According to an AP story out today, a number of unshuffled decks of cards were introduced into a mini-baccarat at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City by the casino itself, which ended up costing them about $1.5 million dollars.
The cards were supposed to be guaranteed to be “pre-shuffled” right out of the pack by the manufacturer.
This last bit is puzzling to me, because in over 25 years of going to casinos I have NEVER seen a situation where the dealer did not spread out the deck after opening, and then shuffle the cards, or put them into an auto-shuffler.
But even more bizarre is how this went unnoticed by the casino staff themselves, who based upon the story may have graduated from the Helen Keller school of casino management…..
At first, it seemed like a coincidence, the kind of thing that happens from time to time at a casino, where the same number or same sequence of cards happens twice in a row.
But when the players at an April game of mini-baccarat at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City kept seeing the same sequence of cards dealt, over and over and over again, their eyes grew wide and their bets grew bigger, zooming from $10 a hand to $5,000.
Forty-one consecutive winning hands later, the 14 players had racked up more than $1.5 million in winnings – surrounded by casino security convinced they had cheated but unable to prove how.
Unable to prove how….???? Okay, well given that the statistical odds of having forty-one winning hands in a row is about a kazillion to one, you’d think that some moderately intelligent security personnel would have at least stopped play.
And apparently it wasn’t just security who was trying to figure out this diabolically clever “scheme.”
The Golden Nugget said it flooded the area with floor persons, managers, supervisors, surveillance and security officers, believing they were watching “a sophisticated swindling and cheating scheme” in progress.
Why there are any managers or executives still employed at the Golden Nugget today is a mystery to me. The only solace I suppose they can take is that the same thing happened late last year at the Trump Taj Mahal, where they let play go for 3 1/2 hours before the realizing something was wrong.