World’s biggest casino cheater shares tricks of how he swindled £30million

A mastermind gambler who cheated casinos out of an estimated £30millon without getting busted is now helpubf them to catch other swindlers.

For more than 25 years, French-born New Yorker Richard Marcus travelled the world scamming high end casinos – it's the stuff movies are made of.

Marcus got the taste for gambling before the age of 18, winning $20,000 on the horses and subsequently living it up in Las Vegas casinos.

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The youngster turned his sizable wad of cash into $100,000 before losing it all on his coming-of-age birthday on a game of baccarat and was was kicked out of his luxury suite and forced to sleep rough.

Now 65-years-old, Marcus told The Sun: "I took my $20,000 and I ran it up gambling legitimately, I knew nothing about cheating in casinos at the time.

"So I won $100,000 legitimately and I was completely enthralled by it. You know, I thought it would go on forever.

"And then of course on my actually was on my 18th birthday. I lost all of it."

After shoplifting some clothes, Marcus gained a spot in a dealing school and then went on to get a job at Four Queens Casino in Vegas.

It was here in 1977 he met Joe Classon, who introduced the young Marcus into the world of professional casino cheats.

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Together, they came up with a scam to rip the casino off in which Marcus would shuffle the cards in a way, Classon's team could win the next seven hands, and Marcus entered the fold of a team of scammers earning thousands.

Marcus stayed with Classon's team for 12 years before ring0mastering his own team of cheats and went on to become such a prolific scammer that one of his signature moves, the Savannah Strategy, was criminalised.

Marcus said: "People in the business say it was the best casino cheating move in all history.

"Why? Because it was so stupid and easy. There was a lot of psychology involved in it but it gave us a raw basic idea.

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Working best on a roulette table due to its length, the Savannah Stragety was a simple scam where Marcus and his team would place two chips on the table on top of each other with the combined value appearing to be $10.

However, in reality, the top chip valued at $5, would hide a chip worth thousands underneath. If Marcus was set to lose, he would quickly swap the bottom chip out for one with a low value.

Marcus explained: "Because a roulette table is a lot longer, the distance between the dealer and the bottom of the table where the last players is like a metre and a half.

"The dealer could see that there were two chips there but unless the dealer came all the way around and look underneath, which they never do or did, the dealer would just assume it was $10.

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"You would think that the dealer would catch me taking it back and that's what we thought. But it turned out that most of the time the dealer never even noticed it."

If the switch had been noticed, Marcus would act drunk and pretend he hadn't noticed that the bet had come in and place to low-value chips back on the table.

Unsurprisingly, Marcus was eventually banned from most casinos and gave the scamming up. However he has now found a way back into the brightly lit world of gambling by helping casinos spot cheaters and identify weaknesses scammers could potentially exploit.

He said: "Nobody ever heard from a real professional successful casino chief before at these conferences.

"For 25 years, all I did was travel around the world, London, Monte Carlo everywhere and cheating casinos professionally."


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