Casinos battle Phil Ivey over “edge-sorting” baccarat wins

My knowledge of baccarat never got beyond James Bond novels, but this is quite a story of the Borgata casino’s suing a world-leading player over his having taken advantage of a defect in playing card manufacture, to the tune of nearly $10 million. There are some echoes of the perennial controversy over blackjack card counters (see here and here) [Kyle Wagner, DeadSpin].


  • I predict another settlement — the casinos would be screwed if a court ever truly answers this question EITHER way. But please let us know the outcome, if and when.

  • They should blame the card company for having defective cards or the casino employees who used the cards.

  • The linked article indicates that the casino is suing the company that makes the playing cards.

  • If the Casino refuses to pay the winnings, what claim do they have against the card manufacturers? They’ve suffered no loss and therefore no harm. Indeed, their multiplicity of theories as to what happened indicate they have no coherent hypothesis as to what happened and certainly nothing that can rise to the level of a testable theory. All they have is a collection of strands, all of which have in common the thesis that they should not pay…. and so the conclusion is inescapable that where you wind up is where you want to go: they should not pay because they do not wish to pay.


  • He played their game with their cards. They paid the money and allowed him to walk out. Can’t feel too bad for casino.

  • It’s hard to consider it cheating when it’s their cards, only they handled the cards and they dealt the cards. Since when is it against the rules to look at the back of cards that are dealt face down on the table?