There are two types of people in this world, honest people and dishonest people. Honest people know that the joy to slots is winning once in a while, which repays the player for their patience. There are others, however, that want to manipulate the game so that they can profit from it, even if it means using dishonest methods. Here are some methods that people have used in the past, but their rate of success is hard to gauge.

The Monkey Paw

The first device that is discussed is the Monkey Paw, which was designed by Tommy Glenn Carmichael. His name is very well known among cheaters, because he basically made it famous. The Monkey Paw was a small device that triggered a payout mechanism in the machine, allowing the cheater to walk out with large amounts of money. This method has since been stopped since new machines are computerized.

Coat Hangers

While not as elegantly crafted as the Monkey Paw, a coat hanger could be bent so that it would confuse the computer in the slot machine, preventing it from making correct calculations. This method could only be used on older machines, and it was very obvious from the outside. Most people did not use the method and those who did usually ended up getting caught.

Coins on a String

This method is very basic and has been used on both slot machines and game devices alike. The player essentially tricks the machine into thinking that credit has been deposited and the player then pulls the money back out and starts playing their game. Since this method has been around for so long, most slot machines now have a device that keeps coins from coming back out of the slot to prevent this type of cheating.

Miniature Lights

The final method that will be discussed is cheating with miniature lights. As slot machines started to advance, the trip switches were removed to keep physical devices from reaching them. To fight this method of protection, cheaters used lights that would overload the sensors inside the machine. Much like the Monkey Paw, this would cause the machine to overload and start dispensing coins. Of course, this method is also being stopped at many casinos as slot machine builders continue to make better devices.


This list was not created to promote cheating, but to provide a historical perspective on some of the methods used when cheating on slots. Be aware that cheating on a machine can lead to arrests or even prison time if caught. Learn from the mistakes of others and play slots just for the thrill of the game, not to cheat and make a profit.