Up Close & Peculiar

More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our very own, Allyson Iovino, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.

Today: Casino Cheating 

Are you feeling lucky? You might not be after you take a look at these rigged gabling devices on this episode of Up Close & Peculiar!

Today we are here at the Ripley’s Warehouse with some mysterious contraptions. Now, I am a Vegas girlie, I’ve been frequenting the strip since I was just a tiny tot, and I can tell you right now if I was seen anywhere near a casino with any of these I would get kicked out in ten seconds! Let’s take a look at what we have here.

Starting off with a box of dice that belonged to mobster Rafael Aiello. Now, some of these dice only have two or three numbers on them and that is because these were used for, you guessed it, scamming!

Between the 1940’s and 1960’s, Aiello started to run illegal dice games across Chicago where he would use sleight of hand to swap out the legitimate dice for rigged ones. Apparently, Aiello got so good at defrauding these people that Al Capone personally asked him to start working for him… or else!

Moving on, I have a couple other examples, including a mirrored card dealing shoe, where it shows the dealer the cards as they’re being dealt. This one is pretty modern, it’s from the 1970’s!

We also have a card trimmer that dates back to the 1800s! The card trimmer was used to ever so slightly mark cards so when the dealer was handling their cards they could know exactly what ones they had in their hand. This would definitely not fly in a casino today.

Have you ever been scammed while gambling? Tell us your stories down below, and I’ll see you next time!


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!