Eat, Drink, Gamble, Vegas

Slot Machine Myths

February 14, 2013March 4, 2014

I wrote an article for Gaming Today offering some basic slot machine strategy this week. As I mention in that article there really isn’t much strategy involved with slot machines since they are programed by a random number generator (RNG) chip. While each spin is random and independent the pay tables are predetermined and there’s little you can do to change the outcomes.

Gambling is as much mental as it is factual. See Blackjack Myths for great examples of that. I’m not the most analytical person but I like to know the facts. Any gaming myth just gets in the way the facts.

While doing research for the Gaming Today article I came across a list of slot machine myths from Wizard of Odds that should be common knowledge but aren’t.

  • Slot machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payoffs. Although the cycle can span thousands of spins, once it reaches the end the outcomes will repeat themselves in exactly the same order as the last cycle.
  • Slot machines are programmed to pay off a particular percentage of money bet. Thus, after a jackpot is hit the machine will tighten up to get back in balance. On the other hand, when a jackpot has not been hit for a long time it is overdue and more likely to hit.
  • Machines pay more if a player card is not used.
  • Using a player card enables the casino to report my winnings to the IRS.
  • The slot department can tighten my game with the press of a button remotely. Thus, you better be nice to the staff and tip them well, or they will use a remote control to have the machine take you down in a hurry.
  • The machines by the doors and heavy traffic flow areas tend to be loose while those hidden in quiet corners tend to be tight.
  • Slots tend to be looser during slow hours on slow days of the week. However, when the casino is busy they tighten them up.

I tell myself that I’m not much of a slot player but that’s a lie. I play more slot machines than most of my casino going friends. Slot machines are in the mix whenever I visit a casino, especially when I’m alone. I prefer the new games with bright lights and loud noises.

The only myth that messes with my head is about the time of day. I know that slot machine jackpots aren’t set to go off at a certain time but it never seems as if anyone hits a jackpot at 7am. 7am is probably my favorite time to stroll into a casino to play the slots. I sip on some coffee and ease into a day at the casino….Ahhhhhhhhh.

Photo: Finger Lakes Racetrack

Tweet meĀ @eastcoastgamblr


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Las Vegas Writer, Marketer, Consultant. I love Vegas and everything about it. When in Vegas do 3 things: eat, drink & gamble.
  • Las Vegas Writer, Marketer, Consultant. I love Vegas and everything about it. When in Vegas do 3 things: eat, drink & gamble.


One Comment

  • girlygirl

    ECG.. I agree. 7-ish is a lovely time for playing the slots. I seem to see more jackpots during the afternoon than any other time but maybe it’s just me. Or maybe there are more people playing and machines being played at that time.
    I was thinking about all the handpays I have won on the strip (where I usually play), and they are mostly in the afternoon.
    The one early morning jackpot that stands out was on my first solo trip to LV in 1996. I won a $700 jackpot on a triple diamond quarter machine at 7:30am at the old Boardwalk/Holiday Inn. I celebrated my first hand pay by treating myself to brekkie across the street at the Aladdin. Lots of seniors at breakfast and lots of applesauce and other soft foods.

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