8 Helpful Tips for Playing Slots

8 Helpful Tips for Playing Slots

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Table of Contents
  1. Applying a Bill Validator Device
  2. Yo-Yo
  3. Inserting Fake Coins
  4. Tricking the Optical Sensor
  5. Wires, Rodes, and Monkey Paws
  6. Hacking the Slot Machine
  7. Using Software Glitches to Your Advantage
  8. Magnets
  9. Can You Cheat Online Slots?
  10. Bottom Line

Slot machines can sometimes be very frustrating, especially since every player eventually experiences a dry spell. You hit that Spin button repeatedly just to watch your balance plummet closer to zero.

Learning to play video slots is easy, and there are even some useful tips to increase your chances of winning when playing online slot machines. But if you want to win consistently, you’re going to need more than luck and a few basic strategies.

The real questions are: How to trick a slot machine to win, and is it even possible? The guide below will talk about a few sneaky methods that can help you get an edge when playing video slots.

Applying a Bill Validator Device

Every slot that accepts banknotes uses a mechanism that scans and authenticates any bill you put into the machine. With the help of a bill validator device that goes around the bill, some players managed to trick the machine into thinking it was accepting bills of higher denomination. For instance, you can put $1 into the slot machine using a bill validator device, and the machine would register it as a $100 bill.

However, this trick almost never works with newer video slots. Manufacturers are well aware of bill validator hacks, so their bill scanners are now far too advanced for such a simple trick.


Yo-Yo is one of the most famous slot machines hacks ever, not so much for its effectiveness but for its comedic nature. Namely, by tying a coin to a string, you can insert it and pull it back up once the coin triggers the internal sensor. This way, you can play for an infinite amount of spins using just a single coin.

The problem with this trick was that it was very obvious. You can’t just keep pulling a coin out of a slot machine in the middle of a casino without someone noticing. Also, modern slots are far too advanced for such slot machine tricks, and most of them don’t even accept coins anymore.

Inserting Fake Coins

You can trick video slot machines by using fake coins, provided you are able to find a casino that still features machines accepting coins.

Early machines had a really simple system of activating reels. When the coin made contact with a button inside the machine, it caused it to start spinning. Of course, the coins needed to be of a certain size and weight, but making fake coins that looked realistic was a simple task for many casino tricksters.

Just like the Yo-Yo method, this trick became obsolete after slot machines switched to light sensors and cards.

Tricking the Optical Sensor

Tommy Glenn Carmichael, an infamous casino cheat, managed to build a so-called Light Wand that blinded the machine’s optical sensors that registered the coins. This allowed Tommy and his team of conmen to play thousands upon thousands of free spins and rob the casinos all over Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other places worldwide.

Carmichael was eventually caught and convicted in 2000 to about a year in jail and three years probation, during which he was banned from entering any casino. In the meantime, his method became obsolete, as light sensors rarely appear in modern slot machines.

Wires, Rodes, and Monkey Paws

Over the years, many have tried to hack slot machines by inserting various items into their chambers. A famous group of Atlantic City cheats used a piano wire to jam the internal clock of the machine to manipulate the spins. The trick worked wonders and won them a $50,000 jackpot, but they were discovered and caught before they could cash out.

A special tool called a top-bottom joint was used by hacks in the early days of Vegas slot machines. This tool had a metal rod at the top that went into the coin slot and a wire at the bottom that had to be jammed into the chute. By keeping both of these openings unblocked, you could drain all the coins from the machine. 

Aside from its Light Wand, Tommy Glenn Carmichael invented another device called Monkey Paw. He made this tool using a bent metal rod and a guitar string and inserted it through the machine’s air vent so it could trigger the coin hopper. 

As you may imagine, all these tricks only worked with old slots and weren’t effective with new machines.

Hacking the Slot Machine

Modern slot machines are foolproof against old bill and coin tricks as they are now entirely digital. In most high-end casinos, instead of inserting a bill or a coin, you will swipe your player’s card, making it virtually impossible to trick the machine.

So, how to manipulate a slot machine that’s fully digital? Well, you can always try to tamper with its software. Knowing the source code is one way to control a slot game, but this is extremely hard as they are confidential, and hacking into the developer’s database is not a possibility.

Another approach is to tweak the machine by installing modified software chips. For this, you’ll need to know how the slot works, disassemble it and put it back together without anyone noticing. This is how Dennis Nikrasch, a locksmith from Chicago, was able to rig his way to $16 million over 22 years by manipulating Las Vegas slots.

Using Software Glitches to Your Advantage

Even though the slot machine codes work flawlessly most of the time, there could be instances where the machine malfunctions in your favor for whatever reason. If you figure out what causes a favorable glitch, you could become very rich. 

This is how 90-year-old Pauline McKee made more than $41 million playing the Miss Kitty slot machine at one casino in Iowa. Pauline actually won just $1.85, but the machine glitched and awarded her a jackpot. The casino refused to pay Pauline, and she sued them, but the case was eventually dropped by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Mind that it’s very unlikely you’ll find a faulty slot like this in any casino, as the machines go through constant audits and updates.


Magnets might be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing slot machine hacks. However, it’s actually one of the least effective methods of cheating. In theory, you could use a strong magnet to alter the movement of reels in old metal machines, but it would be a difficult task. 

Also, players would have a tough time using a big magnet without looking extra suspicious and alarming the casino’s security.

Can You Cheat Online Slots?

Technological advancements have made it easy to find and play thousands of video slots online. And while manipulating land-based slots became progressively more difficult over the years due to these machines getting more sophisticated, cheating at online slots has always been impossible.

Do you want to know more? Read also: Sweepstakes Gaming and Pop Culture 

Every online slot uses a random number generator (RNG), and there’s no way for you to alter the game’s software from within the casino website. No magnets, rods, or light beams can help you out here.

As a matter of fact, you should make sure an online slot doesn’t cheat you. There are many rogue casino sites that have illicit practices and feature unaudited games. In order to avoid falling into their trap, you should only stick to safe, trusted, and regulated online casinos.

Bottom Line

Learning how to trick a slot machine to win has become increasingly challenging over time. Old clanky slot machines with manipulative coin chutes and reels prone to being stopped by magnets are a thing of the past. Today, they are replaced by modern machines that just don’t allow for piano wires and rods to be inserted inside.

Also, keep in mind that cheating in a casino is not only highly discouraged but could get you in a lot of trouble. The best you can hope for when getting caught red-handed is for the staff to kick you out and for the casino to blacklist you, and at worst, you can face legal consequences and jail time.

All information provided on our news.fortunecoins.com is not intended as instruction for cheating, hacking, or any unfair practices. We do not support cheating in any way. Our aim is to promote fair gameplay.

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