Most people have seen at least one movie that features a casino scene and, more often than not, cheating is part of that scene so that the movie becomes more interesting and exciting. But is this the reality? Are there cheaters with elaborate techniques out there? And if so what do casinos do to stop them? Read on to find out.
We have discussed the topic of cheating in casinos with iGaming expert Jacek Michalski. Jacek knows the Polish gaming industry very well and he shared his thoughts with us.
Is it possible to cheat in online casinos?
When it comes to cheating most people think of counting cards or marking them. However, in online casinos, it is not actual card decks that are being used, therefore, there is no way to mark them.
Online casinos and casino game providers such as NetEnt or Microgaming use the so-called random number generator or RNG technology when it comes to slots, online roulette or card games. This means that players – or the casino – have no way to tamper with the cards or the slot machines. Counting cards in Blackjack, that is a common tactic for people with exceptional short-term memory, is also impossible as no physical card decks are used.
Cheating methods with poker are on the rise among Polish players. Methods vary from creating multiple accounts to be able to hold several hands in one game to using poker bots or even paying a poker expert to advise on hands as the game goes on. Luckily, reputable online casinos operate fraud departments, whose job is to identify these casino cheats and protect honest players from them.
According to our iGaming expert Jacek Michalski, “Aby zidentyfikować renomowane kasyno online polskie, zawsze czytaj szczegółowe recenzje kasyn.”
Technologies against cheats in land-based casinos
Cheating technology has advanced in the past decades and so has the technology that casinos use to catch the cheats.
Agents vs Cameras
Not so long ago, agents were being used to try and monitor suspiciously behaving gamblers. This could be done by agents mingling with the crowds or observing them through a ceiling that is a mirror from one side and glass from the other.
Then came the rotating cameras, sometimes hundreds of them per casino, but the resolution and the zooming capabilities were not that great in the early days. With nowadays technology, a few 360-degree angle cameras can replace a dozen traditional cameras. Once suspicious behaviour is spotted, the person can be followed everywhere on the casino floor.
Card counting – most often in Blackjack – is strictly speaking not illegal, however, casinos, of course, don’t like it and they can throw you out if they catch you doing it.
Similarly, playing Poker as a team and secretly communicating what cards the other players have is again something that only cameras can catch and later on prove, as every second of the game is recorded.
We associate face-recognition systems with border/airport security and events where terrorist threats are real. However, modern casinos use this technology as well. When a person who has been caught cheating previously, is spotted, the agents observing the cameras get a notification and they can decide whether they should follow up on it or not. The system is so advanced that even wearing disguises won’t confuse it.
Invisible ink detection
The most common way to cheat is to mark cards. This used to be done with tiny incisions but nowadays cheaters use invisible ink that they see by wearing UV contact lenses or perspective glasses. If the cheater is caught, the casinos can verify that invisible ink was used by testing the cards against UV detecting light in their back office.
How casinos cheat when it comes to catching cheaters is clearly through technology. Cheating methods become cleverer and cleverer but the casinos are applying countermeasures to beat them. Server rooms are full of powerful computers, cameras beat human eyes and the agents are super alert. Cheating in an online casino is even more difficult as physical tampering is out of the question.