Top Casino Cheaters

  • Aug 07, 2018
  • 7 min read

Very often, the desire to win at casino games prompted players to resort to different methods, some of them less accurate, which gives them an incorrect, but a winning solution. In this way, many of the cheaters who have won their place in the Hall of Fame of Casino Cheaters have managed to revolutionize the procedures that have incorrectly mastered the gains they deserved. Here are some of the most famous cheaters known in this field.

1. Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Born in July 1950, Tommy Glenn Carmichael turned into one of the casino cheaters kings and, unofficially, is named the “second biggest cheater in the slots field”. After many years of “intensive work” (almost 20), he developed several technologies related to casino slots, i.e. “cheating gadgets”. Either alone, either with a group of crime professionals, he took advantage of the Caribbean and USA casinos.

His first known “hit” was in 1980 when he stole 35 coins (worth 5 cents each) from a casino located near Las Vegas. This caused him a sentence of 5 years in prison, where the 2nd biggest slots cheater met another “brother in crimes”, named Mike Balsamo, with whom he decided to form a team, capable of developing cheating systems for  casinos. But soon after their release, the casino systems have changed their technology and implemented microprocessors and a new operating system named RNG (random number generator). That represented a
challenge for Carmichael, who bought a poker machine to study its inside working system. Then, he developed the “monkey paw”, an interesting device to manipulate the release button, responsible for collecting the coins from the machine.

With a versatile personality, he found solutions for tricking a casino game's systems, even when they were computerized. In 1991, pretending to be an interested customer, he found a solution to get these new machines and developed a laser device. Using a camera battery connected to a microlight bulb, he was able to manipulate the cover sensor from these apparatus. By selling this idea patent to other casino cheaters, Carmichael won serious money. During 1996-1998, when he has used this gadget to steal casino money, he was caught after he tried to cheat some casinos in Nevada. After his phone was put under surveillance and all conversations with other cheaters were recorded, Tommy Glenn Carmichael was sent to prison. After release, he crossed the line and now is working on a device capable of detecting and canceling other fraud gadgets.

2. Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is famous for his multiple cheating actions in all casino fields (starting with poker, roulette, blackjack and finishing with craps). A “rich” activity of 25 years in the casino cheating domain has been implemented in three books: “American Roulette (The Great Casino Heist)”, “The Poker Underworld Exposed” and “The World's Greatest Gambling Scams”. With many television appearances, Richard Marcus is considered among the highest rated casino cheaters. In his books, he presents an original approach about cheating casinos, including various methods and procedures. Especially as Marcus was at the beginning known as an honest casino player, and later, a decent dealer. Being on both sides, he understood how the system is working and developed some incredible cheating methods. This way he created the Savannah movement, which consists in slipping a big chip (worth $500) under three red chips (worth $5 each). Initially, the dealer thinks the gain is lower due to red chip value, but, in reality, it's a winning of $1000. At his retirement from the cheating field, his total “gains” were of $7 million and the title of “World's #1 Casino and Poker Cheating Expert”.

3. Dominic LoRiggio

Famous for his intense activity of cheating at blackjack and craps tables, “The Dominator” developed a new technique of “controlling shooting” (it's a method consisting in an agile movement due to which the dice is getting the right direction, with precise tossing in the air and a great precision when it's hitting the craps table wall). He never made it with two dice simultaneously.

4. Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo

The man who broke the roulette spinning wheel system and won almost $1.5 million from cheating Las Vegas casinos (in a single hit), Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo it is titled as the uncrowned king of cheating at roulette. In the beginning, he studied the roulette system and developed several probabilities of cheating the game. As he found that some numbers are often extracted than others, Garcia-Pelayo quickly won 600,000 Euros in Madrid and, later over $ 2 million in Las Vegas. Even if his method, legally speaking, is absolutely safe and recognized as not being criminalized by the Supreme Court, his cheating activity ended in 1992. Today, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo is a consultant for several casinos and fights against cheating in casinos.

5. The MIT Blackjack Team

In the 90s, a team of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT in short, have made millions of dollars playing blackjack in Las Vegas casinos. After the courses, some students were meeting to plot a strategy to win this game, by counting cards. They formed a very capable team of six students who used the signs of their own language, expressions and gestures only they know. From 1979 ‘till 1993 they have won millions of dollars and when
everything stopped, one of them published in 2003 a book based on their experience named “Bringing Down the House”.

6. Edward Thorp

One of the cards counting pioneer and considered the father of this system, Edward Thorp, was an MIT professor, who cracked the blackjack code. Using an old IBM 704 computer, he deciphered the secrets of this game and its many probabilities. Tested in several casinos, including Las Vegas and Reno, his counting card method brought him quick gains. Later, in 1996, he published all his conclusions regarding this method in a book called “Beat the Dealer”. Thanks to his extensive activity in this field, he entered in the Blackjack Hall of Fame (as the developer of the “Thorp count” method).

7. Ron Harris

Famous for his activity in the keno game, Ron Harris was a simple technician whose job was testing the slot machines. In this position, Ron Harris broke the RNG of a keno machine and duplicated the calculations, providing useful information for his crime partner, who won over $100,000 in a New Jersey casino. After his partner was caught when he won $ 1 million in a casino, using Harris’s cheating method, he lost his job and ended with such criminal intentions.


Casino Cheaters

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