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Facts About Slots

In the interest of helping you get rid of all the silly notions that you can somehow apply magic to beat the house in its own game at the Slots machines, I will give you a few facts. Furthermore, I like proving and clarifying my points so there is not even a shadow of a doubt in the minds of my readers left in the end. Here we go.

What You See Has Already Happened

This one seems sort of obvious considering the fact that Slots machines are no longer mechanical units, but I feel compelled to make this point, anyway. In the original slots machines, the reels would turn and you would see if you win or not. However, we are talking about the early 70s, here. Those were the “fruit machines” where you could win a piece of bubblegum. Today the stakes are much higher. Some jackpots are quite significant, and some are even progressive, meaning that they start at a certain point and get bigger over time. Hence, with the technological improvements, the principles have also changed a bit.

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When you press the button (or pull the lever) the computer takes only several milliseconds to pick random values for the reels. This means that the whole spinning thing you see (even if it’s a video screen) is just for show in order to give you sense of tension. Tension, mind you, that’s not really there. The numbers are picked at random and then displayed and the process takes the same amount of time with every push/pull. This is what makes the creation of a system impossible – the numbers are random which means that you can have a basic idea of your chance of winning overall (as a statistical probability) but not much else.

The fact of the matter is that the random number generator inside the machine is constantly working while the machine is switched on and what you’re doing by pressing the button is telling it to pick a precise number at that moment. It can be any of the thousands randomly generated numbers. Furthermore, since the process is random, the machine doesn’t remember the reels it showed in order not to show them again. Previous spins have nothing to do with the current one. Which brings me to my next point…

Exclude all Superstition from Playing Slots or You Might Lose Big

In the world of Slots, everything is possible. There have been cases of people winning the jackpot in two consecutive spins and there have been cases when different people would play for weeks on the same machine and it wouldn’t give out anything. Such is the world of Slots – chaotic and unpredictable.

Considering the success of these machines, there is only one thing that I can guarantee you right now and it is that machine will make the casino way more money than it will lose. This is not something bad or good; it’s just how things are. The game isn’t rigged; it’s just that the chance of winning is much smaller than the chance of losing. You will still win something from time to time, though. This is the casino’s way of saying, “Here, have some of your money back… Now bet more and fill our pockets.” Business as usual.

There are some players who are really superstitious, especially when it comes to Slots, and think that certain rituals or situations would improve their chances. For example, there are those who would wait for people to play and lose on a Slot machine again and again, and then after that person leaves, the individual who had up until this point lurked in the shadows, would emerge and start playing the same machine where the other person had lost. Like I said, this is not an effective tactic simply because the system doesn’t work that way.

There is no magical number of spins required for the machine to give you the jackpot. It’s all about your luck in the certain spin. There have been many scandals revolving around this. As one player has played on a machine for, say, an hour and hasn’t won anything, they would get really outraged when they leave the machine and someone else wins the jackpot in their first roll. I can somehow relate to that – imagine leaving the machine and thirty seconds later hearing the sound of coins falling on the ground, a person screaming barely able to believe the reality of their own situation, and people clapping all around the place. You turn around with a grumpy expression and think, “No!

That should have been me!” Truth is that you couldn’t be more wrong. It wouldn’t have been you unless you pressed the button in the precise (to the millisecond) moment when the other person did it. You should know this – you haven’t been cheated. It’s just that the other person was more lucky than you were. Be happy for them and leave the casino knowing that you weren’t cheated.

There are No Special Sequences the Machines Follow

Some players even believe that the house actually rigs the machines and makes sure that they work in predetermined sequences, meaning that if you can figure out the sequence, you can figure out when the jackpot will hit. This is total nonsense, just like many other things people believe about Slots.


Don’t Ask Casino Personnel About Hot or Cold Machines

They can’t tell you anything relevant. There are those people who are willing to go as far as asking the casino personnel if they have a chance of winning or not. You can ask about hot or cold machines, but don’t count on the validity of the claims. Casino personnel can lie, too. And even of they don’t, they simply don’t know because, like I’ve said a thousand times already, it’s all based on a random principle.

The Time You Play is Not Proportional to Your Chance of Winning

Logic dictates that the more you play, the more likely you are to win. However, you still need to remember the randomness of the game which may translate into many losses before a win. In effect, the more you play, yes, the more likely it is to win on average, but first of all – there is no guarantee that it will happen; and second of all, you will lose a lot in the process. Just for the sake of argument, let’s think about this for a second. You’re in a casino and you play Slots for 24 hours.

The chance of winning is still small. In fact, the chance of winning by playing for 24 hours is exactly the same for every try. However, with more attempts, on average, you get a bigger chance of winning. But (and this is a really big BUT) you are also losing a lot of money in the process. In the end, the biggest probability is for you to lose a lot more than you actually win.

If you hit two jackpot symbols but the third one was blank or something else, you weren’t as close to the jackpot as you think. This is where the psychological portion of the game comes in beautifully. You see, sometimes you will hit two symbols from the jackpot but the third one will be something else. Most people would think, at this point that they were very, very close so they would keep playing. This is where the illusion of winning I talked about earlier comes in. You weren’t close to the jackpot – the number was off and that’s all that matters. If you think that you were close and keep playing based on the naive premise that you’re going to win on the next throw, then I am glad to save your wallet from the financial black hole you were headed at – you’re not going to win just because you think you were close. Save your money.

The Game is Not Rigged

To many players it often feel like the game is rigged. It feels like the casino has made it so that you can’t win and you’re destined to lose every time, unless the casino wants you to win at the point when you’re most desperate so they can keep you playing. This is a really interesting notion and it definitely seems possible… Until you realize, of course, that this is illegal. Not to mention very hard to do. Since the machines are powered by chips nowadays, there aren’t inherent mechanisms one can tinker with. In order to rig the game, the house would have to replace the chip with a new one. I guess it’s needless to say that it’s not that easy to manufacture a microchip, right?


Furthermore, if the story came out that the casino rigged the games, it would be a PR disaster. It would be one of the worst things in the business – the best case scenario for that establishment would be the enormous fines that would follow (which alone makes it not worth the risk). The worst case scenario is closure and criminal charges. You can rest assured that no casino owner in their right mind would make an attempt to alter the machines that already give the house a considerable edge, anyway. This sort of greed would a financial suicide and I’m sure that Gordon Gekko himself (I think the character is famous enough that he needs no introduction) would agree that greed, in this case and for lack of a better word, is bad.

More Articles Covering Slots

Slots Introduction
Slots Facts, Tips and Tricks
Slots Temptation
Slots Random Number Generator
Slots Myths
Slots Symbols
Types of Slots
Slots House Edge
Slots Tournaments

The way you press the button or pull the lever has nothing to do with the outcome. There are those who truly believe that a certain ritual can make sure they win the jackpot and if they don’t win even if they’ve performed the ritual, it’s either because they didn’t do it correctly, or because the game is rigged. There is no other explanation in their minds. Well, I’m sorry that I’m the one who has to tell you this and spoil your fun, folks, but the only thing that matters is the precise moment you push the button. That’s it – the moment the pressure is detected, the number is picked in the same instance and you can see if you’ve won or lost. There is no special way to press the button for a guaranteed win. Perform all the rituals you want, but I can guarantee you that the outcome will be the same. I know you like believing in this stuff (if you believe in it, anyway) but the truth is that it’s all about chance and nothing more.

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