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Slot Machine Misconceptions and Myths

slots-1There are many different myths concerning slot machines and gambling in general, ranging from very simple incorrect superstitions to complete logical fallacies. Let’s take a look at several of these myths and try to debunk some of them.

If you keep playing at the same slot machine, your chances of winning increase

This is wrong. This type of thinking is called the gambler’s fallacy and has to do with the fact that each spin of the wheel or roll of the dice is an independent event, meaning that any previous action will not affect the current outcome. Therefore, your chances of winning don’t increase (or decrease, for that matter) if you stay at one table or slot machine. You are equally likely to win even if you move to a different one after every roll or spin.

Similarly, if somebody wins the jackpot on a machine you just left, this doesn’t mean that if you had stayed you would now be the one celebrating the big score. This, too, has no factual basis whatsoever. Slot machines run a so-called random number generator that continuously cycles through numbers even at those times where nobody is actually playing.

Never play a slot machine that recently paid out a jackpot

Going hand-in-hand with the previous misconception, many gamblers avoid a machine that recently paid out a jackpot, because they believe that there is a built-in mechanism that will prevent someone from winning the jackpot again for a period of time. You now already know that each spin of the wheel (due to the perfect randomness of the outcome) has the exact same odds of winning the jackpot, regardless of any previous outcomes. It is technically possible, although very unlikely, that a jackpot can be won with two consecutive spins.

Based on the same concept, a machine that has not paid out in a while is not more likely to hit soon. Each spin is a random event.

Casinos can manually affect the slot machines

Completely false. The random number generator (RNG) is responsible for determining the pay out odds. These percentages have been set way back when the machine was still in the factory and the information is stored on a chip that casinos have no access to. Casinos are legally prevented from tampering with this chip, so don’t be afraid that a casino will mess with the pay back percentages.

You are more likely to win if you only play one coin

The amount of coins you play has absolutely no effect on the pay back percentages. You can use any amount of coins you wish up to the allowed maximum and your odds never change.

The temperature of coins used affects the payout

The frequency or timing of a slot machine hitting has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature of your coins. In fact, as long as the coins are real, their age, temperature or coloration has absolutely no bearing on the slot machine. Don’t try to heat up your coins with a lighter in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

Casinos set machines to hit during rush hour

Some gamblers believe that jackpots are usually won during the casino’s busiest hour. They are mistaking correlation and causation. While there are no statistics to prove this, it is conceivable that the percentage of jackpots hit during rush hour is higher than during regular hours. This doesn’t mean that the machines are set to go off at these times. Quite logically, there are more people present in the casino during those busier times and therefore the machines are played more and the likelihood of them hitting is therefore increased. This could demonstrate correlation, but not causation.

Certain symbols are more likely to appear than others

Again, not true. The symbols that appear are controlled by a random number generator (even though they are not numbers, but they can be represented by numbers). Therefore any symbol has the equal likelihood of coming up as the others.

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