Dominic the Dominator

Dominic the Dominator  Dominic “The Dominator” LoRiggio had his own unique take on how to fleece casinos. It didn’t involve card counting or transmitters or teams. Instead it was all based on the roll of the dice. Many assumed he must have been using loaded dice, when in actual fact he relied on a technique called ‘dice control’.

Essentially Loriggio was so adept with dice that he was about to largely predict how they would roll based on how how to turned and handled them during the roll. His dice skills has earned him an millions as well as several dice related world records. He now teaches his technique to others rather than uses it in casinos himself. I doubt they’re sorry to see the back of him!

Ken Uston

Ken Uston  Ken Uston was a larger than life personality who would, prior to his death, appear on TV detailing all of his various schemes and exploits. As result he was certainly more high profiles than most in the same ‘line of work’.

So what was the claim to fame that led to this public interest? Well it was his reputation for starting one of the first blackjack ‘card counting’ teams. He is known to have won millions and but in part responsible for casinos tightening the rules around individuals who came overcome the house edge through one mechanism or another.

His success resulted in bans in various establishments. He went to court over a ban at Resorts International Hotel in Atlantic City. The court agreed because the ban was based on his skills as opposed to him cheating. They instead further tightened their rules as result of no longer being able to ban card counters.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson  No, not that Don Johnson, but an interesting fellow all the same. Businessman Don Johnson is noteworthy on account that he took the casinos for millions (over $15 million in fact) playing Blackjack, but without using the ubiquitous card counting technique.

His winning streak occurred during 2011 – 2012 and pertained to an agreement with the casino that it would be allowed only a 0.26% edge. He then negotiated a separate loss rebate deal that pushed the edge slightly in his favour.

It was in a sense more of a ‘hack’ or loophole’ based on mathematical chance, and probably isn’t something that would work today in the more sophisticated casino environment. It certainly worked for him back then though, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts.

Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp  Edward Thorp is seen to some as the Godfather of card counting. He was the first person to publish a book which mathematically proved that card counting (tracking high and low cards) could be used to beat the house edge in blackjack. This is detailed in his book Beat the Dealer .

A maths professor by profession, he put his knowledge to good use, eventually having to use disguises due to the reputation that he was developing in the casino world. This was the 1960s and beyond, so he was well ahead of his time.

He also used his mathematically abilities and techniques to beat other casino games such as baccarat, backgammon, and roulette. Some of the techniques used have now been stamped out by casinos, as they will of course go to any lengths to maintain their edge.