Video poker bug yielded huge jackpots--over and over again


I read that article in my magazine yesterday. I still don’t understand why the Casinos didn’t pull the machine the moment it cropped up as a statistical anomaly. If you have it pay out unusually high jackpots more then a 2-3 weeks in a row, I would have thought that it was a red flag that either something was wrong with the machine, or it was being exploited some how.

I’m also torn on how they came down on those two guys. Yeah, in a way it was cheating. But they didn’t hack anything. They didn’t change anything in the machine. It used their stock software. The fact they found a way to cause a bug to replicate doesn’t feel like a crime to me.


This article is gone? I’d like to read it.

@Mister44 - not having read the article, I’m confused by the their in “It used their stock software.” Is that referring to machine-manufacturer/casino, or is it referring to “those two guys” who are part of the machine manufacturer?

If the latter, and they had a hand in coding the product, discovered a bug, and took advantage of it, then, yeah, I’d see a pretty big problem. Not sure of the legal implications, but horribly unethical.

The two guys didn’t do anything to the software. The bug came from the manufacturer and was missed by them and the gaming commission who reviews and approves all gaming machines. They were just users who found the bug.

The article did mention a case of a guy who worked either for one of the companies or the gaming commission who added code to the EPROMS and then he could access jackpots via a secret code, like the Konami code. That’s a different boat, IMHO.

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On vacation this summer, the wee ones were playing in “the blue store”, the arcade next door. Their get-enough-points-for-tickets skills looked good in comparison to mine, so when I discovered that one of the ball-drop machines let you just pull tickets out of it, I pulled and pulled until I felt sufficiently guilty about it. And then I cashed in the 150 tickets we had won over the week, and the 1200 tickets we had just “earned.”

The wife was not pleased with the crappy loot we brought home.

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