Cheaters have been using a wide range of tools and devices to steal money from slot machines and slot games. These devices are made to manipulate specific aspects of a slot such as its RNG algorithm. In this article, we look at the cheating devices used in a casino and if they can still be used today.
⚠️ This article and our website do not condone or encourage any form of cheating. This is an entertaining piece of content about methods and tools that have been used over the years to hack and manipulate slot machines. DO NOT CHEAT. EVER.
Uses for Cheating Devices on Slots
Before talking about cheaters' devices, it pays to understand which parts of a slot machine these tools target. Let us start with vintage slot machines, which use mechanical reels to create the game's results. One of the classic methods in cheating is to control the reels until the winning combination stops within the payline.
Another method in hacking vintage slot machines and modern ones is its mechanism in taking coins or money. For older machines, cheaters find ways to give themselves free spins by triggering the coin slot mechanism without paying anything.
As new machines only accept bills while removing machines that only take coins, criminals find other ways to exploit these machines. Cheaters can use a sticker onto a bill to get a massive number of spins for a very cheap price.
In regards to modern slots, cheaters found a method to control the source code of digital slots. Access to the inner working of a game allowing anyone to get combinations that give high payouts. An alternative method is to determine how the RNG of a slot machine works. Figuring out the algorithm enables cheaters to spin the reels when the chances of hitting a large cash prize are high. Cheat codes are combinations used to force a slot game to payout.
Lists of Slot Cheating Devices
Now that you are familiar with a slot machine's vulnerable spots, here are the devices that allow cheaters to attack those spots.
To explain this device, we need to talk about Dennis Nikrasch. He was a popular hacker who found an opportunity in cracking the slot's source code by buying a used slot machine. Dennis disassembled the machine and found the chip that generates a game's result.
Dennis created a modified chip that he uses to rig active slots within a casino. With the help of his companions and a modified chip, Dennis was able to steal a total of $3.7 million within one evening. Dennis and his team could have gotten a clean escaped if it weren't for a major argument among the members. This argument led to one of his team incriminating Dennis for the scam.
Cooked up by Tommy Glenn Carmichael, a notorious hacker who has been rigging slot machines for nearly 40 years, the light wand targets the coin payout mechanism of a slot machine. With its shape and bulb, Carmichael uses the wand to cover the optical sensor within the coin slot.
To pull off this cheating method, Carmichael only needs a small win to make the machine release its coin. Slot machines usually have a sensor to detect how much it dispenses, making sure the player gets the right amount of money. By using the light wand, Carmichael can prevent the machine to know how much it was dispensing its coins. This method allows Tommy to empty a machine with just a small win.
PRNG Cracker App
A slot PRNG system passes a seed or key to a complex algorithm formula, generating the game's result in every spin. To achieve semi-natural randomness for each result, the seed usually comes from a real-world aspect such as the system clock of a server running the game.
With a PRNG cracker app installed on a phone, cheaters can determine which point in time a slot will use a seed that has a high-paying result. Their phone will notify them when to spin the reels through vibration. Criminals can easily get an unfair advantage with this method since they do not need to install a modified chip or do anything suspicious to the slot machine.
This scam requires an insider who can open a mechanical slot and attach an extended piano wire onto the reel mechanism. When placed onto the gambling floor, an accomplice will play with a rigged slot. This patron can stop the reels at a position that can land them a huge payout by pulling on the piano wire.
While the method was simple to achieve if a cheater has the right connection, it has a high risk of being detected since the player needs to pull on the piano wire. A group of criminals who were playing with a piano wire-rigged slot machine immediately got the attention of security after getting a massive payout.
Another popular and low-tech method to manipulate a slot is through a magnet. Cheaters will hover the magnet onto the mechanical reels and make them stop when high-valued symbols land on the payline.
This method does not require a player to crack open a slot machine and a criminal can use any strong magnets they have available. What makes this an unpopular cheating device is the act of holding a magnet onto the slot, which can make anyone grab unwanted attention from security.
As a means to launder money, criminals will use counterfeit coins to play in slot machines and have the winnings become legitimate cash. Louis "The Coin" Colavecchio is one of the infamous criminals who used this device to steal from casinos.
What made Colavecchio popular is the impeccable design of his counterfeit coins and tokens. Senior staff and even experts will find it difficult to identify Colavecchio's coin with the real one when put side by side. Experts even require a microscope to find the smallest defect
Bill Validator sticker
Cheaters did not have to dabble in counterfeiting bills to hack a slot machine, which is the case for a bill validator sticker. This tool is applied to a small paper bill such as $1. When cheaters insert a bill with a sticker onto a slot machine, the validator identifies the bill as a $100 note instead of a smaller one.
This method allows criminals to trick a slot machine into giving them an abundant number of credits without rousing any suspicions.
Can Cheating Devices Still Work
Every device or tool used to manipulate mechanical reels no longer work with all slot machines in major casinos since every game is digital. There are no physical points in modern slot machines that allow a cheater to control the results or get free spins.
Slot machines around the 90s have converted their coin slot to bill acceptors. These machines also changed their way of paying patrons with coins by printing out their winnings in paper tickets. Through this conversion, cheating devices such as counterfeit coins or light wands are rendered obsolete.
Out of all the changes, the upgrade to casino surveillance and security measures made it difficult for criminals to use any cheating devices. Staff is on the lookout for any suspicious behavior among its patrons, including unusual handling of the slot machines. As part of their surveillance network, an AI program is monitoring all casino activities to prevent criminal behaviors and catch any cheaters.
Regulation boards have also become strict with their security requirements among software providers. This includes the use of SHA-3 hash algorithms that prevent any party from manipulating the slot's capabilities of producing results. In addition, every staff of a regulation office is screened before they get hired and are required to have their work checked by another staff. This restriction in staff aims to prevent another Ronald D. Harris like an employee who will exploit their position for personal gains.
Slot Machine Hacking Tools: FAQ
Here is small takeaway information on the subject of cheating devices in the form of a question-and-answer format.
What are slot cheating devices?
Slot hacking devices are tools used to manipulate various parts of a slot machine. There are devices for controlling the mechanical reels, allowing cheaters to get any symbols they want to land on the payline.
Which cheating devices work with digital slot machines?
Devices such as the PRNG cracker app are suitable for digital slot machines, which can tell a hacker when to spin the reels when a favorable result is present.
How does a cheater use a computer chip to hack a slot?
A modified chip needs to be installed onto the circuit board of a target slot machine. This method usually requires an insider to open a slot cabinet to install the chip onto the slot. Once installed, an accomplice uses the exploit provided by the chip to get high-paying results.
What are bill validator stickers?
These stickers are applied onto low denomination bills, turning them into high-paying denominations when inserted onto a slot machine.
Are these cheating devices still used in modern casinos?
Over the years, casinos found ways to prevent these cheating devices from being used on their slot machines such as phasing out mechanical slots. Upgrading their surveillance and security monitoring system also allowed casinos to discourage criminals from using new tools on their slots.
Criminals utilize cheating devices to exploit a slot machine's vulnerabilities such as its mechanical reels and PRNG algorithm. However, casinos consistently update their security and monitoring means to prevent the use of these devices within their establishment.
This article was published on July 9, 2021, and last updated on June 29, 2022.