The Do’s and Don’ts – 13 Tips for Playing Slot Machines (6)

In any business where a lot of money changes hands, there will always be people willing to play outside the law to cheat the system.

Slot machines in live casinos, where cheaters can work on the physical device, are more vulnerable to scams than machines in online casinos.

The law in jurisdictions with licensed casinos carries stiff penalties for those who try to cheat at slots games. Cheating at licensed casinos is a crime and can carry stiff prison sentences.

However, here are some examples of scams that players have tried:


When all slot machines offered only three-reel games and were played with coins, cheaters used a scam that consisted of tying a string to a coin.

They would drop the coin into the slot, activate the mechanism that gave them credit to play, and then use a string to pull the coin back out of the machine.

One woman in Nevada was caught using a coin tied to a piece of brightly colored string that was easy to detect from a distance. Others were less obvious but those caught were prosecuted by the strong arm of the law.

Manufacturers then designed more secure coin acceptance devices to make this practice impossible. Today, most Slots accept only paper currency or tickets and no longer have a place to insert coins.


Fake coins, or slugs, were a problem for Casinos as long as Slot Machines accepted coins.

Some were nothing more than a rounded piece of metal with no design. Others were more elaborate, and counterfeiters in the eastern U.S. stamped chips for Slots that looked very much like the ones used to play on these machines.

As long as the metal and manufacturing costs of these were much less than the value of a real coin, there was incentive for cheaters.

Coin recognition software has become progressively more sophisticated to combat this problem and today this method is no longer used.

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