The cameras were watching Archie’s chips very carefully.
Archie Karas loves to gamble. He’s legendary in gambling circles for a three-year winning streak where he started with $50 and gambled and gambled until it reached $40 million, mostly playing high-stakes poker with other guys who really love to gamble.
Then he lost most of that money by, of course, gambling it away.
He’s considered by many to be one of the best gamblers in the world.
One of his secrets is that he doesn’t care about money:
"You’ve got to understand something. Money means nothing to me. I don’t value it. I’ve had all the material things I could ever want. Everything. The things I want money can’t buy: health, freedom, love, happiness. I don’t care about money, so I have no fear. I don’t care if I lose it."
His other secret is that, sometimes, he cheats.
He was caught when a California casino reviewed surveillance tapes and allegedly spotted him marking cards while he was playing blackjack.
He was using a hollowed-out gaming chip where he had secreted "daub", a colored ink that could surreptitiously mark the backs of playing cards. Mr Karas would run the chip over the high cards and mark them so he’d know when they were going to appear.
This advantage enabled him to win over $8,000.
After Mr. Karas was arrested for "burglary, winning by fraudulent means and cheating", authorities searched his home and found more hollowed-out chips from other casinos.
Mr. Karas seems to have forgotten an elementary rule of deception. If you’re caught, you never want to have anything on your person – or in your home – that can’t be explained.
And it’s hard to explain away a hollowed-out gambling chip filled with ink.
– Gambling pro Archie Karas charged with defrauding casino, Reuters>>
– An article on Archie, from Cigar Aficionado magazine: Tables of Dreams. With a Stake of Borrowed Money, Archie Karas Won a Fortune, Cigar Aficionado>>
More about marking cards. You can buy or make playing cards that have been marked in various ways. While they are playing, gamblers and magicians also mark cards by bending, crimping or pricking cards.
See: Card Marking, Wikipedia>>
The Gambler’s Crimp, Shading Decks, and Other Methods for Marking Cards, Blackjack Forum Online>>