The Do’s and Don’ts – 13 Tips for Playing Slot Machines (7)


Some slot machines in the 1960s and 1970s were vulnerable to common magnets.

Cheaters could use the magnets to free float the reels of the machines and decide where to stop a spin . The cheaters would only remove the magnet when the reels were lined up in a winning combination.

More sophisticated were the devices used in the 1980s. The top part was a metal rod that was bent at the end and the bottom part a wire.

The wire was inserted into the coin slot to achieve a metal contact, and then the top was jammed into the coin slot. The combination completed a circuit that activated a coin dispenser and the coins were then dumped onto the board.

Systems had to be used in the games to protect the vital parts of the machines from the magnets and make it impossible to activate the contacts to create the electrical circuit that could fool the Slot.


This scheme was created for the “Big Bertha” Slots in the 1990s. The “Big Bertha” Slot Machines are larger and wider than other machines.

A team of cheaters was arrested in Nevada after gathering around a Big Bertha machine. The front of the slot was opened, a woman got inside, and the machine was then closed. She manipulated the results of this Slot Machine by acting directly on the mechanisms.

With the other members of the con team blocking the view, everything looked normal to casual passersby, but Casino security was alert to stop the cheaters.


A certain Nevada Gaming Commission software engineer was programming chips into slot machines that apparently worked normally. It turned out that they had written into the programming code a few lines that allowed cheaters who knew about these bugs to take advantage of the cheat code.

When the cheaters inserted specific numbers of coins in a specific order, the machine would pay out nice prizes.

The engineer was arrested, of course. Crime does not pay!

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