It is almost next to impossible to cheat a casino out of a substantial amount of money. That still does not act as a strong enough deterrent for certain criminals. The case of two would be casino cheaters was recently detailed on the official Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website. Recently, we posted an article about the history of cheating casinos and slot machines.
How Did The FBI Catch Two Casino Cheaters in Maryland?
The case dates back to September of 2017. It took place at a Maryland casino’s Baccarat table. The player was identified as Chenguang Ni. Hours after winning more than $850,000 he was on his way back to New York.
The calculated odds of winning any given hand playing the table game, Baccarat is just below 50 percent. It was reported that Ni and his tablemates went on an incredible winning streak that day. They won 18 of 21 hands. At one point, the run reached 14 hands in a row. That is bound to cause some level of suspicion with casino personnel.
The day after the winning spree, the casinos in Maryland got in touch with the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office. Security staff accused Ni of cheating. They also believed he had inside help from a dealer as an accomplice. The suspected dealer was Ming Zhang. He was quick to deny any involvement when questioned by casino security.
FBI Special Agent Jason Bender headed up the investigation. He stated that, “the casino knew there had been cheating. What wasn’t known was exactly how the player did it.”
Baccarat is a card game played with eight different decks. The dealer is referred to as the banker. The cards are displayed and then shuffled. They are then placed into a special card holder on the table.
The banker will deal two cards to the player position and two cards to the bank position. The actual players bet on which side will come closest to a total of nine. The bets can be on the player, the banker or a tie. Extra cards can be dealt depending on the situations. Players win their bet if they correctly choose the right outcome.
If a player knew the order of cards in the deck, they could bet on the winning result each time. The casino stated that Ni must has had inside access to that information.
The FBI carefully reviewed all of the casino surveillance video. Along with actual interviews, agents concluded that Ni had gotten other gamblers to follow his lead. They were told to bet the same way he bet on each hand. There was also an arrangement to hand over the winnings.
The casino dealer confessed to his role in the cheating scheme. He admitted to meeting Ni that summer. He also agreed to notify him of his table shifts as dealer. A certain section of cards were not shuffled after being revealed to the table’s players.
Ni used his phone to capture images of the unshuffled cards when first fanned out. After establishing his place at the table, Ni took bathroom breaks to review his phone. Moreover, this was not the only casino where the pair of cheats worked together. The total take at the other location was $200,000.
• Source: Dealer and Player Conspired to Cheat two Maryland Casinos out of More Than $1 Million From Fbi.gov On January 16, 2020.