Calculated Cheapskate

When a man named David Phillips was doing some light reading (on the back of a microwaveable dinner), he discovered an intriguing cross promotion. The company (Healthy Choice) was offering 1,000 miles for every ten bar codes submitted. The catch lies in the fact that Healthy Choice put bar codes on all their products (including individual servings of pudding). So what did David do? He went around and bought up shit-loads of pudding of course. He spent nearly $2,000 buying out countless supermarkets. In all, he purchased over twelve-hundred pudding packs, and as a result, acquired 1.25 million miles. But did David stop there? Fuck no. He got most of his light work taken care of by the salvation army, who collected the bar codes for him after he charitably donated the pudding packs (getting an $800 tax deduction). Needless to say that David and his family have been flying on Healthy Choice’s dime for years. He is now a lifetime member of American Airlines, enjoying a suite of perks and benefits.

Cheapskate At The Arcade

You could be a snot-nosed kid at Chuck E. Cheese’s or a full grown man-child at Dave & Buster’s, but regardless of your age and social status, those shitty arcade prizes are simply irresistible. You might be under the misconception that only Skee-Ball masters and b-ballers have what it takes to win the mother load. However, with the right approach, even a buffoon among bozos could finagle enough tickets for that big-ass stuffed animal. When using an older machine, don’t just yank out your your tickets like you yank your prick. Instead, with a firm grip close to the top, pull down slowly and steadily. If you do it right, you’ll likely get an extra three to five tickets.

If you reach up close to the ticket dispenser and pull very carefully, sometimes two extra tickets will come out. On many occasion, after the two initial tickets are slowly withdrawn, you can hear a small pin click inside the machine, which allows you to pull out as many tickets as you want. When you find yourself in front of an automatic ticket counter, string your tickets through the counting aperture then wiggle them in and out like you’re beating your meat. This will trick the machine to continue counting as long as you continue the old in out in out action.

Some claw machines (especially older ones) can be tricked if you catch the toy before it hits the sensor at the bottom of the prize opening (allowing you to get more than one toy). If you like playing Stacker, when you win the minor prize, hit start and then continue really fast and you’ll get all of the minor prizes in that particular section. Cheat codes and GameSharks be damned, the best cheats come with prizes at the end.

A Cheapskate’s Guide to Gambling  

Gambling is almost always a losing endeavor. If you like the rush but want to better your odds, you have to pick the right situations at the right times. Every year casinos make hundreds of billions of US dollars off of addicted gamblers. But if you are vigilant and extremely observant, you can tilt the odds in your favor.


Take Blackjack. You don’t have to be a genius card counter from the MIT Blackjack team to beat the house. All you need is perseverance and a little creativity. If the game is not computerized and requires a dealer, human error can come into play – especially if your methods of distraction are on point. Gamble late at night or early in the morning when the dealer is tired. Incessantly talk to the dealer, asking whacky questions or making weird remarks. If you’re a woman, wear revealing clothing. Or, if you’re really ballsy (and you have one), slap your dick out on the table when the dealer is adding up the cards.


Edge sorting can also be used to beat the house. On the back edges of many decks of cards there are small asymmetric irregularities (created when the cards are cut). These irregularities allow astute observers to distinguish cards based on their rotational orientation (a face down card looks different if it is rotated 180 degrees). If you can trick the croupier into rotating some cards but not others, you will be able to identify cards of value. For example, you could ask the dealer to rotate low cards because its “good luck”. If an automatic shuffler is used, the low cards will remain rotated while the high cards will not. When you play for long periods of time, the deck (or decks) will get “sorted”, and you can begin upping your wagers and winning due to your unfair advantage.


Craps is one of the few games that hasn’t yet been computerized. Since you’re the one whose rolling the dice, you have control of your own fate. The trick to bettering your odds is to pinch the dice between your thumb and middle finger with the sevens touching each other in the middle. Gently toss them underhanded with as little rotation as possible, keeping a fluid motion upwards and throwing as soft as you can while still ensuring to hit the back wall. With a lot of practice, you can perfect this technique to put the odds in your favor – but you may lose a fortune before doing so.


Online gambling sites can occasionally present opportunities to those omni-scheming few who are constantly on the prowl. To get people hooked, they sometimes offer promotional deals. In one such incident, the Canadian website Play Now had a promotional deal whereby, for a limited time, they would give give you $100 if you deposited and wagered at least $100. People soon discovered that you could play the game baccarat and bet $50 on both yourself and the banker. No matter what happened, you would get your $100 back plus the matched $100 — minus a small transaction fee.