Cheating Methods

History of slot machine cheating is rich in events. One cheat in slots would involve a snaked up coat hang in a machine with mechanical counters of coins. Since this coat hanger will interfere, the slot machine will no longer be able to follow the payout. One particular cheater made more than $200,000 with this single method on various slots. Sadly, he was caught eventually.

Monkey’s Paw

Monkey’s paw is another effective tool. Invented by Tommy Carmichael, professional slots player and cheater, this tool was made of foot-long flexible steel, which had a claw-like shape bent into it at one end. This tool was placed into the chute of the payout until the counter of the coins could be reached by the cheat. Once reached, this tool could interfere with the machine and make it pay out more than it should.

Shaved Coins

The majority of modern machines out there come with a comparator of coins, which checks the machine's inserted token and decides if the coins are valid or not. However, one classic cheat would be to make use of shaved coins or counterfeit tokens in the machine. When successful, the cheat will be able to play for free. Back in the day, cheaters could even tie strings onto coins and pull them in the machine, so that it thinks money is being placed into it. Nowadays, however, manufacturers have added a machine catch to avoid strategies like that.


Mini-lights were once also used to fool with modern machines' optical sensors. Mini-lights happen to have light emitters in one end and batteries in the other. When turned on close to the light sensor of the machine, it would be blinded and could not follow the amount of coins being paid out anymore. In more recent years, several manufacturers have already come up with safeguards versus this technique, though.

Back in the day, several cheaters also managed to make the machines flawed prior to giving them to casinos. Naturally, this would require the cheater to have inside men or actual programmers on his side, but if done the right way, the slot machine would pay out whenever the buttons were pushed at the right time in the right pattern - a very ambitious strategy.

Slots Cheating in the Future

While slot machines technology gets more advanced, starting to depend on circuitry compared to inner gears, would-be cheaters will soon have far too many difficulties in their way to actually cheat. A lot of slots now ask players to insert cards and bet with credits, as well, thus completely getting rid of comparators of coins altogether.

However, no matter what slot manufacturers invent, cheats will keep searching for brand new angles, so Vegas might not always win, after all.

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