Cheating at Slots: The Sneaky Tactics Used to Win Big

Slots have been a popular form of gambling for over a century, with their simple gameplay and potential for big wins attracting players from all walks of life. However, throughout this time, there have been numerous attempts to cheat the system and tip the odds in favor of the player. This article explores some of the most notorious cheating methods used on slot machines over the years.


The Top-Bottom Joint: Manipulating the Coin Chute

One of the earliest and cleverest cheating devices was the top-bottom joint. This involved inserting a wire into the coin chute to trigger the machine to cash out all the coins. Inventors like Tommy Carmichael used this technique to exploit slot machines, lining up the wire with a specific slot on the coin chute to activate the payout mechanism.

The Monkey’s Paw: Exploiting Electronic Machines

With the advent of fully electronic slot machines, cheaters like Tommy Carmichael developed the Monkey’s Paw. This device was designed to trick the machine’s optical scanner into registering a win, leading to larger payouts. Carmichael’s light wand was another invention that manipulated the optical sensor, making it easier for cheaters to rig the games.

Cheating the Light Sensor: Blinding the Optical Scanner

Cheaters targeted the light sensor responsible for detecting the number of coins inserted into the machine. They used devices to blind the sensor, preventing it from accurately registering the amount of coins in the slot. By manipulating the sensor, small wins could be turned into larger payouts. Casinos responded by introducing hinged plastic guards that blocked the sensor, making it impossible for cheaters to override the system.

Fake Coins and Shaved Edges: Fooling the Optic Verification Sensor

Another popular cheating method involved the use of fake coins with shaved edges. These coins would be repeatedly inserted into the machine, triggering multiple payouts. However, casinos implemented countermeasures to protect against this technique and prevent cheaters from exploiting the optic verification sensor.

Exploiting Software Glitches: The Modern Way of Cheating

As technology advanced, professional slot scammers started exploiting software glitches to cheat their way to big wins. By manipulating the software, they could trick the machines into paying out more frequently or in larger amounts. However, the gaming industry has become more security-conscious, and slot machines now come equipped with microchips designed to prevent manipulation of payouts.

Staying Ahead of the Game: How Casinos Prevent Cheating

To stay ahead of cheaters, casinos have implemented various preventative measures. Regular inspections are conducted to detect any signs of tampering, while CCTV cameras monitor both players and staff. Software is regularly updated with the latest security patches to protect against exploits. Some casinos even employ specialized security personnel trained to identify and prevent cheating activity.


While there have been ingenious attempts to cheat slot machines, casinos have responded with enhanced security measures to maintain fairness and integrity in the game. From early cheating devices like the top-bottom joint and the Monkey’s Paw to modern exploits of software glitches, the gambling industry has continually improved security to ensure that wins come from honest gameplay and luck. So, the next time you play a slot machine, enjoy the excitement knowing that the game remains fair for everyone.