Famous slot machine cheats and why you shouldn’t copy them

by Enrico
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slot machine cheats
First of all, the question you ask the most probably is “What can I do to win more money on a slot machine?”. The next question may be “How do I find a winning slot machine” or “Are there any systematic rules that can help me to hit the jackpot in a game?”. Look, these questions are as common as they come, and don’t worry, every player around the world has asked them at least once in their reel-spinning career.

While these questions all hold some value, the most important thing before casino gaming to do is to establish a correct and logical idea of how to play. There is no certain technique that can change the calculation result of any slot machine, despite what others may tell you. It is a game that simply relies on the realms of probability. So, every time you spin, all you need to is spin the reels and hope that your approach to the game reaps rewards – no more and no less.

Sadly, for every thousand slot players that lean on luck at the land-based casinos of the world, there is a handful that believes that cheating is the best way forward. Today, we’re going to look at the famous methods that cheaters have used and explain just why this is not the way to play should you want to be a slot machine winner. We might also throw in a few tips on how you can win big on a standard slot machine too, so make sure you keep reading to the very end.


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Why do people cheat? Can I cheat at slots?

After understanding how big are the jackpots in slot games, some really are huge, it is not uncommon to see some people start to have some “wrong ideas” about how to win. While winning is important, doing so via illegal means and game manipulation is not the way to go about it.

Over the past few hundred years, slot machine makers have made the games more and more developed, at the same time very secure in terms of anti-cheating methods. It is impossible to cheat the algorithm in the slot machine system in 2021, that’s just the truth of the matter.

The casino operators of the world are not fools, they have the very best of security methods, this includes when it comes to online play. If you choose to cheat, you will most likely be caught immediately and even encounter some rather serious legal trouble. So, save your energy and focus on other more logical and achievable ways to play rather than trying to cheat.

Cheat Method No. 1 – Dragging out the coin

Let’s look at something that strictly relates to the physical, land-based slot machines of the world. When you play some slot machines that require coins to play in a real casino, you may think about tying a string on the coin, and then pulling it out immediately after you put it in to cheat the machine and cause misinterpretation. You may think this silly idea is just the stuff of comedy, sadly this is something that has certainly been attempted many a time in the past.

There is a real-life example in case you didn’t quite believe us. A player in Nevada tied a bright color string to the coin and used this technique to play on slot machines, but unfortunately, he was caught by the floor manager of the casino and ended up with a broken hand. Okay, that just bit is a bit of a joke, but while it was not that serious, he was sent to the police station and then sued by the casino.

Nowadays, slot machine equipment is usually improved to prevent that situation from happening, so don’t try to use this trick to cheat for some free games.

Cheat Method No. 2 – Using fake tokens

This method is similar to the string method we just mentioned but certainly feels a lot more serious. You might think the fake token and the real token’s size are exactly the same when using this method, but the modern token recognition systems have achieved a very high level of complexity and security, so only dedicated tokens can be accepted for a certain type of slot machine.

This cheating method is very unrealistic, but not something that doesn’t get attempted. On the contrary, when the wrong token is inserted, it is likely to trigger the system warning of the slot machine, and then alert the nearby securities to come and question you about it. Many people truly believe that a slot machine token system is only weight-based, think that at your peril if you actually plan on using the fake token trick.

Cheat Method No. 3 – Using magnets to control the game screen

Want to hear about a really old-school method of cheating? Let’s talk about magnets. In the 1960s to 1970s, some slot machines were indeed affected by magnetism due to manufacturing problems. Some players tried to cheat the game by using magnets to control the reels until a winning combination forms, then the magnet is removed. However, in the subsequent development of the slot machine, this problem has been fixed and improved, the key part of the reel is no longer affected by any magnet.

Yes, you read that right the first time. There were people that would carry a bag of magnets to a casino with the hope of manipulating the reels. We did tell you that this was an old method of cheating.

Cheat Method No. 4 – Controlling the machine from within

Hold onto your hats for this one, as it could be the craziest method of cheating on this list. In the 1990s, there was a very famous team that used slot machines to cheat and make profits in several major casinos. The team was comprised of both adults and children disguised as adults, along with several small women.

The smallest members of their team would enter into the large slot machines, and by using a special system that they have developed to manipulate the operation rules, so the winning results will be changed. Of course, this is no longer possible in modern times due to casino size. But my-oh-my, when you talk about crazy ways to cheat, this might just be the craziest.

Cheat Method No. 5 – Using core chips to change the result

The Nevada Game Commission once reported that there was an engineer that secretly installed a slot machine chip that he made adjustments to without authorization directly into a game. This chip made it so that when he inserted coins and selected the bet amount in a fixed order, the slot machine system will determine the wins and automatically start to pay.

When it comes to skill and technical know-how, this is by far the most advanced method of cheating on this list. Creating a chip for the sole purpose of cheating at slots really is something else in many ways, as it takes hours of time and dedication. The problem is that this shows just how planned an effort to cheat the casino this really was. You won’t be surprised to hear that the perpetrator was arrested soon after running the scam.

Cheat Method No. 6 – Making use of the Monkey Paw

Enter the Monkey Paw. This way of cheating will likely be most familiar to those in the US, as it was utilized by Tommy Carmichael, one of the most well-known slot machine cheats in casino history. Not content with his usual cheating methods, he devised a device that was supposed to be a foolproof way of winning big. What he did was use a guitar string and attached it to a brass rod, the rod is then lowered into the machine – usually through an air vent – until it triggered the payout switch. Hit the switch and you win, with the Monkey Paw being the most direct route.

Carmichael’s cheating antics are famous in the US, but gamblers around the world should take note. His methods range from the stupid to arguably the sublime in the case. Yet, the lesson stands true that cheaters never win, as the man is pretty much banned from casinos around the globe at this point.

Cheat Method No. 7 – Swinging the Light Wand

No, this is not something from Harry Potter, even if it does sound like it. It’s actually a special device created solely for the use of cheating on slot machines. You might be noticing a trend on this list, one that relates to people creating devices that are solely used for cheating on slot machines. In this case, an individual decided that the way to beat a slot machine in the easiest possible fashion is to interfere with its sensors, and alas the light wand was invented.

The device itself was a small light linked to a wire. Any gambler would use the device to help them cheat on a machine by putting the light wand into the coin hopper. What this does is block the light sensor of the game, which means that the game continues to payout long after the supposed payout should have ended. It’s a smart way of using a small win to trigger something much bigger, albeit illegally. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to discover that the light wand is another creation from famous slot machine cheat Tommy Carmichael.

Cheat Method No. 8 – Constructing a Top-Bottom Joint

Tommy Carmichael’s methods of cheating tended to evolve over years, with there being a certain technical edge to them. But, if you really want to talk about the technical roots of slot machine cheats, you’re going to have to head all the way back to the 1970s and 1980s. The top-bottom joint was the first real concerted effort to create a tool that’s sole purpose was to cheat slot machine games.

The tool itself was split into two parts, a bottom made up of a long wire and a top that’s built from a metal rod with the end bent into the shape of a “q”. The player could insert the bottom into the coin chute of a game and the top into a coin slot. Doing this would jam the machine, forcing it to release all the cash held within the machine. It’s safe to say that this wasn’t the most subtle of cheating methods, but it certainly proved to be effective.


Some honest advice

Okay, so we’ve looked at how players have commonly cheated at slots over the years. But, what if you do want to play honestly, how can you improve your performance on a land-based slot machine? Well, there is no magic code for victory, but they’re a couple of small things you can do to slightly tip the odds in your favor.

Honest Tip No. 1 – Play on the machine closest to the door

Logically speaking, casino operators should increase the winning rate of slot machines by the door, in order to let passers-by see the wins happening live. But today this matter may have become more and more difficult to prove, because most of the slot machines nowadays are printed in the form of barcode invoices, instead of the past way of winning a lot of hard drives out of the tray. And in today’s entertainment industry, the same game usually has the same return on investment.

That being said, there is some degree of truth to the fact that playing a slot machine by the door may actually have a slightly better return to player rate than other slot games on the casino floor.

Honest Tip No. 2 – Find a slot machine that no one plays

Many players like to solely play popular slot games because they think that the more people play, the easier it is to win prizes. On the contrary, a slot machine that looks deserted and largely untouched could prove to be something of a goldmine. Does it specifically mean that it has a higher chance to pay out big prizes? Well, it’s a bit of a grey area. There are also people who think that you shouldn’t look for a slot machine that a lot of people are playing because the winning rate is definitely not high. What are the facts? In fact, all games have programs already installed during the design process, and the programs are all controlled by the program to determine when each machine will show the prizes.

That said, games that often go unplayed usually have the unknown factor or are once-popular games that have faded over the years. This means that there is a return to player rate that may actually be quite high, but it’s simply a game that’s been shunted out of the spotlight. If you can find a slot machine that’s gathering dust, take it for a spin and you might just find it to be a hidden gem.

Cheaters never prosper!

Now, after reading the above, hopefully, it will help you to set up a positive and healthy gaming mindset. And remember, besides cheating, there are indeed some ways you can make full use of the slot machine rules, amplify your advantages and offset your weaknesses, and most importantly win big. Cheaters never prosper for long in the world of casino play, no matter how imaginative their efforts are.

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