Poker Cheating and Casino Cheating Blog: American Roulette: Good Oldfashioned Poker Card-Swapping is NOT a Dying Art!

Richard Marcus

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good Oldfashioned Poker Card-Swapping is NOT a Dying Art!

When you pick up a king with a four in a Texas hold'em game and you get a peek at the guy sitting next to you's cards and notice that he's holding a king with a five, and you think, "Wouldn't it be nice if I had his king and he had my four..."

Well, in some well-groomed and practiced cases this does actually happen, and the cards one player happens to see another player holding happen to belong to his partner in poker crime. I'm talking about amateur and professional card-swapping teams, and the good ones are quite effective and get your money very quickly. Read more about card-swapping here.

And it happens in other games besides poker, usually hand-held blackjack.

But then again, not all these poker and blackjack card-swapping teams are that great. Here's one that recently got busted looking pretty bad:

In South Wales (don't know how much action there is over there), a team of card-swappers got nabbed plying their trade in the city of Swansea's main casino. One 34-year-old poker player ID'd as Ozgur Aytekin (rough sounding name, like a terrorist!) was seen on videotape peeking at the playing cards of the man sitting next to him at the table and then switching a card with him. Apparently there were four members to this team that had claimed to be tourists visiting England and Wales. The three caught were jailed for four weeks while one got away and remains at large.

3-Card Poker Operation

Theirs seemed to be quite blatant. According to a casino official, the members of the cheat-team would discuss openly their strategies while showing one another their hands at the three-card poker table. Then the one member not playing would distract the dealer while the other three removed their bottom cards and swapped them under the table. Of course the main poker cheat, Ayetekin, would end up with the winning hand.

In addition to moving cards around the table blatantly, they also moved chips in the same fashion. Ayetekin was observed passing his chips to a man not playing who was standing behind him.

The casino claims it was cheated out of £75 and an additonal £425 was recovered at the poker table.

My take: What a mere pittance to go through all this for!

But don't be fooled by the misadventures of this bumbling card-swapping team. There are lots of good ones operating, especially in California's huge poker card-clubs. I have written extensively about them in my book Dirty Poker.


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Name: Richard Marcus

My book, AMERICAN ROULETTE (St. Martin's Press), tells the true story of my twenty-five years as a professional casino cheater. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, in my early twenties, I supported myself solely through legitimate gambling. However, I soon found myself broke and homeless, living under a highway overpass. I eventually sought gainful employment in the only industry I had knowledge of, becoming a Blackjack and Baccarat dealer. Armed with experience on both sides of the tables, my mentor to be, Joe Classon taught the ways of a professional casino cheater. Although retired, I keep up on the various cons and scams that law enforcement is largely unnable to adequately police.


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