Are you looking for the upper hand? Tired of losing all your cash? Cheat! No, I’m totally kidding. But if you’ve ever been curious about how people cheat in order to get the upper hand in blackjack, here’s how it’s done:
Generally, the rules of blackjack dictate that a dealer must hit his own hand until it reaches a value of 17. If the dealer stops, he either has blackjack or he’s reached the limit. Now, if you could only see his down card, then you would have a tremendous advantage, wouldn’t you? Marking cards is one way to gain some proverbial X-ray vision. Some cheaters slightly bend the tip of a card, scratch it, or “muck” it using a chemical. The most popular cards to mark are the ten point ones, because then the player can usually ascertain whether or not the dealer has a winning hand.
Another method requires a partner with excellent sleuth abilities and a whole lot of gumption. The cohort’s job is to stand behind the dealer and peek at his cards with the opportunity presents itself, then yank on his own ear (not the dealers) to signal the player. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. Dealers are pretty savvy creatures and surveillance cameras are typically able to spot this type of activity pretty well.
It’s not always the players who cheat; some unscrupulous dealers are looking to get the upper hand as well. Perhaps the dealer peaks at the second card before deciding his next move. He may even dent specific ones, adding texture to them so he can “feel” what they are before actually seeing them. Talented dealers may also do the “fake-out shuffle” or deal from the bottom instead of the top. In other words, while you are concentrating on your own cheating strategy, the dealer may have a few tricks (or cards) up his sleeve as well.
In the long run, you are probably better off learning the art of blackjack and forget about cheating altogether. Chances are, you’ll be caught and will get yourself thrown out of the casino. But hey, you’ll have a great story to tell your friends. They may not want to play blackjack with you anymore, though.