When one goes into a casino, he is going to find that one of the hot spots for people to be at is the section dedicated to the slots. Why is this? The slots are simple to play and give a person the chance to spend a minimum amount of money, yet the possibility to win large amounts, especially in the case of progressive jackpot slots. Usually people go towards popular slots, already used by others for a while. They refer to these as ‘hot’ slot machines. The reason for this is that they believe that since the machine has been used a lot recently the odds of hitting it big are increased. Also they think they will spend less money in order to win as other money has already been put in by others. The question is: is this really true or it is just a myth that people have fabricated and wish to believe in?
The truth is there is no such thing as an increased probability to win because of someone else has already played the machine before us. Many people have taken this idea to heart though, they are going to state that they have gained many wins through practising this. Slot machines are made to give a certain combination with each pull of the handle. Thus, many think that looking at statistics, the more the handle is pulled, the more likely the person is to get a winning combination. Unfortunately it would be true only if the slot had a memory, but it has not. Actually it works absolutely randomly and each pull of the lever, and the resulting combination, is independent of the previous ones. Thus, the fact that the machine has been pulled fifty times by one person, does not give us a greater likelihood to hit a winning combination.
The only thing you can count on is this – a slot machine is usually programmed to make payouts in the form of winnings of 82-98% of all the wagers that are inserted into it by players. You can usually find this value on the machine itself. Unfortunately, yet again this does not mean that you can expect an 82-98% return on your wagers. This payout percentage covers the lifespan of a slot machine and hence if a slot machine has a payout rate of 82-98% and the slot has an expected lifespan of 20 years, over the 20 years it will pay out in winnings 82-98% of all the money that players have pushed into it.
So should you play a ‘hot’ slot? Stated that there is not a real advantage in doing that, it may still be worth a try … maybe it’s months or years that the machine is well below its payout percentage and it decided that it’s time to be milked a bit 🙂