Slots Mythbusters

Posted in Slots Slots Tips | 14th October 2019

Hand crossing out Myths with facts written above it on a blackboard

You don’t need to be a gambling veteran or genius to play slots, in fact, you don’t need to know anything about gambling at all, and because of this fact most people don’t understand their inner workings – which makes it that much easier to explain away a losing streak with some false logic.

Like other myths or legends, they get passed from person to person until eventually they assume some resemblance of truth. While most of these misconceptions are mostly harmless, they can cause frustration in players. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones and see if we can bust them wide open.

Someone hit a jackpot on a machine you just left

slot machines in a casino

So, you’ve just finished up at your machine without any decent pay-out and you start looking around the casino for the one that will win you a jackpot. All of a sudden you hear the jackpot alarms going off and you look back to see that the machine you had just left has paid out huge to the very next spin. 

That should have been your jackpot, right? If you’d just spun once more, you’d have won big! 

This is easily one of the most common misconceptions about slot machines and the way they work. Slot machines have a computer chip inside that runs a random number generator that continuously cycles through numbers – even while the machine is not being used. These numbers correspond to stops on the wheel that displays the symbols on screen. If you had remained at the machine and played that one extra time, it’s highly unlikely you would have stopped the number generator at that exact nano-second to display that same combination of numbers. Truth be told, the person who sat down at that machine after you, had no better or worse chance of winning it than you did.

You can predict the odds of winning by counting the symbols

Another common misconception is that you can predict the stops on a wheel in a slot machine by counting the symbols and doing a little maths. Let’s say you count 20 symbols on each wheel of a three-wheel slot machine – so you work out that 20 x 20 x 20 = 8,000 and put your odds at 1 in 8,000 of hitting a jackpot. Well, unfortunately, if it were that easy, I’m pretty sure slots would have been removed from casinos decades ago. The aforementioned random number generator actually generates a sequence of stops for each wheel each time the machine spins, so if the number generated for this spin is 256, then your working out looks more like 256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216 possible combinations! The reason slots can offer such huge pay-outs is because of their ability to generate millions and millions of possible combinations – they work out really well for the casino.

A machine that has not given you a win is due to hit

You always want to believe that if you could sit there long enough eventually the machine will pay you out because of some statistical measurement you’ve taken. Unfortunately, there’s no actual way to determine when a payout is imminent. 

Every time you spin the wheels it’s considered a random occurrence and has nothing to do with what has happened in previous spins, or how long you’ve been playing. Don’t allow this misconception to keep you playing longer than you should, or for longer than you can afford. 

Knowing when to stop is incredibly important in gambling, and not knowing can have severe consequences on your bank balance.

Slot machines can be loosened or tightened with the press of a button

close up of hand pressing button on slot machine in casino

This one actually crops up a lot when people talk about their pay-outs from sots, and in reality, the truth is much the same as the previous old sores already mentioned. The machines’ computer chip  determines their pay-out percentage and this is set in the factory. For the casino to change the pay-out ratio would mean replacing the chip entirely – which requires far more work than simply flicking a switch or pressing a button. Casinos typically decide on pay-out percentage before purchasing the machines and have them shipped in ready to go. It is far too expensive and time-consuming to switch chips every time you decide you want feel like upping the house edge.

The temperature of coins affects the machine

As far as these myths go, this is a weird one and sounds more like an “old wives’ tale” than anything else. Slot machines are simply not affected by temperature – so you can stop rubbing that coin now. It doesn’t matter if you play old or new, hot or cold coins, they will not affect your odds. After all, the coin slot is a mechanical device and has no feeling.

Using the auto play feature pays less than clicking

This myth speaks specifically to online casinos and playing slots online but can also be translated to brick-and-mortar casinos where people believe that pulling the lever pays out more than pressing the button. The random number generator and the chip inside the machine have no way of determining how the reels were spun, and even if they could, there would be no benefit to the casino to pay out less for the autoplay function – it is simply a myth.

You can’t do anything to improve your chance of winning

With all the talk up until now about randomness, wit might surprise you that this is indeed a myth that can be busted. Just because you can’t do anything to affect the outcome of any given spin at a slot machine, doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to improve your chances of winning overall.

Not all slot machines pay out at the same rate – with some having pay-out rates from 85% to 98%. You always have a chance at winning regardless of the pay-out rates, but the higher the rate the higher your overall return is likely to be. So, technically, you can improve your chances of winning by carefully picking which slots to play. You can also improve your chances in online slots by taking advantage of bonuses and rewards available from the online casinos – the house is typically stacked in a casino so take every advantage you can get.

So if you want to try your hand at busting some of these myths for yourself, or just want to see what all the fuss with slots is about, why not give it a try on one of our slots games

Alternatively, if all this talk of myths and legends still has you a little wary of slot machines, why not try out a game of online bingo?

We’re here to help you keep it fun – remember to set your deposit limit. Click here for more details on the safer gambling tools available including reality checks and the ability to take a break from your gaming.