Ten Tall Tales About Winning at Slots

Gamblers are nothing if not superstitious, but some of the notions that slot players have about what makes a machine pay off deserve debunking:

• Pulling the handle instead of pushing the spin button will give you a win. Not so. Payoffs are randomly generated, so whether you pull the handle or press the spin button, your chances of winning are equal.

• How I pull the handle affects my chances of winning. Not so. How fast or slow you pull the lever doesn’t affect the Random Number Generator.

• Machines that haven’t paid off in a while are more likely to produce a win. Not so. The Random Number Generator doesn’t operate on a time schedule. A machine that has just paid of is just as likely to produce a win as one that hasn’t paid off in an hour.

• If I play this machine long enough, I can figure out when it’s programmed to pay off. Not so. You may think you see a pattern in the number of spins and payoffs, but you’re wrong. Payoffs are random.

• Putting more coins in the machines makes it more likely to pay off. Not so. The number of coins played doesn’t affect the Random Number Generator.

• Slot cards increase my chance of winning. Not so. The computer doesn’t care whether your credits come from coins or cards.

• Using warm coins makes the machine more likely to payoff. Not so. The temperature of the coins or the machine doesn’t affect the payoff.

• Casinos rig machines to pay out more during a weekend or holiday. Not so. In fact, changing the chip in a slot machine requires notifying the Gaming Commission, so the trouble of doing that isn’t worth the casino’s effort.

• A slot machine that shows a “near miss,” of a jackpot means I’m close to hitting that jackpot. Not so. Your chances of hitting a jackpot on the next spin are exactly the same as your previous spin. Every spin is unrelated to the previous spin.

• Playing more than one slot machine at a time increases my chances of winning. Not so. Your chance of winning at each machine is exactly the same. All you are doing is losing your money at a faster rate.