Forget Harry Potter, we’re talking real wizards here – or maybe even angels? – of the gambling kind. Have you ever wondered whether there’s anyone out there who can really beat the bricks and mortar casinos? And beat them every time?
Well we wondered the same thing so we’ve done our research. Here’s what we found: some of the movers and shakers, the top casino games magicians that have graced the felt and casino floors over time – all of whom are recognised as experts in their fields and idolized by players the world over.
And an even more amazing find is – despite their skills at cheating and deception, these guys are actually favourites in the eyes of casino owners, as well as players.
Why? Because they have all chosen to use their skills to keep the casino floor safe, secure and clean of cheats – to help with training, surveillance, and self-protection against scams, making sure everyone gets a fair game. Now that sounds like fair cop to us!
John Scarne (1903-1985): this is where it all started, baby! Although he was never a gambler, this guy dedicated his life to studying cheating methods and techniques across dice and card games including Blackjack, and helping to prevent them on the casino floor. A leader ahead of his time, he was the first person that wasn’t a casino owner to really give a bother about the effects of cheating on Regular Joes like you and me. His books – which are still considered not only relevant, but some of the best – include Scarne on Cards (1949) and Scarne on Dice (1956). And if that isn’t impressive enough, he doubled for Paul Newman’s hands in the film The Sting!
Franck Garcia (1927-1993): seen as a scam specialist, Garcia provided lectures for law enforcement agencies and made television appearances to show his skill and convey his message that gambling could be laden with problems. His three-shell trick was particularly famous, and his charismatic personality meant he always left his watchers spellbound – and wanting more. His books include Marked Cards and Loaded Dice (1962), In a Nutshell (1974) and Don’t Bet On It (1978).
Richard Turner: known as being particularly impressive because of his almost non-existent eyesight, Turner is a specialist in a number of gambling techniques, and makes his money with regular live performances that demonstrate his mastery of card tricks and knowledge. There’s no need to even try and cheat the casino when you have this guy’s skill! His most famous release is the DVD called The Cheat.
Steve Forte: considered one of the best card manipulators of all time, this guy is a living legend. A professional poker and blackjack player, as well as a casino dealer and consultant, this gifted fellow lives and breaths casino games and gambling. He’s an expert when it comes to scam detection, cheat techniques and casino surveillance – and he’s even a gambling historian (possibly the world’s best and most prolific). His publications include Casino Game Protection (2004), Poker Protection (2006) and the Gambling Protection DVD Series.
George Joseph: a regular face in all of the biggest and most glamorous Vegas casinos, Joseph is a leading authority in the cheating business and an expert in all manner of casino games. He’s even gone so far as to train law enforcement agencies – and has made his fortune by offering his protection to casinos, rather than working his skills on the other side! His book Poker Cheating (2007) is still one of the most famous tomes on the subject, and his DVDs Cheating at Blackjack, Cheating at Craps and Cheating Las Vegas are still hot sellers.
Would you help the casino with surveillance like these guys, or would you keep it yourself and hope one of the surveillance team didn’t pick up on your cheats?