What’s the Best Time to Play Slots?

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What’s the best time to play slot machines? That’s a question players have been asking ever since Charles August Fey introduced the first mechanical slot games in San Francisco back in 1894.

Is there an optimal time to play slots, or is it totally random? There’s a lot of debate on the issue, and I explore both sides of the argument in this article. As you’ll see, it somewhat depends on whether you’re playing mechanical slots at a land casino or online slots.

So, what’s the best time to play slots? Let’s figure it out.

Does Timing Really Matter?

As I said previously, this debate is as old as slot machines themselves. Some players swear there’s such a thing as loose slots due to pay at any moment. Others claim it’s all completely random, and there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it.

Aside from how to figure out when slots are due to pay, there are some other reasons to think about when to play. For example, some players try to play on weekend mornings after a big night when the machines are full to the brim, but some haven’t paid out yet. Others think timing doesn’t matter.

No matter what I say, and no matter what statistical research concludes, this debate will rage on. There are two entrenched camps, and they’ll never convince the other they’re wrong.

Best Time to Play Slot Machines at Real Casinos

These days, most of the slot machines at real casinos are electronic. Therefore, I won’t waste your time by considering outdated ideas about when to play mechanical slots. On modern slots, payouts are determined by Random Number Generators.

Here are the most common theories about the best times to play slots in land-based casinos and the arguments behind them.

When Other Players Are at Home or at Work

Some players logically figure out that winning a big jackpot is a race against other players, and so the best time to play is when other players aren’t around.

Think about it – you can’t win the jackpot on a slot machine if a player is sitting in a seat spinning the reels. You have a shot only when they get up and leave. Therefore, fewer players in the casino means more time for you to win before they do.

Unlike some of the other myths you’ll hear about the best time to play slots, I actually agree with this one. It makes sense; you can’t win if someone else does first, and the fewer competitors you have, the better your chances.

After Another Player Has Unsuccessfully Played for a While

Whether or not you buy this idea depends on whether you believe slots can be ‘due’ or not. If another player has played for a while, perhaps spinning hundreds or even thousands of times, without a big win, then the slot will most likely pay soon.

Slots do have to pay eventually, and while the math of how Random Number Generators work suggests that every spin has an equal chance, there’s still that gamblers’ instinct that a slot that hasn’t paid for a whole is more likely to do so than one that has recently.

Sure, the math nerds will tell you every spin is statistically equal, but do they have years on the floors of casinos observing how things work? Usually not, and that gut feeling can’t be accounted for. If you believe in due slots, wait until a player is done after a long and unsuccessful session and jump in.

Should You Play During the Day or at Night?

That depends on who you ask. On the one hand, players who like to play when other players aren’t around will say the best time of the day to play slots is morning or during the daytime. As I said above, fewer competitors equals more chances for you to win.

Likewise, some players prefer to play in the early morning after a busy night. Their theory is that some slots won’t have paid and will be loaded and ready to pop. For this reason, Sunday morning is a popular time to play slots for believers in this theory.

Other players prefer to play at night. Since more players equal more spins, and more spins mean more chances to win, every non-winning spin by another player brings you closer to a win. In short, more spins mean more payouts, so the best time to play is when it’s busy, according to this theory.

The best time of the day to play slots is another debate that won’t be settled anytime soon. Do what feels best for you.

Best Time to Play Online Slots

The best time to play online slots comes down to a different series of factors. For example, you can’t sit and watch another player fail on hundreds of spins before taking their seat.

Nonetheless, there are a few theories about the best time to play slot machines online.

During Holidays

It’s no secret that online casinos love to offer free spins and deposit match bonuses to new players. However, they also offer lots of bonuses and promos to regulars. They tend to save the best ones for holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

Casinos know that players are off work and are relaxed during the holidays, so they offer extra free spins and cash bonuses to entice you to play. Your job is simply to log in and take full advantage of these offers.

Toward the End of the Month

Anyone who is familiar with the best slot sites knows that players pile in during the last few days of the month. It’s probably because payday is coming up (or has just been), but whatever the reason, the last few days are the best time of the month to play slots.

According to the same theory outlined above, you should play during busy times as the wins are flowing due to more spins occurring. More spins equal more wins, and you might just be lucky enough to be the recipient of one.

Then again, as also outlined above, more players equals more competition. You’ll have to decide for yourself what you think is best.

Best Time to Play Jackpot Slots

Jackpot slots are the most exciting because they can change your life with a single lucky spin. From progressive jackpot slots to Hot Drop Jackpots (which must be won by a certain deadline), players rightly love to play these games with colossal jackpots.

What’s the best time to play jackpot slots? Here are some of the most popular theories.

When the Jackpot Is Sufficiently Big

When playing progressive jackpot slots, always try to find out what the jackpot is seeded at (what it starts at). For example, Mega Moolah is seeded at £1 million, so that’s the minimum you can win when you play it.

Finding this out lets you gauge how long it has been since the last jackpot payout. For example, if the Mega Moolah jackpot is sitting at £4 million, you know it has been a while. Many players who see this would feel this slot is due to pay, and they have a better chance of winning.

Whether or not your chances are indeed greater, if it has been a while, it makes sense to play for the biggest jackpot possible. Why play for a million when you can play for several? Wait until it’s worth it and your chances are greater before you spend your hard-earned money.

When the Deadline Is Close (Hot Drop Jackpots)

I’d like to talk a little more about Hot Drop Jackpots and how they work since they’re a relatively new phenomenon. These are jackpots that must be won by a certain deadline. For example, some must be won by the end of the month and some by the end of the day.

You can often see a countdown timer linked to these games. Finding those with little time remaining and playing them maximizes your chances of winning. After all, unlike standard progressive jackpots, these ones MUST DROP before the deadline. Why not be in with a chance of winning them?

Hot Drop Jackpots are available at Bovada Casino. At other casinos like Betway, they’re called Must Drop Jackpots. Whatever they’re called, this idea is catching on fast and will only continue to grow.

So, Is There a Best Time to Play Slots?

In my opinion, modern slots pay out only when the Random Number Generator spits out the right number. That could be at any moment, and it doesn’t matter when the last big win was.

However, that’s just my opinion, and plenty of experienced players disagree with me. Also, we know for a fact that certain slots, like hot drops have rules on when a prize will hit.

What do you think? Check out some of the best online casinos for slots to test your theories about the best time to play slots. They all have excellent bonuses and hundreds of titles to choose from.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.