Gamblers Who Won $1.5M Must Return Winnings Over Unshuffled Cards

Back in 2012, some gamblers in Atlantic City realized there was a pattern to the way the cards were coming out while playing mini-baccarat and won 41 straight hands worth around $1.5 million in total. But this week a court ruled the winnings must be returned because the cards had not been shuffled.

According to the AP, the decks were supposed to have been pre-shuffled by the manufacturer before being used at the Golden Nugget casino. But once the group of 14 players realized the pattern to the cards, they began increasing their bets from $10/hand to $5,000/hand.

The casino allowed the gamblers to cash out $558,900 of their winnings, though the remaining million dollars was held back as the Golden Nugget sued the 14 players, alleging that the game violated the state’s Casino Code because the lack of shuffling — which the manufacturer acknowledged — created a game that was so unfairly balanced in favor of the players.

“The dealer did not pre-shuffle the cards immediately prior to the commencement of play, and the cards were not pre-shuffled in accordance with any regulation,” wrote the judge in the ruling. “Thus, a literal reading of the regulations… entails that the game violated the (Casino Control) Act, and consequently was not authorized.”

The players have been ordered to return the winnings they’ve received and the casino is to return the money put up by the gamblers. However, it appears likely that this ruling will be appealed.