Mohegan Pennsylvania Baccarat Cheater Sought for Secretly Recording Cards

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Pennsylvania authorities are hunting a known baccarat cheater after he was caught on camera trying to defraud the Mohegan casino in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.

Jianchu Liu allegedly used a camera app to record the order of cards in the deck in an attempt to cheat the Mohegan Pennsylvania, but the casino’s own cameras were watching him. (Image: YouTube)

State police said Chinese national Jianchu Liu, 47, was spotted by the eye in the sky as he attempted to record the order of decks of cards on his cell phone. Identified by his casino rewards card, Liu is believed to be part of a professional cheating ring that has previously hit the Golden Nugget and the Imperial Palace casinos in Biloxi, Miss.

Modus Operandi

The group’s M.O. is to use a cut card to fan out the deck for a split second, long enough for a recording device to capture the order of the cards. While police did not go into detail, the image was likely then relayed to an accomplice who would study the deck and advise Lui about when to bet optimally via a concealed earpiece.

The goal of baccarat is to bet on the hand with the highest value, which is nine. Tens and face cards count as zero, an ace counts as one, and all the other cards count as their face value.

In punto banco baccarat, the shoe is held by one of the players who deals cards on the dealer’s instruction, which may have allowed Liu his moment.

His technique, however, appeared to be clumsy, at least as described in the police report, and it immediately aroused suspicion of casino security.

Troopers launched an investigation into Liu after security reported he was acting suspiciously and cutting the deck in an “unusual manner.”

Camera Angles

Investigators studied the security tape and noticed that at around 1:35 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, Liu was seen launching an app on his cellphone while seated at a baccarat table. He darkened the screen to prevent security from seeing what he was doing, police said.

Then he placed the phone under a stack of baccarat score cards. After the dealer had shuffled and allowed Liu to cut the deck, the player was seen to move the dealer’s hands around to “dictate how [the dealer] should be holding the deck,” according to the complaint. This resulted in a “verbal exchange” between Liu and the dealer.

Then, at around 6:50 p.m. Sunday, Liu again placed his cellphone underneath a stack of score cards. While cutting the deck, Liu put both hands on the deck as well as the dealer’s hand, rotating the deck and attempting to forcefully fan it out, according to the complaint.

State police have a warrant for Liu’s arrest that charges him with two misdemeanor counts of winning by fraud or trickery.

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