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Casinos 101- How to Avoid Being Ripped Off

Updated on October 26, 2012

This hub will help you

if you go to the casino. Heck, this hub can help you even if you don't. I will be diving into the topic of casinos and the ways they do business. As part of this discussion, I will be revealing some important insights to protect you, my reader, from being cheated. Hopefully, they will protect you in your time of need.


Cheating comes in many forms.

The idea of cheating is likely as old as mankind, but some people/places have taken it to extremes. The casinos have mastered this art of deception from what I have seen. Look carefully at the picture to your right for a perfect example of what some one once used. Large corporations build these huge fortresses with one thing in mind, taking your money. Their public policies for customer protection look great from a distance. However, take a walk inside that world, and you will know first hand that those public policies are crap. There are so many things going on behind the curtain that it would amaze you. Believe it or not, I once had a dealer tell me first hand that 50% of the people dealing at that establishment were card mechanics. If that doesn't alert you, nothing will. So, for those who want to know, here is a list of things to watch out for when you are headed to any casino.

The Dealer
The Dealer | Source
The Pit Boss
The Pit Boss | Source
The Waitress
The Waitress | Source
Bring Change
Bring Change
Security FOR the casinos
Security FOR the casinos | Source
Watch Out For The Cabs!
Watch Out For The Cabs! | Source
  1. The Dealer: This is the first place you risk being ripped off once you are ready to gamble. Most of the dealers in the casinos have been trained to deal according to a certain standard . The problem with that is that they also employ "wrench" or "mechanic" dealers that can manipulate the outcome of just about any game the casino has to offer. There is almost no way to tell which one is which because of the skill and precision the "mechanic" uses as he/she prepares the game for your demise. Things to look for a skinny or fat cuts of the cards, small portions of the deck that go without being shuffled, and taking your money even when you win. The later does not happen often, but I have seen it more than once.
  2. The Pit Boss: Here is a man that you don't want to cross. He has a great deal of authority, and will use it in a hurry. The main thing to watch out for with the casino pit boss is lying. That's not really cheating, but it can cost you money. I have run into more than one incident when the dealer made a mistake and the pit boss will not listen to you nor pay you. At that point, the pit boss will say anything to convince you that you are wrong. There is no way to win in this situation, so avoid it at all cost.
  3. The Waitresses: Much like the dealers, most of the waitresses are honest and decent. However, there are quite a few that will try to pull a fast one. I suggest you never ask a casino waitress for change, lest you chance not see your money or the waitress again.
  4. Making Change: Carry small bills any time you plan to go to gamble. This will allow you to choose how much you invest into each spin/roll/deal. Otherwise, you will not get change at the table in cash. You only get chips, which disassociate you from the actual value of the bills they represent. In addition, as my first commenter suggested, you can also limit the cash you carry to prevent you from over spending. That is a fine suggestion my friend.
  5. Cameras: The cameras in the casino are an oxymoron of sorts in my experience. They will catch a thief or cheater who is taking from the casino in a second, but never seem to have footage when it is the players money being taken. One such example is a man who hid cards at the end of a big poker hand, making it look as if every one had folded. After I looked and seen there were not any cards on the table, I tossed my hand which is very standard. The problem comes when the cheater exposes his cards, and the dealer pushes him the pot. With the 10 cameras over my head, I was sure there would be footage, but alas, they just allowed him to cheat without investigating at all. Do not depend on those cameras for any type of protection.
  6. Hustlers: There are many people in the world who make their money off of scamming people. From what I can gather, a lot of them like to hang out in the casinos. There are always some decent folks around any place you go, but be very careful when dealing with the other patrons. You never know if this person is being friendly because that is their nature or if you are in line to be the next victim of their con. Be extra wary when outside of the casinos and still in the area, because this is where you can really get into trouble. Do not travel through this area alone. Use the buddy system and stay alert any time you are outside of the casino.
  7. Taxis: The cab companies are not part of the casinos usually, but they will still try to rip you off. One common scam by taxi drivers is to take a route full of detours. Of course, when you are paying by the mile, that cost you more. This is difficult to prevent if you do not know your way around, so try to familiarize yourself with the your route before entering a cab. If done well, you will be able to tell if the driver is trying to pull a slick number on you.
  8. Hotel Rooms: Much like everywhere these days, the casinos jack up the prices during the busy season. The worst time of the year to go is around spring break. There are much better deals as far as prices go for booking out of season and making advanced reservations. You will also pay a premium rate if you decide to secure your room on the strip. Generally, if you can find one that is clean and efficient, you will save substantially by booking a room off of the strip. Provided that you book that off strip room well in advance, you will likely avoid getting ripped off.

In Closing

This is the best list I can compile for the moment, but it is still a work in progress. Please share your ideas with me so that I might make a more complete list. There are sure to be things that I have missed, and would appreciate your help in making the best list possible. If you enjoyed the hub, I encourage you to follow me to show your approval and support. This compilation is based on my personal experience with casinos, however extensive that experience is. I have approximately 10,000 hours there, and this is the best of what I have learned. I hope it is helpful to you. Thank you for reading my hub.


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    • bingo spelpunt profile image


      4 years ago from Netherlands

      I take €50 and when its gone, its time to go ;)

    • rclinton5280 profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Clinton 

      7 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      These are wonderful ideas as well. I may use the one about the limited cash and ID as an addition to the info on change. Thank you for your comment and insight.

    • golfcart34 profile image

      Amanda Tallman 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      A couple of things I do when I go to the casino is (a) I only carry a small amount of cash and an ID so I don't spend more than I intend to and (b) I always stay off property. I also limit myself to the penny/nickle slots or the video blackjack machine. Before the ticket system replaced actually getting change when you cashed out at the slots I'd keep cashing out and play the "old fashioned way" meaning I'd put a coin in, pull then handle, and cash out Yes, I know that going to the casino is generally a losing proposition no matter what, but 99% of the time I go for the entertainment, not the gaming.


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