Expert Gambler
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Author: Natalia Short
Slots Analyst
Natalia Short

10 Top Tricks to Beat The Odds

While cheating on slot machines is wholly illegal and can result in felony charges, fines and lifetime bans from casinos, they were taken advantage of by many, especially in the older slot machines. For those who wanted more from their slots experience, many cheats have become well-known across the world of online slots.

As time has advanced, most of these slot cheats have become obsolete in all but the older machines. Some of these machines are still in situ in older casinos, but computerised machines have made it harder to cheat the system. What’s more, many of the more famous slot breakers have become advisories to the makers of these machines.

But what are, or were, the most popular online cheats and how did they work? Could you make money by cheating the system? The answer is most certainly yes but with huge penalties. We take a look at some of the most effective or successful cheats that produced ill-gotten gains for many.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How metal slugs and foreign coins are used
  • The old coin on a long string technique
  • Other methods used to cheat slot machines

Our Top 10 Slots Cheats

Top 10 Cheats

Slugs And Foreign Coins

Over the years there have been a few lower value coins such as the Mexican peso that would be accepted and recognised in a machine as a quarter (25 cents). The Mexican peso was only worth half a cent so if you had a pocket full of these; you could get your slot machine session for a lot less. There were other foreign coins that replicated fuller value alternatives. In addition to this tokens that mimicked real currency.


Coin on a String

An old and simple scam that, as the name suggests involved a coin on a string. A small hole was drilled through the coin and then string fed through before being inserted into the slot. Once the spin mechanism was triggered, it would be pulled back out again. Repeating over and over again meant you could effectively play for free. While modern machines make it impossible to use this cheat, you can still find older versions in some casinos.



Once upon a time, slots used coin tubes to stack coins in the days before you took a ticket to the machine to claim your rewards. The coins would be paid out, and when enough paid, a slide would shut off the tube so that no more coins could fall out. Slot cheats used a tool, shaped like a spoon, to hold open the container so that all of the coins would fall out.


Holding The Bag

This particular cheat was used more by casino staff than players and was a dangerous game to play resulting in being fired or worse, arrested. It meant skimming a couple of coins from each bag used to fill the machines. While a couple of coins may not seem like much, multiply that by several fills of the device each day, and you could make a lot of money!


Magnetic Field

Again, and as with many cheats, this worked on older machines. Using a strong magnet on the outside of the device could make the reels float rather than stopping when they should. You could engineer the reels to fall into a winning pay line then remove the magnet. Today’s machines are protected from this kind of cheat by both the resistance to magnetic force and the use of an RNG (Random Number Generator).

The Monkey Paw was a tool invented by Tommy Glenn Carmichael which allowed you to trip the payout mechanism without inserting any coins.


The Monkey Paw

The Monkey Paw was a tool invented by Tommy Glenn Carmichael which allowed you to trip the payout mechanism without inserting any coins. The gadget consisted of a guitar string attached to a metal wand which was then worked through an air vent on the machine to trip a switch which then triggered the payout. Of course, after many years of cheating machines, Carmichael was arrested.


Cracking The RNG

It takes some doing, but it is possible. The Random Number Generator works on an algorithm (computer code). In Russia, a team of experts managed to get hold of some machines and by dismantling them, work in reverse to crack the algorithm. By working in conjunction with people filming the machines live in the casino, they were able to predict when the next win was coming. Then the person on the ground in the casino would be instructed to play.


Inside The Machine

Now, this sounds crazy, but it happened. There was a machine called Big Bertha. It was the large, attention-grabbing machine that you would see in the big casinos. A crowd would stand around the device to obscure the view while someone climbed inside to manipulate the reels into place. Then they got out and shut the door. It didn’t work though as they were caught and arrested.


The Light Wand

The light wand was a later invention used after the introduction of RNG in machines. It was another Carmichael invention. Like the monkey paw, it worked by tripping a switch; however, it was an electronic switch and not a manual one. Instead of using something to press a payout switch physically, the wand would use a light to trigger it. There were other cheats used and developed by Carmichael, and it is not hard to see how he managed to cheat the system out of so much money.


Engineered For Fraud

The Nevada Gaming Commission, an industry regulator employed a casino engineer named Ronald Dale Harris. His job was to monitor and audit electronic gaming devices. He didn’t feel he got paid enough as he used his knowledge to cheat a video Keno game out of $100,000. Like so many cheats, he didn’t get away with and it and ended up getting arrested.

Meet The Author
Natalia Short
Natalia Short
Slots Analyst

Natalia is the newest member of our team; however within the 18 months she’s been writing for us, she’s hit the ground running. With 20 years of experience in the business specialising specifically in gaming mathmatics, we knew she could help you.

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