Report comment

Please fill in the form to report an unsuitable comment. Please state which comment is of concern and why. It will be sent to our moderator for review.


"It is an essential element of Punto Banco that the game is one of pure chance, with cards delivered entirely at random and unknowable by the punters or the house".

That sentence from the judgment is central to the court's reasoning. And I am afraid I think it is a monumental piece of assuming what you are trying to prove.
You might say with equal accuracy that it is "an essential element" of Poker that the players have no information other than the cards in front of them and the mathematical odds; but everyone knows that part of the skill of players like Phil Ivey and Victoria Coren-Mitchell is their ability to draw inferences from their opponents' demeanour.
You might say that it is "an essential element" of Bridge that the players have no information other than the cards in front of them and the bidding; but it was said of one of the greatest Bridge players of all time that Helen Sobel seldom, if ever, misguessed a queen in a slam contract when she was playing against two men. Her trick was to lift her skirt a little above her knees. It never failed that the one with the queen of spades was too nervous to look around, but the one without the queen always looked.

The casino was quite happy to go along with Phil Ivey's requests about the sorting of the cards while they supposed he was a superstitious mug, seeking to cry foul and squeal "It's not fair!!" when the mug proved to be one step ahead of them. The appropriate response from the Supreme Court would, I suggest, have been that he who plays with fire cannot complain if occasionally he gets his fingers burned.

Your details