Slots are Never ‘Due to Pay’
Why Human Pattern Perception Does Not Match the Way Slots Work!
People talk about slots like they are ‘due to pay’, and might also tell you to avoid one that has just paid out… Once you know how slots work, from a technical standpoint, these statements no longer make sense.
While us humans are experts at seeing patterns in things, most of the time the patterns you’ll ‘see’ in slot play are more ‘noise’ than reality. This page explains how this works; and will help you look at the enjoyable world of online and live slots with a better understanding of how things really work.
This article starts by detailing exactly why you can’t expect things to even out after a long, losing run. It’s not all bad news, as the piece moves on to explain how the randomness of a slot can work in your favour too. The article ends by debunking a popular myth about slots at casinos and explaining exactly how you can find the best paying slots.
No, You’re Not ‘Due a Win’
Slots, whether you’re playing online or at the casino itself, are a lot of fun. However, a long losing run can test the patience of anyone and frustration levels can set in. However, continually playing with the expectancy that the slot is due to give you that win to ‘even’ things up is a mistake. Slots are not programmed to work that way.
Every single spin of a slot machine is completely independent to another. What happened on the last spin, the last 10 spins, the last 50 spins, the last 100 spins or the last 1,000 spins has no effect whatsoever on the next spin. If you had the incredible misfortune to play a slot for five hours without hitting a bonus feature, you are no more likely to hit the feature than someone just sitting down to play.
Random Number Generators and the 'Expert' at the Bar!
Each time you press the ‘spin’ button on slot, a new random string is generated by the RNG (random number generator) software. This number determines the outcome of that spin. It has no memory, no need to ‘balance’, and no sense of fairness… the maths determines the long term pay outs, and the RNG gives a random configuration of symbols independently each time you press.
From time to time I meet someone in a bar or casino who claims to watch the games. The same old story is that they wait until people have fed the machine, then play. They usually claim to make a killing in this way! I always raise an eyebrow… short term wins, sure… over the long term, that ‘expert’ has exactly the same chances as everyone else.
Some Good News: Random = Better (When You Look at it Another Way)
What I’ve just told you sucks right? How about you look at what I’ve just told you in another way. Imagine you’ve just had a dream run playing a slot. You’ve landed feature after feature or hit big win after big win. You might figure that it’s now time to walk away as you’re due a losing run. This is not the case either. You are just as likely to land another big win or a feature on the next spin as the poor guy who has been playing for five hours. Each spin is totally independent.
If you look at the bigger picture, you wouldn’t want it any other way. Do you really want to play a slot where things even themselves out? Yes, it might seem satisfying to know that you’ll pick up a big win after a losing run. But it’s not quite so pleasing to know that a big win will always be followed by an immediate long losing run. If slots were programmed in this way, there would be no point in playing, as players wouldn’t have any highs and lows when playing – it would all be pretty average!
Debunking Some Other Popular Slot Myths
There are many theories abound about how casinos place slots. One popular myth is that casinos will place looser slots nearer the entrance. Other similar myths are that these games are found near the cage, to entice people to play one last game before cashing in, or they are found in dark corners, so nobody wants to play them.
If you were running a casino, you certainly wouldn’t want any of these to be the case. The clients of the casino would quickly pick up on this and everybody would be playing the looser machines – and your profit would be reduced or gone completely! This makes no sense at all. This is where the Return to Player Percentage comes in.
Loose vs Tight Slots: Return to Player Percentage
Every slot on the casino floor or online has a ‘Return to Player Percentage’ (RTP). This figure gives the player an expectation of how much the slot pays out in relation to the money put in. Many slots in live casinos have an RTP in the region of 92-94%, while online slots can have a return of one or two percentage points higher (due to the lower overheads of playing online).
For example, if you were to play 100 spins at a buck a time when playing a slot with a 94% RTP, your expectancy is that you’ll walk away with $94. This $94 is an average figure that the slot would play out over its lifetime, but as explained, any individual sessions can be particularly good or bad and will have no relevance on the next session.
If you do want to find the best paying slots, find those games with the highest RTPs!
Wrapping It Up: Have Fun, Choose Slots with High RTP and Remember - Each Spin is an New Event!
Continuing to play at the same slot with an expectation that you’re guaranteed to hit that big win soon is never a good strategy. The slot doesn’t even know you’ve had a losing run – they’re just not programmed that way. This fact can be hard to get your head around, but once you do, you’ll realise that this uncertainty is the real beauty of playing slots.
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