Slot Machine Myths

By: Jason Hahn

Slot machines are a popular draw in casinos around the world, and even though each country has their different varieties of slot machines, the basic notion behind them all is the same. Traditionally, slot machines are coin-operated machines with three or more reels that spin whenever a lever on the side of the machine is pulled and released. Slot machines are affectionately nicknamed "one-armed bandits" because of their one-armed appearance.


Newer variations of the machine allow players to insert cash or even paper tickets with barcodes in order to play slot machines. Some of the more recent slot machines will even have a touch screen that starts the reels spinning.


Now, on to debunking some of the more popular myths about slot machines:


- The average slot machine never gets hot or cold. This is because the odds of a person hitting a winning combination of reels are determined by a random number generator that is built into the slot machine's software. The odds never change.


Amusement with prizes (AWP) machines in Britain are the exception to this rule. These AWP machines are progressive, meaning that the chances of someone hitting a winning combination increases over time if the machine has not paid out yet. Some of these machines will also grant winning combinations if it will help the machine to meet certain payout percentages.


- Though there is a logic behind where slot machines are placed out on the gambling floor, higher paying machines are not placed in areas with more traffic. Machines with similar payout percentages are put together.


- The temperature of the coins inserted into the slot machine will not affect the payout received. Slot machines do not sense temperature and payout different percentages depending on the temperature of the coins used.


- Using a slot club card will not affect the slot machine's payout. The card only allows the casino to monitor how much a player gambles with and the corresponding amenities that should be granted.


- In most jurisdictions, slot machines cannot have their payout percentages altered depending on the time of day or day of the week by punching in some numbers into a computer. To do this would require the replacement of parts inside of the slot machine and in many areas it would also require regulatory supervision.


Once again, British AWP machines is an exception to this rule, as these machines have percentage keys and dip switches, and changing the percentages does not require any supervision.


- Contrary to popular belief, a slot machine that has not paid out in a long time is not "due to hit." It is impossible to determine when a machine is due to hit since each spin is a random event and has no dependency on the spin before.


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