Slot Machine Myths Debunked

Sorry to disappoint you, but we figure it's time to put some sense into your brainless slot machine play. Don't worry. We're not going to preach and say don't play slots. Slots are fun and ridiculously easy to play. But you have to understand how they work and most importantly, how they do not work, for your own good.

Slot Machine Myths and Misconceptions

- Slot machines are as likely to stop at any combination as any other.

No. Symbols on slot machines are represented by numbers in a random number generator. Some symbols have more than one number representing them in a reel than others. And some symbols have more numbers for them in one reel than in another. So a cherry may appear more often in the second reel than in the first reel, and a high-paying dollar sign will appear rarely.

- Slot machines pay out according to a cycle. When the slot machine is due for a big pay out, it will pay the lucky player and then pay out.

No. The symbol combinations are quite number. It just looks like the slot machine pays off in time because the longer and the more it is played, the closer it gets to its payout percentage. The laws of probability make this so.

- I've been playing for a while; the jackpot must be coming soon.

False. Slots are never due for payout. The symbols that appear on the reels are determined by two things: 1) the random number generator which perpetually turns up numbers at thousands each second, and 2) the exact moment the player turns on the machine to spin. It is the random set of numbers the RNG generates the moment the player presses the button for a spin that are the result of the spin (yes, before it even spins!). Each play is quite independent and is not influenced by previous ones.

- Someone just won the jackpot. I will not play in that slot machine for a while since I know it won't hit.

A slot machine can hit a jackpot anytime. Even if it just hit a jackpot, it is just as likely to hit another one immediately afterwards. What makes jackpots hit rarely isn't some program in the slot machine telling it when to pay and when not to pay. It is simply the fact that the jackpot symbols are represented by so few numbers in the random number generator. The fewer numbers that correspond to a symbol, the less likely it will be chosen on a reel and combination of reels. It has nothing to do with being "due" or whatever.

Slots are great entertainment. Play them as you please, but don't have unrealistic expectations about them. Enjoy the game and next time you spin, know that the symbols are already chosen!

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