The Slots Myths and the Reality

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1. Full coin machines (“equal distribution” or “Straight multiplier”) have the lower house edge than a regular slots.

Any additional coin is a multiple of the payback for a single coin. For example: 100 coins for one coin, 200 coins for two coins, 300 coins for three coins.

So, for three coins you will win three times as much when you play one coin – the house edge is still the same.

2. A slot machine is going to become hot because it’s been cold for a while and vice versa.

When you pull the handle of the slot machine the RNG (random number generator) does not care whether the machine has been hot or cold. It just randomly picks number series that matches predetermined combination that will be shown on the reels.

3. Slot machines have “cycles” and you can break the machine if you can figure out these cycles.

Cycles are not preprogrammed events. You can see them only in retrospect as the result of the random nature of the game. But you are not able to predict what is coming up based on what happened in the past.

4. There is some “magic” system to beat the slot machines in the long run.

Nowadays a slot machine returns between 85 and 100 percent, depending on the game and location and the average house advantage is calculated to be about nine percent. It means, that in the long run, it will return to the players what it has been programmed to return — 91 cents for every dollar played or just about.

5. You have more chances to win by pulling the handle than by pressing the button.

The RNG does not care whether you pull or press and it has no effect on the outcome of the spin. Of course, pulling the handle you can decrease your loss per hour as you slow down the game.

6. Casinos can change the odds of a machine when you are playing.

The heart of a slot machine is a computer chip which generate random numbers. It is inserted into the machine when it’s manufactured and casinos cannot alter the payoffs.

7. If you play one coin at a time you will to get more chances at hitting the jackpot.

On the contrary, in most cases playing the maximum coins increases the payout rate percentage in the long run.

Slots Odds

First slots machines were mechanical devices and the odds of such machine were determined by the number of reels and symbols on each reel. The selection principle was an independent spinning of each reel.

The Liberty Bell had three reels each with ten symbols and every symbol on the reel had an equal probability of showing on the payline. The chance that a symbol appear on the paying was 1 in 10. So the odds against hitting the jackpot on the Liberty Bell were 1,000 to 1, because account for 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000 possible combinations.

In the new computer controlled slot machines this is not the case as the reels have no independent action. They are being perfectly coordinated by the RNG and the computer. It is clearly explained by Henry Tamburin in the article Slot Machine Myths.

Nowadays a slot machine returns between 85 and 100 percent, depending on the game and location and the average house advantage is calculated to be about nine percent. It means, that in the long run the particular machine will give back 91 cents for every dollar played. It keeps nine cents on the dollar.

Of course, people would not play slots if every time they put a dollar in they got 91 cents back. Instead, a slot machine is programmed to return percentages explosively and this volatility is what makes slot playing fun.

You will hardly find other casino game with such an enormous built-in edge against you. Nevertheless, slots are so popular today that they now constitute 70 percent of all casino action.

Of course, the house edge reduces your chances of winning the jackpot as compared to mechanical slots. On the other side, if you hit the jackpot in the modern slots it will be much larger then the original ten nickels of Liberty Bell

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