The classic “one-armed bandits” in the literal sense of the word are no longer exist (well, there are some in museums, maybe) — so a slot has no levers and wheels, only a button for starting and a screen on which the rotation of the reels is emulated. The evolution of slots — from mechanical machines with indecently modest payouts to complex video slots that distribute multi-million jackpots — took almost 130 years. It is noteworthy that fame did not immediately come to the slots: in the early 80s, they were jokingly called “sleeping beauties” of the gambling business, but already in the 90s, the share of slots in the total casino income was almost 60%.
Not the last role in the popularization of slots was played by the invention of the American company YGT which invented the progressive jackpot: the system makes it possible to combine all the winnings and bets of the slot network around the world.
All slot owners received a steady income, but some did not lose their desire to earn more and faster, so the cases of fraud on the part of casinos caused a lot of unpleasant noise in their time. Ahead of your “I knew it!” exclamation, we note that the players also did not remain in debt — the rich imagination of some craftsmen was limitless: the slots were physically cracked, the firmware was changed, bugs and malfunctions were used, the casino associates were invited to join... In addition, do not forget that for a really rich casino it is not profitable to steal from customers because reputation in the gambling industry is worth a lot.
And the undeclared war of casino owners and disgruntled customers was often very dramatic. In the 40s of the last century, in the United States, a secret five-year "temp boys" war swept the country, when in no way connected groups of fraudsters almost simultaneously learned how to cheat slots regularly. According to unconfirmed data, the casino owners lost $500 million then, yet not one “lucky man” was buried secretly in the desert or made a cripple. It was then that the legends about the possibility of fooling the almighty RNG were born. But the terrible secret of fast enrichment in a casino turned out to be in fact the banal result of someone's observation, and it was difficult to implement in practice. The temp boys found out that if you pull the slot handle to the nearest second, then the slot can repeat the previous combination. It sounds simple, it is difficult to implement, there are no guarantees — but someone dared and became richer, causing fear among casino owners and undermining the unshakable institutions, and such rumors gave birth to a spark of hope in the hearts of many seekers of easy money.
In fact, the slot machine mechanics themselves were the cause of the colossal losses of casinos across the country: at that time, the set of slot reels mounted on one axis acted as a random number generator. When lowering the handle of the slot, the spring triggering the spinning of the reel axis was released. At the same time, the mechanical timer worked, which in turn stopped all the reels in the slot. Someone noticed that during the first 13-15 seconds after the reels stopped, the timer remains off, and if you pull the handle again, then all the reels can spin in a fixed position. It is clear that there were no guarantees, but the probability of losing was reduced to an unthinkable 20%. With the right skill and good calculation, one could hit more than one big win.
The story ended with the design of the slots changed and the timer started to run as a separate random number generator, setting the trigger range in the interval from a fraction to 15 seconds. The casino owners relaxed, and some adventurers were left without regular earnings.
Dennis Sean McAndrew Story
But the loudest story of physical interference with slots is the Denis Nikresh story (known by the alias Dennis Sean McAndrew). This guy is the most famous. The security services of the best casinos in Nevada chased him for 15 years, and he managed to “earn” tens of millions of dollars during this time. Nikresh started cracking slots in the 70s, before that, he had successful robberies of small jewelry stores, but as it turned out, it’s more profitable to engage in slots than jewelry stores.
The guy managed to bypass the mechanical protection of slot machines. Nikresh worked so neatly that the casino security services did not always notice an unplanned “cleaning” of the cash register. Direct intervention in the work of the RNG after opening the slot gave Denis increased “chances” for a big hit. Later, he expanded his company and brought several assistants to work. In the late 70s, the guy first got into hacking slots, but only in 1986, he went to prison on this charge (a large scam with tens of millions in Los Angeles became the reason for his imprisonment). He was released early, in 1991. During his imprisonment, the slots became more secure and it became much more difficult to crack them, but... who wants, he will always find a way. And Nikresh really wanted and therefore added a few more zeros to his capital. In the 1998th, in the course of a major fraud of $17 million, the accomplices handed Nikresh to the feds. He made a deal with the authorities and thus shortened his term, but since then this man has been blacklisted in all gambling houses. By the way, his money was never found...
Modern slots are equipped with multi-level and serious protection, they are much harder to crack, therefore, the intellectual and software hacking of modern slots is still on the agenda. But adventurers try and, most likely, will try.
Legal Methods of Winning at Slots
After the foregoing, you involuntarily ponder, is it not easier to win by legal means? In principle, it is possible, but the chances of winning will be lower than with illegal methods, but there are no complaints from the law.
All working legal methods of increasing the chances of winning in slots are reduced to the selection of the best offers from honest casinos and well-thought-out bankroll management. Although there are still players who are sure that many popular slots in the network have their own bugs, and if luck does not protect them, then an error will help them to win.
At this point, decide for yourself whether it is worth hoping for a system error or not.
As an example of one of the proven strategies of the game, we propose to consider “Umbrella”. Formally, this strategy outwardly really resembles an umbrella — a symmetrical arc with a peak top. First, the player is invited to choose a schedule for the bets on the algorithm: the minimum bets at the start — a gradual increase — a decrease to starting bets. The external simplicity of the approach to the game with close examination reveals all its versatility. The advantage of this strategy is that it suits players with absolutely any bankroll and style. It is better to think over the betting algorithm in advance and, if desired, write it out on a piece of paper.
The principle of the strategy: the first bet is the minimum, then a gradual increase to the maximum, then the same gradual decrease to the minimum. Everyone chooses the betting step independently, based on his own game style:
- aggressive “1-2-3-4-4-5-5-5-5-4-4-3-2-1”;
- conservative “1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2-3-3-3-4-4-5-4-4-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-1-1-1-1-1”;
- moderate “1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-3-4-4-4-5-5-4-4-4-3-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1”.
If a person is used to playing aggressively, then his schedule is shorter and he spends more time on large rather than small bets.
When scheduling bets, you should focus on the size of your bankroll and create a small margin, because playing for luck is not recommended. Such a thoughtful schedule will facilitate your decision-making and protect you from thoughtlessly large losses.
Please note that the size of the bet must necessarily be smoothly shifted from the minimum to the maximum and back. Impulsive, random bets will nullify the whole strategy.
Many players come up with similar betting strategies intuitively, after long-term experimentation with bankroll management. Like all existing progressive systems, Umbrella does not give a 100% guarantee of success, but protects against rash decisions, cares about the safety of your bankroll and thus gives you more chances and time to win that precious million.