Most slots players have dreamed about using slot machine hacks and cheats to bring down the house. I’ll walk you through some of the most successful slot machine cheats, as well as some outdated techniques that will fail every time.
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Some of these video slot machine hacks and cheats used to work, but they don’t any longer. Before I begin, let me start with a disclaimer. Hacking slot machines is against the law in most countries. I do not advise it, and LegitGamblingSites.com does not endorse it.
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Let’s see how slot machines work and whether you can cheat slots today.
Casino Slot Machine Hacks
There are some slot machine hacks that worked on old-school slots. I don’t recommend trying these today. They won’t work on modern slot machines which have evolved to deal with them. If you try these and get caught, you’ll likely get banned from the casino for life. Nonetheless, they did work once upon a time, and if you happen to find a classic slot machine in a bar, you might be able to try some of these.
The Yo-Yo Slot Hack
I have a confession to make before I tell you about this slot hack. I have used this successfully, but not on slot machines. I pulled it off once or twice on the vending machines in my high school and scored a free bottle of Coca Cola or two.
The idea is to tie a thin string around a coin and deposit it. When a deposit is registered, you yank the string and pull it out. If you know anything about modern slot machines, you probably just laughed out loud. Out of all the slot machine hacks and cheats, this most definitely would not work today.
The Counterfeit Coin Trick
Before scanning technology became widespread, slot machines used to accept bets based on the weight of the coin. The question of how to hack slot machines had a real answer: Use fake coins which were the same weight as real ones. They used similar metals or hard material, and they got away with it for a long time.
Again, technology has caught up and rendered this slot machine cheat impotent. Ask any experienced player, and they’ll tell you that it’s difficult enough to get a slot to accept some real coins, never mind counterfeit ones!
Tampering With Payout Switches
Throughout gaming history, slot machine hacks and cheats have brought on some hilarious inventions. A number of them involve guitar strings and metal wires. At one point, players would attach hooks and metal claws to the end of metal wire or strings and feed it through the cooling system of the slot machine. They’d rattle around for a while, and eventually, they’d hit the payout switch.
This hack would never work on an electronic slot machine. To understand why, you should read our report on Random Number Generators (RNG). There are no physical switches which activate payouts in modern slot machines. The only thing tampering with slot machines will get you these days is a place on the sidewalk when the casino security team catches you.
Slot Machine Cheat Codes
As slot machines evolved past basic mechanical parts and made use of technology like RNGs and electronic sensors, computer programmers became a key part of keeping them honest.
What happens when the computer programmer who’s supposed to do his job lets temptation get the better of him? Just ask Ronald Dale Harris. He was in charge of finding and fixing software flaws. He was a high-level programmer and worked for the Nevada Gaming Control Board in the 1990s. One day, for whatever reason, he decided to modify some slots so it would pay out when he entered a certain sequence of coins.
Harris got away with this for a long time, but his accomplice got busted when they tried the same thing on keno. Harris was locked up for seven years, but he got out in two for good behavior. I doubt he has ever tried to hack casino slot machines again, especially since all Vegas casinos have banned him.
A Mobile Slot Machine Hack Which Really Worked
What happens when you take cash-rich American casinos, Russian mobsters, high-tech equipment, and a team of jet-setting slot players and put them together? No, this isn’t the plot of a bad B movie, this slot machine hack really happened. In fact, it may still be happening today.
In the summer of 2014, a casino in St. Louis noticed some of its machines had paid out much more than they should have according to their payback averages. After watching the security footage of the casino, they found the same man winning again and again, and they knew he was a slot machine hacker right away. They just had to figure out how he was doing it. They noticed three things:
- He was holding his iPhone close to the screen when playing
- He was winning on Aristocrat slots
- And he was “jabbing” the spin button suddenly after long pauses
It soon became apparent that lots of other casinos had been the victims of slot machine hacking, and the same man was involved in most of the slot machine hacks and cheats. Authorities tracked down Murat Bilev and discovered he was part of a Russian team which had successfully hacked slots from the United States to Macau, bilking the casinos for millions.
After arresting him on a return trip to the US, Bilev spilled the beans. He was part of a Russian slot machine hacking team which figured out the exact timing of how the PRNGs work in Aristocrat slots. His phone was equipped was a slot machine hacking app which told him exactly when to press the spin button, hence the sudden hand movements after long pauses.
Bilev was sentenced to two years in prison and deported from the USA. However, authorities worry that the scam has evolved and there are still teams out there using slot machine hacks and cheats today.
Are slot machine hacking apps available online? Yes, but if you get caught using them, you’ll end up in the slammer like Murat Bilev. I’d strongly advise against it.
What If You Do Discover a Slot Machine Hack?
If you do figure out how to hack casino slot machines, you’ll face a moral and legal choice: to steal or not to steal.
I’d advise you not to. You see, there’s an alternative option, and it could be just as lucrative. Contact the casino slot machine company, tell them you’ve found a bug, and make a contract for a reward if you show them and are proven correct.
Some slots companies will dismiss you as a quack, but believe it or not, lots of them will give you an audience, especially if they suspect there’s a bug in their slot machine software.
Heck, you could even get a job as a consultant. After all, you’ve figured out a slot machine flaw that their coders didn’t recognize.
Can You Really Hack Slot Machines?
If you read the full article on slot machine hacks and cheats above, then you’ll know the answer is yes. But it takes some serious skills and connections. Both of the successful slot machine hackers mentioned here ended up in prison. And you have to ask yourself, is it really worth it?
I personally don’t think so. For me, slot machines are about the thrill of potentially winning a life-changing jackpot. I don’t even particularly want to win by cheating. I’d worry about being found out and having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my days.
Instead, I advise you to relax, have fun, learn all you can about how slots work, and forget slot machine hacks and cheats. If there’s such a thing as karma, you might even get rewarded for deciding not to try slot machine hacks!
Introduction to Why Slot Machines Say Bar
Why do slot machines say bar on their reels? Well, to understand why this tradition came to be, we’ll have to delve into slot machine history. First of all, these gambling devices weren’t always called slot machines. Slot machines were originally referred to as a one-armed bandit, then later in Great Britain as a fruit machine.
A slot machine gambling device is activated by pulling a handle or pushing a button. This can only be done after coins, tokens, cash, or casino credits has been entered. Consequently, reels with symbols begin to spin. When done spinning, the symbols shown lined up along pay lines are used to determine the payout, if any.
Reel symbols are often traditional, including stars, bars, numbers, and various pictured fruits. Fruits can include cherries, plums, oranges, lemons, and watermelons. The number seven is also very popular. And, finally, then there are bar reel symbols.
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Bar Reel Symbols
Fruit reel symbols were first used in slot machine by the Industry Novelty Company in 1909. This was quickly followed the next year by Mills Novelty Company of Chicago, recently inherited by Herbert Stephen Mills. But, with a slight addition.
Mills added the photograph of a chewing gum pack along with the fruit reel symbols. Soon after, these photographs of a chewing gum pack were replaced with a stylized bar symbol.
Slot machines have a very rich history. Within gaming device circles of the time, it was well known that Charles Augustus Fey of San Francisco refused to sell or lease the design of his first coin-operated slot machine, the Liberty Bell, which he invented around 1887.
So, how did Mills get the design from Fey? There are two theories. First, that Fey cooperated with Mills to spread the use of slot machines. After all, Fey is known as the “Father of Slots” both for his invention of the coin-operated device as well as popularizing its use.
The second theory is Mills somehow “obtained” a Liberty Bell as a result of a San Francisco saloon robbery in 1905. Less than a year later, Mills produced a new version of the Liberty Bell called either the Mills Liberty Bell or Operator Bell.
During my review of the history of early slot machines, there are also suggestions the bar symbol may have another origin story. It is generally accepted that the bar symbol is a stylized image of a chewing gum pack, as well as a company logo.
According to some historical sources, however, the company having that logo may have been the Bell-Gum Fruit company.
A Bit More History
As mentioned, slot machines have a very rich history, especially in their early days. Besides Why Do Slot Machines Say Bar, there are a few other interesting historical items of interest.
In 1916, another historic slot machine innovation created by the Mills Novelty Company was the jackpot. When a specific combination of reel symbols resulted from a bet, the slot machine would empty its coin hopper of all coins as a prize.
The Mills Novelty would later go on to produce slot machines with wooden cabinets, rather than the original cast iron construction materials.
Photos of early slot machines are online at Cyprus Casino Consultant, Casino Observer, the International Arcade Museum, and elsewhere. I especially enjoy photos of antique slot machines in my copy of Slot Machines: A Pictorial History of the First 100 Years by Marshall Fey, grandson of “the Father of Slot Machines” Charles Fey.
The Cyprus Casino Consultant website shows 4 slot machines on a waist-high counter top. They appear to have wood cabinets and are each perhaps 30 inches high by 18 inches wide. In metric, that’s about 76 centimeters by 46 centimeters.
Each slot machine is of the one-armed bandit variety, meaning they appear to are activated by first inserting a coin and then pulling a large lever on the right side of the machine. Each of these models appears to accept coins at the top, as well as dispense coins for winners at the bottom.
The Casino Observer website also shows 4 slot machines. Two of these machines are some of the first slot machines, from about 1890, while two others are more modern, ~1940s. The two older slot machines receive coins, but only the poker machine appears to not be able to dispense coins. This poker machine has typical card suits as reel symbols and a cast metal-type cabinet.
It appears to be missing its one-armed bandit lever, perhaps due to damage, or it never had a lever. One older slot machine with coin dispenser capability is clearly identified as a “Liberty Bell”. It rests on cast feet located on each corner. The reel symbols show three Liberty Bells, but its “pay table” shows card suits – not fruit or bars.
The International Arcade Museum website shows a single slot machine. It’s a very old slot machine showing the symbol of the Liberty Bell on its front next to three reels showing Liberty Bell, bar, and fruit reel symbols.
This is probably a “Liberty Bell” by Charles Fey, but must be a slightly later version due to it having obvious fruit and bar reel symbols. It also has a cast metal-type cabinet and the distinctive “feet” of a Liberty Bell. It also has a small tray for coins, suggesting it has automatic payouts.
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Charles Fey manufactured about 100 Liberty Bell slot machines for distribution in and around San Francisco. However, there are few of them remaining in existence. The scarcity of Fey’s Liberty Bell is a direct result of a natural disaster occurring shortly after their manufacture: the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
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Summary of Why Slot Machines Say Bar
Starting in 1907, Bell Fruit Gum slot machines were manufactured by Industry Novelty Co. They were followed by the Mills Novelty Company in 1910.
The reels on these slot machines included cherry, melon, orange, apple, and bar symbols with non-cash payouts in the form of fruit-flavored gum, allowing machine owners to avoid prosecution under the anti-gambling laws of that time.
The cherry and bar symbols became traditional to slot machines, and are still commonly used today. The bar symbol was a company logo, originally a photo of a chewing gum pack before being stylized as a bar.
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