The Most Famous Casino Cheaters and How They Did It

Every year, offline and online casinos around the world invest a great deal of effort, energy, and resources into combatting casino cheating. Unfortunately, not all cheaters are caught.

Some have achieved fame and their names are inscribed in the history of casino cheats. Richard Marcus is one such legendary cheat who now writes books on how to beat casinos.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Tommy Glenn Carmichael opened his television repair shop in 1980 without ever dreaming that he’d become one of the world’s most renowned casino cheaters. Though he had minor drug convictions and juvenile misdemeanors on his record, nothing in his past suggested he’d become such an adept technician with slot machines.

In the 1970s, he was introduced to a device known as a ‘top-bottom joint’ that instantly proved successful at fooling slot machine payout mechanisms. He used this method to defraud casinos of millions of dollars.

As casinos updated their slot games, Carmichael found it increasingly difficult to win big at larger establishments; thus, he was forced to switch to smaller gambling establishments that hadn’t upgraded their systems yet.

Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus was a professional casino cheat who amassed millions through fraudulent roulette schemes. His specialty lay in late betting, an approach which deceived casinos by altering wagers after their results had already been revealed or made obvious to the dealer.

He was part of a syndicate of casino cheats that generated thousands of pounds through fraudulent roulette and blackjack schemes. He even invented one such scam which proved so successful it fooled even state-of-the-art video surveillance technology.

He began by working at Four Queens Casino in New York with Joe Classon, a renowned casino cheat who taught him fraudulent roulette techniques. They soon devised a plan which involved shuffling cards in such a way that each dealer would lose at least 7 hands consecutively.

Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo

Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo is a Spanish casino cheat renowned for turning around some of the world’s premier casinos. His strategy? Spending hours studying the roulette wheel.

He discovered that the wheels had numerous defects that made them susceptible to bias. These included minor differences in pockets and an uneven tilt of the table.

After analysing thousands of spins, he realized that using this system could yield a substantial profit. Enlisting his son and daughter to record results at various roulette tables across Madrid, he began collecting money-making opportunities.

His winnings of nearly two million euros in casinos eventually led to his exclusion from all Spanish casinos.

MIT Blackjack Team

The MIT Blackjack Team was a group of students at MIT who learned card counting and used it to win money in casinos. They were well known in the 1980s and 1990s for their tricks, but eventually got banned from most establishments due to their tactics.

The team was led by a “signaler,” who would locate hot tables and check their count. Once favorable, they’d signal the team’s big player to place an aggressive wager.

Another member of the MIT Blackjack Team served as their’spotter,’ providing signals when they spotted an advantageous situation at the blackjack table. Jane Willis – a mathematician by training who studied at Harvard – proved particularly adept at this task.

Though some members of the MIT Blackjack Team eventually disbanded, others formed two independent teams (Amphibians and Reptiles), both with million-dollar bankrolls. Their success cemented their place as fearsome rivals to casinos around the globe.

Bellagio Poker Tournament

If you’re looking to play high stakes poker, the Bellagio Poker Room is an excellent destination. This 7,000 square foot space features 40 tables and two exclusive high limit areas, plus plenty of flat screen TVs for viewing your matches.

At The Bellagio, players can choose from a selection of games including no limit and fixed limit Texas hold’em, pot limit Omaha, Omaha hi/lo, seven card stud hi/lo and mixed games. Plus they can participate in their daily no limit hold’em tournament at 5pm with an entry fee of $160.

The room has hosted several high-stakes poker tournaments, such as the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Recently, it reopened with permission from the state Gaming Control Board to host six-handed games again.

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