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The Biggest Cheaters in Gambling History

The Biggest Cheaters in Gambling History

Published by Programme B

If you think cheating at casinos is only an issue in small home games or shady backstreet establishments, think again. In such an intense and competitive atmosphere, it’s only natural that some people might try to get ahead. The biggest cheaters in gambling history were all caught trying to game the system and take unfair advantage of unsuspecting competitors. Let’s look at some of these notorious cheaters and see how they got caught red-handed!

Nicky “The Shoe” Schuman

Nicky Schuman was a well-known high roller and a local celebrity in Las Vegas. He was also a notorious cheater at blackjack. Schuman had earned his nickname “The Shoe” because he used to stuff his blackjack shoes with packets of marked cards. He would then drop his shoe on the floor at the end of a shoe (a single round of cards for all blackjack tables in the casino), and his associates would retrieve the marked cards from his shoe and replace them with return cards. 

This technique allowed Schuman and his team to identify the remaining cards in the shoe and use this information to help them make winning hands. Schuman’s cheating was only discovered after he had won $1 million from the Tropicana casino in 1973. The Tropicana blackjack tables were equipped with a new device called the Shoe Alert that detected any movement of cards inside the shoe. 

After a suspicious card motion was detected, casino security swabbed Schuman’s shoe and found traces of a chemical that was used to mark the cards. Schuman was subsequently banned from the casino, and his winnings were confiscated.


The Codfather

Edward Kenndy, the Codfather, is regarded as one of the worst cheaters in recent gambling history. He was a high-rolling gambler who was often seen playing at the high-stakes tables of Las Vegas casinos. His cheats were sneaky, but they were also pretty simple but could not be done on a table game online. As a high roller, Kenndy could usually use his own deck of cards in blackjack games. 

The Codfather would carefully remove the cards from the deck, remove the ones from the top of the deck, and replace them with cards from the bottom of the deck that would help him win. He would also lean against the table to cause vibrations that would cause other players’ cards to move.

 In another famous cheat, Kenndy would hide a magnet and a small piece of iron beneath the table, and he would use them to nudge or move dice to help him win. Kenndy’s extreme cheating tactics are thought to have inspired the 1995 film “Casino”, where the main character is modeled on the Codfather.


Andrew “Andy” Cheung

Cheung was a high roller who gambled all over the world. He was famous for winning millions of dollars at casino games like blackjack and Pai Gow. Cheung’s notoriety came about not only because of his skill at gambling but also because of his knowledge of dealer shuffling techniques. 

Cheung knew well that dealers at casinos will often use a technique called “sloppy shuffling”, where they will speed up their shuffling techniques to finish games as quickly as possible. Cheung would take advantage of these sloppy shuffling techniques to help him identify specific cards in the deck and give him an unfair advantage. 

Cheung’s reputation grew so large that he was eventually barred from almost every major casino in the world. He was arrested in the Philippines, where he was using the casino’s system to launder money.

Victor Chang

Victor Chang was so slick at cheats and scams that he was often nicknamed “Chinese Rose”. Chang was famous for his “slot machine drop” method of cheating, where he would drop a large wad of cash on a slot machine and hope that the machine would malfunction and not return the money. 

The casino would then have to pay Chang the full amount that he had attempted to win. Chang was also known to use a variety of other cheats when he played blackjack. He was well known for switching cards with other players at the table. Cheating is wrong and the Chinese Rose should’ve just switched to play blackjack online instead.

Casino security eventually caught Chang after he attempted the same slot machine scam in two different casinos. Chang was banned from casinos worldwide, and he eventually committed suicide after being unable to pay off his mounting debts.


The Durrant brothers

The Durrant brothers are known cheaters who were caught by casino security trying to use a very sneaky trick to win at roulette. The brothers had discovered that a certain type of roulette wheel was easy to manipulate. The wheel had a design flaw that allowed the wheel to get stuck if a large amount of force was applied to it. 

The wheel would get stuck and stay on the same number. This allowed the brothers to know which number would come up next and allowed them to place bets accordingly. The brothers were eventually caught and banned from casinos around the world.



If you’ve ever played cards or gambled, you’ve likely heard of some of the cheaters on this list. These notorious cheaters are notorious for a reason: They are some of the best and most famous cheaters in the history of gambling. 

Although many of these cheaters have been caught and banned, that doesn’t mean cheaters don’t still exist today. You will even find them in an online casino, it’s a gambling business and some people will look for any advantage they can get.

‍Photo credit Javon Swaby by Pexels