The Most Popular Slot Machine Cheats (You Shouldn’t Know) in 2024

Some casino players are not afraid to do illegal deeds and unfair ways to take advantage of gambling. 

Gamblers desperate to win large sums of money often cheat by utilizing different strategies, some of which involve criminal activity, to manipulate the odds in their favor.

In this article, we will detail the notorious slot machine cheats ever used by desperate players, investigate why people use them, and assess how simple or challenging it is to win legally.

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Highlights of the Article

  • ‘Coin on a String’ is one of the earliest methods to cheat on mechanical slot machines.
  • Top Bottom Joint Cheat’ can trigger a jackpot or increase coin payouts by interfering with the machine’s mechanisms.
  • ‘Light Wand Cheat’ involves using a wand to blind the sensor in the payout chute of the machine.
  • The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) grants Native American Tribes the authority to regulate gambling within specified limits.
  • Mexico’s regulations have distinct provisions for the National Lottery.
  • Victoria and New South Wales possess regulations complementing federal laws, primarily overseeing gambling activities.
  • Holding an MGA certification signifies that a casino adheres to high standards of player safeguarding, fair gameplay, and responsible gaming.
  • The Kahnawake Gaming Commission oversees and licenses online gaming operators, ensuring fairness, player protection, and gaming integrity.

How to Cheat in Slot Machine Games

cheat in slot machine games

Below, you’ll find surprising info on how to trick a slot machine to win (Warning: we don’t recommend using these tactics), including a list of tricks and cheating devices used over the years by players to improve their chances of winning odds.

1. Programming the Machine 

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A skilled hacker adjusts the machine’s programming and software. Anyone with access to the machine’s internal software can install malware and alter the game’s outcome in their favor. 

2. The Coin on a String Cheat

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The method is among the earliest cheats used on mechanical slot machines. A cheater inserts a coin with a string attached to the device, and then the thread will be removed immediately, fooling the machine.

Another method players try on coins is heating it up before inserting, which is one of the biggest myths Slot gamblers fall for.

3. Top and Bottom Joint Cheat

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The cheater inserts the “top-bottom joint” into the coin chute of the machine. They can initiate a jackpot or increase the coin output by interfering with the system.

YouTube Recommendation: By clicking on this link, you can learn how to utilize the Top and Bottom Joint Cheat and understand the mechanics of the machine.

4. Coat Hanger Cheat

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A cheater uses a metal coat hanger to hook the machine’s coin slot and mislead its internal mechanics into paying out or registering a bogus credit.

5. Carmichael’s Monkey Paw

The cheater manipulates the internal mechanisms of the device by inserting the Monkey Paw into the payment chute, which results in a payout.

Notable Event: For nearly 20 years, Tommy Glenn Carmichael swindled millions of dollars from casinos by hacking slot machines.

One of his creations, the slider or monkey’s paw, consisted of a wire inserted into the payout chute to activate the micro switch and deceive the machine into dispensing a jackpot.

6. Shaved Coins Cheat

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Cheaters used to insert shaved coins into the machine to trick the sensor of the slot machine into recognizing the shaved coin as a legitimate casino coin. 

It allowed them to continue playing until they won a lot of money.

7. The Light Wand Cheat

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The cheater uses a handheld device with a light sensor on one end. It blinds the sensor by placing the wand into the payout chute of the machine, tricking in to release coins, or registering a payout.

Notable Event: Tommy Glenn Carmichael had a long history of cheating slot machines to steal millions of dollars from casinos. According to the Los Angeles Times, Carmichael earned thousands of dollars daily through his Light Wand device.

8. Fake Coins Cheat

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The counterfeit coin cheat is a method of manipulating slot machines by using fake or counterfeit coins. 

In this technique, cheaters create replica coins that closely resemble genuine currency, often with similar size, weight, and appearance.

Notable Event: Louis Colavecchio, a notorious counterfeiter nicknamed “the Coin,” gained fame for using fake coins in slot machines to win large sums of money without actually betting any real money.

However, when he was 76, authorities caught him producing 2,400 counterfeit $100 bills in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

9. Replacement of a Computer Chip

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The cheater replaces a game-determining chip by accessing the machine’s internal components. This trickery helps the cheater win.

10. Error in Software (Miss Kitty)

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This trick uses software to cause an error in the game, resulting in a higher payout than usual. The cheater can profit from the device by taking advantage of this error.

Notable Event: In the early 1990s, Ron Harris installed a hidden software switch in specific machines, granting players huge jackpots. 

He controlled thirty machines and recruited others to play the slots, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings.

11. The Bill Validator Tool

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The cheater puts the modified device in the bill acceptor to fool the computer. The cheater keeps the bill and reuses it.

12. Wire For The Piano

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The core function uses a thin wire or similar tool to control the slot machine. The cheater manipulates the machine by inserting the wire into the coin chute, resulting in more money wins.

13. Slot Machine Cheat Codes

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A programmer uses cheat codes that could activate jackpots or modify outcomes in a concealed manner.

Notable Event: An engineer named Ronald Dale Harris worked for The Nevada Gaming Commission and became notorious for cheating slot machines by learning the source codes. 

Harris successfully cheated for years until his partner won a large sum of money – $100,000 on a keno game in 1995.

14. Yo-Yo Trick

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This cheat uses a wired or stringed coin. The cheater drops a coin into the machine’s slot but pulls a cord to get it back. Repeating this lets them play without buying more coins.

15. Blunt Force

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The cheater may strike or forcefully hit the machine to disrupt its normal function and trigger a payout. 

This approach is generally used with older mechanical equipment, while it’s a myth that this technique is now rarely used due to newer machines.

16. Hacking RNG Cycles

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Skilled hackers analyze the algorithm used to determine the outcomes and find patterns or vulnerabilities. They can schedule their bets to win regularly by forecasting RNG cycles.

  • PRNG Cracker App: A PRNG Cracker app can decrypt the pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) used in slot machines. These applications forecast RNG results using sophisticated algorithms and statistical analysis, giving the user an advantage.
  • Filming And Broadcasting Slot Play: Filming and broadcasting slot play is a strategy some players do to gain an advantage. By recording their gameplay and broadcasting it live, they can receive tips and advice from viewers.
  • Obtaining The Signal To Press The Start Button: This cheating method requires interacting with a slot machine programmer. The second person signals the cheater to start the game on time while controlling the casino foot-over.

It’s important to consider ethical and legal implications when playing slot machines. Cheating is unethical and dangerous, considering the sophisticated security systems casinos employ.

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Quick Tip

There are legitimate ways to improve your chances of winning using mathematical strategies. 

With the help of the article, find out how basic principles of probability can make more informed decisions and increase a player’s odds of success.

What Defines Cheating in Slot Machines

Since gambling’s origins are firmly rooted in human civilization, it has long been a common source of amusement. 

The laws governing the sector have changed along with it. Regional gambling laws are essential because it’s illegal in some parts of the globe.

North America

  • The USA has federal and state gambling laws. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) allows Native American Tribes to regulate gambling within certain limits. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) regulates online gaming transactions, and the Interstate Wire Act (1961) prohibits interstate betting using wire communication, with exceptions.
  • Canada, the Criminal Code of Canada federally regulates gambling. There are exceptions, such as betting on lawful races or sports games. Each province also has its regulations.
  • Mexico regulates gambling through the Gaming Regulations, excluding the National Lottery, which has separate rules.


In the European Union, gambling laws vary by country. While there’s no unified legislation, countries adhere to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Each country decides the types of games to regulate, some allowing poker, casinos, or online gaming. France, Germany, and Italy have distinct regulations.

United Kingdom

The UK has standardized gambling regulations, primarily governed by The Gambling Act 2005. The Act establishes a Commission for oversight and includes specific laws for different game types to prevent gambling-related crimes.


Australia has federal gambling laws like the Interactive Gambling Act (2001), and each state has separate regulations. The federal Act emphasizes legal gambling through licensing and excludes lottery services.

States like Victoria and New South Wales have laws complementing federal regulations, predominantly regulating gambling activities.

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Helpful Articles

In this article, you will discover the best tips for improving your win probabilities in Slot Machines.

Find out some theoretical factors behind Slot Machine wins.

How Casinos Catch Slot Machine Cheaters

casino establishments catch cheaters

Casinos employ various methods to identify and catch cheaters. These are important to ensure the game’s fairness and preserve the interest among gamblers. 

Here are the strategies commonly used by casino establishments to catch cheaters:

1. Surveillance System: Modern casino establishments use sophisticated surveillance systems with high-definition cameras strategically placed across gambling areas. 

These cameras provide extensive coverage, allowing security staff to guard all machines.

2. CARDS (Casino Anti-Cheating and Recognition System): This system monitors and analyzes player behavior, identifying suspicious movements that could indicate cheating. CARDS can detect players who have a history of cheating.

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Getting caught cheating in a casino game can lead to serious legal consequences, including being banned from the casino. Please be Careful!

The Other Way Around: How to Ensure a Casino Doesn’t Cheat You

Casino Licenses

Check casino licenses and verify the casino’s certification to guarantee a fair and smooth experience. 

Casinos with good reputations are typically licensed and regulated by well-known gaming authorities, such as:

  • The Malta Gaming Authority – A renowned gaming organization in charge of monitoring and controlling both online and live casinos operating in Malta. 
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Side Note

Holding an MGA signifies that a casino adheres to stringent standards of player protection, fair play, and responsible gaming.

  • Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – The gaming industry is monitored and overseen by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
  • Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore – Its primary duties include ensuring casinos run honestly, stopping illegal activities, including money laundering, and encouraging appropriate gaming habits.
  • Spillemyndigheden – This regulates and licenses all gambling-related activities in Denmark and monitors regulation compliance.
  • Gibraltar Regulatory Authority – In Gibraltar, this authority operates online casinos and enforces adherence to rules, and guarantees fairness and player protection.
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission – This agency is responsible for the fairness and credibility of online gambling businesses using Alderney licenses.
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Side Note

Holding an AGCC license signifies that a casino is subject to regular audits and player-centric policies.

  • Gaming Board of Hungary – it issues licenses to operators, makes sure that the law is followed, and defends the rights of participants.
  • Malta Gaming Authority – MGA grants casino licenses and ensures safe gaming for everyone.
  • Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (Ministry of Culture) -grants operators licenses after they complete the requirements and uphold responsible gaming standards.
  • Inspectorate General on Gaming – located in the Netherlands, Inspectorate General on Gaming ensures casino businesses follow the rules and encourage responsible gambling.
  • Office for Gaming Supervision – they oversee and regulate the gambling sector in Malta, ensuring that operators follow laws and regulations and meet players’ rights.
  • National Gaming Board – located in Uganda, NGB serves as casino establishments’ regulatory and licensing authority.
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission – the KGC ensures gaming integrity, fairness, and player protection. It supervises and licenses online gaming operators.
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Did You Know?

The chances of winning in Roulette are better than in Slot Machines.

This is because the game of Roulette offers players a variety of betting options, each with its own associated odds.

To check the validity of the casino’s license, follow these steps:

  • Visit the official website of the licensing authority and search for the casino’s name on their list of licensed operators.
  • Cross-reference and compare the information displayed on the official licensing authority website with the license information that the casino has provided.
  • Verify the licensing authority’s website for secure HTTPS connections and official approval marks to confirm its legitimacy. 

By carrying out these investigations, you can ensure that the casino works within the law and abides by stringent guidelines, lowering the possibility of unfair practices.

Check the Payout Rate of the Slot

Players should consider the payout rate when choosing a slot machine. The RTP, or “payout rate,” represents the percentage of money typically returned to players by a machine over time. 

The pay table for the game or casino’s website is where you may find this information at reputable casinos that disclose it publicly. 

Here’s how to evaluate the payout rate of slots:

1. Look for the RTP percentage in the game’s information or on the machine.

2. Comparing the RTP of several machines can help you decide which ones give you the best chance of winning.

  • You improve your odds of fair gameplay and perhaps bigger payouts by choosing machines with higher RTP percentages.

There are several factors to consider regarding slot machine payout rates. One of the main contributors is the odds of each game. 

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Did You Know?

With the help of this link, you will find out how odds and probabilities helps players better improve players winning odds.

Discover which slot machines offer better odds.

Look at Online Reviews

Players’ online reviews are an excellent approach to evaluating a casino’s reliability and fairness. These reviews help you decide if a casino is trustworthy.

Consider the following when reading online reviews:

1. Look for reviews on dependable social networking forums and review websites with a community that writes honest reviews.

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Side Note

Many content creators on YouTube specialize in casino reviews and gambling-related content. 

Video reviews can offer in-depth insight and visual information about the different casinos.

2. Consider positive and negative comments and reviews since they may provide various insights into the casino’s fairness.

3. Look at the website’s consistency of the service based on the reviews. While it’s vital to consider opinions, remember that each person’s experiences vary.

4. Beware of suspicious reviews because some reviews are AI-generated or fake. There are fake reviews that are easy to spot if the wording needs to be more formal or robotic.

Beware of Suspicious Slot Machine Behavior

Avoid tampered or rigged machines as they might cause trouble because some people will cheat and use alterations to hack machines.

✔  Loose or misaligned parts: Check if the machine’s buttons, levers, or other components appear loose or out of place.

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Quick Tip

If you’re feeling unsure about playing the game, it’s best to take your time and make a thoughtful decision. 

Check out this article for beginners to learn some savvy strategies for handling your gambling funds and avoiding excessive risk.

Final Words

To summarize, slot machine cheating is a reality that some desperate players resort to to get an advantage. 

Cheaters have used a variety of schemes throughout history, from simple tricks like the coin on a string to more advanced ones.

But on the other hand, it’s also possible for casinos to trick you. So, be vigilant!


What is the secret to winning at slots?

Search for high RTP Slot Machines. Looking for a game with the best slot machine odds is the key to consistently winning at slots. 

Who was the biggest slot machine cheat?

Dennis McAndrew’s alias, Nikrasch, is the player who rigs slot machines. He bagged $16,000,000 after hacking slot machines for 22 years.

What is the luckiest slot game?

Reel Rush, available to play at Caesars, has 97% RTP.

Who is the king of slots?

Many considered William Silas “Si” Redd the king of slots as he founded International Game Technology.