Slot Machine Myths

In this slots guide we separate slot machine myths from slot machine truths. Slot and video poker machines are the most common games played in casinos today, drawing millions of players every day. All of them hope to hear that ever elusive siren of a jackpot hit. Over the years, people who didn't have the best of luck in playing slot machines have come up with various excuses for why they lost, whether they had any bearing to the truth or not. The reverse of this happens as well. Slot machine myth winners believe good luck charms, strange tricks, and odd rituals help them win.

That Machine Hasn't Hit Recently, It Must Be "Due"

Before I explain this slot machine myth, I should review the basic mechanics of modern slot machines. Winning and losing is determined by random number generators in several microchips inside the machine. Note, several different microchips are used simultaneously (using different software each) to prevent a trend appearing due to the software used. The combinations of numbers generated by the microchips determine the result of the particular play in question, which is then calculated as a winner or not.

Nothing in the random number generating process is dependent on previous results; in fact slot machines do not have the capability to store results, let alone use them to affect future plays. Because of gaming laws, a jackpot only has to be "possible", but there is no requirement as to how often a jackpot is supposed to hit. If the slot machine is rated as having the probability of getting a Jackpot as 0.0001% (1 in 10,000) does not mean that a jackpot is guaranteed to hit on the 10,000th play if it hasn't already. Over the life of the machine, it is equally likely to pay out a jackpot a week as it is to never payout a jackpot, and still be legally "possible". (Note: Slot machines do record results for statistics purposes, but this list has noting to do with slot machine myths and is completely separate from the random number generators. I does not affect play in any way.)

Everyone has seen this: You're playing a slot machine when the person down the row just hit the $5 million jackpot you've been after for the past hour. After a big celebration ending with the handing off of the IRS forms along with a check, everyone else in the immediate vicinity jams into this one row, falling for the above slot machine myth that the nearby machines must also be "due". While the actual machine he was playing remains empty. Why?

Strangely enough, many people believe, for the same reasons as above, that if a machine has just hit, it won't hit again for a long time. But this is equally false. Because the random number generators built into the machines have no memory of past events, it can't even remember when the last Jackpot happened. This makes it theoretically possible for a machine to hit the Jackpot two pulls in a row! While the odds of this occurring are astronomically small, (i.e. for a slot with 1/10,000 odds to hit twice in a row, would have a probability of 0.00000001%, or 1/100,000,000) it is in fact possible. It is not a slot machine myth that there are no "Guaranteed win times" or "Guaranteed lose times" at any point in the life of a slot machine.

Warm Machine, Warm Coins

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By far one of the silliest beliefs when it comes to Slot Machine myths is that if the machine itself is warm, using warmed coins will increase your odds of winning, and vice-verse. The temperature of the machine or the coins has no bearing on the results of a random number generating computer chip. In fact, the only effect temperature has on the computer at all is that over time, if the box is poorly ventilated, the chips themselves will radiate heat. This residual heat still has no effect on game play other than player comfort. (Thousands of machines radiating heat in a poorly ventilated hall full of people make for a very hot room). Making the effort to heat or chill your coins is a waste of time. Enjoy playing the game instead.

The Infamous Win/Lose Switch

This next slot machine myth is probably one of the more grounded myths out there, but it's still false. The truth of this is that a casino does not have to employ a "Win/Lose" switch in order to ensure a profit over time. Slot machines are pre-programmed to average a certain payout percentage long before you ever sit down. Because of this, the longer your winning streak is, the more likely it is to come crashing down as the pre-programmed house advantage comes into effect. While casinos are in the business of making money, they do not have to "tweak" the machines, making you lose a lot if you're on a winning streak.

Use Some Common Sense

When getting ready to play a Slot or Video poker machine, try to use a little common sense when it comes to how you're going to play. Don't waste time pandering to strange and convoluted slot machine myths like warming up your coins, and don't fall victim to the "due" slot machine. But, even though these myths are false, playing by your own instincts will usually result in a more enjoyable gambling experience. Good luck on your next pull.

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