Russians Design a Hack to Win at Slots
A new clever way to beat some slot machines has been developed by Russian engineers and put into practice at US casinos. The casinos have caught up with what is going on and do not look upon it favourably. What it does prove is that there are weaknesses that can be exploited in the way slot machines work.
As the story goes, back in 2009 Russia outlawed most gambling and slot machines were sold cheaply. A certain organization in St Petersburg got a hold of some of these machines and analyzed the computer programing for vulnerabilities. Read the full Russian engineered slot machine cheat story at Wired Magazine, continue to find out what advantages this has for you.
Where Were The Casinos Located?
They used this hack to win money across Europe and the United States, South America and Asia from 2011 onwards.
The main case deals with casinos targeted in Lake Charles, Riverboat Casinos in Missouri and Western Illinois, California and Las Vegas in The United States. Other areas were Romania, Singapore, Peru and Macau.
How Did it Work?
The vulnerability at its heart comes from the random number generator, which is a human made algorithm, and is a pseudo random number generator. Because it is human made it is somewhat predictable, since we can understand the equation and the probability of outcomes.
The screen of the game lets the player see the state of the machine through the video it displays. The Russians were able to use a phone and a computer lab in Russia to analyse the image patterns and when to stop the reels within a quarter second.
This shows that there are patterns in the spinning symbols that are predictive of the outcome of the game. These outcomes are time sensitive, meaning that it matters when you hit the stop button to stop the reels from spinning.
Mobile phones were used with the cameras to record the video state of the game. Data was transferred to a remote location for processing before the player would return with his phone vibrating when to spin the reels. The phones were at first held in front of the games and later hidden in pockets with the screen visible from the camera.
The recordings of the video was likely analysed for flashing lights, animations or the sate of symbols in the spinning reels. The video was likely analysed in slow motion to look for patterns relating to the state of the game.
What Casino Slots Were Targeted?
Novomatic Slots were also targeted in eastern Europe and Peru using the Coolfire game case with games like the Book of Ra.
Casino winnings were kept small usually at under $1000 per win. This is likely to both keep the players under the radar from casino security who would not look upon this kindly. Players would work in teams of 3-4 and collectively make over a quarter of a million dollars a week.
What About Online Casinos?
At this point in time it is unknown whether online casinos were affected by the hack, if they were there is no news of it yet. Online casino slots are similar to the casino slot machines but rely on different processors which will change the timing of the spins.
It is likely that the people who engineered the cheat stuck to the machines that they knew as slight variations in the timing would turn a winner into a loser.
Is This Legal?
While very hard to prove by a casino it seems that the cat may have been let out of the bag by a stitch who believed that his number was up. The legality, does of corse vary by jurisdiction and so do the penalties. It is known that some of the perpetrators have been caught.
The real big threat is that this does not bode well for a casinos fortunes and they will at a minimum have those caught banned and certainly pursue legal retribution even if it does not come to fruition.
The hack is on going and it looks to reveal a weakness in many slot machines and is hard to fix, or expensive to replace outdated slot machines.
What Can Be learnt From This?
- The first thing is that older slot machines are easier to predict than newer ones. Newer models have more complicated number generators that make them more difficult to predict.
- Hitting the spin button at various times depending on the game state can generate various outcomes. Games that have flashing buttons or moving animations give away information on what state the game is in.
- The games have different modes and payout at different times depending on what mode it’s in. This is consistent with some slots streaking going either hot or cold, timing of hitting the buttons varies on the mode of the game.
- Hitting the spin button to stop the reels can have an effect on your winnings. It does give an overall advantage to stop the reels vs letting them stop on their own.
- The gamble button is present on both Novomatic and Aristocrat casino slots, use the timing of the flashing lights to your advantage.
- With the player ready to spin at a split seconds notice it is likely that each spin was random but with the pattern
What Slot Strategies are Best?
- Look for patterns in flashing lights of the game and plan your spins to a point in time within the flashing.
- Try varying your timing between spins for short (1-5 seconds) medium (5-20 seconds) and long (20+ second spins)
- Play older slot machines that have simpler random number generators, the overall number of outcomes is smaller and easier to win.
- Play for smaller amounts while you learn the game.
- Do not use autoplay or autospin features as there is no technical advantage to this.
- Do play the same slot game for long periods and over multiple sessions to get use to the patterns.
- Do use the gamble feature as it may be the easiest to sync your timing with.
How Do I Take Advantage of This Opportunity?
This is a fantastic chance for you to hit it rich by taking what you have learnt about slot machines from this situation and using it to help you win more money at online casinos. Play at the best real money slots games with the best odds of winning at our carefully selected high payout online casinos.
Can you think of more ways that this can put the casino games to your advantage? Please write it in the comments below.
Cheers until next time and good luck playing online casino slots.