If Hollywood movies have taught us anything, it is that most good scams against highly professional organizations need someone on the inside to help make them work. If you’re trying to rob a bank, it doesn’t hurt to have the manager on your side. Similarly, if you want to beat the casino, you might like to have the help of a dealer.
Many players have come up with ways to use a dealer or croupier to help them win at roulette. While there have been a number of different ways in which this has been done – such as trying to get a croupier who could influence spins – there’s not much evidence it can actually be done. Possibly the most common and realistic method is the practice of top hatting.
How to Top Hat in Roulette
Top hatting is the practice of having a croupier place chips on the winning number (or a winning bet) after the result of the spin is already known. This means that there must be a prearranged deal made between a player and his or her friend in order to collude and make this happen.
If you want to try top hatting, you’ll first need to make sure you have a friendly dealer to help you out. This isn’t something you’re going to ask a dealer you get along pretty well with to do for you out of the blue. You’ll need to be friends with this person outside of the casino as, in order for this to work, both participants must be able to trust each other – having a close friendship or other relationship is a must.
During play, the player in the partnership will make his roulette bets as normal. At least, it will appear this way. There may be places on the table where the croupier would prefer the player to make bets, as there are areas easier to manipulate or more likely avoid detection.
After each spin, it’s the croupier’s job to find ways to allow the player to win more money than they should have through honest play. There are numerous ways to do this, but since actively moving chips or adding chips to empty areas of the table is likely to be seen by any observers who are even paying passing attention to the game, top hatting has become the most popular method.
Top hatting involves the dealer adding additional chips to a stack of chips that are already going to win. This is more likely to work, as the player really did make a bet on the appropriate wager that won and it may be difficult for other staff members to keep track of just how many chips were on every space on the board. While this doesn’t change how often a player will win, adding a couple extra chips to winning bets can raise the payouts enough to give the player a significant edge over the casino.
Of course, players and croupiers have to be careful when attempting to top hat and precautions must be taken to ensure that this method isn’t easily observed. While it may be tempting to add many chips to a winning stack, it’s only realistic for the croupier to add a chip or two without anyone noticing. Also, the croupier cannot do this on every spin, or else, once again, suspicions are likely to be raised.
Issues with Top Hatting in Roulette
The biggest issue with top hatting is the intense scrutiny that roulette croupiers are put under by casinos. Like all other dealers, croupiers are constantly being watched by both cameras and their superiors on the floor. Given that there is a normal routine that croupiers go through on every spin, any deviation from this is likely to make the casino’s security staff curious about what is going on at that table. At that point camera footage will be looked at more carefully and it is unlikely that even the most skilled cheaters will fool the camera.
Consequences of Top Hatting
As with all casino cheating, there’s a very high probability that individuals attempting top hatting in roulette will be caught. When this happens you can expect the casino to react harshly to the actions of both the players and the croupier involved. The employee will lose their job and the players will be barred from ever playing in the casino again.
Any use of a casino employee to cheat will likely result in legal action from the casino itself. Even if the casino didn’t want to do this – and chances are they do as it’s an opportunity to make an example out of cheaters who were caught – their regulatory body will probably make them pursue legal action due to the fact that a croupier was tampering with a game that was supposed to be fair for all players and the casino.
The bottom line is that if you’re going to try top hatting, you had better be absolutely sure you can get away with it – and that’s a very hard guarantee to make. For most players taking the honest route is a much better idea than risking legal action in an attempt to win a little money.