Richard Marcus is infamous for many years of cheating Las Vegas out of its money. Through the process of past-posting, Marcus was able to swindle the casinos of Las Vegas out of thousands of dollars with the support of his team.
After the development of the "Roulette Mix-Up," and "The Savannah," strategies Marcus and his team were able to cheat the casinos out of even more money, without having to stake much of their own. He deceived dealers everywhere, not realizing he was the mastermind behind this twenty-five year on-going million dollar scandal.
From a very young age, it was evident that Marcus had a knack for gambling. He used to bet on the color of cars that he expected to turn the corner while on car trips with his parents.
Richard Marcus and his classmates used to flip baseball cards, meaning that he and a friend would both flip over a single baseball card and the person with the better ranked player would take both cards. He discovered that he was the victim of a cheating scam, as his opponents were able to peek at his deck and pick their cards accordingly. Marcus lost his entire collection of baseball cards, but was still intrigued by way he had been deceived.
Later in life, Marcus headed to the racetrack where he enjoyed spending his weekends betting on the horses. After winning $30,000 in one afternoon, he headed off to Las Vegas to try out his luck there. His favorite game at the time was baccarat, so he decided to play that game first.
Unfortunately for Marcus, the odds were definitely not in his favor. In a single night, he lost all of his previous winnings from the racetrack, and he went back home completely broke and discouraged.
Determined to beat the Casino at its own game, Marcus took a job offer at a Four Queens Casino so that he could polish up his skills. He became a dealer for both baccarat and blackjack. He also paid special attention to certain habits that other dealers had that he could potentially profit from as a player.
How He Became a Las Vegas Cheat
A man named Joe Classon found his way to Marcus' baccarat table. Classon asked him to meet with him after his shift one night to plead with him to be his partner in a baccarat scam at the Four Queens casino. He promised him a large percentage of the profits if he agreed to work with him on this scam.
It was Marcus who actually came up with the idea for how they would execute their plan. Richard found a way to falsely shuffle in such a way that his relief dealer actually would deal the fixed hands without any knowledge that the cards were set up for Classon and his teammates to win. They won over $21,000 using this strategy.
Marcus' real success came after he joined Classon's late-betting (past-posting) approach team. Their scheme involved making a bet after the time where no more official bets were allowed. They wouldn't actually place a bet until after the outcome of the event occurred or it was obvious what the outcome would be.
His best contribution to the team was his invention of the "mix-up" roulette strategy, where he would slip in a few extra high value chips after he knew for sure that his bet was a winner. Other teammates would stand by, finding ways to distract the dealer for a split second so that he wouldn't get caught.
These late-betting strategies were considered highly illegal in casinos, even punishable by law in some extremes. In 1982, Marcus was threatened to be imprisoned for up to 10 years after being caught in the act of late-betting. As always, he claimed ignorance and walked away without any conviction.
He parted ways with Classon's team after twelve long years with them in hopes of creating his own team. His dreams came true when he ran into his old friend from high-school, Andy "Balls," in Las Vegas and asked him to join in his efforts to cheat the casinos out of even more money.
Marcus thought it would be best to work in groups of three so he contacted another old friend of his, Pat Mallery. The three teamed up together and headed back to Las Vegas for his greatest scheme yet.
Marcus developed a new method of cheating that he used on roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and poker by hiding $5,000 casino chips under $5 casino chips, slanting the $5 chips slightly toward the dealer to hide the bottom chip. If they won the bet they would announce their hidden $5,000 chip and be awarded $10,010, but if they lost the bet they would swiftly switch the chip back to a $5 one, only losing $10 on that bet.
If the dealer was really paying attention and noticed the switch, Marcus and his teammates would play the innocent, "drunk player card," in which they would stutter and say that they hadn't even realized the ball had dropped. This complex system later became known as the "Savannah Strategy." Marcus' team was able to get away with this scandal hundreds of times before Casino managers and gaming enforcement truly caught on.
Marcus is officially retired from his life as a gambling cheat. Marcus more recently launched the website, www.richardmarcusbooks.com, where he goes over in detail his different cheating methods and other famous con artists. He is also the author of several different books such as "American Roulette," and "Identity Thief, Inc," which are best-sellers in the gambling community and are available for purchase on his site.
Author: Nicole Miller
Updated: August 2016