Everybody loves to hear stories about casino cheating players. Deep down, we all know that the casino wins in the long run, so stories about the big cheats and casino scandals somehow satisfy us. Even if they are flat robberies…
Well, today is your lucky day because we will tell you the world-famous cheating stories of 5 gamblers. These world-famous players used tricks, human psychology, devices, and all the other tools in a thief’s bag to claim victory, and some of them managed to get away with it. Unfortunately, none of these gamblers is from the United Kingdom – but we are sure that they “inspired” lots of UK players too.
One final note before we start: the cheating techniques that are listed in this article (including devices) are no longer available. Casinos took the necessary precautions to prevent them, and you cannot use any of these “methods” anymore. Don’t even think about applying them if you want to avoid jail time.
Dennis “Slots Breaker” Nikrasch: The Locksmith
Dennis Nikrasch is the greatest slot-thief of all times. When someone says famous cheaters, his is the first name that comes to mind. He was born in 1941 and worked as a locksmith for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, this is a profession with low-income, so he started to look for other opportunities.
In 1976, he found out that slot machines in Las Vegas casinos have “locks” too. Back in those days, most of these machines were running on cogs and reels, and they can be opened in case a repair is necessary. Well, Dennis Nikrasch decided to open the machine for himself. It took him only a couple of seconds to open the machine and rig the cogs in his favor. He spun the reels and voila, instant win.
Until 1983, he continued these slot machine cheats and made at least 10 million USD in total. Nobody knows how much he won exactly, but some sources claim that he managed to get 16 million USD. This was not a simple casino trick; it was a flat robbery. He got caught in 1986 and spent 5 years in prison. After he got released, he returned to Las Vegas and kept manipulating the machines. Once again, he was sentenced to prison for 7.5 years and released in 2004. He died in 2010, and most of his “tricks” are still unknown.
Monique “No Smoking” Laurent: The Femme Fatale
We all love to hear Las Vegas cheats, but it is not the only city that has casinos. There are other countries and other cities for casino cheats too. Monique Laurent is an excellent example of this. She ranks number one among the roulette cheaters. It all happened in 1973, in Casino Deauville, a famous French casino. A woman in a seductive dress approached the roulette table and started to play her cigarette pack., and 10 minutes later, another gambler on the table won thousands of francs. They left the casino together.
Monique Laurent continued to do this and “won” more than five million Francs in total. Her secret was the cigarette pack: it is actually one of the most famous casino cheating devices. The pack is actually a remote control which stops the ball on any number the user wishes. To pull the hacks like that, the croupier must be in it too, and this was the case. It was actually quite simple when compared to other robberies. Monique did not play, she just stayed near the table. She had two accomplices: the croupier and another player on the table. The player placed the bet, the croupier used the “magic ball”, and Monique stopped it on the right place. The player walked away, and they all divided the money.
Her mistake? Going to the same casino all the time, and playing at the same table. She had no other choice, as the croupier was a part of this scam. The casino owner got suspicious (naturally) and started to think about why this attractive woman who never plays keeps playing with her cigarette pack. The whole scam lasted for a week, and they got busted.
Ida “Cooler” Summers: The Hand Mucker
And now, it is time for a poker-cheating story. Ida Summers was an attractive woman who played in Las Vegas casinos. Her preference was poker games, but she was ok with all card games, actually. And she was a professional at “hand-mucking” technique. Have you ever watched Wild West movies where players hide some of the cards in their pockets and use them at the right time? Hand mucking is a similar gambling cheating method: You distract the dealer, steal one of the cards from the pile, and use it at the right time. Basically, it is a sleight of hand technique, and Ida Summers was an expert at that.
But changing a single card was not enough for Ida. She was, for the lack of a better word, “cocky”. After running this hand-mocking technique for months, she decided to do the impossible: stealing the entire deck and switching it with one of her own. Since she already knew the card order in the deck, she could win all of the games she played.
Now, sit back and think about this: we are talking about swapping an entire deck here. Two decks must be identical and the dealer must be really stupid – or distracted. Ida Summers hired dozens of “players”. Their job was creating noise and keeping the dealer busy, and this actually worked: Ida managed to switch the entire deck god knows how many times. She got caught after a couple of months and not because the casinos noticed what she was doing. She got caught because a former lover of her ratted Ida to FBI. To this date, Ida Summers ranks in TOP three in casino cheaters list. She is also the “creator” of best cheats around.
Richard “Savannah” Marcus: The Switcher
Richard Marcus is one of the famous cheaters who managed to get away with his winnings. Richard Marcus was cheating many Las Vegas casinos for many years! His love for gambling came from childhood when he loved to guess the car colours on the road before he saw them and playing craps at school. Now he earns money on his books and pieces of training on American Roulette that reveal answers to “how to win?”, “what strategy to use”, “best odds&bets”.
He never got a prison time even after casinos found out what he was doing. Well, he is lifetime-banned from all casinos in Las Vegas because of his casino tricks, of course, but this was the only punishment he got. Why? Because his technique was so simple, the casinos would look like a fool.
He worked in casinos for a long time so he already knew how tables were managed. He never used a cheating device, he never manipulated a croupier. He did not have any accomplices too; he was a “lone wolf”. What he did was simple:
- Pick a roulette game, any game, any casino.
- Place 4 red chips on a low-paying option. The chips are stacked and the first three are 5 USD worth. The last chip, which cannot be easily seen by the dealer, is 500 USD worth. The dealer won’t notice this because he will think you are placing a 20 USD bet on a “worthless” option.
- If you win, show the dealer your last chip was actually 500 USD worth. Claim the prize, which will be at least 1.000 USD.
- If you lose, quickly swap the fourth chip with a 5 USD chip, so you lose only 20 USD.
See? This simple and quick sleight of hand is the only thing you need. He managed to win hundreds of thousands of dollars with this technique. He “retired” in 2000 and currently is writing books about “how to beat the casino”, and his legendary technique is called “Savannah by Marcus”.
Tommy Glenn “Slider” Carmichael: The Master of All Slot Cheats
If you do a Google search for “cheating devices for slot machines”, you will see a lot of tools: monkey paws, kickstands, light wands… And you know who designed these devices? Well, we owe them all to Tommy Carmichael. He is the most famous “engineer” of casino cheating slot machines. He designed dozens of tools to hack the cabinets and to cheat the system. He is a true legend, and even casino managers respect him. If any of these stories deserve to become a Hollywood movie, then it is the story of Tommy Carmichael.
He was a TV repairman back in the 80s. One day, he bought a slot machine from a casino, just to entertain himself (casinos sell their merchandise after a while.) In order to keep entertaining himself, he decided to open the coin slot of the machine: he was wondering how the machine “knew” what kind of coin is inserted. The old machines used a light-beam to detect a coin dropping from the slot. He invented the “light-beam” tool to trick this system and started to play without inserting any coin.
Slot manufacturers designed new systems, based on microchips and advanced electronics. They spent tens of thousands of dollars for the R&D process. Tommy Carmichael beat them with a kickstand that is 5 USD worth. No matter what they threw to him, he managed to beat them all. This guy played slot machines for years without spending any money and kept collecting the payouts. At one point, he was winning 1.000 USD per hour.
He finally got caught in 1998 and received a three years prison sentence. He is also banned from all Nevada casinos for life. He is living a normal life now, but cheaters still use his devices to trick slot machines – Tommy Carmichael is a true legend among thieves.
Now you know about the most famous casino cheats in history, but please do not get inspired by these tricks since they simply will not work nowadays. The reason for them being used successfully by the cheaters is the significant drawbacks in gambling systems of that time which now are completely eliminated due to the sustainable research and development of this industry. Play responsibly and take care!