Richard Marcus was a prolific casino cheat. Although he was caught a few times he was never convicted. Later, he wrote a book about his cheating escapades and made enough money to stop cheating the casinos.
Richard Marcus Casino Cheat – The Early Years
He grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey. His affinity with gambling started as a young child. He used to gamble with his parents on the colour of the next car they would see, when out on trips in the family car.
Later, he used to collect and flip baseball cards with his friends. His friends would often lose so they developed a cheating strategy to beat him. They secretly switched baseball cards amongst themselves and went on to trick him out of his entire collection.
When he was old enough he started visiting a casino to learn what he could. He played a lot of Craps and his studies suffered to the extent that he dropped out of the education system. Now he had time to concentrate more on his passion, so he increased his knowledge of betting and gaming.
In his late teens, he ventured on to the racetracks. He must have learned something, he won 30 thousand dollars in one afternoon and set off for Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Richard lost his entire winnings on his first night in Vegas. After that he slept rough for while and concentrated on how he might defeat a casino. He was heavily fuelled by the massive loss and he was desperate to become a casino cheat.
Richard managed to get a job as a card dealer which, gave him the opportunity to learn Bacarrat and Blackjack in a casino environment. He made a few friends and picked up a few tips from other dealers. He learned that it was possible to cheat as a dealer and rip off the players. Then he returned to being a player to test his newly found skills as a budding casino cheat.
How he cheated the casinos using chips
Similar to post cheating, he developed a strategy where he would remove his chips from a losing bet. It was successful because the dealers eye is naturally drawn to the winning bet on the table. Richard Marcus used legitimate casino chips.
Later, acting a little tipsy, he would pace a bet with a low value chip on top of a high value chip. He would place the chips so that the higher value chip was obscured from the dealers view. When he lost he would playfully toss his chips back to the croupier but first he would swap the high value chip for a low value chip. He had worked well on the sleight of his hand deceiving the eye.
Using this technique, when he won he had placed a legitimate bet and touched nothing. If anything was suspected and checked, even using CCTV, he would appear legitimate. Often the croupier would be surprised because he had expected a bet with two low value chips. It was almost the perfect con and Richard Marcus would even celebrate to make it look like authentic win, which of course it was.
This was a clever cheating system because the cheating was on a losing bet rather than on a winning bet. Moving around casinos to avoid detection, he would win many thousands of dollars. When he lost, he was only losing say, 10 dollars each time so, he had managed to increase his winnings dramatically.
He did this for many years and accrued untold wealth as a casino cheat. He sometimes used a couple of friends to help him by obscuring the view of the croupier.
Richard called this gambling scam the “Savanna Strategy”. Savanna was the name of his girlfriend at the time.
His partnership with Joe Classon
Richard Marcus teamed up with an old casino mate called Joe Classon. At this time Richard was working as a dealer and Joe had been impressed with Richards skill as a dealer. Joe approached Richard and a successful casino cheating partnership was born. Richard would earn 20% of the total profits. Joe earned more because he needed to pay other accomplices who were involved.
This scam involved Richard shuffling and stacking the deck in such a way that the scamming players would win. The first time they tried it, a win of 21,000 dollars was achieved. Obviously the success continued and the money rolled in.
The accomplices had also perfected a late betting scheme in which Richard became highly interested. Late betting is when a player places a bet close to the time of the outcome, so the winning odds are supposedly increased. Late betting, or past posting was a scam already recognised by the casinos and Richard soon got into trouble. He was caught late betting and would have been arrested if it was not for his lying skills. He simply maintained he did not know what he was doing and did not know the rules. With tremendous front he got away with this at several casinos where he was caught late betting.
Another scam perfected by the team was a Roulette strategy. It involved adding a few extra high value chips after a bet had already been won. This was achieved successfully by having a team to distract the croupier and obscure Richard from the pit bosses.
The partnership between Richard Marcus and Joe Classon was to last 12 years during which they pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Richard left to form his own casino cheat team perhaps, at some time in the future.
His change of career
Richard placed his last bet bet as a casino cheat on new years eve, 1999. He was caught cheating using his casino chip deception techniques and later arrested. He was later released but as a result, he was banned from every casino in Nevada.
So Richard then turned his hand to writing and published his first book in 2004. Yes, you’ve guessed the book was about how he could change the odds of Roulette in a casino. After some initial publishing hurdles the book was a great success and Richard went on to write several other books about his exploits as a casino cheat.
His latest book was about protecting against identity theft, again hugely popular.
Richard is reported to have said, he might try his hand again if the conditions were right. The problem of course is that now he is recognisable through his fame as a casino cheat.
Read more about casino scams.
Other Gambling Scams which involved criminal activity
The Roselli Brothers who conned the banks and casinos out of 37 million dollars during the 1990’s.
Louis Colavecchio who became an expert forger of casino tokens. He went to prison for seven years and then tried again.
Bill Brennan a casino employee who apparently walked out of a casino at the end of his shift with half a million dollars in casino chips and cash.
Dennis Nikrasch a slot machine cheat who reportedly won more than 15 million dollars over time.
Monique Laurent a Roulette cheat who worked with her brother to electronically control the outcome of the spin.
Ida Summers a casino worker who learned to re-arrange the cards so that the punters won.
Ronald Dale Harris and Reid NcNeil who learned to cheat the the gaming machine software.
Tommy Carmichael who manipulated slot machines to win. He is now a reformed character an works as a slot machine security consultant.
A Blackjack card counting scam which enabled a group of students to win millions of dollars from US casinos.
A card cheating mobile phone which can scan and read a deck of cards, discovered by Google.