protection experts in the world.  One topic of interest, although not about table games, will be an exclusive look into how computers and devices are being used to attack slot and video machines!!

I hope these prognostications help enlighten everyone about the possible pitfalls of this upcoming year.  I wish everyone a prosperous and safe 2017.

Seminars and Workshop

World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas – M Resort – February 21st – 23rd

Speaking of the WGPC, I will be presenting on the first day of the Conference during three morning sessions.  The topic of my presentations will be:  Bill Zender’s Lessons Learned as an Expert Witness

The title speaks for itself.  Primarily, I will discuss my experience in putting together cheating cases for the police or regulators, and how I proceed with criminal or civil cases as an expert witness.  During the three 50 minute presentations, I will refer to many of the cases I have worked over my career as a casino executive, gaming control agent, and gaming expert witness.  The titles for the three sessions are as follows:

  • Putting the case together for Law Enforcement
  • Conducting my own investigation as an expert witness
  • Testifying in court as an expert witness

For more information on the World Game Protection Conference please go to; http://www.worldgameprotection.com/

Potential Future Seminars

It appears I will have some spare time this early spring so I’m strongly considering holding a March seminar in Las Vegas at the Tuscany Suites Resort.  At will either be a two-day seminar on Table Game Management, or a one-day seminar on the Cost of Table Game Promotions.  I’m also considering conducting a two-day Table Game Protection seminar and/or a one-day Optimal Baccarat Seminar 2017 somewhere outside of Las Vegas this summer.  My last two seminars outside of Las Vegas, in the Seattle Washington, and the Albuquerque New Mexico areas were a big success.
Please watch for future eBlast to find out what seminars, dates, and locations will be available.

On the Move

I’m looking to fill up several weeks in February with March and April wide open.  If you have any questions, let me know [email protected].
 
January
Las Vegas
Indiana Gaming Agent training
Northern California
 
February
Northern California
Open
World Game Protection Conference Las Vegas
 
March
Open
Las Vegas seminar
 
Questions???
 
I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate in contacting me through email.  I answer close to a half dozen email on gaming every day [email protected]
 
 
Cheers and best wishes on a new year.
 
Bill Zender
Bill Zender and Associates
702-423-5734