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Crooked Casino

Once a pleonasm, now a museum
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The Crooked Casino isn't a casino as such, more like a 'factory tour' of a crooked casino.

There are three parts to this tour:

1) Visitors enjoy an introduction to cheating techniques that are or were once widely used in casinos, by the house or by other players. This part might include interactive displays, demonstrations, 'The 10 Biggest-Ever Scams', exhibits of antique crooked gambling equipment, and suchlike.

2) This is the fun part of the tour: Visitors are given a heap of play-money chips and a small pager-type device, and let loose in a 'casino' for a while. Some tables look exactly like tables in modern casinos, while others might have older set-ups more conducive to cheating (e.g. single-deck blackjack with no dealing shoe). Some staff are dressed in appropriate costume (Wild West, or 1950s) and are gambling at the tables.

Players gamble their money where they wish, and after each hand (or roll, or spin, depending on game), they press the 'Yes' button on their pager if they think they were cheated on that hand.

The dealer or croupier, meanwhile, presses a button or buttons below the table which tell the central computer which players (if any) he/she cheated. Anyone who is acting as another gambler and who is cheating other players (e.g. by skimming chips) can use modified pagers to signal which players they cheated each hand.

Bluetoothish technology is used to track which visitors are in which seat positions to determine if they guessed correctly.

Some of the tables would advertise approximately how often the dealer will cheat on that table or even the method used (e.g. "marked cards, dealing seconds approx. 1 hand in 10 - guess which hands"), so players can choose where to play depending on whether they prefer to see a lot of action or to patiently wait to spot the rare moment of cheating, but for most tables there would be no clues - yer pays yer money, yer takes yer chances.

Most of the methods and techniques described in the first part of the tour would be used at one table or another, and a few that weren't mentioned would be thrown in too.

The pager could be made so the player can indicate whether 'direct' cheating (e.g. a magnetised roulette wheel is turned on and rolls 0) or 'percentage' cheating (e.g. shaved or suction craps dice swing the odds further against the player) took place, though that might over-complicate things.

This stage of the tour would end when two (or more) of the Wild West actors accuse each other of cheating and the cards, the chairs, and the bullets fly. A sheriff comes in and declares "This here illegal gambling joint is closed! Get outta here before I arrest the lot o' ya!" and the visitors move on to the final part of the tour.

3) After the visitors have had their fun at the tables, they come through to a 'post-game analysis' area, where they find out what kind of cheating was going on at which tables. Prizes are awarded to the visitors who spotted the cheating most accurately at each table (points are deducted from a player's score for incorrect guesses, so pressing 'Yes' every hand wouldn't win).

There would be some surprises in this part, such as finding out that, "Wow, that blackjack table was 100% honest? I was sure he was cheating me!" or, "I was playing in a poker game with marked cards and *still* won money? Damn, I'm good!"

Visitors would leave having new appreciation for the skill and subtlety of cheats, a better idea of how to spot and prevent cheating (which can come in useful in social poker games, for example), and also a better awareness of casino odds (for example, the Wheel of Fortune wouldn't be rigged, since it gives good enough odds to the house already!) - and with the methods and amount of cheating used at each table changing from day to day, they'll be keen to come back and try their luck again.

Some products are 'ribbed for your pleasure', our casino is 'crooked for your enjoyment'.

imaginality, Sep 04 2006

Catching Poker Cheats http://tinyurl.com/zjl5s
I haven't read this particular book, but 'How to Cheat at Cards' by the same author is pretty much the comprehensive guide to the various methods of cheating (in all casino games), informative with a sprinkling of dry humour, but now out of print. [imaginality, Sep 04 2006]

Magician Poker Magician_20poker
We'll advertise our casino during this show [imaginality, Sep 05 2006]

[link]






       I doubt any real casinos will be anxious to back this venture, but I'd go. In fact this has 'profitable' written all over it. And 'lawsuit'.
wagster, Sep 04 2006
  

       Fact: in my jurisdiction, contracts for gambling cannot be enforced.
calum, Sep 04 2006
  

       This isn't a real casino as such, as the only actual gambling taking place here is play-money. Any prizes are awarded according to their skill at spotting which hands they were cheated on. These prizes needn't be money, could just be trophies or other such 'fun' prizes. Or if local legislation prevents even that, we'll just give out certificates saying "Congratulations, you spotted the blackjack cheats 85% of the time" (rather like the summary sheets people get after LaserQuest games, except more stylish).   

       I did put a bit of thought into figuring out whether and how something like this could work well with actual gambling involved, but so far I think it's better this way; I doubt many people would want to be betting their own money in a casino full of cheats!
imaginality, Sep 04 2006
  
      
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