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
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
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
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
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
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
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