In gambling literature, there is an abundance of tips on how to play slots – how to play them properly, how to make the most of your bankroll, and how to always win. Some of these tips are good, most of them are bad, and some are truly detrimental to every casino player. The myths about slots are usually a result of a lack of basic understanding of how the machines work but are also fuelled by superstition.
As far as slots go, we have already debunked a large portion of the most common myths and misconceptions about this type of game. The following article includes some common tips you might hear around the house, read online, or encounter in some way, shape, or form as you make your way to the slot machines. They are all more or less wrong, however, and should not be followed blindly because you risk losing a lot of money much faster than you might have anticipated.
Progressive Jackpots Myths
A common and equally incorrect piece of advice regarding progressive jackpots is that should pay attention to whether or not the jackpot of a machine has been won recently. If it has been hit, players should stay away from the machine because there is no way they can win – it is easy to see if the jackpot has been won or not based on how close the sum is to the base amount.
We have already explained the random principle of the slot machines – following the same logic, we should not assume that we won’t be able to get anything out of the game simply because the jackpot has been won recently. The chances of hitting a winning combination will be the same as on any other machine, after any other spin. Of course, the amount of the jackpot would now be much lower than it was when it was won. However, just because someone was lucky to win the jackpot before you does not mean that you will have less of a chance.
In fact, people have seen slot machines giving out the jackpot two times within an hour in Vegas casinos. It all depends on chance and it is bound to happen. It may not happen often, but it will happen. It is also absolutely possible for a machine to give out the jackpot in two consecutive spins – it is not very likely, but it is possible. So, if you really want to play slots, you should not care whether someone has won recently or not.
Cold Slots: Playing the Same Slot Myth
This next one can be found not only on online blogs but also in gambling guides and books. It states that you should not play the same machine more than six times. If you don’t win within the set perimeters, you are supposed to move on to another game. This tip does not follow any sound logic or reason, however. What’s even worse is that people read such books and believe that the information presented in them is in some way accurate.
Your chances will not improve with changing the machine. And why six spins exactly? Why not seven or five? It seems quite arbitrary. Furthermore, there is no number of spins you can use to determine the machine’s status simply because the machine does not have a status. It is neither hot nor cold – the current spin of the reels has no memory of the previous spins and it cannot influence the next spins. The RNG (the random number generator we have already explained in previous articles) works the same way for each individual spin, providing the same odds and randomness of the results.
So, in reality, players hit a random number when they press the Spin button. Each time, they face the same odds – for instance, chances of 1 in 30,000 or even 300,000 to hit the jackpot. If they are lucky, they win. If they are not lucky (as is the case more often than not), then they lose. It is as simple as that. Of course, the idea of “luck” is also very interesting – while some think it is synonymous with destiny or fortune, others associate it simply with chance. It cannot be changed or predicted either way. So, players should ignore tips involving “cold” or “hot” slots because they could be hazardous.
The Myth about Increasing Your Stakes
The following myth is pure gold. In fact, it is among the most common myths not only when it comes to slots but in gambling in general. It stipulates that you should increase your stakes as you are losing. The reason behind this is that the more you lose, the more likely you are to win, and you want to win big when that happens. All progressive betting systems such as the Martingale or the Labouchere used in roulette are based on this principle and are, sadly, misguided.
Let’s say, you lose five spins in a row, losing five $1 bets. According to those who believe in this myth, you should increase your next stake in the hope of returning your losses plus getting some profit on top of them. The goal is then winning at least $6 so you bet $2 on the next spin, expecting a payout of 3x or more. Of course, you are likely to win and achieve your goal but you are just as likely to lose and end up with a total loss of $7. Now, let’s picture the same scenario with larger bets and even more game rounds – it is easy to see how this myth could result in losing tens and hundreds of dollars.
Clearly, following such advice is a bad idea. The more you increase your stakes, the more money you will lose. It is as simple as that. Slots are unpredictable. You might win and you might lose but you can never tell which it will be before you actually press the Spin button and look at the screen. Betting more in the hopes of winning more is the surest way to empty your bank account.
The Myth about Membership Cards
Some people also believe that using membership or loyalty cards when playing a slot machine will somehow reduce their chances of winning. This myth goes beyond ridiculous. The reasoning is that the machine is programmed in such a way that it will make loyal casino members lose more because it is expected that they are already “hooked”. This is faulty reasoning, though, and we will explain why.
Even if it were possible to rig the game (and it is not as long as you play a legitimate, fully licensed casino), why would any casino manager in their right mind deprive loyal members of their money more than other people? This way casinos can actually lose their clientèle, which they would not allow under any circumstances. Either way, the chances are the same whether you play as a Loyalty Club member or as a regular casino patron.
You Cannot Change Your Odds of Winning – Truth or Myth?
We have already explained multiple times that slots have fixed odds and it is impossible to improve them. In contrast, games such as roulette or craps offer bets with different odds so players can instantly increase their chances of winning by simply making the bets with the best odds. The probabilities of different combinations in slots, however, cannot be calculated because casinos do not publish all data required to do the proper math.
This does not mean, however, that players cannot change their odds of winning with slots. On the contrary, if they stick to several basic rules, they would be able to maximize their chances. The first thing to do is to carefully choose the casino they will play at, whether this is a brick-and-mortar facility or an online casino. Patrons should be certain the operator offers only fair games based on reliable RNG – this can be guaranteed only with proper regulation, a state-issued permit or license to offer games of chance, and regular inspections by regulatory bodies and independent testing agencies.
The next thing to consider is picking games with higher returns. This could be done easily on the Internet since most online casinos publish the so-called RTP (Return to Player) percentages for the games they offer. Usually, slots have RTP of around 92% to 97%, which means that, on average, they pay back up to 97% of your bet in the form of winnings. So, slots with returns of around 90% should be avoided – the best strategy is to play games with mathematical RTP of over 96%. Of course, the volatility of the slots is also important, as are the hit frequency, the jackpot levels, the bonus features, etc.
Slots Tips You Should Follow
There are many more myths surrounding slot machines in land-based casinos and slots in online casinos. For instance, some people believe that the loose machines are placed strategically in central places on the casino floor so that the frequent wins on them could attract more players. Others believe that warm coins would increase their chances of winning. There are also plenty of myths regarding the “right timing” – some players argue that the odds are better at a certain time of the day or during holidays. Of course, casinos cannot reprogram the payout percentages so quickly.
In fact, all these ideas are strange misconceptions that have been spreading across casinos for decades. While some of them are rooted in some truth – there have been various odd practices in the past when the regulation of the gambling industry was less perfect than today’s, most myths are based on pure superstition and should not be believed. There are useful tips slots players should follow, however, especially if they are complete novices on the casino floor.
A good tip for beginners (and not just beginners, of course) is to try to gamble with house money rather than your own. It may sound like an unrealistic idea at first but it is more viable than most people would expect. If you win, lock away your original bankroll and gamble with the winnings alone. If you lock away your original bankroll, no matter what happens, at the end of the day you will leave the casino with the same amount of money you had upon entering (and this is worst case scenario). However, if you keep playing with your entire bankroll, you might lose it all.
Another piece of advice every gambler should follow – do not, under any circumstances, go to the ATM or the cashier’s desk after a long losing streak. This is quite possibly the worst thing you can do. If you lose a lot of money, don’t think that your luck will suddenly change because of all the losses. It won’t. You will probably end up losing even more. Don’t fall into that trap.
Of course, don’t think that changing the machine will change your luck. This is not how it works. Your chances of winning are exactly the same on any game you pick in the facility. Whether you play today, tomorrow, or a week from now, it does not matter – the chance will stay the same. So after a losing streak, just stop playing. It has not been a good day – it happens. Go do something else. Don’t spend more money on futile attempts to change your luck.