As long as casinos have been around, so has casino cheating. People trying to win by breaking the rules and hoping to get away with is a tale as old as time. But with casinos, the allure of winning money is something casino owners have had to deal with.
However, in this battle of wits, it seems casino operators have been winning. It’s become nearly impossible to become successful at casino cheating. At Casino ZA we don’t condone cheating but find it an interesting topic to explore.
How People Cheat at Casino Games
Since playing each casino games requires different equipment and skill set, so does cheating that specific game. Casino cheating requires ingenuity, the right equipment, and usually a person on the inside helps too. Let’s take a look at how people try to cheat the most common games at a casino.
Cheating at Online Gambling
This might be the most difficult one. Even though there are apps and programmes to help you cheat at online games, the developers are aware of their existence. So, they create games with in mind. Online casino cheating would require some one who is a computer genius.
Probably the most well-known and common way of cheating at blackjack is card counting. Firstly, it requires you to give each card a value. Then you’ll have to keep a count running in your head based on the value of the cards dealt plus calculate the count per deck! Then, once you’ve done that, you change your bets to make a profit. It’s not as easy as it looks in the movies.
Cheating at Poker
Peeking, slight of hand, and bluffing is what cheating at poker is about. If your dealer is in on it, they show you a peek of the cards as they are being dealt with a sleight of hand. Also, the dealer can add extra cards into the deck, giving you an advantage later.
There are a number of different techniques to casino cheating at a roulette game. Some of these involve tampering with the wheel.
Firstly, there’s replacing the normal roulette ball with a magnetised one. A magnet is then placed behind the wheel to control where the ball goes.
Secondly, there’s something called sector targeting. This is when someone leans on the wheel or the table and causes it to tip to one side.
Thirdly, roulette cheats perform top-hatting. No, this isn’t a magic trick. It involves one player distracting the dealer while the other player changes where the ball lands. Also, the dealer could be in on it and change the spot themselves.
Finally, there’s wheel gaffing. This involves loosening a pocket or alternatively applying a glue on it to make it stick more to that pocket.
Because of the lack of supervision around slot machines at land-based casinos, these are the most commonly cheated games. Casino cheats either used fake money, or tie a coin to their finger and trip the mechanism in the machine and pull the coin out.
Nowadays, cheating online slots is nearly impossible.
Famous Casino Cheaters
Throughout the years, there have been many who’ve tried casino cheating. We look at some of the most famous ones.
- Ronald Dale Harris: this man abused his powers as inspector for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Harris installed programming in the slot machines he inspected. The programming triggered the max payout amount when the lever was pulled in the correct sequence. They were caught after his accomplice acted suspiciously after winning a $100 000 jackpot in Atlantic City.
- Monique Laurent: named the ‘French Cigarette Pack Scandal’ in 1973, Monique Laurent along with her brother-in-law and a friend who was a croupier rigged a roulette game. They had a remote-controlled ball which was controlled by a transmitter in a cigarette pack. They won a lot of money until a casino security staff member became suspicious.
- Tommy Glenn Carmichael: this man is considered as one of the best slots cheats ever. He created tools with fun names like ‘Monkey’s Paw’ to beat slot machines in the 1990s. Game designers at International Gaming Technology (IGT) caught onto Carmichael’s schemes and designed slots with fail-safes. He was eventually caught and has a lifetime ban from any casino in Nevada, USA.
Casino Cheating Prevention
Back in the day, casinos were operated by the mob so casino cheating was very risky – if you’ve seen movies like Casino you’ll understand what we mean. When they started becoming more legitimate, cheating and getting caught meant you could face lengthy jail time and a hefty fine, along with giving the money back.
Today, a prison sentence and fine are what you’ll face if you’re caught cheating a casino.