Imagine walking into one of the largest casinos in the world already with a pre-existing knowledge of the ins and outs of casinos, in other words beating the system. Most people walk out of casinos losers some get lucky and walk out with a few hundred or thousands. But then you have the extreme, there aren’t many of them, but there is a list of people that have cheated the system. You have probably seen this in movies one film that stands out in particular features eleven robbers that manage to pull off the most incredible fictionalized casino heists ever captured for the big screen.
This list will consist of the top 5 biggest casino cheats of all-time taking into the density of the scam and the media coverage that followed these rare moments.
1. MIT Blackjack Team:
The MIT Blackjack Team is probably the most infamous casino scam on this list, so much so that it was chronicled in a book, written by Ben Mezrich, which was later adapted into a movie titled, “21” released in 2008 starring Kevin Spacey. The blackjack team or club as they often referred to themselves in the film started in 1979 and continued for nearly three decades. The team consisted of four students and an MIT professor, the team had one goal in mind, to take card counting to a whole new level and use this scam to win lots of money. The MIT scam stands alone because they weren’t doing anything illegal at all if anything they were just well trained and new the strategies of blackjack amazingly well. That doesn’t mean the casinos were happy with what they were doing. Simply put these were some of the best and brightest blackjack players and they were simply one step ahead of the dealer and the casinos it was an all-around team effort.
2. Tommy Glenn Carmichael:
“Give me a slot machine and I will beat it,” and he wasn’t kidding around either, Carmichael made a career out of making tools specifically made to beat slot machines. His cheating record dates back to the 1980s along with a few stints in jail didn’t stop Carmichael from continuing what he does best. He created two tools called the “Monkey Paw and the “Slider.” Once these tools were inside the machine it caused the machine to spit out coins at an uncommon rate. Once the machines went to computer-based graphics, Carmichael studied the interior of these new machines by posing as a manufacturer. It didn’t take long for Carmichael to develop a new tool called the “light wand.” The object was used to block a sensor inside the machine making it impossible for casinos to detect. Also Carmichael, profited from his invention when he decided to sell it to other casino scammers.
3. Richard Marcus:
Making a living as a gambler is not a full proof plan and for Richard Marcus the cost of being a full-time gambler eventually landed him in serious debt and under the bridge as a homeless person. He was able to pull himself together and he landed a job as a blackjack a baccarat dealer. During this time Marcus learned how to become arguably the most famous casino scammer on this list. Using a slight of hand, Marcus was able to scam millions of dollars from casinos until he was caught and banned from casinos. But that didn’t stop Marcus, today he spreads his wealth of knowledge with other gamblers looking to get an edge.
4. Dominic LoRiggio:
LoRiggio was known around the casinos as “The Dominator” or as “The Man with the Golden Arm,” for his dominance at craps and blackjack, he was especially known for his skills with dice. The method of controlling the dice is called “control shooting,” which LoRiggio used to get the rolls he needed to get. Many people believe that controlling two dice is impossible, however, LoRiggio says he could more than one dice by using simple physics. To this day, attempting to control the dice, is not illegal, but casinos frown upon it and have forced LoRiggio and other who have tried to throw the dice the normal way.
5. Edward Thorp:
Thorpe is known as the “father of card counting” and at first had no aspirations of being a gambler until one of his close friends introduced Thorp to blackjack. Once he started to play the former MIT professor was hooked. He started to play the game with extreme focus, trying to figure out the ways he could beat the house. Using an old IBM along with his expertise in probability, Thorp was able to crack the code to blackjack. He would later take his methods of playing blackjack to the test at Las Vegas casinos. Thorp went on to publish his new card counting methods in a book titled, “Beat the Dealer.” Richard Thorp influenced many card counters, most notably the MIT Blackjack Team that earned millions of dollars counting cards.