10 Fun facts about slots

Feb 16, 2020 | Reading time: 6 Minutes
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Ways People Have cheated Slot Machines

Slots are among the most popular casino games, due their interesting interaction provided, amazing sounds and graphics and spectacular winnings. Although everything is serious about slots (especially those with big progressive jackpots) there still are several fun facts about them. Either is about people who played on slots and found some “hilarious ways” of cheating, either is about special slot machines or games who remain over time famous due their features, slot games will always be an adventure hard to forget.

1. With over 600, 000 slot machines located in Las Vegas, North America, the great American casino capital “owned” in the past also the biggest slot machine (it measured 2.5m height and 2 m width. People still wonder how was even possible to play at this huge slot machine, as only to turn it on, needed of a motor of 5 power horses. Its reels (numbered 8) were massive, but, what is more, hilarious about is the fact that the changes to win at this immense slot were 25.6 billion to 1 (offered a one million jackpot).

2. The original name of the slot machine was “one arm bandit”, but, in time, after proofed to be a successful way of collecting people’s money, the name switched to “vending machine”. Why? Because instead of paying with coins, they reward winners with natural stuff as candies, cookies, cigars, etc. These fun facts are nothing compared to those provided by “clever” people who tried to cheat slot machines overtimes. Some of these people’s ideas were absolutely remarkable, some others were just bad ideas. All had the same purpose: taking the money from the slot machines, without using their money. Here it is a top of brilliant ideas (not recommended) to cheat slot machines:

3. The “yo-yo” effect- Yes, it is a simple, smart, yet efficient idea discovered by the nephew of famous Donald Duck. Based on the “yo-yo” effect, he tied up a piece of string around a coin and inserted it into a slot machine. Kept the stringed coin into the machine until got payment, hit the jackpot or get caught. For stingy people who do not want to use their own coins, could “borrow” or replace them with different materials (like chips).

4. It seems that someone before me had this idea too; fake money/coins instead using real money is a stingy idea enough to make Scrooge feeling proud of. A smart boy named Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio used to press fake coins for slot machines, make them look so real, that all casinos from two American states took them as authentic can be. The conclusion: for a short period of time, all casinos from New Jersey and Connecticut traded fake coins for playing slots.

5. A “new” technology was developed by slots manufacturers to prevent scams to stack coins for slots so, they have figured out some “shaved coins” (they look like normal coins, but with shaved edges, yet their size and weight were slightly different than usual). They’re somehow identical with the “yo-yo” technique; passed the optical sensor measurements, but never passed the comparator measurements.

6. The “monkey paw” was a funny, yet smart trick discovered by Tommy Glenn Carmichael, a scam who operated during ‘80’s. It is a device which needs to be inserted into a slot machine and then used as a piano flap or as a guitar string. It is also known as “slider device”- its mechanism allowed to Carmichael to operate the switch responsible for coin release, which then was easily released.

7. Later, Carmichael developed the “light wand”, which was an update of the monkey paw. This time, the device was a little bit more “high tech”: a wire was connected to a battery-powered source with a light on. This way the new slot machine, optical sensors was blinded by this light and did not stop when counted the coins.

8. Bright people with smart ideas are called idiots; based on this principle, in 1982, in an Atlantic City casino, a group of such people surrounded a slot machine and started to work on it. Their plan was to use “piano wires” to make the slot machine to spill out the $50,000 jackpot. They inserted piano wires into the slot’s whirring guts (20 inches each) to easily manipulate the wheels and turn them into the right direction. Which inevitably was the local jail, as this slot machine was under surveillance of local cops.

9. As slot machines got improvements over the years and today’s online slots are counting on RNG, still some people are hardly trying to break the code and cheat it somehow. One of the greatest cases was Ronald Dale Harris (software engineer) who worked for the Nevada State Gaming Commission; being “in the heart of the system”, Harris programmed 30 slot machines with his personal code and started to cash in. He had his safe system of “working”, based on a specific combination of coin insertion. The big problem was that he and his partner moved to Keno game, using the same system of cheating and were discovered after hit the biggest Keno jackpot that year ($100,000).

10. The last “funny” cheating slots idea is based on the experience lived by Dennis Nikrasch and his villain team, how bought a slot machine opening keys and replace their computer chip with some altered by him. This was an idea of $5 million, but, in the end, was nothing but a half-life prison result.

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