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Rigging and Cheating Slot Machines
Video poker and slot machines are the most profitable casino games around. The houses make more money from them than all their table games put together. But the casinos are not the only ones who earn money off these machines, or try to. So do some cheaters and thieves who think they can outsmart the casinos.
There are several ways to try to make money off slots:
Advantage Playing Slot Machines
Advantage playing is not really cheating. But it may involve manipulating the weaknesses in a slot machine's design in order to win. For example, fruit machines in the United Kingdom may have a predictable payout time. An advantage player can just wait for the time when he or she thinks the machine will "give" and then play it.
Another example of advantage playing involves slots with progressive jackpots. Multiple players team up and play the networked machines until one of them yields the jackpot.
Advantage playing, while not illegal, is frowned on by the casinos for obvious reasons.
Cheating Slot Machines
There are various ways of cheating slot machines. These range from subtle playing tactics to brute physical methods. One example of cheating is not using a feature as expected. Say, two symbols are on the line and one does not use a nudge offer to put a third symbol in place. This is meant to confuse the machine until it has to pay out money to reset itself.
Players can also cheat the slots by inserting fake coins. This lets them play for free or at lower rates. Cheaters can also use foreign objects such as clothes hangers and lights to confuse a machine so that it cannot keep track of its payouts.
Rigging Slot Machines
Rigging is different from cheating. A rigged machine has been tampered with "from the inside." For this to happen, the programmer or manufacturer of the slot machine must be in on it. They may program the machine so that it pays out after you play in a certain way, or make certain options. With video poker, you may have to hold on to certain cards and discard others. With slots, you may have to insert coins or bet in a particular way. In either case, the result is the same: frequent and generous payouts.
Sounds good, but casinos get wind of such things eventually. They not only throw the criminals in jail; they also redesign the slots and video poker machines to correct the rigging.