Steve Forte

Not all advantage players use card counting or prohibited devices to get their edge. While advantage play techniques such as card counting are not illegal, they are undesirable in the eyes of most casinos. Illegal cheating, of course, carries with it the threat of great losses on the part of the casino. Sometimes, to catch a trickster, one must employ a trickster. Among those able to spot sleight of hand techniques, misdirection and other scams, magicians are possibly among the most skilled. Enter Steve Forte.

Forte has a background as a magician, which makes him a natural master of understanding people's expressions and body language. He is also known for his own, particular, method of advantage play, detailed in a very popular book, which relied on the insights provided by a dealer's reactions to determine which card the dealer happened to be holding in the hole. Forte managed to employ his method to great success and, following the publication of his book many casinos took note. Such techniques are not new, of course, and many professional gamblers wear sunglasses while playing to disguise any telltale facial expressions that might give them away. Forte happened to break down the technique of such intelligence gathering into a process that could be taught and understood, however.

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Forte is also very highly-regarded as a sleight of hand magician. This skill has obvious value for those seeking to catch cheaters at work, as those individuals often use sleight of hand techniques to conceal cards or exchange cards unseen. The famous—or infamous—"card up the sleeve" is one type of sleight of hand cheat.

Forte became a professional consultant in the 1980's and is now a frequently-used resource for the casino industry. Forte counts some of the largest and most prestigious casinos as among his clients. He works with staff to help them understand various methods of cheating, how they are employed and how to stop them. His expertise has also been featured on several television shows which detailed the methods used by cheaters and the sort of countermeasures employed by Forte.

While Forte does enjoy some fame as a Blackjack player, his career after he left the tables is that for which he is most famous. He gives live demonstrations, sells videos and conducts complete audits of casinos to determine the effectiveness of their counter-cheating measures and the awareness of their staff. He also informs them in the art of catching cheaters by devising various traps that help the casino to catch them.

Steve Forte is no longer an active player on the Blackjack circuit. He has never left the gambling industry, however, and enjoys as much fame as do many of the most well-known players in the game. He has published several books on the ways cheaters operate and the resources and techniques that casinos can use to stop them. While advantage play is oftentimes the "secret" of accomplished players, Steve Forte applies his playing skills toward ferreting it out.