No, it is not a nickname for a delicious Italian Submarine sandwich like Santoro’s in Burbank sold. It is also not English slang for the subway. But when casino bosses hear the word sub, they might shudder.
Subs have been used in just about every gambling game to cheat the house. A sub is basically a cheating device made to fit on the body to assist a dealer in stealing casino chips. It is sort of a secret pouch that will accept chips from the dealer and conceal the chips from view. A sub can be worn in the pants, in a tie, in a shirt etc.
Gilbert Martinez made his living selling ties and aprons to the various casinos, unbeknown to them, he also made subs of every variety.
One style of sub had a stiff metal wire inside a dealers waistline. When the dealer pulled his gut in, the belt line would protrude, allowing the dealer to quickly pass chips into the secret pocket.
On one occasion at the Sahara Hotel, almost 40 years ago, casino bosses took a dealer off the crap table suspecting him of having a sub on his person. He confessed, and he had a little over $500 in $25 chips in his apron/sub. He had only been working on the table a little over 40 minutes. It was almost undetectable and cameras could not get the right angle to film the action. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a news report of anyone ever caught using one! (I may be wrong but would love to see one if anyone has a source)
Dealers on a dice crew would take turns, to who was “authorized” to wear the sub on their game and shift.
The slide sub is a way that the dealer can put a chip into his shirt pocket, as if accepting a tip from a player, then the chip will slide through a small tube into a sub located in the trousers.
The idea of making a secret pouch or compartment to hide casino chips is not exclusive to Las Vegas. The idea originally was an improvement of a dealer using the long tails of his shirt folded up and attached to his waistband, that worked essentially as a sub without all the fancy trimmings. In one sense it was much better because it was a sub that was just made from the shirt alone and required no extra pieces. If the dealer was caught in the act of stealing he could easily dump the chips down his pants leg, and there would be no cheating apparatus to find on his person. Use of a cheating device is a felony in Nevada