I once worked in Aguacalientes, Mexico, which is near Guadalajara, at the annual St. Marcos festival in a casino that had at least 16 chemin de fer games, two baccarat games, 40 or 50 twenty one games and many other mexican games including cockfighting and bull fighting. My job was to watch the games for my dear friend Alfredo Hernandez, one of the finest gamblers I have ever met. Keeping everyone honest was not an easy task in a casino that lacked sophisticated surveillance equipment, however we managed to do a pretty good job.
I’ll never forget being taken to the casino by’the Federales, who carried machine guns on the front seats of the car we were in.
One day while shopping in the city, I met an American by the name of Freddie. Freddie and I became pals very quickly as we both shared the same interests. He said he used to be a dealer in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He became very candid in his exploits and soon after a half a bottle of tequila, he recounted how he had
swindled millions of dollars from the casinos in Las Vegas. All of this happening many years before.
I suspected that Freddie was not the man’s real name, and I soon found out that he had disappeared as quickly as he came on the scene. He did however enlighten me to the modus operandi before he departed.
Cards that were going to be used in the baccarat game were obtained from someone working in the casino. The cards were opened from the bottom and the plastic wrapping carefully removed. The cardboard box was then split down the side with an exacto knife and the cards were removed and secretly marked with a specially formulated daub. The daub was very lightly applied and only the most experienced reader could see anything on the backs.
Players were brought in to play as high rollers. Casino credit was applied for and extended. The players did not have any idea how the scam worked. They were only told to follow the signals of a man sitting at the table that was the mastermind. He would signal the players were to wager. They won better than 75 percent of the wagers, and they did not know how the scam worked.
The mastermind would simply look at the exposed card in the window and would determine the value. He would then decide which side, the player or the bank, had the best chance to win. And win they did. Freddie said that more than $1,000,000 in cold cash was won from the game before someone got suspicious. The team then broke up.
I will post a follow up story on this later…….
MAKING THE FLOORMAN THE THIEF
This is a very uncommon and little known method of taking off a Baccarat game. In a large Baccarat game there are three dealers on the game. One dealer is the caller and handles the cards as dealt by the players. It is customary to give the person that is betting the largest amount on the PLAYERS side the privilege of turning over the PLAYERS hand.
Two hands are dealt: a hand for the PLAYERS side and a hand for the BANKERS side. These are two designated places to wager, on the game table. The highest hand closest to nine is the winner.
The floorman is made the thief by the dealer who asks the floorman if the player, who has just bet after the cards have been exposed, can still bet. The player is the only one who has seen the cards that are exposed by the dealer when the cards are picked off the table and handed to a player at the table. The slightest angle when lifting the cards will give the agent the value of the cards.
There are certain strategies to play depending on what the PLAYERS hand is.
I would like to play just for one day using this method and I would never work again.