How to cheat at the roulette table

The Roulette Slide

“The second best roulette move I ever saw was performed by generations of roulette cheaters from Italy. I ran into a third or fourth generation Italian team in Reno in the late 1970s and then several more times over the years in different casinos around the world. I didn’t learn what their roulette move actually was until the early 1990s when I spied them doing it in the Bahamas. In fact, one of the most humorous moments of my quarter-century cheating career was what happened when I first ran into this Italian roulette pastposting team. Unbeknownst to me, they were sitting at the same roulette table as my team, and after the dealer placed the dolly over the chips on the winning number, our mechanic’s hands collided with their mechanic’s hands smack in the middle of the table as both were performing their moves. Lots of chips went flying! Those of you who read my memoir “American Roulette,” may remember that hilarious incident.


They were a four-man team. Three of their players each bought in at the table for a stack of $1 roulette chips, each playing a different color. The fourth player stood by the table across from the dealer by the wheel. He did not buy in for chips. The three players with chips bet one stack of twenty chips ($20) on two different numbers in different sections. The total configuration of their bets was that Player A had two twenty-chip bets on numbers in the first dozen (numbers 1 thru 12), Player B two twenty-chip bets on numbers in the second dozen (numbers 13 thru 24), and Player C two twenty-chip bets on numbers in the third dozen (numbers 25 thru 36). Thus in total they had six $20 bets covering the length of the entire layout, each bet a stack of twenty roulette chips.

When one of their numbers won—they just left well enough alone. Their winning stack was paid 35 to 1, $700, while their five losing stacks cost them $100, for a net profit of $600 for the spin. But when their numbers all lost, they fabricated a winner. The player whose losing stack of chips was closest to the winning number simply slid that stack onto the winning number BEFORE the dealer could place the dolly on it, provided, of course, no other chips were already on it. If, for example, the winning number was 5 and one of their stacks was on 4, the player would slide that stack of chips onto number 5 with a movement so deft and swift it defied reality. They used a split-second distraction on the dealer that involved their fourth player standing near the wheel asking the dealer for change, advice or some other roulette question at the crucial movement. This move was unbelievable and the real killer was that they could stay on the same table and repeat it several times, as long as they didn’t pick up steam. Sometimes their roulette chips were worth $5, depending on the casino limit, which meant that in a casino with a $100 straight-up limit, they were bopping them for $3,500 a shot!”

(by Richard Marcus)

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