A group of MIT maths students put their spare time to very good use developing a Blackjack Card Counting scam. They legally won millions of dollars using sophisticated prediction skills.
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
The imagination of young minded students is often surprising. MIT is well-known the world over for its high level of teaching for those reading technology subjects. During the 1990’s a group of students at MIT went somewhat off track, they focussed their energies on mathematical odds in the game of Blackjack.
Blackjack card counting has been around for many years. It is the only casino game where players can get an edge by remembering the cards which have already been played. That enables them to predict which cards might then be dealt by the casino. It works because to beat the house you need high value cards. Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces are always the best card to draw because the winning hand is a score of 21. The Ace is the most coveted card because it scores one or eleven.
Applying Blackjack Card Counting Skills
So, these MIT maths students applied their mathematical skill to Blackjack card playing. They developed their skills to a high level and used advanced computer modelling to predict the order of cards dealt based on what had already been played. Live play dealing results were used to input the outcomes. They worked out that in specific situations they could have a good edge over the house.
This scam was developed over a number of years and as students graduated some remained in the group and others left and joined. The whole thing grew with such huge interest, there must have been a lot of number crunching involved. In practice, the new members would have to learn the system before being selected to play in a live casino. They trained in all the spare time they had and it sometimes took months to learn the system.
After the system was developed sufficiently it was successfully tested in a live casino and it appeared to work. It relied on taking over a table completely to maximise the chance of beating the house. It also required a very skilled and knowledgeable card counter to signal when a high card was likely to be dealt. That was done by using code words to signal how positive the deal would be. Wagers were increase according to the positivity of the signal.
The team would soon be visiting Las Vegas every weekend. According to casino security reports they won $400,000 dollars in one weekend.
How this Blackjack card counting scam progressed
Although the casinos knew what was going on the were powerless in terms of the law because card counting is not against the law.
During the early days the team enjoyed high roller casino benefits and lived life to the full with their new-found wealth.
The team had to be very careful about where they played and who was seen to be playing. Casino security officials were alerted to the situation and it was not long before they could recognise all the students. Ironically, the MIT yearbook was a helpful tool in this respect.
The prominent team members were soon identified. Subsequently, they were banned from the casinos in Las Vegas.
The game was up. Although the team had won millions of dollars from their scam they were prevented from entering the casinos.
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.
Richard Marcus who won hundreds of thousands of dollars by manipulating casino chips.
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 card cheating mobile phone which can scan and read a deck of cards, discovered by Google.