The recent arrest of a woman in Mississippi has put a spotlight on a specific form of blackjack cheating that is known as past posting. Shantel Monique Welch has been accused by the Mississippi Gaming Commission of cheating by making blackjack side bets when she already knew the outcome of the hand.
According to Jay McDaniel of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Welch was playing the game of 21+3 at the Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville. This variation of blackjack involves a bonus wager that pays out for the player when specific conditions are met by the player’s hand after the cards are dealt. McDaniel alleges that Welch was placing bonus wagers after she knew the outcome of her hands. This is called past posting.
An investigation by the Mississippi Gaming Commission revealed the cheating. Video cameras which monitor the gaming action at the blackjack tables are believed to show Welch engaging in past posting. If found guilty of this offense, Welch could be required to serve jail time in addition to paying the casino restitution.
What is Past Posting?
Past posting involves placing a bet after the outcome of a blackjack hand has been determined. It is most often done with side bets because it is easier for the blackjack player to add chips to the stack without the dealer being aware.
In most cases, a player will attempt to add additional chips to the original blackjack side bet wager. This is not as difficult as it may sound. Dealers are distracted while they are settling the hands of other players and may not be paying attention. Pit bosses are supervising an entire blackjack pit and cannot monitor the payout at every table. Dealers have to be trusted to make the proper payout and recognize when past posting has occurred.
Past posting was originally popular in horseracing. In the early days of racing before the advent of the electronic toteboard, past posting was more easily accomplished. Bettors who placed their bets with off-track bookies could sometimes make a wager after the race had been concluded.
Today, it is very hard to past post when playing blackjack because of the multiple security cameras which are used in the casino. Players like Welch will sooner or later be caught. Throughout the years there have been many examples of this form of cheating. In addition to the legal penalties incurred, players caught are also typically banned from playing blackjack in the casino. Because casinos share information, the ban can also be enforced by other casinos in the state where the players are caught.
Online Blackjack Past Posting
Online casinos are particularly immune to past posting. When playing blackjack online, it is impossible for a player to alter their starting wager. Once the bet has been placed, it is registered by the online software. This protects both the casino and the player in the event that a hand is disputed.
Most online casinos have the ability to retain a detailed log of blackjack hands that have been played. These logs are kept for a period of time in case players raise a question about the play of their hands. In some online casinos, the hand can actually be called up and shown to the player in exactly the same way that it was played out in real time.
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