It was a casino heist in action. INSIDE EDITION has obtained surveillance video of one of the biggest casino cheating rings ever to hit the U.S.
The Feds say the crooks stole almost $7 million in casinos all over the country.
It was almost like a scene from the movie The Hangover when Zach Galifinakis' off—beat character knew how to count cards and win big at the blackjack tables.
These real-life card sharks did know the exact order of the cards because the dealer stacked the deck.
But their luck was about to change when the cheats walked into the Sycuan Casino outside San Diego.
The scam can be difficult to detect even with surveillance monitors recording the activity at each of the tables. But there were tell-tale signs that alerted investigators that something shady was going on.
The casino's head of security took INSIDE EDITION into the top secret monitoring room where cameras captured all the action.
He showed how the dealer stacked the deck with a false shuffle, keeping the cards in the exact same order. The dealer will pretend to shuffle the cards, but doesn't really mix them together.
The key to pulling off this scam is knowing the order of the cards and controlling the bets, which is why all the players and even the dealer are all in on it.
A man who stood right behing the dealer was key to the scam. He looked like he was smoking a cigarette but was actually talking to a hidden microphone up his sleeve. He would read out the cards being played to another guy who was keeping track. When the cards came up again after the fake shuffle, the cigarette guy would signal the players when to bet and when to hold.
The thieves overplayed their hand when it came to a special red card the players use to cut the deck.
The surveillance video showed the player cutting the deck once, but the dealer had the player cut the deck a second time, this time putting the deck closer to the player to signal the player he cut the deck in the wrong spot that the dealer had set up for him. That was a tip off for security who monitor the surveillance cameras.
In one night they made nearly $1 million. But when the ringleader cashed in his chips he didn't know he just played his last hand.
The feds arrested the cheats, and the next morning when the crooked dealer showed up for his shift his luck ran out. He was taken away in handcuffs.