Slots developers design slot machines to be monitored and audited while delivering high-quality gameplay. But what are the effects and results when an engineer decides to rig the codes for their own nefarious advantage? There have been some instances where the game developers have rigged the code of the machines.
One such deviant was Nevada Gaming Commission engineer Ronald Dale Harris. This individual manipulated slot machines to ensure better outcomes for himself, resulting in windfalls that surpassed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This lucrative house of scams came tumbling down only when his partner in crime won big on a keno game in 1995, earning him $100,000, as well as exposing the fraud.
Shaved and Stringed Coins
The shaved and stringed coin trick was a popular and widely used method of cheating for many a year.
If a shaved coin was sent down at the same time as an object that matched the shape and size of the required stake coin, the shaved coin would be returned whilst the other object would land in the machine and start play.
For the clever string cheat, the coin was attached to a string after which the punter would lower it into the machine, pull the arm, and the wheels would begin to roll. Because the coin was smaller than it should be, and on a string, the player would consequently pull it out and be able to use it again and again.
The Monkey’s Paw
Tommy Glenn Carmichael created the ‘monkey’s paw’. He was an absolute trail-blazer in terms of cheating slot machines.
This particular contraption was fashioned from a piece of pliable steel and resembled a paw. He got a guitar string and attached it to a bent metal rod.
To use this ingenious device, the player would push the monkey’s paw into the payout receptacle and up into the payout funnel until there was an audible click. When the machine reels spun and landed on a winning combination, there was nothing to deter the avalanche of coins.
This particular cheat was used widely back in the day of mechanical slot machines. Since all slots are now programmed by computer software and aren’t magnetic, this method of cheating has become obsolete.
The approach was quite straightforward. To cheat the machine, the player would pull the handle and use a large magnet to try to stop the reels on a winning combination.
Cheaters would then remove the magnet and reap the benefits of the payout.
It wasn’t the most subtle of methods of cheating, but if done well, the cash rewards were substantial.
Also known as stringed coins, as mentioned earlier, this particular hack is achieved by tying a thin string around a coin before depositing it into a slot machine. Once you’ve put the coin in, you pull the string to retrieve the coin from the machine.
This method is considered an obsolete classic and, back in the day, delivered big payouts for cheating punters.
As mentioned earlier, Tommy Glen Carmichael was a true genius when it came to the manipulation and cheating of slot machines. And this particular ruse is no exception.
This cheat was achieved by using light to confuse the slot’s sensors. The light wand would effectively blind the optical sensor on slot machines so it couldn’t work out how many coins had been deposited into the machine, resulting in it not knowing when to pay out or how much.
An easy hack and one that rewarded Carmichael with many a big payout.
Wildly popular among the scammers of the 70’s and 80’s, this cunning method of cheating rewarded those nefarious punters with buckets of free cash.
They used a special tool that was split into two parts. A top (a metal rod with its end bent in the shape of a “q”) and a bottom (a long wire). By putting the bottom in through the coin chute and the top through the coin slot, these scammers had the ability to jam the machine and force it to release all the coins it had stored.
Simple and effective.
Computer Chip Replacement
A guy named Dennis Nikrasch radically changed the slots cheating game with his cunning, but incredibly simple idea.
He purchased a slot machine, tinkered about with it, and figured out the computer chips inside the machines could be re-programmed to be manipulated to pay out jackpots at any time.
He subsequently ordered a load of these chips, got a team of scammers on board, managed to get hold of a bunch of slot machine keys and started a reign of cheating that would bleed casinos dry for years to come.
Cheating at Online Slots
Because all slots today utilize computer software and many don't often take coins, it's almost impossible to cheat them. The only way to cheat at online slots would be to coordinate your play with a slot machine programmer who had direct access to a specific machine.
Online casinos have stringent security measures in place and all the games are rigorously tested to ensure that any attempt at cheating would be met with failure. A casino is a business that wants to make a profit. So, gambling houses constantly identify cheaters, patch the holes in the security systems, and fix the online casino cheat software bugs.
An effective online slot strategy is not how you can win the games, but rather, how you can maximize winnings and minimize losses.
While the above cheats and scams are practically non-existent in today's casino culture, and you are almost guaranteed to not be able to cheat playing the slots, there are literally thousands of enjoyable games for you to enjoy. If Lady Luck is on your side and you’re feeling good about your winning prospects, casinos do regularly award players with big wins. Why not throw caution to the wind and head over to the casino and see if you can be the next big winner? As the saying goes, “If you’re not in it, you can’t win it.”