Slots dominate gaming floors, and because they are machine games, a prevalent belief exists that they can easily get tampered with. However, that notion is false. Today, it is almost impossible for players and operators to play around with these devices, as regulators monitor them for fairness, and they have reached a level of sophistication up to a point where gamblers cannot simply perform any illegal actions on them. It is vital to know that gambling overseers, offline and online, frequently check slots for randomness. They look to verify that the outcome generation process is 100% arbitrary, and they do so by examining each product’s random number generation algorithm.
What casinos don’t tell about slot game features is that each series of games implement different math models, where specs like variance and return-to-player dictate what kind of prizes and how often rewards get churned out in titles from this genre. In many cases, tweaking these factory settings by operators is possible, but only in a given range.
Nowadays, it is almost a fruitless effort to try and affect the behavior of a slot because, over time and through trial and error, operators have virtually plugged all existing holes in these machines. And the same goes for their online iterations. There has not been a recent scandal regarding someone successfully tinkering with products en route to reward accumulation, and there is not likely to be one soon. Nevertheless, here are a few ways people have previously cheated and still try to cheat on slots.
Coin Hopper Methods
Lay people don’t understand that gambling hot spots like Las Vegas and Atlantic City don’t use coin machines anymore, and they haven’t for a while. They began to filter out these machines in the 1990s when they determined that their maintenance tags were too high and the labor cost needed to process their heavy volume of coins was unsustainable. By the early-2000s, more than half of Vegas slots no longer accepted coins, and now, these games are more novelty items in gaming resorts than anything.
Due to the inherent mechanical nature of coin machines, they were far more susceptible to cheating than modern ones. Hence, back in the day, gamblers would implement shaved coins, fake ones, or loose change on a string, the so-called yo-yo trick to fool slots into supplying invalid credit. Magnets, piano wire, and the monkey paw (a rod on a metal wire) were other approaches that involved cheats forcibly influencing reel rotations. But, the slyest swindle was the Ronald D. Harris tactic, influencing games by inserting coins in a specific sequence. A popular one that seemed to work and always produced a payout on distinct titles was dropping three coins, then two, two again, then one, then three, and lastly, five coins, all in sequential order. That sequence was discovered by Harris, a computer programmer formerly employed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, when studying various slots, looking for bugs in their programming.
TITO stands for ticket-in, ticket-out technology. It is a technology initially developed by a Las Vegas firm named Five Star Solutions, purchased by the MGM Corporation in 1992. It replaced coin hoppers, utilizing barcode ticket printing. It works in such a way that gamblers insert bills into machines, which produce in-game credits, and when they win, to withdraw, they get a ticket with a code printed on it that they can exchange for cash at a counter.
Nefarious individuals look to scam these devices by covering one-dollar bills with stickers that hoodwink these machine’s validators into believing they have accepted one hundred dollars instead of only a dollar. As a rule of thumb, this is virtually the only mainstream technique of deluding a TITO game that does not involve someone getting access to its software.
As with Mr. Ron Harris, most slot hacking affairs have been inside jobs, meaning they have been perpetrated by people with knowledge of how these games work, and in most cases, they have helped maintain or create them.
The most famous case of something like this happened in the mid-2010s when a Russian mathematician bought an Aristocrat Leisure slot, and reverse-engineered its RNG, figuring out when the game is most likely to payout. He then employed a team of cheats to hit casinos worldwide and provide him with video feeds of them playing the game in question, with him telling them when to bet.
Though, sometimes, regular players also discover a weakness in slots. John Kane, a pianist by trade, is one such example, as he found a glitch in a line of video poker machines that allowed him to replay hands with different base bets.
How to Improve Your Chances Fairly
The best course of action is to play online, where the games offer better odds and the operators supply enticing bonuses. Then wisely choose the claimed promotions, selecting ones with beneficial terms and picking games with high RTP settings.