Gamblers are a superstitious bunch. From believing in lucky numbers to that friend who swears that if he changes his underwear his team will lose before they get to the championship, everyone seems to have at least one superstition that they think will somehow alter fate. Unfortunately for slot machine players, most systems, lucky numbers, and long-held beliefs are complete rubbish.
If you’ve ever spoken to another slot player in a casino, you’ve almost certainly gotten an earful of advice that you never asked for. Sit down when a loser leaves. Sit down when a winner leaves. Avoid machines that have just paid out. Avoid machines that never pay out. This one is due. It was hot, but now it’s cold. Spin around three times, wink your eye and rub your belly. You get the idea.
There are a lot of so-called strategies that will supposedly help players beat slot machines. The truth, though, is that they are nothing more than myths. Gamblers tend to associate strange things with luck and winning. They assume that because one thing or another happened just before they won, if they can somehow repeat it they’ll win again. Following are just a few of the most popular strategies that really aren’t strategies at all.
One of the most prolific gambling myths is the idea that so-called hot or cold slots exist. Many people will say that you should never leave a slot machine that’s been paying off, or never sit down at one that hasn’t. It’s easy to understand how this myth came to be, but still, there is no truth behind it.
The thing about a “streak” is that it depends entirely on the perspective of the person who believes it exists. If you’re only looking at 10 spins, or 100 spins, or even 1000 spins, it’s easy to say there was a streak that went in one direction or the other. As you extend the number of spins in your sample, however, the supposed streak will change or even reverse.
It’s possible that your favourite slot machine paid out much more than usual over the last 100 spins. You could say you had a real hot streak.
What happens, though, if you play 200 more spins and come out losing? Nothing about those first 100 spins has changed, but if you look at the 300 total spins together, you might now say you had a cold streak.
So was that slot machine hot or cold? Was it a hot streak followed by a cold streak, or was it just one big cold streak? What if one person won on those first 100 spins and two people lost on the last 200? Does that mean there were three separate streaks? What if we play a few hundred more spins and come out even, was there any streak at all?
The truth is that hot or cold streaks only exist in our minds. They are dependent on the time period we are looking at, the number of trials of a particular event (like spinning a slot), and how we choose to process that information. In the long run, over hundreds of thousands, or even millions of spins on a slot machine, at any given point, you’d be able to find people who swear the slot is both hot and cold at the exact same moment in time.
2. The Myth That A Slot Machine Is Due To Pay
Another common belief among slot players is that a machine is “due to pay” because of a recent string of losing or low-paying spins. Again, this is just not true. Slot machines, both mechanical and digital, are designed to produce random results with specific odds of any particular outcome.
While a slot machine is obviously more complicated, let’s use two six-sided dice as an example of the concept. Assuming the dice are well made and haven’t been tampered with, the outcome of each roll of the dice is random, but, like a slot machine, there are different odds of certain results occurring.
There are different odds because when you roll two dice, some numbers can only be made with one combination, and other numbers can be made from multiple combinations. Rolling a two, for example, can only happen if both dice land on one. A result of five, however, can occur by throwing a four and a one, or a three and a two. So, on any given roll of the dice, the result is more likely to be five than two.
On a side note: This is why in the game of craps the numbers 2, 7, and 12 are so significant. The odds say that seven (three combinations) is the most likely result of a random roll and two and twelve (one combination) are the least likely.
What’s important here is that the odds of any given number coming up do not change because of past rolls of the dice. Every time we roll, there is a lower chance we hit a two and a higher chance we hit a five. Each new roll is completely random, no matter what kind of pattern we might find in past results.
This is the same thing that happens each time you pull the lever or push the button to spin the reels on a slot machine. There are different odds for hitting different combinations on the reels, and therefore different payouts, but those odds are the same on every spin.
You are no more likely to win because a machine has not paid out in a certain amount of time, and vice versa. The thing with (most) slot machines is that, unlike dice, you don’t know what the odds are of hitting any particular result. Because of the regulating bodies that oversee both land-based and online slot machines, though, you can be sure that there are set odds for every possible result and that those odds are the same for every spin of the reels.
3. The Myth That Getting Close Means A Win Is Coming
Some people believe that if they get one or a few “close” spins it means that the slot machine is about to pay off. For example, if they get two scatter symbols on the reels for two or three spins in a row, they’ll convince themselves that they’re getting closer to hitting that magic number three.
Unfortunately, again, it just doesn’t work this way. As in the example above, on every slot machine there are certain chances of any particular symbols showing up on the reels. The simple fact is that you’re much more likely to hit one or two scatter symbols than you are to hit three. Having two of them land on the reels is no indication that you’re going to get three on any upcoming spin.
4. The Myth Of The Relationship Between Location And Payout
There are plenty of slot machine players who will tell you that the payout rates of slot machines vary by where they are placed in a casino, or featured on the web page of an online casino. Some will tell you the highest paying machines are put by casino doors or on the front page of the site to lure more people in to gamble. Others will tell you the exact opposite, saying that the lowest paying machines are put out front to bilk money from the suckers.
Either way you look at it, neither of these ideas make sense when you stop to think about it. Everything casinos do is designed to generate repeat business; to keep people playing. They make their money by concentrating on the long-term rules of probabilities and odds.
Doing anything that seems deceiving to their players or that is harmful to their reputation is going to hurt their revenue. A player that feels like he’s been ripped off, whether it’s when he first enters the casino or when he goes further inside, isn’t going to come back. Worse, that player is going to tell others. A casino that makes a player feel this way isn’t going to have many players for long.
In fact, in most online casinos you do not have to “search” for loose slots. They official return information is published and verified – you can find it here on our slots machine RTP list.
5. The Myth That Autoplay Affects The Win Rate
There are some players out there who believe that using the autoplay feature on a video slot machine will pay less than clicking the spin button each time, or vice versa. This is another fallacy that has no base in reality.
First, as we alluded to above, slot machines of any kind, land-based and online, are heavily regulated and tested. They are certified to play exactly the same no matter how the game is started. That goes for clicking spin online, hitting the spin button on a land-based machine, using autoplay, or pulling a handle.
Second, designing machines this way wouldn’t make sense. In this age of Internet and computers, anyone can easily analyse the results of any number of slot machines and find out for sure if doing one thing or another changes the outcome. You can bet that if anyone found a surefire way to win more, from one slot machine or all of them, the method would spread like wildfire.
Some might say there is a slight sliver of truth to this one if you take one thing into account, though. Some video slots have a gamble feature that allows you to gamble the payout after a winning spin. This feature is usually disabled if you use autospin, so, theoretically, you could miss out on some extra winnings that you might get using that gamble feature. This is by no means hidden from players, though. It’s a choice the player can make for himself, not some hidden mechanism designed to cheat anyone.
The Best Winning Strategy Is To Have Fun
In the end, the best strategy for any slot machine session is just the intention to have some fun. Play your favourite slot at a reputable casino, be it online or off, and relax knowing that you’re getting a fair game. Fate is not messing with you. Another guy winning or losing is not going to affect you. Hot and cold streaks don’t exist, and you’ve got just as much chance of hitting the next big jackpot as anybody else.
If you do wish to improve your odds – take advantage of some solid cashable bonus with low wagering requirements.
Cheers, and good luck!