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It has been a story that has been rumbling on for several years, however the Supreme Court in the UK have now ruled on a case that has redefined the laws on casino cheating in UK based brick and mortar casinos.

The case revolved around one of the world’s most famous poker players, that being one Phil Ivey who won a whopping £7.7million playing Baccarat at the Crockfords casino in Mayfair in London back in 2012.

He and a friend where playing that popular casino card game having made a buy-in for £1million, and as they were playing they made a few unusual requests in regards to the way the Dealer was to deal out their cards, and how that Dealer was to position the deck of playing cards.

At the end of his winning session, he cashed in his chips and the casino informed him, as is always the case with large winning payouts that his winnings would be wired to his bank account. However, those winnings never arrived.

The casino employed experts to review the video footage of him playing and determined that he had been using something known as “edge sorting” as a way for him to discover which cards were about to be dealt out of the deck, and that in their opinion was cheating and hence they agreed that the casino was right not to pay him out his winnings.

Having exhausted all other legal avenues and lower rung courts in regards to forcing the casino to pay out his winning, the case ended up before the judges at the Supreme Court who decided that edge sorting was a form of cheating and as such he shouldn't be paid out his winnings.

The way in which edge sorting works is that a player can take advantage of a flaw in regards to the way the pattern on the back of the cards have been printed.

When the playing cards are positioned in a certain way, an expert player who is aware of the flaw in printing the rear of each playing card can then “read” each card on the top of the deck and will then know its value, which when playing all Baccarat games and variants gives the player a huge edge in regards to which of two possible outcomes is likely to be the one that the game will arrive at.

Phil Ivey stated that in his own opinion he was not cheating and was doing what any advantage player would do, and that is try to get an advantage over the casino but in no way touching or tampering with the deck of cards in any way.

It was, after all, he stated the casinos own decks of cards that were being used in each game and it was the Dealer and not him that dealt out the cards.

However, as the case cannot now go to any higher authority in the United Kingdom he is going to have to abide by the courts ruling, which could see him being banned from lots of casinos based on the outcome of the court case.

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Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.