When it comes to winning money at casinos, there are plenty of people who do so legitimately, and many of them walk away with massive winnings. With that being said, there are plenty of people both past and present who try to get one over on casinos and walk away with what can best be described as illegitimate winnings. People who cheat casinos often get caught, but some do not.
Even some of those people that do get caught go down in history for their actions and have become quite famous because of it.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael—Slot Cheat
One of the most famous casino cheats in the world was a man by the name of Tommy Glenn Carmichael. Mr. Carmichael gained notoriety in the 1980s when he cheated Las Vegas Casinos’ slot games. By way of a magnetic device that was inserted into the coin slots, Carmichael would influence the outcome of spins such that they would result in him winning much more frequently than they were supposed to be. Carmichael did not get very far, however, because casinos began updating their slot games and his device no longer helped him cheat.
Even though casinos were actively updating their slot games, some smaller establishments did not replace their machines right away. As such, Carmichael used this as an opportunity to rob smaller casinos blind. That is, until he was arrested and put in prison for 5 years.
Once his time was served, Carmichael came out of prison to a world where slot machines were nothing like he could remember. He immediately bought one of the newest machines and set out trying to figure out ways he could cheat them. After some time, Carmichael was able to create a light device that, when shown into the coin slot, would trigger a sensor that would then trigger a winning result. Carmichael not only made money by using the device he created, he also sold it to other unscrupulous characters who utilized it as well. All told, Carmichael made a good bit of money having cheated Las Vegas casinos, but he was eventually caught and sentenced again in the late 1990s. Nowadays he works hand-in-hand with casinos in order to thwart would-be cheaters.
Ida Summers—Vegas Vixen
When it comes to casino cheats, the stories surrounding them are typically male-centric. When there were women involved, they were usually utilized to distract dealers and pit bosses so that a male, or group of males, could execute whatever cheat it was they were trying to pursue. In the case of Ida Summers, however, a beautiful woman was used as a distraction, but that same beautiful woman was at the center of a great blackjack cheating ring that took place during the 1960s in Las Vegas.
During her initial cheats, Summers would utilize sleight of hand to get over on dealers and pit bosses. Basically, Summers would execute quick maneuvers which would see her remove unwanted cards from a deck and replace them with cards which would see her win a given hand.
Summers got bolder as time moved on as she would be seen introducing entirely new decks of cards to specific blackjack tables. These decks would be set up in such a way that she was given an extremely large advantage over the house. These decks were known as coolers and ended up netting Summers a pretty penny during their use. Eventually, as is the case with most cheats, Summers was apprehended by law enforcement and was put on trial for her supposed crimes. At the end of the day, however, Ida never spent any time behind bars and was given a meager probation sentence.
As you can see from these two examples, casino cheats have gained some fame, but they also almost always gain attention from the wrong people—law enforcement. As time moves on, cheaters have advanced, but so too have the casinos where cheaters thrive. Nowadays you must understand that you are constantly under the watchful eye of casino security, even though you may not realize it.
Cheating has become much less common during the modern era not only because it has grown an increasingly impossible task, but because the punishments facing cheaters have spiked dramatically. You will rarely ever see someone like Ida Summers getting probation for cheating a casino out of thousands of dollars.
Casino Cheats FAQ
Can you cheat slot machines?
Even though it was commonplace to see people cheating slot machines back in the day, modern technology has made slots one of the hardest game types to cheat on.
Are casinos outside of Las Vegas easy to cheat at?
The fact of the matter is that no modern casinos are easy to cheat at. Even those outside of Las Vegas are equipped with top-notch security to thwart any and all unscrupulous players.
What is the prison sentence for cheating?
This all depends on how you cheated and how much money you were able to illegally win. If you walk away with thousands and thousands of dollars, you very well might find yourself spending a few years in prison; especially if you can’t afford to pay the casino back.