Fake Coins: Drop the coin to the machine.
Cheating at a casino used to be easier. And even with heightened security, new technology, and a better educated security force, modern casinos still get ripped off from time to time. Think of how much cash the MIT blackjack team made over the years. When slots were just mechanical machines without a computer brain, there were plenty of ways to withdraw some cash without putting any in.
It was a piece of steel with a claw like hook on one end. It was meant to be stuck in the payout chute and pushed up to the coin release door. You may have heard of shaving coins before. This was another tactic for cheating the slot machines. There are as many as 3 million slot machines in brick and mortar casinos across the world. According to estimates, gaming establishments in Nevada alone have had to bear a loss of millions of dollars every year as a result of slot machine cheating.
This is one of the reasons why modern casinos have surveillance cameras covering every inch of the place. A big casino can have around 5, slot machines or more and continuously monitoring all the machines may not be possible. This provides an opening for slot cheats to try their luck. Slot machine cheaters have tried a number of different techniques in an effort to make big money, these include:.
This was one of the oldest methods used by cheaters to trick slot machines. The concept was simple. Cheaters used to attach a string to a coin before inserting it into the slot machine. After the machine registered that a coin has been inserted, the person used to simply pull out the coin using the string taped to it.
Because of the yo-yo like action of dropping the coin and pulling it back up, this method is also called yo-yo method. Some cheats have tried using this same trick with bills as well. They would attach a string to a bill instead of a coin before dropping it into the slot machine and pull it out once the money was registered.
The problem with this method was that it involved a visible string coming out of the coin slot, which would be difficult to justify for the fraudster. Since the discovery of yo-yo method, the slot machines have been modified to ensure that the coins once dropped into the machine can not be pulled out.
The device was inserted into a slot machine through the payout outlet and used to tamper with the coin counter to cause overpayment. Such devices, when inserted into the machine, could generate fake signals so that credit would be registered without any coins being inserted. This enabled the cheater to play without making any payment or make money simply by cashing out. Today most casinos use highly sophisticated machines that cannot be tampered with such devices. This was another popular method of cheating at slots used by fraudsters in olden days.
The cheats realized that if they shaved off a tiny bit of a coin and dropped such coin in a slot machine, the coin would be registered, but it would be rejected and discharged. This meant that the person could keep using the same coin again and again to add credit just like the coin and string method, but without the disadvantage of a visible string sticking out. In order to avoid such cheating, many casinos started using tokens instead of coins in their slot machines. But cheaters have tried the same trick with tokens as well i.
Slot machine cheaters are a colorful bunch, but the Godfather of all slot machine cheaters was Tommy Glenn Carmichael. In , Carmichael began his career as a slots cheat. He was 30 years old. Cheating at gambling is a serious crime, so Carmichael served time. When he was released, he invented and used new devices to cheat. He even posed as a customer so that a slot machine manufacturer would show him how the insides of these new computer-powered games worked.
Not only did he use the Light Wand to make profits cheating at slots, he sold the gadget to other cheaters. Of course, he was eventually caught and served more time.
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