Gambler Accused of Using Sleight of Hand to Cheat Washington Casino

  • Over $38,000 won from High Card Flush due to skillful deception
  • Player moved between tables to beat the casino over 40 days through sleight of hand
  • Crazy Moose Casino caught 38 instances of the trickery on camera
Man pulling ace playing card from his sleeve.
A 51-year-old has been accused of using sleight of hand to win over $38,000 playing High Card Flush games at the Crazy Moose Casino. [Image: Shutterstock]

Caught on camera

The Crazy Moose Casino in Snohomish County Washington believes a gambler used sleight of hand to cheat at High Card Flush games.

Security cameras inside the casino reportedly caught Frederick Steven Nolan in the act of using skillful deception to win over $38,000 from the card tables.

The 51-year-old gambler has since been charged with first-degree theft and second-degree cheating at a gambling activity.

caught Frederick Steven Nolan in the act of using skillful deception to win over $38,000

Details of the deception

Nolan visited the casino on an almost daily basis for a 40-day period starting back in December 2018.

Cameras inside the casino caught Nolan in the act several times, including on a night in January 2019, when he played three spots of High Card Flush. During his session, Nolan distracted the dealer by requesting the chips be exchanged.

According to investigators, Nolan then used sleight of hand to move a card from one spot to another. He then folded two spots and ended up with a straight flush. Investigators state that one act of Nolan’s cheating cost the casino just over $3,000. During his run at the casino, Nolan reportedly earned $38,335 via the sleight of hand technique.

Surveillance video footage obtained by the Washington State Gambling Commission shows Nolan completing the trick 38 times in total. Commission member Heather Songer stated that the suspect visited the casino for a six-week period, on an almost daily basis.

After reviewing the footage, Songer said:

It looks like he never went to the same dealer more than about twice a night.”

Tracking the wins

According to the charges, Nolan was first caught cheating in December 2018. To review his visits to the casino, the Washington State Gambling Commission used a computer tracking program. The program reviewed the wagers placed by Nolan and how much he cashed out. It also calculated his win/loss record.

Armed with this information, the commission was able to determine how much he won from single bets. One instance showed that a $50 wager returned a win of $2,530. The records of the commission indicate that over $3,000 was won with a straight flush several times on consecutive days.

On January 8, Nolan won $3,315 with a straight flush playing the High Card Flush game. Later on that day, he won an additional $3,500 with another straight flush hand. The next day, he earned another straight flush and another $3,250 prize.

An arraignment hearing is now scheduled for Nolan to appear in Snohomish County Superior Court on September 30.