Electronic gambling machines (EGMs) have gained a notorious reputation for generating problem gamblers. This paper notes that gambling machines developed separately from table games. It examines the standards applicable to table games and carnival games and the gaffs (cheating methods) used by crooked casinos and carnival grifters. It considers historical and modern gambling machines in the context of these standards and cheating methods. There are uncomfortable parallels between some characteristics of reel EGMs and those of gaffed table and carnival games. Bringing reel EGM standards into line with those applied to straight table games and carnival games would make them safer for the players.