How to Spot Card Cheaters in Casinos

casino cheaters image
Casino Cheaters. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Card cheaters in casinos have perfected the art of double-dealing to the extent that it’s often challenging to spot them.

Have you ever wondered how one spots a casino cheater?  Card cheats have lost their leverage at casinos with modern technology, although they continue to pose a problem.  Here are a few tell-tale signs to help you identify a cheater:

A High Roller or a Criminal?

One of the more apparent giveaways is when a player tries to behave like a high roller.  For example, a crook may switch bets or past-post a CA$1,000 chip.  But, know that these players are not stupid.  Usually, before making a fake bet, they will play a legitimate one with the same denomination chip.  The dealer would probably not be suspicious if the same player claims a bet switch with another CA$1,000 chip.

The Head-Trip

Most of the casino cheating is psychological, so observe a potential perp carefully.  You might see a player physically reach out to a dealer.  In a casino, dealers are never supposed to be touched by players, so one way to cheat would be by distracting the dealer with a simple act of touch.

The cheater with a switched bet might gently tap a dealer on the forearm to make them aware of the underhanded move and get paid speedily.  Shocked at this behaviour, a dealer can quickly lose focus and forget what they saw.  Often, the dealer won’t argue the claim that’s coming from a cheat because they can’t recall what took place.


Bet-back involves purchasing chips from a different table than the one a cheat is playing at.  Say a cheater won CA$2,000 and then moved to the next table and bet-backed CA$200.  They would still win CA$1,800 in the long run but would employ this move to get the heat off their back, thus confusing any suspecting onlookers or security personnel.

Large Tips

Cheaters usually leave big tips.  So, if you see a player that you suspect might have been cheating and they leave hefty tips for the dealers that are a bit extravagant compared to their takings, then you might have caught them out.  The theory is that dealers who are not happy might call security, so swindlers will try to pay them off.

This happens more often than you think.  But, remember, everything is being observed by an eye in the sky.  So, if the dealer is involved in a shady deal, they will be caught sooner rather than later.

Cheats Prefer to Wait

So, you suspect the player next to you is cheating, but they are sticking around way too long to be deceitful, right?  Not necessarily.  You might think a cheater wants to make a quick exit from the table soon after their shady move or a dishonest bet-back.  However, intelligent crooks don’t colour out their chips to a higher denomination straight away.

If they did, they would be alerting the casino that they’re heading off to the cashiers’ cage to get paid and leave.  By staying put for a while, a cheat gives off the impression that they might have just been paid but are just another ordinary player who is still ready to gamble for more.

Dealers’ New Best Friend

Crooks know that an excellent way to control a table is social conviviality.  Laughter and small talk are notable distractions, and nobody tends to suspect foul play when everyone appears to be happy.  Cheaters rake in the cash while talking about what they think would interest other players, engaging them in lively banter while, essentially, picking everyone’s pockets.

This type of cheat is often seen chatting with the floor manager or supervisor and building rapport with various casino staff.  Usually, supervisors are the main target because they ultimately decide if a player is cheating or if they scored a legitimate win.

Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Besides polishing his SEO skills, Bojan has a penchant for creative writing. With over half a decade of experience in the online gambling industry under his belt, his written take on the latest news from the Canadian and global gambling industries is an indispensable source of information for the CASINOenquirer team. Bojan’s primary goal is to ensure that players get a superior experience through the top-notch content that he shares.

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