When the same sequence of cards was dealt at a mini-baccarat table at Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino twice in a row, was it just probability in action. Out of all the packs of shuffled cards in the world, the cards ending up in the same order happens now and then. Then the cards came up in the same sequence a third time. Fourth. Fifth. The players played forty-one hands where the cards came up in the same order, betting larger and larger amounts each hand. Wouldn’t you? They ultimately won more than $1.5 million. Casino security staff swarmed the table, trying to figure out how the fourteen players at the table were cheating. They weren’t. A vendor allegedly supplied the casino with packs of unshuffled cards, which were dealt as-is. Now the casino is suing the fourteen gamblers and the playing card company, and the gamblers are countersuing the casino.
The gamblers were allowed to cash in $558,900 worth of chips, but the casino argues that the win isn’t legit because the game was unfair to the house. Gambling regulations in New Jersey state that gambling must be fair to both sides. No fixing games, no cheating. Even though the players did nothing wrong, the casino claims that the baccarat games were fixed…if unintentionally. They want the games to be declared illegal.
The Golden Nugget isn’t the only casino in Atlantic City where this has happened recently. The Trump Taj Mahal dealt unshuffled cards for three and a half hours without noticing last year, and was fined $90,000 by the state.