For as long as there have been slot machines, there have been cheats. The slot machines can represent up to 80% of a casino’s business. There can be million dollar jackpots ripening in the machines and cheats can’t wait for them to drop naturally. Cheating at slots will land you in jail, big fines and in the Las Vegas "black book", so don’t try it, but some of the stories are intriguing.

One man that lives as a legend among the cheats is Tommy Glenn Carmichael. He was excellent with engineering his own mechanical devices that would shimmy into the machine and trip the slots system and make it payout. He invented devices called, a "top-bottom joint" and "monkey paw". Tommy was caught and sentenced to jail, but returned to the casino to cheat promptly after his release.

For every cheat discovered, the manufacturers of the slots created a safety feature to prevent that cheat. The technology of the safety features has become impressive, but some of the cheats have become even simpler. An example is the mini light. To prevent a mechanical object coming into the slot machine and tripping a mechanical switch, slot machines would use an optical light sensor to trigger when to payout coins. A mini light could be flashed inside to confuse the sensor as to how many coins had been paid out.

There was a time when people could dangle a coin on a string and dip it into the machine and yank it back so that the machine would register multiple credits. This one seems a little old fashioned now with all the cameras hovering over players and casino employees watching for such things. Of course, the manufacturers have solved this one too by installing a simple safety catch so no yo-yoing allowed. Slugs, or fake coins, have been a favorite too. Modern machines use special technology that measures the weight and shape of the coin and it is near impossible to pass slugs now days.

The future of slots is in computer technology. As the gears and money move into the virtual world, the cheats will have to evolve as well. Hollywood movies give us the conspiracy theories where inside jobs are possible. A man posing as a slot machine maker installs secret cheat codes into the machine that only he knows. Tap two times this way, tap three times that way and boom, the big payout. It is possible! But casinos are betting against this. Before you cheat, know that casinos put their machines through hundreds of intense tests. They watch every move you make on the floor and will stop at nothing to put cheats in jail. Even old Tommy Carmichael turned a new leaf and works with the slots companies to provide security against creative would-be cheats.