Cheating in casinos has long been a problem within the gambling industry. For years, both offline and online casinos around the world have dedicated resources to combatting cheaters.
However, some individuals are able to circumvent the system and siphon off millions of dollars from casinos. These cheaters use simple math, insider information at the casinos, as well as special gadgets.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael
In the 1980s, Tommy Glenn Carmichael lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked at a TV repair shop. Dissatisfied with his job, he yearning for adventure outside of town.
His life took an exciting turn when he met Ray Ming, a former Las Vegas gambler who happened to be visiting the shop. Ming was in the process of selling his slot machine.
He then showed Carmichael the slot machine and taught him about a common cheating device used in casino fraud: the top-bottom joint.
Once Carmichael mastered the mechanics of his cheating device, he began stealing money from casinos. Additionally, he invented and developed new methods for cheating.
He used his skills to hack slot machines and win thousands of dollars daily, but was ultimately caught and sentenced to five years in prison for his crimes.
These notorious casino cheaters used sophisticated devices, inside information or simple math to defraud casinos of millions. In some cases, they even managed to avoid detection, leaving with bags full of cash in hand.
Richard Marcus is one of the world’s most renowned casino cheaters. He began as a blackjack and baccarat dealer in Las Vegas, where he acquired knowledge about casinos’ weaknesses and how to take advantage of them.
He would stack a chip with low value on top of another with high value, and when the dealer made their bet, swap out the low-value chip for one with higher value.
It was a straightforward scam that worked for years. He amassed more than $5 million from the casino before being caught and sent to prison.
Victor Chang was born in Shanghai, China on November 1936. His family fled the Second Sino-Japanese War and settled in Hong Kong.
At the age of twelve, Chang’s mother passed away from breast cancer and spurred his interest in medicine. He eventually decided to attend Sydney University and finish his education at Christian Brothers High School in Lewisham.
He went on to become a cardiac and transplant surgeon, leading the team that performed Australia’s first successful heart transplant in 1984.
His accomplishments earned him the title of ‘Australian of the Century’. Additionally, he spearheaded efforts to secure a national heart transplant program for Australia and was an avid student of medicine and medical technology. Throughout his lifetime, he traveled widely and lectured widely.
MIT Blackjack Team
The MIT Blackjack Team is one of the most renowned card counter teams in history. Their work has been immortalized both in gambling culture and popular culture through books like Bringing Down the House and movies like 21.
In the 1980s, MIT students taught themselves card counting and went to Atlantic City to test out their new techniques on real casino games. Unfortunately, they were caught cheating and banned from casinos forever.
Ultimately, they decided to form a limited partnership called Strategic Investments (Bill Kaplan, JP Massar and John Chang). After raising $1 million from outside investors, the trio began playing at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
Over time, they splintered into smaller groups operating in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Canada as well as island locations. Unfortunately, their 15+ year reign came to an end in 2000 when players began turning away from blackjack.
Bellagio Poker Tournament
Since 2002, the Bellagio poker tournament has been one of the world’s most renowned. Each year, its WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic draws many renowned names to its casino location in Las Vegas.
Cheating in the poker world is a delicate issue. There’s much debate over whether it should remain under the radar for fear of alienating players or be brought out into the open and involve everyone in fighting against cheaters. Which approach you take depends on your perspective on this matter.
Some years back, John Kane of South Dakota won $500,000 playing video poker by exploiting a bug in the Game King line of machines. This glitch allowed him to change the base wager each time he won a jackpot, enabling him to replay the hand multiple times until he eventually took home an impressive payout.