5 Ways People Have Cheated the Slots

In life it is said there is no such thing as a free lunch, however ever since casinos and casino games were invented, people have attempted to cheat in order to make some easy money. Cheating when playing real money online slots is virtually impossible but here we take a look at five ways in which people have tried to cheat playing slots in the past… but don’t try this at home!

Fake Coins

Getting a fake coin into an online slot isn’t really an option but in the olden days using fake coins or foreign coins with low value in place of actually US coins was a great way to cheat playing slots. You can’t guarantee hitting the big win but if a 25c spin is only costing you a few cents, in the long term a profit is guaranteed and many fraudsters have used this technique playing “real world” slots in the past.


Another very early method of cheating involved using a piece of string to retrieve the coin from the machine once it had triggered the spin but before it had fully entered the machine’s mechanism. Not surprisingly this trick was soon cottoned on to and made impossible.

Software Rigged

Moving to more modern times and more advanced methods of defrauding slots, Ronald Dale Harris, a software expert at the Nevada Gaming Commission, created rigged chips that were intended to avoid cheating but were created by him to exactly facilitate scamming. The chips were programmed so that a specific loading of coins into the machines would trigger a payout without even having to spin the reels. Sadly for Harris and his gang they were soon caught.

Monkey Paw

Tommy Glenn Carmichael, a renowned slots cheat, had already served time for scamming slots but on his release created a new method of cheating, the monkey paw. Despite machines being quite advanced when he used it in the 1980s and 1990s, it was actually quite a crude device that simply reached into the machine and effectively flicked the payout switch, earning Carmichael an estimated $1,000 per hour!

More Rigged Chips

As machines became increasingly computerized, control of the internal software became key. Dennis Nikrasch bought a slot and realized he could create a chip that would land the jackpot every time. He bought black market keys to allow access to casino slots, fitted his own chips and hey presto, the jackpot would land, the whole process taking less than five minutes!