Have you ever thought about how to hack a video slot? Never try to do it. Let these thoughts stay in your fantasies. Otherwise, the chances of finding yourself in jail are very high because gambling clubs' security services are up and running.

The article is purely informative. We do not encourage Casinoz readers to use the cheaters' tricks discussed below.

It should be noted that the article tells about the methods of hacking gambling machines in land-based casinos. A separate piece will be dedicated to slot cheaters at online casinos.

Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Tommy Carmichael's Inventions

Tommy Glenn Carmichael is mentioned several times in the list. The legendary cheater was one of the most famous experts in hacking slots. In a few years, he stole millions of dollars from various casinos but eventually failed to escape prison. His activities are described in a separate article.

So, let's talk about the most common ways to cheat when playing slots.

Top-bottom Joint

Many people believe that Tommy Carmichael invented this tool for cheaters. However, this is only a curtsey towards the famous fraudster. He used and modified it, making the device more convenient and efficient. Yet, the top-bottom joint was known among cheaters before Carmichael.

Top-bottom Joint

We are talking about the device consisting of a guitar string and a piece of steel. It was put into the coin slot to hook the switch and force it to give out coins.

This primitive technology brought Tommy up to one thousand dollars per hour. We can only guess how many other cheaters used to take advantage of it in the age of one-armed bandits.

Monkey Paw

The name Monkey Paw hides a thin, long piece of curved wire especially. It is believed that Carmichael created it. It would be more appropriate to say that Tommy made it based on pre-existing developments. He made his first version of the tool from metal clothes hangers, improving it several times.

how cheaters hack slot machines

Monkey Paw was suitable for hacking mechanical gambling machines. Cheaters inserted a hook inside the slot and searched for a switch focusing on the sound. Pushing it, they made the slot share its chips.

Monkey Paw has various types intended for specific models of slots.

Light Wand

The so-called light Wand is another of Tommy Carmichael's innovations. Like all his discoveries, the device had a primitive design but was highly effective. This is a tiny flashlight attached to a piece of wire.

light wand

Tommy used it to hack slot machines based on the technology of optical sensors. The principles of the process of such video slots were explained to him by a naive employee of IGT at the exhibition. Carmichael bought the device, studied its structure, and figured out how to cause a malfunction in the sensors, blinding them with a light beam.

Light Wand is not out-of-date. Cheaters still use it in land-based gambling houses.

Fake Coins

As soon as gambling machines with chips appeared, scammers began to use fake coins. Manufacturers of video slots tried to improve anti-counterfeiting technologies, but fraudsters kept up.

Louis Colavecchio

Louis Colavecchio was the genius of fake coins. He was even nicknamed The Coin. He also created counterfeit chips, which he used to cheat casinos and earn half a million dollars. However, he was sentenced to jail. The cheater spent seven years in prison.

Chip Replacement

Dennis Nikrasch performed incredible scams at casinos in Las Vegas. He ordered computer chips from the manufacturer of the slot and bought keys from gambling machines on the "black market." Then he only had to master how to replace the chips in casino slots quickly.

This brilliant technique brought him several million dollars but did not help him to avoid prison.


This is another invention for hacking gambling machines that is excellent in its simplicity. The coin is attached to a thin wire. A scammer inserts it into the slot receiver and pulls it out as soon as the device registers the insertion of the chip. So, the cheater can endlessly play for just one chip.

Scammers hacked video slots with receivers for paper banknotes in the same way. The only difference was that they used adhesive tape for banknotes. This gambling machine hacking technique was popular in post-Soviet countries in the initially appeared slot halls, where there were primitive games with insufficiently reliable protection systems.

Shaved Coins

Making fake casino chips and spending money on their production is unnecessary. It is possible to take a single chip and cut off its small amount to use it repeatedly. This beneficial trick was successfully used in 1982 by a group of scammers.

Coins at a Casino

The invention was inscribed in the history of cheating as shaved coins. Scammers got the principles of slot operation and cut off pieces of real casino chips, making small changes in their shape. The chip was accepted by the device, allowing cheaters to play, and then it threw out a coin, considering it unsuitable.

It was almost a "Perpetuum mobile" for hacking slots.

Software Bugs

Video slot software bugs are observed even in devices of the most famous developers. It is not a big deal if they are variable. It is much worse if cheaters discover a permanent bug. Customers will fully use this glitch if the error is favorable.

For example, we can mention the event with The Game King video slots. They had a periodical bug and paid out excessive money to customers in certain situations. The scandals with such devices occurred in different periods, and we will hear about such cases in the future.

In this situation, the developer is primarily the one to blame. Remember that the deliberate use of software bugs is considered fraud. This is mentioned in the rules of most casinos.

Do not rush to spend money on the Internet to buy secret techniques for hacking slot machines at the level of software. Fraudsters usually sell them. Think logically. Who will sell the goose that lays the golden eggs?

Cheat Codes

This practice became possible with the appearance of electronic gambling machines. Scammers selected certain combinations of buttons on the control panel or algorithms of other actions, allowing them to affect the slot's activity.

Ronald Dale Harris was the most successful. He worked as a programmer in the Nevada Gaming Commission. The list of his duties included coding computer chips for video slots. Ronald coded them in such a way that it was possible to hack a slot machine with the help of simple actions.

Ronald Dale Harris

The system was straightforward. Harris's accomplices inserted the coins in the appropriate order. For example, the following order was successful: two chips-pause-three chips-pause-one chip, etc. When the sequence was completed, the slot machine automatically paid out money.

Ronald Harris cheated the casinos and his colleagues from the Nevada Gaming Commission. As a result, his scam was noticed, and the scammer was jailed.

Cheat codes are still popular among slot cheaters.


To sum up, we want to remind readers of Casinoz again that we disapprove of cheating. Do not try to hack a slot machine, even if you are sure you will not be punished for that or think it is good to punish unscrupulous casinos. This usually leads to problems with the law and other troubles.

Be reasonable!

Perhaps, you have worked at casinos and faced attempts to hack gambling machines. Have you tried to implement such methods? We invite you to share your experience in the comments.

Frequently asked Questions

Is it possible to hack a slot machine?

Theoretically, you can hack any slot machine; fraudsters sometimes do this. But it is tough to hack a modern slot from a reputable manufacturer. 

Should I try hacking casino slots?

No, you should not! It is a crime. You will most certainly have problems and may even get in jail. 

How do cheaters hack slot machines?

There are numerous ways and devices for hacking casino slots. Some were very efficient. Read about the most exciting stories in the Casinoz article. 

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