Let’s be honest: Anyone who has ever seen the movie Ocean’s Eleven and been part of the charming gangster troupe around George Clooney has secretly wondered what it’s like to trick a casino. After all, it seems that winning between cocktail bar and roulette table would be impossible.
Well, the house edge certainly doesn’t make it easy for players. But with a little brains and a little deviousness, the odds of winning can be greatly increased. The following cases prove that exactly this works without small acrobats, explosives and the layout of the casino.
We present: 5 cases where the house was left behind in the end.
The man with the eye for detail…
Roulette is a simple game where the only thing that matters is the luck to randomly bet on the right number or colour? At least that’s how it is in theory. However, the Spaniard Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo took a slightly different approach, taking advantage of the laws of physics. Pelayo assumed that every single roulette table has small production-related peculiarities.
Even a slight imbalance, a deviating shape or the dimensions of the so-called boiler have an influence on the rotation. The Spaniard concluded that precisely this gives each table a certain preference for certain numbers. To test his theory, Pelayo visited a casino and watched thousands of roulette rounds and recorded the results.
Once he had analysed the data and identified the promising figures, he began to play the game himself. With this method he tricked several casinos in Spain and Las Vegas completely legally. He made a profit of more than 1.5 million US dollars. Today he hung up his „career“. Coincidentally, he no longer has access to many Spanish casinos anyway.
The Man with the Golden Arm
If you really want to make money in the casino and have stamina, you don’t play the slot machine, but the dice game Craps. If you do it right and only pay attention to the „pass“ and „don’t pass“ bets, you can push the house advantage to 1.4 percent from the outset. The chances are even better with the right dicing technique. A true master of his trade is Dominic LoRiggio, also known as „the man with the golden arm“.
Over the years he perfected his throwing technique to throw the dice in such a way that the probability of a certain result increases massively. With this also legal trick, LoRiggio has earned almost 100,000 US dollars to date. However, good casinos recognize the so-called „shooters“ and ask players to throw the dice in different ways.
The father of card counting
When mathematics professor Edward Thorp first visited Las Vegas in the 1960s, he was fascinated by the casino classic of blackjack.n Casino-Klassiker Blackjack. After a while he realised that it must be possible to use mathematics to gain an advantage over the casino in the game. After Thorpe had researched the game in detail and made some calculations with the help of the then extremely powerful computers at the University of California, he developed a promising strategy that gave each player an advantage of 1 to 5 percent over the casino.
Card counting was born. At the blackjack table, Thorpe’s system has been a resounding success, earning up to $70,000 per weekend. The one or other fast car was definitely in it for the kids. These exorbitant and regular winnings, however, ensured that one casino after another banned him from the house, even though no fraud could be proven and card counting is still completely legal today – even in online casinos.
The heirs of Edward Thorpe
After Thorpe introduced the art of card counting to the world with his book „Beat the Dealer“, countless adventurers have tried their hand at it. But no one was as successful as the MIT Blackjack team, which perfected the concept of card counting. It was also combined with a sophisticated team strategy.
It was not to be expected at the beginning that THE students of MIT, who actually only met in the 1990s to play blackjack better, would make millions. But with their sophisticated strategy, the MIT Blackjack team managed to raise as many as ‚400,000 per weekend. If the rumours are to be believed, the smart clique has amassed more than 5 million US dollars. The story about the MIT Kids and their lecturer J.P. Massar is told in the movie „21“.
The special case „Poker“
The fact that poker in the casino is one of the most popular games is simply because players don’t compete against the house. Accordingly, the chances of winning here are also greatest if they have the right skills, as poker does not have a built-in home advantage. Only the experience and abilities of each player count here.
The example of poker legend Daniel Negreanu, who twice won the World Poker Tour title, won 6 World Series of Poker bracelets and collected a good USD 35 million in prize money during his career, shows that poker can make a lot of money.