How to Cheat a Slot Machine with a Magnet

Author By Jacob Atkinson  Jul 1, 2019
How to Cheat a Slot Machine with a Magnet July 1, 2019" July 1, 2019 Jacob Atkinson

using a magnet on a slot machineLet’s get one thing out of the way first — cheating in online and land-based casinos is a crime. If you’re caught exploiting slots or any other casino game in order to gain an advantage, you will be prosecuted.

Now that we made this clear, let’s talk about slots and cheating, shall we?

First of all, you should understand that cheating a slot machine with a magnet is not possible anymore, as all slots are now actually computer software, and magnets cannot help in that case.

However, the old type of slot machines was once susceptible to various cheating techniques, including magnets.

There have been, and probably always will be lot of different ways that some slot cheats have gone about successfully defrauding slot machines, and sadly operators of such venues always need to try and be one stop ahead of any slot cheats.

If not then they do run the very real risk of being defrauded out of a fortune, and such is the way that slot cheats work and operate, that it is often only long after a slot machine has been defrauded that the casino operators will realise they have been ripped off.


How to Cheat a Slot Machine with a MagnetThis article is going to be taking a look at one specific way that slot cheats have gone about ripping off slot machines and that is with the use of nothing more complicated than a magnet, whilst it is now virtually impossible to rob a slot machine using a magnet at one time all slot games were vulnerable to such an attack.

If this is a topic that does interest you, then please do take a look around this website, for by doing so you are going to come across a range of additional articles that centre around slot cheats, slot scams and ways some fraudsters have defrauded a fortune from casinos over the years.

Magnets Affecting Reels — Was It Possible?

According to some casino enthusiasts, magnets could affect how reels turn, improving the chances of creating bigger wins.

Although it is theoretically possible for magnets to slow down metal reels of some very old slot machines, it was never popular. They simply did not have a strong effect on the overall chances of winning, and such attempts could easily be discovered.

Instead of using magnets, mechanical slots were susceptible to a couple of other cheating “devices” which we are going to explore later.

Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Slots at Risk

The order styled slot machines were designed in such a way that players would insert a coin and then pulled a handle on the side of the slot machines cabinet which would then send the reels spinning, and players would then be hoping to spin in a set of matching reel symbols on the pay-line.

Those original slot machines were totally mechanical devices and as the years ticket by they became electromechanical slot machines on which small motors would power the reels rather than the force used by players in pulling the handle on the side.

However, such slot machines were often designed with reels that were made out of metal and were magnetic too, and as such by placing a magnet on the slot machines screen, players could stop the reel symbols when they wanted too rather than when the reel stopped spinning automatically.

As such that way of using a magnet was used by slot cheats to slow and then stop the reels spinning and help then to line up winning combination after winning combination, and when a winning combination did spin in slot cheats would hold the magnet on the reels and then would be guaranteed of winning on the next spin and on all consecutive spins too.

Using a Magnet to Stop the Reels

It does take a lot of skill however to use a magnet to stop the reels on a winning combination, and as such one much quicker and easier way of doing so was to play a slot machine normally until such a time that a winning combination of any value spin in on the pay-line.

Once that had been achieved then players simply need to put the magnet on the glass in front of the reels, load the slot with coins and pull the handle of click on the start or spin button and the reels would then be sent spinning, but wouldn’t actually spin as the magnet locked them in place.

The slot machine would then think that another winning combination has been spun in and would pay out players for that additional win, as you can expected with each so called spin being a winning one when using a magnet it would take a slot cheat very long to empty a slot machines using this scam.

In fact, this way of cheating became so popular with slot cheaters and scam artists that slot machine developers and designers very quickly had to put into place a way that the reels could not be manipulated in this way, which they did of course manage to eventually do.

How Slot Designers Overcome Reel Manipulation

The most obvious way that slot machine designers were able to overcome slot reel manipulation with magnets was to simply make the reels out of plastic as opposed to metal, and by doing so they instantly put a stop to scamster using magnets to defraud their slot machines.

However, some scamsters also found out that it was possible to press onto the glass of a slot machine that covered the reel area and if the reels were close enough to the glass panel then they could keep the reels locked into position once a winning combination had been spun in.

The way in which slot game designers got around that problem was by adding a censor to the reels which would detect if any reel or all of them had not spun correctly, and if that censor detected such an alarm would then be sounded and the machine would lock up.

That also stopped some determined slot cheats from drilling a hole in the side of the wooden slot machine cabinet and inserting a rod through it which would stop the reels from spinning which is yet another way some people have ripped off slot machines in the past.

Online and Mobile Slot Machines Most Secure

As online and mobile casino slot machines are designed to run and operate in a completely different way it is practically impossible for any slot cheats to be able to successfully defraud those types of slot machines.

That doesn’t mean that over the years some people have tried to rip them off, but they only way that could ever be possible is by hacking into the game servers, and believe me when I tell you that isn’t something that is easy to do and online and mobile casino sites do have security teams monitoring their servers and backends too.

A Possible Magnet Cheat Scenario

Although many professional cheaters came up with numerous ways to cheat slots, magnets were not a very popular tool. Legend has it that some of them experimented with these objects which usually were small and strong magnets that were manufactured in Russia.

They were used by people who wanted to cheat on their electricity bills. Inserting one such magnet into an electric meter would affect the system and slow down the recording of spent electrical energy.

Having seen the power of those magnets, many slot lovers were attracted to the idea of using them to cheat. Yet, the only possible use they could come up with is to place them to the side of a slot machine where coins are inserted, distracting the currency validators from recognising coins. That way, the cheater would amass more coins which they could use to spin the reels.

Though interesting, this method never proved useful and was quickly debunked. Moreover, it’s not possible to use it anymore, as most coins are now electrical as well.

On the other hand, magnets were not the only thing used for cheating slots. In fact, there were other interesting tools that helped casino players improve their chances, so let’s take a look at them.

NB: These don’t work on modern-day slots, meaning you will have to find the old ones in order to test them. Even if you stumble upon the vintage slot machines, you risk being caught. If that happens (the probabilities are high), you’ll have to answer for your crimes. Therefore, we strongly advise not to use any kind of slot cheating methods or tools.

Other Popular Ways to Cheat Slots

Tommy Glenn CarmichaelAs you can notice, magnets were not that popular, nor were they useful that much — even with mechanical slots. However, people such as Tommy Glenn Carmichael (pictured), a legendary slot cheater, came up with a couple of different ideas on how to cheat slots.

The Top-Bottom Joint

Although the Top and Bottom Joint was not made by Carmichael, he was one of the first people to use it successfully when cheating in slots.

It is a simple twisted wire thingy that consisted of two parts. The guitar string piece was inserted on the bottom, and a number 9-shaped wire was inserted on top of the slot where reels are located. By creating an electrical circuit, the Top and Bottom Joint would activate the money dispenser, which would immediately activate the jackpot.

You can learn more about this cheating device in the following video:

Destination America


The Light Wand

The Light Wand was also designed and made by Carmichael. After spending five years in jail and upgrading the Top-Bottom Joint into a tool he had called the “Monkey Paw“, he discovered that the slots were suddenly not mechanical anymore. In fact, the majority of casinos started using electrical slots that were not affected by Carmichael’s previous inventions.

However, he did not give up on the idea of subduing slot machines to his will and came up with The Light Wand, a tool that was able to cheat even the electrical games. The idea behind this invention was to confuse the sensor of electrical slots by shining light into them with The Wand, making them release coins.

Carmichael did not use this for his casino adventures only. Instead, he made thousands of dollars selling the device to people who were interested in cheating slots.

Messing With the Code

Modern slots are computer-based, meaning that there are no magic wands that affect them. They are virtually impenetrable. Unless you are one of the best hackers in the world, chances that you can make an impact on the final outcome are non-existent.

Ronald Dale HarrisOne case of modern slot cheats actually happened in the 90s when a former Nevada Gaming Control Board employee Ronald Dale Harris (pictured) managed to infiltrate the source code. He was a computer programmer who was responsible for finding bugs in slots, and he used his position to modify the code.

What he did was to program slots to issue large payouts every time a specific sequence of coins was inserted. That way, he was able to cheat on dozens of slots he modified and won thousands of dollars in just two years. He was caught and spent two years in prison.

After being released, his name was written in the infamous Black Book of Nevada Gaming Control Board, meaning that he cannot play any casino games in Nevada anymore.


To sum up, it is definitely not possible to cheat slots anymore. In fact, it was never possible to do such a thing with magnets, despite the fact that there were numerous attempts (the majority of which ended up in failure).

However, there are some popular cheating tools and techniques that worked with vintage mechanical and electrical slots. But even if you obtain the Monkey Paw or the Light Wand and you find an old slot machine, you still risk being caught and prosecuted for breaking the law.

The best possible solution is to give up on trying to find a way to cheat slots. Remember — slots are games, and games are supposed to be fun. You win some — you lose some. That’s the beauty of casino games, and trying to cheat would take all the excitement out of them.


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