Thursday, January 26, 2012

Aces Casino Blog: When It Comes To Cheating At Blackjack, NO One Was Better Than Dustin Marks

Very early on, this Orange County casino party company known as Aces Casino found out something VERY interesting in their first years of business -- There are some people out there in this big, beautiful world that are VERY adept with their hands, especially when holding playing cards.  (Ed. Note: Thought we were about to hit the 'dump' button on that one.  You're OK, but watch those 'hands.')

Back in the day when Aces Casino was first forming the nucleus of their casino party entertainment team, the decision was made to not only have dealers that could easily DEAL the specific games - they wanted ENTERTAINMENT, people that were funny, eclectic, men and women who were 'fun' people.  I remember at one of the very first "casting calls" for Aces Casino, the company requested entertaining people join them at the Aces Seminar.  And, let me tell you, we got what we were looking for - entertainers, comedians, and one group that I didn't expect.


Now, when you have an Orange County casino night company with the word "entertainment" right in the name, no one in MY book fits that bill better than magicians.  I've always LOVED magic acts.  I'm one of those saps that applauds every time the bunny comes popping out of the top hat, and marvels when the guy shows us has a coin in his hand, and then, POOF.  It's gone.  I LOVE magic acts, so when it came time to add some much-needed entertainment to our team, we hired two magicians to deal at the events.  (We now have four that we rotate here and there to different events in SoCal.)  
My son, who makes food disappear.

Right away, these magicians on our party crew showed me something that I never even thought of before... Not only can these guys make coins and bunnies appear, they can also be VERY adept at making playing cards appear and disappear.  No doubt, I thought to myself -- This is PERFECT for Aces Casino.  And it was.  We've always been on the cutting edge of supplying the perfect entertainment tool for all of our southern California clients, and with the addition of our "magic team," Aces Casino instantly became the leader in Orange County, San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles casino party events. 

Then, something ELSE dawned on me - I wonder just how many people are so incredibly talented at "making magic" try to use their talents at the legalized casinos in California, Nevada and across the United States and the world.  No wonder all of those pit bosses, boxmen and shift bosses have that scowl on their face.  They're looking for cheaters.  Cheaters that can severely dig into a legal casino's profit margin.  Hey, after seeing what some of OUR magic team could do with coins, chips and cards, I can see why the casinos would be bullish on eliminating cheaters.

Because of our contacts in the industry, we had the chance to speak with a few of the top heads of security for two different casinos in Las Vegas about ten years or so ago, and got a virtual tour of what were the most elaborate security facilities in the industry.  It was an amazing sight, seeing all of these monitors being watched by some of the sharpest security personnel in the world, all looking for one thing - Cheating at their casino tables.  At our visit to the Stardust Hotel and Casino, we actually were witness to one player attempting to switch the chip he bet on a Roulette table in order to make more money on a winning play.  They caught him, and eventually prosecuted him for cheating.

After seeing all the steps taken to guard against people trying something like that Roulette cheat tried (and failed), I thought that attempting to cheat THESE casinos was fruitless, to say the least.

And that's when the name "Dustin Marks" came up.

When asked if there was anyone that was successful at consistently cheating these two casinos we had visited, both heads of security brought up the one name of a gentleman that, to this day, had cheated casinos out of literally MILLIONS of dollars, and had NEVER been caught.  Dustin Marks.  Or, as told to us, THAT was the name that the casinos KNEW him as.  To this day, no one actually knows his real name.

 Don't play "Go Fish" for money with this man.

"Dustin Marks" is known as one of the world’s most famous insider cheats. Not only had he been a casino dealer, but he had also been one of the very few cheaters who had managed to cheat the casinos where he worked for several years without anyone ever being able to catch him.  He WORKED for the casinos!  Ouch.  That's gonna leave a mark.  (Ed. Note: No pun intended, I'm told.  That's two.)

Dustin Marks was born in the 1950s and is known to be THE most famous insider cheaters in the United States. He had worked in several well known casinos in Las Vegas during the 1970s and thru the 1980s. He had mastered several different cheating methods in blackjack over the years, mostly dealing with his adept handling of the cards.

One of his specialties had been second dealing where he used to peek at the card on top of the deck and then deal the second from the top cards to the players while reserving the top card for his partner. Though the technique had been invented and used by many other players before Dustin, he had mastered it like no other. He was also a master of the "False Shuffle," or a shuffling method that looked to the naked eye like a true shuffling of the cards, when in reality, the dealer was "mechanizing" the deck, or setting it up to play the way the dealer wanted it to.

A partner would come to his table and would place a $100 or a $25 bet, and then Dustin would begin the deal. Since casinos at that time were already aware of several different cheating methods, the betting amount was kept to $100 and not more in order to avoid any scrutiny from the pit bosses. However, Dustin had managed to perfect his shuffling techniques so well that he was able to manipulate his decks in front of the pit bosses without them knowing it.

While playing with his accomplices, Dustin used to peek at the top card in a very sneaky way and when there was a high value card he would signal his partner who would then place a high bet.  Dustin would then ensure that the high value card was dealt to his accomplice. This would give their team an edge over the casino and would allow them to win a much greater share of Blackjack hands.  This movement of his was so incredibly quick and so hard to detect, it looked just like second nature to the players AND the casino management.  I'm sure that it would also fool our Orange County casino party team, as well.  Aces Casino is good, but not THAT good.  (Grin)

Yes, for many years, the man known as "Dustin Marks" successfully carried out his scam, and in process, won millions of dollars at the casinos where he worked by cheating his bosses. However, the interesting part about his career is that though he made so much of money and cheated right under the noses of the casinos, he was never caught during his career.

And that's why why Aces Casino, the top Orange County casino night party company in the industry, LOVES to have magicians at our tables.  Our chips are fake.  That, and we usually cheat FOR the players, not AGAINST them. Yes, we'd be really bad dealers at the REAL casinos, but our team is PERFECT for your next party.  Give Aces Casino a call today, and set up your next casino night party!

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