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How to Manipulate a Slot Machine: Seven Ways to Make a Fortune

  • Stringed coins, washers and slugs are the easiest tricks
  • More elaborated tricks require a purchase of a slot machine
  • Modern methods are based on PRNG cracking or other software manipulations
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Although the prototype of the slot machine was invented in the 19th century, the modern version of the game started to gain popularity only in the 50s. According to online gambling sites in the USA, slots still remain one of the most popular games both online and in reality. Today, we are going to reveal 7 ways of how to manipulate the slot machine in real-life, from the easiest to the hardest ones. 

Stringed coin – baby mode

Pros:

  • Very easy to DIY

Cons:

  • Outdated method

 The coin manipulation is probably as old as humanity itself. It was a very popular way to cheat on the older versions of slot machines back in the 60s and 70s. Basically, the piece of a long wire or a string was attached to a coin; then, after a person has registered the positive balance, they could have used the same coin again. Although this is a very old method, it may still work on slot machines paying in coins. Later slot machine manufacturers added a mechanism that detected the presence of wire. Moreover, machine manufacturers changed the cash dispensers in a way that potential scammers couldn’t insert foreign objects in it.

Washers and slugs – easy mode

Pros:

Very easy to DIY

Cons:

  • Outdated method

If there is a chance to play the game for free or at least for a lower price, slot cheaters wouldn’t hesitate to do that. For example, a hardware manufacturer in Nevada produced a series of washers that had the same size and weight as the Washington quarter. As a result, people were using them to take advantage of slots and vending machines.

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Doesn’t work that well anymore, unfortunately.

Despite the fact that the US government outlawed the slug usage, it is hard to identify the offender even with the security footage. The mechanical money manipulator became a bulwark against washers and other slugs. It passed the coins through the obstacle course and identified the foreign coin-like objects. It is still possible to use washers, but only for the old games which have a coin dispenser. 

Foreign currency – easy mode

Pros:

  • Works on older slot machines

Cons:

  • It may be hard to find identical coins

Using foreign coins for slot machines is still a popular trick. It is very similar to using washers or other slugs, except in this situation a player is actually paying money. Some coins are interchangeable – for instance, people often confuse 1000 Indonesian Rupiahs with 2 Euro coins, although it is just about 0.067 of its value. Currently, there is a little potential there, as new slot machines usually accept banknotes and credit cards. Modern pieces of software also help to verify the coins’ authenticity. However, the trick still works on vending machines.  

The monkey paw – normal mode

Pros:

  • Possible to DIY

Cons:

  • Works only on certain types of slot machines
  • Impossible in areas with video surveillance 

Slot machine manufacturers and casinos treat the inner composition of their machines as a trade secret. If a machine falls into wrong hands, a potential offender can discover the way to cheat the system. Tommy Glenn Carmichael, the cheating genius, spent a year inspecting the Video Poker machine and eventually came out with the monkey paw. Anyone can make the device using the piano or guitar string. The paw is then inserted into the machine’s ventilation system so it can trigger the payout mechanism. This way of slot machine manipulation still works on older models. 

Eagle eye – hard mode

Pros:

  • Works on older slot machines

Cons:

  • Requires special skills

Here is the point when it comes to more sophisticated methods. In the early versions of slot machines, players were able to stop reels themselves, all together. Therefore, players with keen eyes and sharp reactions could potentially win a jackpot using their skills. Although technically it wasn’t cheating, machine manufacturers had to redesign the game, so only one reel could be stopped at a time.

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Slot cheats also used external stimuli (like electromagnetic impulse) to fool the machines, but manufacturers soon removed this exploit. To date, all the reels are stopped electronically and it is impossible to interfere with the games’ mechanics.  

Manipulated computer chip – expert mode

Pros:

  • It still possible to use this method on modern arcade machines 

Cons:

  • Requires extensive locksmith and programming skills.

Another example of a slot cheater, who profited from the machine purchase is Dennis Nikrasch. 

Dennis stands behind the biggest scam in the history of Las Vegas – he used reprogrammed computer chips to win over 16 million dollars. Chief of Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board said that this was the most advanced cheating technique they have ever seen.

Dennis spent a while studying the slot machine and figuring out the way to overcome its protection system. He found a way to reconfigure the game’s chip and used his locksmith skills to break into the machine’s cabinet. Dennis was able to manipulate slot machines remotely and withdraw money with the help of his assistants.  

PRNG crack – impossible mode

Pros:

  • Theoretically, this method works on any slot machine

Cons:

  • Requires extensive programming skills and a team of programmers in Russia

Pseudo Random Number Generators produce every combination in slots. If there is a bug or an obvious exploit in PRNG, a skillful player with the knowledge of programming can predict the next combination.The word “Pseudo” from PRNG suggests that the man-made algorithm can’t be truly random. Therefore, a skillful player can crack it.

Today, every slot machine has a software which calculates the profit, so casinos can roughly count the income generated by each machine. However, in 2014 Murat Bliev was able to empty numerous slot machines in The Lumiere Place, Missouri. According to the camera footage, the only unusual thing he did was the way he held the phone next to the reels. The investigation revealed that the same incidents happened in other parts of the US, Romania and Macau.

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Hacking is the hard (and definitely illegal) way to get free money.

Like in two previous examples, Murat got access to the decommissioned slot machine. He and other operatives used their phones to record around 24 spins for each machine. Then, they sent the footage to the office in St Petersburg, where a team of specialists analyzed the PRNG and predicted the timing of a “lucky” spin. After the operative’s phone buzzed, they had a quarter of a second to press the button. Furthermore, all of the operatives aimed to collect no more than $1000 from each machine.  Using this method, you can manipulate any slot machine.

How to manipulate the slot machine – conclusion 

Modern pieces of software make the cheats’ job much harder. Cheating on slots today requires rather an extensive knowledge of programming or an obvious exploit. 

With the invention of online gambling sites, lots of people switched to the online version of their favourite games. And if you want to play slots without leaving your home, check out our list of online casinos in the USA.

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