A pretty notorious casino scammer, Richard Marcus managed to cheat many casinos in Las Vegas out of millions of dollars, across more than twenty years! Far from showing remorse, Richard profited from his decades of scamming by writing American Roulette: How I Turned the Odds Upside Down, in which he detailed his creative strategies that were used in winning games of poker, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack.
Even as a child Richard seemed to love gambling. Starting simply by ‘betting’ his parents that he could guess colours of cars before they saw them and moving on to collect and flip baseball cards. As he grew up, this love of gambling grew with him, until he was playing craps at school and eventually had gotten so far behind on his school work that he decided to drop out and follow the world of gambling.
He began as a teen hanging out by the racetrack, and it wasn’t long before he was lucky enough to come away with $30,000 from just one afternoon’s gambling. He used this cash to head off to Las Vegas where he blew all of his money in just one day. For several months following this, he lived under a bridge on the outskirts of the city. He spent this time thinking and plotting, deciding that the casinos must have been cheating him and that he would get his revenge.
Richard managed to dust himself off and start a job as a blackjack and baccarat dealer at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino where he learned a lot about the games and how to cheat players out of money. This was where his knowledge began.
While working at the casino, a regular, Joe Classon asked him to become a partner in a cheating scandal that he had been working on for an exchange of 20% of the profits. This went well, and the first time the men pulled it off, they earned just over $21,000, and Richard joined the dodgy team full time where he stayed for 12 years.
Richard was caught several times when he was involved in late-betting, but by feigning ignorance, and apologizing, he managed to be let off every time.
He later developed a method where he would hide a $5000 casino chip under a stack of $5 chips where it couldn’t be seen. If the bet won he would reveal the chip, and if not, he would quicky swap it for another $5 chip, hidden by a member of his new team. If they were ever caught, they pretended to be too drunk to know what was going on. Genius.
It wasn’t until December 31st, 1999 that Richard Marcus was caught with this technique and was arrested for these crimes. He is never allowed to enter a casino in Nevada again.