Probability Study: Can You Use Math to Hack Casino Slots?

Slot machines and online slots use different software features to generate the lines. The central systems are Hit Frequency, Random Number Generator, and Variance. Can they be hacked? 

The short answer is no. The long answer explains below the characteristics of slots and the chances you have to hack the system with math.

Random Number Generator

A random result is a blind choice between at least two things. When you roll a dice and flip a coin, you will get unexpected results generated to solve a question. When you have to choose between multiple answers, you need an algorithm to help. This algorithm that produces the results decides what kind of line you get. 

The algorithm is complex and creates multiple possible results. The land-based casinos also have to consider outside factors such as surface tension, force, speed, and friction. Online slots use a Pseudorandom Number Generator that does the same thing. It runs a seed or a value through a complicated algorithm and creates multiple possible results.

Variance/Volatility

The volatility of slots is the thing that keeps people interested. This feature tells you how frequently you are likely to win. There are two possible types of variance: high and low. 

If you play a slot game that doesn’t land on winning combinations too often, then you are playing a high-variance slot machine. These games can reach triple or even more times your initial bet. If you gamble on a device that payout frequent, but small amounts of money, then you’re wagering a low-variance game.

Hit Frequency

Hit Frequency is the percentage that tells you how many times you can win within a specific number of spins. For example, let’s say that an online slot game has a hit frequency of 20%. If you play 1000 times, you win 200 times out of the total. 

The problem is that you can’t find this data quickly. Not a single slot machine or online game will tell you the hit frequency at the begging of your game. Software providers see this disclosure as negative marketing because not all slots have the same win rate. Because of this percentage difference, players will most likely engage in higher-rated games and will not try other ones.

Special Cases

Extra rotations on slots can either come as opportunities offered by casinos, or they can be a particular feature of the slot game itself. The real question is: do they influence the RTP, and should you include them in your calculations?

What’s the RTP?

Return to Player is the essential part for every gambler. There are two kinds of RTPs, theoretical and real. 

The first one, the theoretical RTP, is the percentage that the online or offline casino will theoretically pay you back over time, depending on your bets. The second one is the amount the machine or game will pay. They are both approximately close to one another, but you might see a 3-4% difference in some cases.

Methods used throughout history to hack slot machines

Today cheating with classic methods it’s nearly impossible, but two or three decades ago, cheating at slots could do it. Creative players and hackers invented or used different types of objects to trick the slots and win.

Fake Coins

Last century, cheaters would counterfeit coins and use them to play slots. Some were caught sooner than others because the coins were not similar, but there is one example that remains in the history of fake coins. 

His name was Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio, and he started counterfeit money around 1990. He did this so well that the casino employees could not tell the difference between the fake and the actual coins. Only experts could. He spent lots of time in jail and could not put a foot into a casino after they discovered his illegal activities.

Magnets

Years ago, people tried to hold magnets on the slot machine. They put the magnet on the device when the high-valued symbols land on the pay line. This method was not highly effective because they needed large magnets, which was an issue. After all, the security could spot them easily.

Light Wand

The Light Wand is an invention by Tommy Glenn Carmichael, a well-known hacker. This hacking invention was inserted into the coin payout mechanism. It covered the optical sensor, so the machine couldn’t know how much money it released when the player won. 

Tommy Glenn used this method to empty the slot machines with the first small win he claimed.

Using math in online casino games

Playing online is more comfortable and easy and comes with lower pressure. You get to take your time, and you can choose multiple options, Live Casino gambling or just casual playing. Some casino games use math, and some can even be hacked with math. 

You can see the risks you’re about to face if you use math. These risks depend on the game, the variant, the number of players, and other factors.

Blackjack

Blackjack’s origins are unknown, but it is assumed that it was born in France in the 18th century. It’s famous for its simplicity and short list of rules. If you want to play it in a serious manner, you have to use math. 

You can determine the probability of a Blackjack, of a total of 20, or any other sum. You can even calculate the chances of having a better hand than the dealer. 

In this game, you can also understand your advantage by seeing the ratio of 10 points cards. In 1960, Edward Thorp calculated and came up with a strategy based on card counting. There are 16 cards with 10 points each and the other 36 cards. Dividing 36 by 16, we have a result of 2.25, so the ratio at the begging of the game is less than 2.25. If many picture cards are in the deck, the player has a better chance of winning. 

Roulette

Even though it is considered a game of luck, Roulette has many strategies based on math and calculus. The method you might want to consider is a combination of money management and playing techniques. The most famous one is the Martingale System.

Final thoughts: Is it worth it?

Is it worth staying up late and learning math algorithms and calculating probabilities? It might be if you are really determined and passionate about math, but if you just want to hack the system once for big money, it is not worth it. 

Some decades ago, maybe things were more accessible. Perhaps you could remember the cards or see if the dealers were shuffling the cards poorly and take advantage of that. Now casinos use the latest and most sophisticated technologies and robots. It is almost impossible to hack the system, win big, and never be caught.

In fact, most people who took the chance and won big prizes by using mathematical strategies or building machines cannot set foot inside a casino after that.