Cheating at Slots
Like many other games, players can cheat at slots in order to steal money. It is very risky to do and you could go to jail if you get caught using some of these methods. We don't condone slot machine cheating and we don't recommend any of the methods mentioned here. This page is basically an interesting article for those interested in learning how people cheat in the casinos.
Slot Machine Cheaters
Players really can't use good strategies to beat slot machines like they can for blackjack or other table games. Slots use random number generator software in their machines and the computer selects random symbols on the reels. It's very hard to manipulate this and many of the cheats are used to physically rob the machine rather than make the machine land on a jackpot.
Most of the casino games in the building are slot machines and the casino makes the most profit off of them. There is plenty of opportunity to take money from any one of these machines. Many cheaters will find a secluded slot section where they can take enough time to rig the machine. There are so many players who sit at machines for hours and they can wait all day for the right time to strike.
As a matter of fact, almost a billion dollars is stolen out of slot machines around the globe. Even more amazing is that almost all of the slot cheats get away without being caught. The ones that do get caught are usually arrested and charged with a serious crime and many times get sent to jail or prison.
Casinos have a way to protect themselves but it certainly isn't always effective. There are surveillance cameras or "eyes in the sky" that watch over everything, but many of these cameras are concentrated on table game cheaters. It's also almost impossible to watch every slot machine in a large casino in Las Vegas for example. Some of these major resorts have thousands of machines and they can't have a camera on every one of them. This is a cheater's advantage.
Slots Cheats - Cheating Slots
The pro cheaters are known as "slots cheats". Some of these people are able to steal $1000 an hour without getting caught and they can take in perhaps a million dollars a year. Talk about a nice salary. When using slots cheating devices, cheaters can take in even more money, but they don't want to take too much money and blow their cover.
Slot machine cheating devices can either be special instruments or computer software that can be used to rob a slot machine. These tools can cost only a few cents or thousands of dollars depending on how sophisticated and complex they are. Many efficient tools can be bought on the black market.
Slots cheats can also train new people in exchange for some of the profit. Casinos may know the more notorious cheats out there and these people have been banned from the casino premises. Therefore they can train new people to go in their place and appear innocent. Usually experienced cheating players go to areas where there is a blind spot in the security cameras or places where it would be hard for them to be watched.
Other cheaters use strategies such as moving from one machine to the other "winning heat" so they can avoid too much attention at one single spot all night. If they kept winning on the same machine over and over again, it may become obvious.
How to Cheat at Slots
There are various ways to cheat at slots and there are many cheating devices out there. Some are old ideas like bringing your own fake coins or a hanger, but others are even more complicated. A few of them are listed below:
- Coins on a String - This is probably one of the oldest cheats in the book. Players take a real coin such as a quarter and poke a hole in it and tie a string to the coin. Basically a cheat just has to keep pulling on the string back and forth in order to fool the machine into thinking that there are new quarters going into it. This used to work in the old days, but newer slot machines have a catch that will prevent this.
- Counterfeit tokens and shaved coins - This is the act of using counterfeit casino tokens or fake coins and putting them into the machine. This sometimes fools the machine into thinking that you are using real money. In fact, you would actually be playing for free in some cases if successful and it's easier to get away with it.
- Coat Hangers - This is another cheap way to cheat the slots. It works by sticking a coat hanger into a machine with a type of mechanical coin counter. This can interfere with how accurate the coins are paid out and it can keep paying out more than normal.
- Monkey's Paw - This is a special device invented by Tommy Carmichael that is used for thieving the slots. A monkey's paw is a piece of flexible material about a foot long and it has a claw apparatus at one end. It works by being stuck up into the payout coin chute and into the counter itself. Like the coat hanger, the monkey paw can interfere with the counter and make the machine pay out more than usual with its claw.
- Mini-lights - This is an instrument that uses optics and light to interfere with a slot machine's sensors. Again, you are sticking the mini-light up into payout opening and into the coin counter. The device consists of a small battery on one end and an optical emitter or LED on the other end. When this comes near the light sensor, it can make it blind and the machine will over pay. The counter works by recording how many coins are paid out when they pass a beam of light. If that beam is blinded, the slot machine thinks that none of the coins are coming out but it keeps trying to send coins out until your prize is paid out. Essentially, you could empty out the entire machine of its coins!
- Programmer Sabotage - Sabotaging the software built into the slot machine is one of the hardest cheats to do. This is usually done by electronics engineers or computer programmers who developed and designed the game itself by purposely putting in flaws that only they would know. Later on, they would come into the casinos using these machines and activate their own personal "cheat codes". Like a video game, the slot machine could pay out if certain buttons are pressed in a pattern. This is almost like inputting a secret PIN number or security code combination to force the machine to pay out. This is a very shady strategy that only the programmers and engineers would know and no one else would, not even the casino.
Casinos have implemented advanced tactics to stop slots cheaters and have installed modern equipment into their machines. One of these features is the coin comparator, which recognizes coin density or weight to check whether a coin is real or fake. This is similar to the technology used in vending machines with paper money.
As I stated earlier, a famous slots cheater is Tommy Carmichael, the inventor of the slider or "monkey paw". He is notorious for slots cheating and has been caught and sent to jail many times and is well known in the black book of cheaters that are banned from Vegas. He made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen cash from slots. This name may sound familiar if you watched all the shows about him on History channel and Discovery channel.
Casinos are now coming up with even better ways to prevent the more primitive ways of cheating by using physical and mechanical slots cheating devices like the monkey paw, slider and coat hanger. Now the slots are leaning more to electronics and circuits, meaning a cheater would have to be more experience at tricking the computer rather than using brute methods. Programmer Sabotage would be the more common way to defeat the slot machines. The slots are the bread and butter to the casinos, so they are willing to upgrade new preventative measures to hold back cheaters.
Related: Are Slot Machines Honest and Fair?
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