For people who enjoy an activity that is completely governed by cold, hard mathematics it’s strange how superstitious and/or downright misinformed gamblers can be. This is especially true for slot machine players. Maybe it’s the fact that since there’s virtually no way to influence the outcome of the game the slot machine player gravitates to ‘luck‘ or superstition hoping to gain some degree of control. The problem is that it doesn’t work and in some cases can actually hurt your chances of winning while playing slots. At the very least, it’s not going to do you any good. On one hand, some slot machine myths are harmless and it doesn’t really hurt anything when players follow them. On the other hand, it’s much better for a player to spend their time studying the reality of gambling instead of chasing useless systems and tips.
In this article, we’ll look at a number of slot machine myths that have been around for years. Many of these also apply to video poker and video keno. They’re usually spread by well-meaning though ill-informed players who mistake correlation for causation. At any rate, once you understand how slot machines really work it’s just not possible to buy into any of these dubious myths and ‘theories‘.
SLOT MACHINE MYTHS AND FALLACIES
- COIN TEMPERATURE: You can tell a ‘myth‘ is complete nonsense when there are two countervailing extremes of the same ‘strategy‘. That’s definitely the case with ‘coin temperature‘. Here’s how it (supposedly) works–you can ‘trick‘ a machine into hitting a jackpot by playing with ‘hot‘ (as in temperature) coins. There’s also a faction who believe that you can trick a machine using ‘cold‘ coins that have been chilled in ice. In reality, both strategies are largely irrelevant due to the transition away from coin based slot machines. The majority of machines you’ll encounter accept bills and vouchers to ‘pay in‘ and give you a ‘pay out‘ voucher when you’re done. If you can find a coin-operated machine there’s no way that the temperature of the coins would have any influence on the random number generator (RNG) and thus the payout frequency or amount of the machine.
- PLAYERS’ CLUB CARDS LET THE CASINO SPY ON YOUR PLAY: Fortunately, this myth is starting to die a long overdue death. The thinking is that you’re best served to be anonymous while you play the slots. The adherent to the ‘no players’ club cards’ belief argued that the cards allowed the casino to track your play in real time and if they see you winning they can ‘flip a switch’ or otherwise cause the machine to stop paying. That’s simply not the case–every spin is completely random and has is not influenced by previous spins. Players’ Club cards work in your best interest and can get you some nice comps and freebies including cash back, free rooms, free meals and other perks. The casino wants to market to you, not track your play in ‘real time‘.
- NEW SLOT MACHINES AND NEWLY OPENED CASINOS: There are plenty of people who swear that new slot machines are ‘programmed‘ to ‘be loose‘ for a few days in order to attract players. An even better situation is when a new casino opens–in that case, there’s an entire floor of new machines that are ‘programmed‘ to ‘be loose‘. Unfortunately, neither ‘strategy’ has any basis in reality. New machines–with or without new casinos–are based on completely random number generation just like machines that have been in service for awhile. There’s also a group that believes the opposite–that you should avoid newer machines since they are ‘tighter’ than older models. In either case, the age of the machine or age of the casino they’re in doesn’t matter a bit.
- MACHINES IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE CASINO PAY BETTER: This theory may have once had some truth. The thinking is that the casino wants to ‘generate excitement‘ to attract customers and the best way to do that is for passersby to see people winning money. For that reason, machines with better payouts were placed in high traffic areas of the casino–near the buffet, the showroom, near the entrance, etc.
- There are plenty of old-school casino employees that suggest this was once a valid strategy. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked since the days of change girls and quarter rolls. The strategy now is to put the most eye-catching and elaborate machines in high traffic areas. There’s little to suggest that current casinos place better-paying machines near high traffic areas.
- THE MACHINE ‘IS DUE‘ OR ‘IT OWES ME‘: The thinking here is that a long time has passed since a jackpot payout so a machine is ‘due‘ to have one. Alternately, a player may think that after playing for a long time unsuccessfully that the machine has taken enough of his money and now ‘owes‘ him some return. Both are completely false. Every spin of the slot machine is completely random. The machine has no idea who is playing, how long they’ve been playing or how much they’ve put into the machine. The machine doesn’t care how long it’s been (or how recently) it’s paid a jackpot. It’s completely random and it’s important to understand that fact and not get sucked in by ‘slot machine myths‘.