Recently a player at BetOnline was dealt a losing hand on a live dealer blackjack game. Ordinarily this wouldn't make news, as thousands of losing hands are dealt out every day, but it was the dealer's actions on that hand that led sharp-eyed players to believe that he had cheated, causing the player to lose.
The incident in question was raised by a viewer of blackjack player Michael Morgenstern's Youtube channel, who was playing at the live dealer casino at the time. Morgenstern was at first base while the player with the handle "The_Lawman" was the third player from the right. The_Lawman had an 11 versus the dealer King after foolishly deciding to split a pair of 2s and busting the first split hand, and opted to double down. The dealer reached for the shoe, appearing to feel the top card with his thumb, then pushed the first card up and pulled the second card out from underneath. The player was dealt a 6, giving him a 17 for his hand, while the dealer pulled the top card for an 8, giving him a one point victory over the player. Had the cards been dealt in the correct order, The_Lawman would have stood with an 18 and the dealer would have been forced to draw another card while holding a hard 16, with a high chance of busting.
Fortunately, Morgenstern was recording the gameplay session on his computer and streaming via Youtube. He was oblivious to the questionable deal at the time but was alerted by a viewer of his channel after the event. An edited video of the deal now has more than 660,000 views on YouTube.
Whether or not the player was intentionally cheated is up for debate, but it is clear that the motion of the dealer's hand on the shoe certainly was not up to snuff for a supposedly professional dealer. BetOnline released the following statement apologising for the mistake, claiming that the player had been reimbursed for the loss, and announced that they had already dropped Global Gaming Labs for Visionary iGaming as their live dealer software provider.
Subject: BlackJack Cheating
Thank you for contacting Customer Support.
Trust this email finds you well.
We would like to profusely apologize on behalf of all parties involved as this was a simple human error. The player would have clearly won the hand in question if the cards were dealt without error.
We have escalated this matter to have the video reviewed as we are unable to do that over here at the CS department and with the review we have seen that there was indeed an error. The player who suffered this loss has been fully reimbursed and further procedures have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again.
We are sincerely sorry that this had happened and apologize for the inconvenience but rest assured the player affected has been reimbursed accordingly and this will not happen again in future.
Thank you for your understanding.
Good luck and enjoy!
If you have any other questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Player Services Department
Note: this article has been updated with the statement from BetOnline customer service and to clarify that Morgenstern was not the player affected by the suspect deal.