As avid slot machine players ourselves, we’ve encountered endless myths about these fun machines which have the potential to change financial destinies.
While there are some slots tips and tricks which are true, there are also many which are complete nonsense. It’s our intention to bust some of these common slots myths on this page.
The best way to win slots is to understand them, and that begins with dispelling the falsehoods you may have come to believe about them.
Slot Myth 1: Slots Can Be Hacked or Cheated
This is without a doubt the biggest and most pervasive myth regarding both physical slot machines and online slots.
You can’t cheat land-based slots with magnets, weighted coins, or by inserting electronic cards or other devices.
You also can’t download software or hacks which allow you to beat online slots. It’s just not realistic, and paying for these systems is going to lighten your wallet and little else.
We don’t know if you’ve ever checked the stock prices of major casino software companies like Playtech or NetEnt. They’re often billion-dollar companies, and they didn’t get to be that way by creating flawed games which players can take advantage of.
Don’t even attempt to hack, cheat, or trick slot machines. We’re just trying to save you time and wasted effort by telling you the truth up front.
Slot Myth 2: Some Times of Day/Night Are Better Than Others
We’ve met more than a few gamblers who swear blind that they win more by playing online slots at certain times of the day. We’ve also met plenty who wait until the evening before playing slot machines in Vegas, operating on the logic that they stand a better chance of collecting the cash of those who have lost throughout the day.
While this appears to be a reasonable belief on the surface, it’s based on a flawed understanding of slot machines. You see, slots don’t automatically pay out once a certain amount of money has been fed into them – they’re controlled by random number generators, and they pay out when the program tells them to.
A slot machine could pay out multiple times in one day, then go for days without paying, then pay once, then skip a day, then pay four times in a day again. The key here is that it’s controlled by a random number generator.
There are entire companies and organizations whose business it is to ensure slots are truly random. If they paid out at certain times, these folks would soon figure it out and would be able to rinse slots companies for all their money.
Don’t believe this myth. It doesn’t matter when you play a slot machine. It will pay if it’s going to pay, or it won’t if it isn’t going to. It’s that simple.
Interesting Insight – How Random Number Generators Work
We’re not going to pretend to be advanced computer programmers here, because we’re not. However, the basics of random number generators are easy enough to understand.
The idea behind these clever pieces of software is that they generate numbers that cannot be predicted better than they could if random chance were at work. When a certain number comes up (or series of numbers), a slot pays out.
Of course, all you see is symbols spinning on the screen, but there’s a complex math-based computer program governing the game. The microchips which produce the number randomly work even when the machine isn’t being played. Millions (and sometimes billions) of numbers are produced per second. Try to hack that and see how you get on!
Slot Myth 3: Casinos Can Fiddle With/Control the Outcome of Slots
By nature, we gamblers are a superstitious bunch, but we can also cross the line into borderline paranoia at times. From players who swear blind that a dealer has changed their luck to those who think the casino has “tightened” the machines when they started playing, these complaints are all too common in the gambling community.
Legitimate casinos cannot and do not control the outcome of slot machines. There are no hidden switches, no computer whizzes watching the games from a smoke-filled office ready to switch off the jackpot payout that was coming your way, and no way the casino could alter a game outcome even if it wanted to.
While there are some dodgy casinos out there with rigged games, we’re not talking about that here. That’s a separate issue, and you should refer to our guide on how to spot rogue casinos to learn how to avoid these sites. We’re talking about legit casinos and the false beliefs gamblers have about slots, and the belief that casinos can control game outcomes is patently false.
Again, this is based on a faulty understanding of how machines work. Revisit the “insight” section above about random number generators and consider that these chips/pieces of software are often generating millions of numbers per second – now ask yourself, what casino employee could possibly be quick enough to interfere with such a lightning-fast process?
Casinos can’t control slot outcomes. Accept it and move on.
Slot Myth 4: When a Slot Last Paid Indicates When It Will Pay Again
Go to a casino in Vegas, watch a machine pay out a huge jackpot, and wait and see if anyone who witnessed it plays the machine. We bet you none of them will touch it.
Why so? Because there’s a myth that if a slot has just paid out, it won’t do so again. The theory is that the jackpot needs time to “build up” again. Likewise, there’s the mistaken belief that if a slot hasn’t paid for a long time, it’s due to pay any time. That’s why some players loiter around and wait for someone to empty his or her bankroll into a machine, then they jump on the stool and have a go.
If you’ve read this entire piece so far, we hope you understand by now why this is false. A slot could theoretically pay out two $1,000,000 jackpots two spins in a row if the RNG spat out the correct number twice in a row. That’s unlikely, of course, but it’s possible.
The amount of money pumped into a machine has no bearing whatsoever on when it will pay out. That’s just a mathematical fact, and the sooner all slots players accept it, the better.
Slot Myth 5: You Can’t Do Anything to Improve Your Odds of Winning
Wait, what? We’ve spent all this time convincing you that slots are truly random, and now we’re telling you that you can do something about how often you win? Isn’t that a contradiction?
You see, we’re saying that once the game begins, it’s all down to the RNG. However, not all slots are programmed the same way. Thanks to the web and the vast treasure trove of useful information at your fingertips because of it, you can learn which slots are most favorable to players.
You can find out:
- What the RTP of each game is – This is expressed as a percentage and tells you how much a slot will pay back. For example, a slot with an RTP of 98% will pay back $0.98 for every $1 bet over the long run. That’s much better than a slot with an RTP of 92%.
- How many paylines a game has – Paylines are the patterns which create wins. Naturally, a game with 20 paylines has more ways to win than a game with five. Keep in mind that playing 20 lines will also cost more, but more lines simply mean more ways to win.
- What bonus features a slot has – While these are also controlled by RNGs, it’s better to pick games with multiple potentially lucrative bonus features than a game with none at all. There’s no guarantee you will win anything through them, but if a slot has no features, you can be sure you won’t!
Believing these slots myths won’t do any good. In fact, doing so can make you downright angry, mad, and frustrated. Like everything in life, understanding how something works helps you to view things objectively, and hopefully now you won’t take it personally when you don’t win while playing slots.
Pick a random machine that looks fun, manage your bankroll effectively, and just have fun! If you win a jackpot, excellent! If not, so what? It’s just a random number generator at work, and you’ll live to spin another day.
We hope you now understand a bit more about how slots work and have dispelled these myths from your mind. Check out some of our top-rated slot machines if you’re in the mood to play.