The Tip” Scam: Con Artists Exploit Poker Players

Avoid "The Tip" scam: learn the setup, story, and twist to protect yourself from this dangerous con. Stay safe and informed with us.

“The Tip” scam is a confidence game that targets wealthy individuals, luring them into a crooked proposition. This classic con involves a group of skilled con artists, including a roper who identifies potential victims. The scam relies on psychological manipulation to encourage the mark to bet everything they have on a weak hand, ultimately losing tens of thousands of dollars while the con artists vanish without a trace.

How the Scam Works

The mark is given a story about a poker game with a wealthy player who regularly loses large amounts of money. The con artist wants to fill the table with “friends” so he can guarantee winning a large sum and is willing to stake the other players. The mark is convinced to play with the con artist’s money, and they will split the winnings at the end.

To ensure they win, the con artist tells the mark he will pass off all of his chips to one of his partners and sit out of the game. From there, the con artist can see what the big player has in his hand and signal it to the others. The big player loses everything to the mark, and the mark wins thousands.

The Second Round

The second round is where “The Tip” scam gets interesting. The deck is secretly stacked to produce a known outcome. The mark is convinced he has a winning hand because every signal he’s received from the con artist so far has been accurate. He bets every penny he has on that hand, and the big player beats him with a slightly stronger hand. The mark loses tens of thousands of dollars, and the con artists disappear.

After the big player makes excuses and leaves the game, taking everyone’s money with him, the mark is left alone with his “partners” after losing all their money. The con artists pretend to be sympathetic and promise to set up another game soon.

Motivation for Silence

This type of scam is designed to make the mark highly motivated not to confess to anyone, whether for shame of being a victim or fear of being exposed as a crook. The mark was taking part in a crooked effort to steal from the big player, so there is no protection given to others. Scammers operating “The Tip” scam have accidentally targeted friends or relatives of past set-ups without getting caught because their past victims never said a word to anyone.

Modern Adaptations

Today, this exact scam is easier to play thanks to games with community cards. The “Tip” itself changes from game to game, but it is always about making the victim believe he has a sure thing. Sometimes it’s a tell or supposedly marked cards, but the goal is always the same.

The modern take on “The Tip” scam is that it is easier to stack the deck for modern games, and large bank accounts make excellent targets for scammers. Today, money is transferred electronically, so players with access to large bank accounts are vulnerable to this type of scam.

In conclusion, “The Tip” scam is a classic con game that is still being used today. It is designed to make the mark highly motivated not to confess to anyone and is easier to play in modern games. Players should be aware of this scam and avoid playing with strangers or in unregulated games. By understanding the tactics used in “The Tip” scam, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to this dangerous confidence game.