We’d all be overjoyed if we became multi-millionaires overnight with little to no effort. You have most assuredly daydreamed of what your life would look like if you had a credit card with an infinite amount of money on it.
There are probably countless things that you’d like to try and dozens of places you’d like to visit. You can also try free pokies apps. Although we would all have different ideas on how to spend our fortune, one thing is certain — none of us would work a day in our lives if money wasn’t an issue.
That’s all well and good, but hacking slot machines isn’t how you’ll get there. If anything, the only place you’d end up if you hacked your way to fortune is a holding cell. But I’m sure you’re well-acquainted with the illegality and immorality of this endeavor.
So let’s shift the argument to whether hacking online slots is possible in the first place. The obvious prerequisite is enormous programming knowledge and skills. Even then, however, you do not have access to the original programming code, so it would be next-to-impossible to hack an online slot machine.
Due to their very nature and the fact that these slots exist in an online environment, cheating them into spewing out piles of cash is a bit more sophisticated than using a monkey paw, a guitar string, or playing with fake coins.
Does that mean nothing can be done? Well, not exactly. What you can do, at least in theory, is reverse-engineer the Pseudo Random Number Generator.
TRUE RNG vs. Pseudo-Random RNG
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, I must first talk a bit about the different types of random number generators online slot machines employ. The main two types are TRUE RNG and Pseudo-Random Number Generator.
A TRNG aims to provide a truly random outcome of each game (spin). Let me give you an example; an oversimplified one, but it will help illustrate the point. Say a TRNG operates with a string of numbers between 1 and 1,000. Each time you hit that “SPIN” button, the algorithm pulls a number from the string at random.
If the number is between 550 and 1,000, you win. In all other cases, you lose. That’s where the house edge of the casino comes from — there are slightly more losing combinations than there are the winning ones. The catch, however, is that most of the winning combinations (roughly 80%) won’t even pay out the initial bet amount. To win big, you need to match the most lucrative symbols on a particular slot.
That said, most RNGs in contemporary slots aren’t truly random. In fact, they leverage a specific formula which can be “cracked” to more or less accurately predict the outcomes. These are Pseudo-Random Number Generators.
What’s the Difference and How Do Pseudo-Random Number Generators Work?
The main difference between TRNG and PRNG is that pseudo-random ones rely on a “seed” to pull the string of numbers. In other words, they have a starting point from which they apply a series of complex mathematical equations to determine the result of the spin.
It’s precisely this pseudo-randomness that leaves slot machines vulnerable to attacks by rackers. Be that as it may, hacking a PRGN slot is no easy feat. You’d still need some critical information from the device itself before you can even attempt to attack it.
Reverse-engineering the PRNG requires you to fully decipher the algorithm and somehow figure out the machine’s seed. The seed is the initial integer that the developers determine during the slot’s creation and insert into the game’s algorithm. It is the starting point of the algorithm’s mathematical operations. Knowing it and the exact coding of the algorithm would theoretically enable you to “hack” the machine.
The trouble, however, is that this information is nearly impossible to find. Software developers and online casinos take the integrity of casino games very seriously. Therefore, the seed and the algorithm of slot games are both protected behind several layers of encryption.
So you’d need a full team of competent and experienced mathematicians and programmers to figure these things out. Not to mention the time and energy the process would take. You would most likely have to play a particular slot for hours, if not days, until the algorithm completes a full cycle. Moreover, you would need to create a program that would write down every possible combination that comes out.
Has This Ever Been Done Successfully?
Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Over the past two decades, there have been multiple teams that preyed in land-based casinos and targeted “vulnerable” slots. They would send someone to scout out the machines, record how they play, and send back footage for analysis.
After analyzing the footage, the team in the “white van” would tell the people on site what the optimal time to play a particular game is. A Russian hacker named Alex has pulled this off quite a few times and has earned himself a fortune. He weaseled his way out of trouble by escaping the country, but if he ever stepped foot on U.S. soil, he would immediately get arrested for these frauds.
Regardless, our topic here is hacking online slots. Some inventive fraudsters have come up with a way to guarantee bonus rounds on certain slots. It involves installing bug-firmware in the player’s PC. Supposedly, it overrides the game’s Cyclic Redundancy Check — the code whose job is to detect and report errors in unmatching data circulation.
Once active, the firmware triggers a combination of symbols that awards free games and/or bonuses. The trouble, however, is that the results are artificial. In other words, they do not match what’s registered on the casino’s server. If you get greedy and give them a reason to check your play session, it will be blatantly obvious that you’ve cheated. It goes without saying that the casino will never pay you and will most likely perma-ban you.
Casinos Have Upped Their Defenses
Ever since slot machines first saw the light of day, people all over the world have tried to come up with all kinds of slot cheats. From yo-yo strings to computer chips, slot hacks have only been moderately successful. Even so, casinos were always quick to catch up on all the different ways in which gamblers attempted to cheat the system, so to speak.
As a result, they have seriously upped their defenses. And I’m not just talking about advanced encryptions. Since PRNG proved to be vulnerable, software developers have gone a step further and have started applying a stream cypher to their algorithm. Without going too much into details on the programming side, this cypher periodically changes the seeds.
This makes it infinitely more difficult to uncover the inner workings of a particular slot’s algorithm. It’s not only that there are far more options and calculations to be made, but there’s also the fact that hackers would need to figure out how, when, and in which order the seeds change.
They have also started employing advanced security measures that would instantly detect any interference with the software. Those casinos that have been the direct “victims” of these frauds have even become slightly paranoid.
The end result is that, on top of these security measures, they’ve tightened up their Terms and Conditions; so much so that they void any winnings and wipe accounts if they even suspect something’s off. Many honest players, totally oblivious to these hacks have, therefore, had their legitimate winnings confiscated when playing online.
So what’s the verdict?
As you can see, casino hacking has done more harm than good in the past. It has forced online casinos to adopt rather strict defense mechanisms. These can often negatively affect casual players who are merely looking for a bit of fun online.
So rather than browsing for ways to “cheat your way to fame,” I would strongly suggest adopting a fundamentally different attitude towards online slots. They have never been and never will be a reliable way to earn money. Slots are a form of entertainment. Therefore, you should play them primarily for fun.
You’ll win some, and you’ll lose some. In the end, it all comes down to luck. And that’s the beauty of slots — the randomness of the outcome. What gives us that thrill isn’t knowing or hoping that we will win. It’s the possibility that the next spin will be the big win we’re hoping for.
So forget about hacking and cheating, it won’t do you any good. It’s way too much trouble, and the casino will likely catch you sooner rather than later. Although the consequences might not be severe, you’ll still get a permanent ban from the casino at the very least.
Moreover, the vast majority of casinos reserve the right to share your credentials with all other casinos in their group as well as on forums online. So if you push it too far, you may no longer be able to enjoy this form of entertainment online at all.