Some slot cheats include tricking the machine into hefty payouts, and playing with fake coins, and using artificial intelligence to find patterns.
Casinos, slot machine manufacturers, and online casinos have sophisticated technology and surveillance to prevent cheating at slots.
You can create a slot betting strategy and increase winnings without cheating.
We’ve all wished that we could somehow crack the code of our favorite slot game and increase our winnings. But that would mean learning how to cheat at slots to overcome the sheer randomness of the game. Cheating any casino game, including slots, is not only discouraged — it’s just plain illegal. However, this hasn’t stopped slot cheats from trying to build contraptions and use technology to beat slot machines.
Let’s explore 11 of the wacky and downright diabolical ways players have tried to cheat at slots and debunk those tricks. While we’ll show you how they did it, we do not condone cheating and discourage all players from cheating.
Slot machines have a source code that allows gaming authority programmers and engineers to inspect the machines. But what happens when you know this code? Well, a Nevada Gaming Commission engineer named Ronald D. Harris was in charge of finding and fixing potential exploits on slot machines. Then he decided to rig the code and give it to a friend who would play and get paid repeatedly. They split their winnings until they were caught in 1995.
Even if you’re an authorized programmer for slot machines, you wouldn’t be able to pull this stunt off, or it would be even more difficult than it was in the ‘90s. That’s because many gaming commissions now require employees to double-check each other’s work.
The Magnet Trick
Ah, yes, the magnet trick. It seems simple — play as you normally would, but use a strong magnet to stop the reels and stack up those winning symbols. However, this took quite a bit of skill because you had to watch the reels spin until you found the winning combination of symbols and then quickly and inconspicuously use the magnet at just the right time to get the reels to stop. Practice makes perfect because many people used this trick back in the day.
Can you use a magnet to cheat at slots now? No. Modern-day machines are computerized and no longer susceptible to magnets, so the magnet trick is defunct.
One of the most common ways to cheat at slots used to be manipulating the coins you put into the machine. Slot cheats found out how to trick a slot machine by shaving one side of a coin and inserting it at the same time as a coin-shaped object. This would trick the machine’s coin sensor into taking bogus currency and letting you play without paying.
This won’t work anymore either as slot machine manufacturers have developed better sensors that actually scan both sides of a coin to determine if the coin is legit. Plus, many machines don’t even take coins anymore, only accepting bills, winnings tickets, or a player’s account card.
Another coin hack for cheating at slots is to use a counterfeit coin that was the same size and weight as accepted coins. Some slot cheats went so far as to create replica versions of casino coins to bypass more sophisticated scanners. This was the trick used by Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio, who was arrested in 1998 after getting caught.
The last coin trick on our list is a well-known trick used outside the casino floor, too. Just as you could score free cans of soda from a vending machine, players would score infinite free spins on slot machines with the stringed, or yo-yo, coin trick.
This involves attaching a thin yet sturdy string to a coin, partially inserting the coin so the sensor recognizes it, and then yanking it away (inconspicuously, of course) so you play without paying. Then, rinse and repeat.
However, like vending machine manufacturers, slot machine makers have also refitted their machines’ sensors so cheaters can’t take back their bet once the machine accepts it. No more free soda or spins.
Carmichael’s Light Wand
Notorious slot cheat extraordinaire Tommy Glenn Carmichael discovered that flashing light into a slot machine’s coin sensor would cause the machine to pay out large sums no matter what your winnings for a round actually were.
So, he developed the Light Wand device, which he inserted into the sensor along with a coin to trip the sensor. This device would emit quick flashing lights into the sensor, rendering the machine unable to determine exactly how many coins were inserted. In fact, it overestimated the number of coins inserted, leading to huge payouts.
That was the ‘80s and ‘90s, and slot machine manufacturers have wised up. Carmichael’s light wand only worked back when slot machines spit out coins to winners. Now, modern-day slot machines print out a ticket with your winnings on it, and you have to cash it in or insert the ticket into another machine to keep playing with your bankroll.
This slot cheat device is a wonder of mechanical engineering for sure. The top-bottom joint was made up of two parts: The “top” was a metal rod fashioned with a q-shaped hook, and the bottom was a long wire. To use it, you would insert the wire through the coin chute and the top q-shaped rod through the coin slot. This would jam the machine and cause it to empty its bank of coins.
Again, modern-day machines aren’t really built like this anymore, so the top-bottom joint rests in the casino cheating hall of shame.
The Bill Validator Device
The bill validator device is more technologically savvy than the top-bottom joint but serves the same purpose as a shaved coin. You attach the little device to the end of a low-value bill, like a $1 bill or $20 bill, and then insert the bill into the machine. The slot machine’s bill sensor reads it as $100, making your measly $1, $5, or $20 go a lot further.
Casinos nowadays have security and anti-cheating features on their slot machines’ bill sensors that actually alert security to someone attempting to use a device like this. Then, cheaters get caught, tossed from the casino, and slapped with some serious charges.
The RNG Analysis App
All slot machines run on a random number generator (RNG) that spits out randomly selected outcomes, some winning, some not. Online slots use a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) to provide random results that players cannot find patterns in. That’s because players may be able to anticipate outcomes when playing on simpler RNG systems.
But how do you cheat if you’re not able to access the actual machine or program? With an app.
Yes, there are smartphone apps that help you “hack” the PRNG system of your favorite online slots games. But these cheats don’t provide access to the game itself. Instead, they watch multiple spins in a row, analyze the outcome of each spin, and determine the PRNG’s patterns. Then, the app lets them know when to make a larger wager or hit that “spin” button to take advantage of a sudden uptick in luck (read: an opportunity of increased odds for the player).
This cheat really only works when playing slots at an online casino and not on the casino floor. Why? A slot cheat named Murat Bliev used one of these apps in a brick-and-mortar casino. The casino noticed that the particular machine he was playing has been paying out way more than it’s used to within just a few days. So, the casino kept a close eye on him and saw that he was exhibiting clear signs of cheating. He was holding his phone up near the screen and waiting longer periods of time between pressing the “spin” button. So he got busted in person.
Can you get caught cheating at slots at an online casino? Hypothetically, someone probably could get away with using their phone to identify patterns because they’re not being watched on surveillance cameras. However, online casinos employ very sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) programs to spot unusual betting patterns (like always betting more when RNG is in your favor) that indicate possible cheating using PRNG-cracking methods.
The Betting Bot
These slot hacks use PRNG analysis programs to find patterns in the slots’ reels and then use a bot to automatically make bets and spin when the time is right. This can be really lucrative on progressive slots that pay out huge jackpots randomly. But it really takes all the fun out of winning slots. Not to mention, it’s illegal.
But, again, online casinos have wicked-smart AI and machine-learning technology to observe players’ betting patterns and flag potential cheaters using bots and RNG analysis apps.
Glitch in the Code
Since slot machines are computers, they run on software that could have glitches, causing the machine to malfunction and pay out more than it’s supposed to. Some cheats have identified glitches and exploited them to win huge sums, like identifying potentially winning symbol combinations using RNG analysis.
However, some people have fallen victim to glitches that they weren’t aware of, and these players have been denied winnings many times. Take, for instance, Katrina Bookman who almost won over $42 million at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York. But the machine wouldn’t print out her winnings ticket, and the casino chalked it up to a glitch where the woman only won $2.25 million (still a decent jackpot). The other catch was that the maximum payout for the machine was just $6,500, a far cry from any million-dollar sum.
One might consider these glitches as the casino cheating, or at least skirting around negligent maintenance of slot machines and online slot games, but they also shouldn’t be on the hook for millions of dollars due to a computer error.
Create a Slots Strategy
Instead of building a top-bottom joint or exploiting a glitch, follow a slots strategy that allows you to play the game within the casino’s parameters but still increase your chances of walking away with money in your account. Here are some tips for creating a solid slots strategy:
Play slots with a high return-to-player rate. The RTP rate tells you the percentage of money you can expect to be paid over time from a game, like slots. The higher the RTP, the more you’re likely to win money from that game. When playing at online casinos in New Jersey, try games like Bloodsuckers (98% RTP) and Mega Joker (99% RTP).
Find a game with the volatility that works for your play style. Volatility, or variance, refers to your odds of winning compared to the amount of each win. High variance means fewer chances to win but bigger payouts when you do, while low variance means more chances to win smaller payouts. If you want to win more often, then low variance slots are for you. But if you want your wins to be big, high volatility is the way to go.
Brush up on slots terminology. Know the definition of key terms like autoplay and paytable so you can understand the rules, bonus features, and payout rates for the games you want to play. Arm yourself with this information to find the right slots for you.
Bet the maximum. You can only score the biggest jackpots when you make max bets while playing slots, especially progressive slots with multi-million dollar jackpots. If you bet below the max, you only get a fraction of the big pot.
Familiarize yourself with bonus features. Read the rules and play the free demo to understand what triggers bonus rounds and how to play these rounds successfully. This will help you maximize free play opportunities and increase your winnings.
Manage your bankroll. Know your personal limits and stick to them. Have a figure in mind of how much you’re willing to lose in one gaming session. This can help you better spread your bankroll over more spins, resulting in more chances to win.
Take advantage of free spins and bonus money. If an online casino gives you free money as a welcome offer or a customer loyalty bonus, use it to bet the max on high-RTP slots. You’re playing to win on the casino’s dime, so there’s not much to lose. Just make sure to review the terms and conditions so you know the playthrough requirements you have to meet before you can cash out your winnings.
Again, we do not condone cheating and do not recommend anyone even try. Keep slots fun and fair by playing as intended, and use a solid slots strategy to win huge sums without a wacky contraption or sneaky app. Be sure to read our reviews of top online casinos in New Jersey and online casino bonus offers available to new players.
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