Faro Cheating with the High Layout

A Faro dealer invented a lucrative although short lived sure thing with his high layout cheating box.


7/16/20221 min read

The same inventive mind who thought up the pin-hole scam also came up with a scheme for cheating the cheater who used the high layout. The most intricate cheating device constructed in connection with Faro was the high layout, which was put on the private market around 1896.

It was necessary that the layout where the bets are placed, should be as high as the box, and that is how the invention got its name. As a rule the box is an inch and a half higher than the layout. The box had two mouths, the one from which the cards are drawn in the usual manner, and another opening toward the layout. The cards used were slightly wedged, so that the right hand lower corner of the second, or losing card, jetted out under the card which had just won. In the corner of the box was a “tell” by which the dealer could inform himself, all through the deal, of the next losing card.

In the high layout was a mechanical device, which would reach into the secret mouth of the box and extract the second card, and on another touch of the button would return it to the box. When the dealer looking into the box found that the next loser was an ace and the players were betting on the ace to lose, he touched the button. The ace was abstracted, and return to the box when he pleased to put it back. This box made winning impossible. The device was sold readily for more than $1000 when first put on the market.

Once the secret was discovered no old gambler could be deceived by it, for the high layout was a sign to him that he was being robbed.