The goal of Slot Machine Cheat is to play each game in a way that reduces the house edge as much as possible in general situations.
Beginning in the early 1980s, the leading manufacturers, Bally and International Game Technology, rolled out new high-tech slot and video poker machines that used microprocessors and random number generator software. The old hybrid machines relied on a combination of electricity and physics.
The new slot machines that played catchy tunes and offered megajackpots also made it harder to cheat. People who attached quarters to strings or used slugs found their techniques outdated.
For many months, cheaters toiled over a device — known as the slider or monkey paw — trying to compromise the slot machine. The slider — constructed out of spring steel and guitar wire — essentially snaked its way into the slot machine through the payout chute and tripped a microswitch. That fooled the hopper, the bucket holding the quarters, into spitting out its payload.
But the slot machine slider’s effectiveness didn’t last long, running its profitable course by about 1991. Improved slot machine technology doomed it. Cheaters then went to the Las Vegas showroom of IGT, which dominated the industry. Posing as slot customers, they inspected the inside of a machine, and IGT engineers answered their technical questions.
Cheaters bought one of the slot machines and in a matter of days invented a device dubbed a light wand. “The light would shine in there and be so bright that the sensor would be blinded, causing the hopper to not realize it was paying out the coins”. The genius was in its simplicity: a camera battery and a mini light bulb were its key components to cheat the slot machine – great tip.
By about 1992, the device was defeating hoppers everywhere, and Cheaters was making thousands selling it to other slot cheats. Customers found Cheaters through word of mouth in the cheating underworld.
When IGT countered with a slot machine protective device called the Actuator Arm, Cheaters quickly obtained one. “It took them about an hour to beat it with ‘the hanger,'” they said.
Then everything changed. In 1996, a famous slot machine cheater sat in front of a slot machine inside the Circus Circus hotel-casino on the Strip. Flanking him were Luxem and another woman. Unknown to the Slot Machine Cheater, a surveillance camera eyed his every move. His movements had raised suspicions and security guards were dispatched. Trying to run, the Slot Machine Cheater dropped a light device on the floor, but security recovered it. Police charged him with possession of a Slot Machine Cheating device and manufacturing a cheating device.
A joint task force soon found all the cheaters, arrested seven of them on federal charges. Informants had been supplying authorities with crucial information, and federal wiretaps recorded the Slot Machine Cheater and friends.
All seven eventually pleaded guilty, admitting running an illegal gambling enterprise to cheat the slot machines. The commission voted to put the cheater’s name in the book of Slot Machine Cheats and crooks. “They cannot stand the thought of me righting a wrong and possibly making a little money off it,” the cheater complains. He promises he’s reformed. He’ll never cheat slot machines again. But if he wanted? “I could beat them in a heartbeat.”