Baccarat, a Target for High-Tech Cheaters

Inside the world of high-stakes sneakery

Andrew Rosenblum

007 Takes on Largo at the Baccarat Table Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Over the past year, casinos around the world have lost millions of dollars to baccarat cheats. Between the antics of the globe-trotting Cutters syndicate, the Chinese nationals who hacked auto-shuffler machines in Macau, and the South Korean duo who hid a card-switching device up a sleeve at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, baccarat has attracted some very shrewd con men and women. To understand why, it helps to know a bit more about the rules of the game.

See our gallery of cheating techniques

A favorite pastime of James Bond, baccarat attracts high-rollers willing to make large bets – and it’s easy to play. In the most common variant of "punto banco" baccarat, the game requires a gambler to make just one decision: whether to bet that the value of a "player" or "banker" hand of 2 or 3 cards will end up totalling closest to 9, with face cards counting as zero and aces as 1. Game outcomes are fixed by the cards dealt, and players make no decisions after the initial bet. There’s no skill to it at all…unless a person cheats.

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