Atlantic City Weekly Addresses the Question; Can You Cheat the Slot Machines?

Written by:
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Published on:
Jun/20/2018
Anyone who enters a gambling casino to try their luck on real money slots or plays online slot machines at an Internet casino is looking for any edge they can find to come out a winner. When it comes to “cheating” a slot machine, that is a whole other matter.
 
In a recent post by John Grochowski for Atlantic City Weekly’s website, he addressed the question of cheating the slot machines in a very interesting Q&A format.  The actual question in this post was posed as follows: “I heard a story about a player in Canada who figured out that the random number generator (for slot machines) would start at the same point every day and that patterns would reoccur. He won a lot of money betting when the winners would come up. If I went to the casino the first thing every morning, would the slots just repeat the previous day’s patterns?”
 

John’s answer was obviously No, since today’s random number generators do not function that way. His actual answer addressed an issue with a keno machine from well over two decades ago. A player in Montreal figured out that the same numbers were repeating everyday following a system reboot early in the morning. He did go on to win two big jackpots before the casino shut down that game.

Today’s slot machines rely on a complicated mathematical algorithm that is used to calculate the numbers. The trick to making everything random is the starting seed number. John pointed out that if the machine would happen to use the same seed number following a reboot, the calculations would get off to the same start each time.  Going back to the issue in Montreal in the early 1990’s, the quick solution was to leave the random number generator running at all times. Today’s technology knows how to change the seed number upon every system reboot.
 
John goes onto to add that with today’s slot machines, the rate of play would also impact the random number generators even if two machines started with the same seed number. The differences in timing and the spinning of the numbers would give you different results. There are also different entry points to a machine’s algorithm such as whether you push a button, touch the screen or pull a handle to start play. All three could provide a different seed number to start the random number generator. This does not mean that real money gamblers have not tried to “cheat” the machines. As late as 2017, a group of Russian engineers were caught reverse-engineering the random number generator’s code to acquire information that could be relayed to players in American casinos.
 

The bottom line is that even if you would make multiple trips to casinos to play real money slots at locations that did reboot their machines, you would not be able to recognize any noticeable pattern that would give you an added edge against the house.  There is a reason why real money slots at mobile casinos as well as online slot machines generate billions of dollars of revenue each year for the gambling industry.

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