From Entertainment

Creative Slot Scams in History

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Throughout history, since casinos have existed, people have always wanted to break the house. Some try to so it by try to boil down the perfect strategy or strategies to beat the house at their own games. Others have tried to do things more on the illegal side. The vast majority of those ended up in prison. Nonetheless the threat of prison did not seem to stop some people from trying their luck on cheating luck. The majority of the cheaters would go for table games; these are the easiest to manipulate, right? Well, a small group decided that the table games were not the best option. You would not think that slot machines are the best bet for cheating, but the idea dwelled in the heads of a few people. Let us just quickly say that we at Prism do not condone this kind of activity. These kinds of things are just interesting to read about.



This little technique is most definitely the granddaddy of all techniques. All other techniques were born from this one. It is the most primitive and simplistic scam ever. Even Donald Duck’s nephew tried it in 1949. The contraption is nothing more than a string attached to a coin. The cheater ties the string around the coin and drops the coin into the machine until the machine registers the credit. Then you simply yank out the coin with the string and do it again. That yo-yo action is where the technique gets its name, obviously, and that technique does not work anymore, obviously.

Coin Shaving


No, it’s not like coins used to have hair. Coin shaving used to be a technique for tricking slot machines, which was very similar to the yo-yo trick. The advancement of technology put optic verification sensors into slot machines. This was supposed to be to prevent scammers from scamming the slot machines. They ended up simply giving rise to a new way to scam. The sensor was turned on itself with this strange trick. Intrepid cheaters found that if a coin was shaved slightly around the edge, the optic sensor would register it as a normal coin, but when the coin reached the machine’s comparator mechanism, the machine would toss the coin out the bottom because of a slight weight discrepancy. So you could pull the coin out, so to speak, without using a string.

Fake Coins


The next step up from shaved coins was definitely way simpler and obvious: use fake coins that would resemble real ones enough to mark the credit and get the reels spinning. We could call this something like “coin laundering”. Using a coin pressing machine, Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio pressed counterfeit slot machine coins out of metal. These fake coins were very well done and passed for real coin all over Connecticut and New Jersey.

The Monkey’s Paw


Tommy Glenn Carmichael used to be one of the greatest slot scammers of all time. He was arrested in the mid-80s and was sentenced to five years in prison. When he got out and wanted to go back to his scamming game, machines had changed drastically. He then needed to revamp his scamming tool. He figured out that the machines had a switch that released the coin hopper. He came up with contraption that was basically a guitar string or piano string attached to a bent metal rod. Carmichael would jam it into the machine through an air vent and feel around for the switch. When he had it, he would flick it and the coins would come pouring out.

There have been plenty others that have beaten slot machines with different contraptions and methods. These are just a few. Again, We do not condone these activities as they are illegal and will land you in jail. Besides, they do not work anymore since slot technology has evolved greatly since those days. We invite you to just have fun playing our online slots here at Prism!

Gemma Sykes

Gemma is not only a great game player who enjoys casino halls, she is also a great jazz dancer. She has a very keen interest in the way things work, her curiosity got her a job on online gambling industry as a writer. Always looking for new and fun ways to do things and still have time for the spotlight.