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weaselman
weaselman
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November 3rd, 2010 at 8:48:51 AM permalink
Quote: SanchoPanza

The same way that the Amazing Randi was able to show what an out-and-out fraud Uri Geller was. And sent Barbara Walters crying. Good magicians have sufficient experience with dexterity.



I don't know who are these people, and why some of them were crying.
Can you just explain your suggested method of verifying the correctness of the deck composition in a live game to me in plain English?
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
Headlock
Headlock
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November 3rd, 2010 at 11:50:08 AM permalink
My intent when I started this thread was to find some evidence that casinos are subject to oversight that would deter cheating. I've played a considerable amount of time in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, Florida and Nevada. I believe each of these states has a gaming commission, control board, whatever they call it, but not once have I seen a representative of gaming control checking dice or cards.

So I will ask again, does anyone have recent evidence that gaming control, unannounced, checks the dice, the cards, the video poker machines while they are in operation in the casino?

Surely there must be someone among the thousands of visitors to this forum that has worked for a gaming commission or in casino management.
soulhunt79
soulhunt79
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November 3rd, 2010 at 11:50:27 AM permalink
Quote: austintx


I don't think that cheating can occur systematically in land based casinos, with all the safeguards and oversight, but still guys we need to watch. We (as players) are the main way to stop cheating by casinos. Everyone can and will cheat if given the opportunity. Think of all of the US corporations in general that have cheated in some way or another over the past five years (multiple major financial institutions, manufacturing companies, and even the Vatican), because they thought they could get away with it. And you all think that casino corporations of all things are holier than them? If players don't watch and rules and regulators don't exist, then of course casinos will cheat. It is human nature. Even though they have a house edge, they will still cheat because it is human nature to be greedy. So keeping up the appearance by players of watching for cheating is what makes table games honest. It is hard enough to win even on an honest game. So I think we owe it to ourselves to keep an eye on everything, and keep regulators out there, so that cheating will be minimized. Even though I get as pissed off as anyone in blackjack when the dealer draws to 21 for three busts hands in a row, I really trust that that was chance, not cheating. Because I do my part in watching intently.



Some of your examples of cheating are really broadening what a lot of people call cheating. Most of your examples are companies selling products that had little or no regulation(either government or industry). A company has zero issues selling me a product where half the parts are from china because it is cheaper. They don't advertise the products as being created with the best parts possible though either.



With something like loaded dice. Couldn't someone that could tell the difference actually gain an edge because they knew they were loaded? If more 7s are supposed to come up, simply bet the don't pass. The casino needs to make sure they keep the edge, and something that screws with the odds on games like craps/roulette just mean if the player knows they can use that to their advantage.

With cards, how many 10s would they need to remove from a 6 deck shoe for it to really affect the odds enough to matter? This one I'm actually kindof curious on because if the answer is something like 10-12, it means that if the first hand dealt has this number, that means I should get up and go to a different table.

Machines used on table games to me have the same issues as loaded dice. The machine would need to know how many players are playing. You think they are putting in seat sensors? I certainly don't see someone pressing buttons on the shuffler on my Let it Ride game everytime someone sits down.


Video Poker, absolutely able to cheat on this. Probably one of the easiest ones as you know exactly what the probabilities are supposed to be, but no way of verifying physical cards. This one is a matter of trust in the gaming commission to enforce their rules.

Slots. Casinos I assume increase/decrease payouts all the time on these machines. I simply don't call this cheating since noone has a clue what the real odds are on getting 3 7s or 5 gold rings.


Casinos already have an extremely easy way of increasing their advantage on games. Simply have less of the good BJ tables. Casinos have certainly ripped out good tables and put in worse ones, or replaced games like BJ with things like Let it Ride. The amount of effort a casino seems like it would need to go through to cheat me out of another 0.5% on BJ is fairly large, at least if they are doing so across the board and not with just 2 of their 400 dealers.


I absolutely know it is possible, but I have yet to see anyone with any proof that it happened to them, and the few stories I've read on it have tried to be verified with no success. I'll continue to be sceptical and make sure I'm getting paid the correct amounts on my craps bets and colorups.
austintx
austintx
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November 3rd, 2010 at 1:21:17 PM permalink
You are actually correct -- for larger land based casinos, there are lots of ways to increase revenues without cheating. Lets say for blackjack, just changing the rules of the game (blackjack payout amount, rules on splitting/double down, hitting on soft 17, etc.) can accomplish an adjustment in the house edge equal or perhaps even greater than illegally removing a few 10 cards from the deck or dealing seconds occasionally or manipulating the shuffle. The vast majority of casual blackjack players don't even look at the rules when they sit down, or look at rules to choose a casino to go to in the first place. Besides changing the rules of the game, they can offer more games with a higher house edge in the first place, introduce high house edge side bets (like suited pairs in a blackjack game, etc.), spend time on marketing and promotions to bring more players in, etc. etc. -- all of which are much safer and fruitful for a casino then taking the risk to directly cheat players.

But to say that there are plenty of ways for casinos to make money without cheating, so therefore they don't and won't cheat, is a totally ridiculous statement. There needs to be regulators and inspectors. Because everyone will cheat if there is no risk of being caught. That is simple human nature. The question is, who are these people who regulate and what do they do? I'm curious too.
weaselman
weaselman
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November 3rd, 2010 at 1:21:55 PM permalink
Quote: soulhunt79


With cards, how many 10s would they need to remove from a 6 deck shoe for it to really affect the odds enough to matter?



http://wizardofodds.com/blackjack/appendix7.html
Removing 6 of them about doubles the house edge. Replacing them with fives instead of simply removing will do even more damage

Quote:


This one I'm actually kindof curious on because if the answer is something like 10-12, it means that if the first hand dealt has this number, that means I should get up and go to a different table.


You'll likely see other cards getting out as well, not just 10s though. But if you see significantly more tens than low cards being played, you are right, it's better to move or take a break. It's the basic idea behind card counting.
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
soulhunt79
soulhunt79
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November 3rd, 2010 at 2:04:24 PM permalink
Quote: austintx


But to say that there are plenty of ways for casinos to make money without cheating, so therefore they don't and won't cheat, is a totally ridiculous statement. There needs to be regulators and inspectors. Because everyone will cheat if there is no risk of being caught. That is simple human nature. The question is, who are these people who regulate and what do they do? I'm curious too.



I absolutely agree. I don't give companies a pass simply because I trust them. Gaming at least in Nevada seems to be one of the most heavily regulated industries. Obviously one has to trust that regulation actually works. I certainly wouldn't mind some comments from people that have seen this regulation in action.

I will never say cheating is impossible and never occurs. I just think if it is happening on the scale that some people are suspecting, that I find it very hard to believe something hasn't leaked about it happening. There were massive layoffs in the past few years. All it took was one of those dealers to be in the know and chat about it. While I'm sure some would even care if it was just 1 dealer cheating in all of vegas, I just don't care that much on this. This is the same as a new dealer giving me the wrong payout and me not catching it.
Headlock
Headlock
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November 6th, 2010 at 3:24:14 PM permalink
There are several regulars here who have worked in casinos. Paigow Dan, mkl, 7winner, 7craps. Math Extremist consults to the gaming, no I'll call it what it is, the gambling industry. So, PLEASE, describe for me your experience with gaming commission personnel enforcing the regulations IN THE CASINO. Doc and goatcabin, superrick, you all play a lot of craps. Have you ever seen gaming commission personnel inspecting the dice and/or the table?
mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 6th, 2010 at 4:10:49 PM permalink
Quote: Headlock

There are several regulars here who have worked in casinos. Paigow Dan, mkl, 7winner, 7craps. Math Extremist consults to the gaming, no I'll call it what it is, the gambling industry. So, PLEASE, describe for me your experience with gaming commission personnel enforcing the regulations IN THE CASINO. Doc and goatcabin, superrick, you all play a lot of craps. Have you ever seen gaming commission personnel inspecting the dice and/or the table?



In eight years, I never saw a gaming enforcement agent (not that he necessarily would have identified himself as such), and I never saw or experienced a game being interrupted, let alone shut down, for any kind of inspection. That includes slots and video poker--I never saw an inspection, surprise or otherwise. Of course, that I didn't see it doesn't mean that it never happened, but I DID work a lot of graveyard (my shift of choice), and I would think if there WAS going to be any kind of inspection/game shutdown, that would be when it would happen, as it would be less disruptive then.

I have seen the dice, as they were replaced (all five sets), be put in a special sealed envelope by the floorman to be sent to Gaming. What the exact purpose of that was, I never bothered to ask.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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November 6th, 2010 at 4:34:47 PM permalink
Quote: Headlock

There are several regulars here who have worked in casinos. Paigow Dan, mkl, 7winner, 7craps. Math Extremist consults to the gaming, no I'll call it what it is, the gambling industry. So, PLEASE, describe for me your experience with gaming commission personnel enforcing the regulations IN THE CASINO. Doc and goatcabin, superrick, you all play a lot of craps. Have you ever seen gaming commission personnel inspecting the dice and/or the table?



Read the Nevada gaming regulations. Several parts of Regulation 5, for example, basically say that every aspect of a gaming establishment is subject to inspection by a board or commission member at any time and that denying that inspection is grounds for disciplinary action. I know for a fact that Nevada gaming agents perform random inspections of slot machines. Here's a link to a NGCB presentation on their field services.

Many other jurisdictions do the same thing. For example, Ontario.

Edit: I should add that I have specifically asked the NGCB whether physical gaming elements (like dominoes) are required to be approved. The NGCB has the authority to approve dice, cards, and other "associated equipment" but they currently do not require such approval. In other words, casinos in Nevada are free to get their cards or dice (or - importantly for me - dominoes) wherever they want. This is unlike Washington State, for example, which requires an authorized distributor and specific approval for cards (dice games are not allowed in WA).
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Doc
Doc
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November 6th, 2010 at 4:39:03 PM permalink
The only inspection I have ever seen performed on a pair of dice was done by the box man, and I think that was basically limited to verifying the serial numbers. Of course, unless he/she were introduced to me, I highly doubt I could distinguish a gaming official from a floor supervisor, and perhaps not from another player. And for that matter, I personally would consider having an official interrupt a game to inspect the dice as an annoyance. If the dice are good enough for the casino, I think they are good enough for me. I have never heard it described how a set of five biased dice could consistently help the casino without giving the players an opportunity that could be exploited. I still view craps (my favorite casino game) as mostly-random bets on random numbers, sort of like roulette.

On the other hand, I have seen some tables that I didn't think were particularly uniform. Back in August I posted here that I had encountered a table where the dice kept bouncing at right angles to the left without any obvious reason.

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