Behind the Curtain: The Untold Secrets of Tommy Carmichael

Behind the Curtain: The Untold Secrets of Tommy Carmichael

Tommy Carmichael was perhaps the greatest slot cheat and one of the most successful casino scam artists ever. Known as “the Einstein of slot machines,” Tommy invented tools with which he scammed many casinos in Las Vegas. These tools included the Monkey Paw or Slider, the Light Wand, and the Hanger.

Today’s casino news examines Tommy’s history, what he did at Las Vegas casinos, and why he is so famous among gamblers.

Tommy Carmichael: A Modern-Day Robin Hood or a Conman?

Born in the early 1950s, Tommy Carmichael was a television merchant and repairman. He founded a television sales and repair shop, “Ace TV Sales and Service,” located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tommy was initially successful in that business because of his extraordinary skills. However, competition set in between him and other more prominent merchants who entered the market, and his business suffered important losses.

Encounter With an Old Friend and the Cheating Device

In 1980, a friend dropped by his shop with some toys in his booth—a Bally’s slot machine and a cheating tool (the top-bottom joint). A word from his friend about the tool’s potential was enough to convince Tommy, who has been searching for a solution to his misery. He went home to practice with the tool until he knew its capability. Tommy then traveled to Las Vegas immediately after discovering the tool could always bring casino odds to his favor.

The Top-Bottom Joint was a small metal rod with a guitar string. When Tommy inserted the device into the coin slot and manipulated the guitar string, he could trigger the optical sensors and trick the machine into dispensing payouts without actually placing a bet.

With his new tool, and after test-running for a $35 win, Tommy Carmichael quickly raked in about $10,000 in total wins during the weekend alone. From there, he ventured into several other casinos on the Strip to win millions of dollars. Therefore, big casinos on the Strip changed their slot operations by integrating random number generators (RNGs), which are still present in new games like the Angel & Devil Game, rendering Tommy’s device ineffective.

However, Carmichael started patronizing smaller establishments where players tried to learn how to win at the casino with $20. But his plan became known to the police and in 1985, after a few weeks of being tracked, he was caught red-handed with his cheating tool and sentenced to 5 years in prison, partly due to his former drug record and probation.

The Monkey Paw Cheater Device

Tommy Carmichael didn’t feel any remorse while in prison but was planning how to continue in his new-found calling with a colleague with whom he was serving time. In 1990, after he finished serving his time, the top-bottom joint was already old-fashioned, as the technology of slot machine casino games had been updated.

Coming out without cash, Tommy decided to work until he had enough to buy a slot machine instead of a casino watch. After dissecting the machine to find a vulnerable part, he developed the Monkey Paw, which allowed him to manipulate the mechanical reels of slot machines and make multiple wins. This invention was a resounding success for Tommy Carmichael; the device often helped him win $1000 per hour.

However, the Monkey Paw became outdated within two years as advanced technology was integrated into new slot machines. Tommy also didn’t give up. Rather than play in casino games free sessions, he believed he could beat any slot machine update.

The Light Wand and the Hanger

In 1992, Tommy Carmichael visited a famous slot machine manufacturing company, disguising himself as a client ready to purchase. He asked the manufacturer to explain its working process to determine the weakness of these latest slots. The simple explanation given to Tommy was all he needed to make another cheating tool, the Light Wand.

The Light Wand was Tommy’s most remarkable invention. It was the cheapest to build and could completely wreck a casino. Tommy didn’t only make it for himself; he also sold it to other cheaters. This device proliferated so wildly that it caused more damage to casinos than its predecessors.

Again, after manufacturers updated their technology to counter Tommy’s invention, he retorted by creating the Hanger. Tommy was caught in 1996 and 1998, but the authorities couldn’t bring any charges against him. He planned to create another superior cheating tool, the Tongue, but he was arrested in 1999.

Tommy Carmichael: Righting the Wrongs

Tommy was sentenced to one year in prison in 2001 after confessing his crimes. His name was also added to the Black Book, preventing him from entering a casino. To right his wrongs, Carmichael invented the Protector, the only device that could render all cheating tools ineffective.

However, the Nevada Gaming Board couldn’t trust this new invention of a notorious slot cheat, so they investigated the device to ensure its safety. Tommy Carmichael died in 2019 without children. However, his story remains one of the most told in the gaming industry.

A Trailblazer or a Troublemaker

Tommy Carmichael has left an undebatable legacy as a master slot machine manipulator. He has sealed his name as a legend in history books. To play real money online casino slot games fairly, it is best to play at a reputable site like Vegas Aces Casino.

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