Prominent Blackjack Player Arrested for Card Marking


Archie Karas Arrested

There was a time when Archie Karas won more than $40 million dollars on blackjack and other games during a three-year span that earned him accolades among table game players around the world. It appears that his luck has run out, though, and that doesn’t just refer to the quality of his cards. He was arrested this week after a California casino accused him of marking cards.

A turn for the worst

To understand Karas’s plight, one must first understand where his life took a turn. After winning roughly $40 million between 1992 and 1995, the gambler gave it all back in a series of bad bets over the next few years. That left the Greek blackjack player in serious financial distress, and what’s happened lately has been an extension of that.

Cheating for small stakes in California

The days of playing for $40 million are long gone for Karas, but some have been shocked by the small amount that he tried to win from a California casino. According to investigative reports, he won around $8,000 off of the Barona Casino before security cameras finally caught on to his tactics. He was marking cards and making bets with the knowledge of the cards to come. The casino didn’t catch Karas in the act, however, as he arrested later by authorities in Nevada.

The next step for Karas

After his arrest, Karas was extradited from Nevada back to San Diego, where he’s facing counts of burglary and other theft-related charges. Those are felonies in the state, and the penalties could be severe if he is found guilty. Karas is now 62 years old, and if he’s convicted on all of the charges, he could be sentences to two years in prison.

An uncertain future in gambling

No matter what happens in his criminal case, it looks like Karas will have a difficult time keeping up his gambling exploits in the near future. There are some reports that he’ll be put into the famous black book that’s maintained by Las Vegas casinos. If the Nevada Gaming Commission chooses to blacklist the former winner, he would be barred from entering casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the state. This could make it very difficult for him to gamble in other parts of the country and the world, too, as many casinos share information with those in Las Vegas.