You may not be familiar with the term “strimming” unless you are a gardener or a slot cheat! A strimmer is a device which allows gardeners to cut back the grass in their garden, and it uses a small piece of nylon wire which spins around the base of that device and thus cuts the grass.
However, that small piece of nylon wire has become a very handy tool for slot cheats over the years, for by attaching it by super glue to a coin a slot cheat could then insert it into a slot machines coin slot and manipulate the machine to give out free credits.
In fact, on some of the much older slot machines all a slot cheat had to do was cut a strip of that strimming wire and form a small loop at one end and then insert it into a coin slot and by pushing and pulling it backwards and forwards into the coin slot the wire would hit a small micro-switch which in turn would register credits on that slot machine.
As coin mechanisms became more and more advanced over the years, when a coin was inserted into them they would be able to detect the diameter of the coin, the material it was made of and also the thickness of that coin and as such would only allow genuine coins to be inserted into them to register credits.
Once the coin had been determined by the coin mechanism to be a real coin a small shutter would open allowing the coin to pass through a light sensor and when it did the slot machine would then register the correct number of credits.
By attaching a real coin to the strimming wire the coin mechanism would accept the coin but as soon as it has passed the light sensor and had credited the slot machine with credits the slot cheat would then pull the coin back out which was easy to do as it was attached to the strimming wire, which being made of nylon would not be detected by the coin checking sensors!
Slot machine manufacturers did soon latch onto this cheating device and have, since they became aware of them, continued to update and evolve the way in which the coin mechanisms work and operate, however it is something of an ongoing battle as slot cheats are continually dreaming up more and more ways to defraud the coin mechanism into giving out free credits.
Whilst the very latest slot machines do have highly advanced coin mechanisms in place, there are still plenty of older slot machines that have slot mechanisms on them which are still very vulnerable to some of the simplest methods of defrauding them.
One of the benefits of the ticket in and ticket out slot machine payment systems is that they have done away with the coin mechanisms all together and as such players can no longer use coins to play slot machines with, just banknotes and those payment vouchers.