Gambling Legend Archie Karas arrested for Cheating in Blackjack

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Legendary gambling figure Anargyros Karabourniotis (a.k.a. Archie Karas) was arrested at his Las Vegas home this weekend over allegations of blackjack cheating. According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Karas was marking cards while playing blackjack at Barona Casino. He’s currently being held in a Las Vegas jail and awaiting extradition to San Diego, where he’ll face charges of winning by fraudulent means.

Prosecutors say that the 62-year-old was putting subtle marks on card backs so he could identify them before they were turned over. Barona Casino believes that he used the card-making scheme to make $8,000 off of them.

Karas is a well-known casino cheater, which is why both the California Department of Justice Bureau of Gambling Control and Nevada Gaming Board were involved in the investigation. The latter identified Karas from his previous arrests.

The first arrest came in 1992, when he was caught card switching at the River Palms Resort Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. Card switching is the illegal practice of secretly trading cards with a partner at the table.

Just four years later, he was busted for increasing his wager after seeing cards at the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Since this time, he was caught marking cards in both 1998 and 2007. Interestingly enough, Karas has not yet received a lifetime ban from Las Vegas casinos.

Since immigrating from Greece to the United States in the late 1960’s, Karas made most of his money through gambling. He’s been a pool hustler, high stakes poker player, craps player and now blackjack cheater.

In 1992, Karas nearly went broke and had just $50 to his name. However, he was able to turn this money into $40 million through a combination of poker, pool and craps. Sadly, he would blow his entire fortune within just a few months. He dropped most of the money in craps and baccarat games, while Chip Reese also won $2 million from him in poker. Since this time, Karas has continue to amass big winnings, only to lose them a short time later.

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