There are many myths about slots because people don’t really understand how they work, which sows doubt and distrust.
The most common myth about slots is that they’re rigged, but these games are completely random and produced by third party companies not affiliated with any particular casinos.
Other myths about slots revolve around whether the games favor certain players, whether casinos have slots that are more lucky than others, and whether slots can be “hacked” or cheated.
Casino games often have a lot of myths surrounding them because many people don’t know how casinos really operate. And when people don’t know exactly how something works, they tend to make things up about it.
Some people just think everything at the casino is rigged so the house wins — particularly slot machines. However, slot machines are completely random games with no clear patterns for winning. Not knowing how a slot machine picks winning combinations of course leads to a lot of confusion and myths.
But it’s important to know the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to slots. Here, we’ll dive into how slots work so you can better trust them and the casino with your money and have more fun! So, let’s debunk some myths about slots at both land-based and online casinos.
1. Slots Are Rigged
The Myth: Casinos fix slots so the house always wins.
The Truth: This myth about slots is one of the most widely accepted, so let’s debunk it once and for all. Slots are programmed by third-party companies. That means the casino has no say in what the random number generator (RNG) does, how it works, how and when it pays out … none of that. So, the casino can’t rig slots because they don’t make the games themselves.
Now, when we talk about “house edge,” it’s important to remember that all casino games have some house edge, which ensures they win a little bit so they can make money. That’s just business. But casinos can’t rig slots to increase the house edge — it’s automatically programmed when the game is released. That’s where the return-to-player (RTP) rate comes in.
Finally, there is a lot of regulation in the casino industry to make sure all games and machines are fair. This is especially true in the online casino industry. Third-party casino regulation organizations send representatives to regularly inspect machines or online slot games. They ensure the game’s mechanics, algorithms, or pay rate are as they should be.
2. Online Slots Are More Rigged Than Those in Land-Based Casinos
The Myth: There’s less regulation for online slots since they’re on the internet. The randomization mechanism is different and less fair.
The Truth: Both physical machines and online slots use RNGs that casinos can’t alter. If they did try to alter these mechanisms, either for in-person or online slots, they wouldn’t be a legitimate casino you’d want to go to. Also, all online slot games are designed, programmed, and maintained by third-party companies, even exclusive online slot games branded by the casino.
3. Certain Times of Day Are More Lucky
The Myth: Spinning at certain times of day increases your chances of winning. Slots are more likely to pay out during a slow time of day.
The Truth: There’s really no rhyme or reason for when a slot pays out, either big or small. It’s totally random. So you don’t have to be up at 3 a.m. to spin just because someone said that the witching hour was more lucky. Go back to sleep.
4. Casino Staff Know Which Machines Are Lucky
The Myth: Casino staff know that certain machines are “loose,” or they have insight into when a machine is going to pay out.
The Truth: They don’t. Slot attendants and other front-of-house staff just keep the area clean and comfortable, verify big wins, and report any funny business on the casino floor. They don’t have any secret knowledge about “lucky” machines. Not even the programmers know when a slot will pay out. The RNG for a slot cannot be predicted, hence why it’s called “random.”
5. Slots Near the Aisles Are More Likely To Pay Out
The Myth: Casinos place high-paying slots, high-RTP slots, or other lucky slots in certain areas on the casino floor. They even put loose slots in the corners to prevent people from getting to them easily.
The Truth: Land-based casinos generally organize their slots based on cost to play. So nickel machines will be with other nickel machines, quarter machines will be with quarter machines, and so on. That means a slot machine’s location has nothing to do with its likelihood to pay out.
6. The Amount of Time Since the Last Jackpot Win Affects When a Slot Will Pay Out
The Myth: Slots that just paid out won’t pay out for a while. The payout cycle resets after each big win.
The Truth: This slots myth suggests that there’s a “payout cycle” or rate at which a jackpot will pay out. But that’s not true at all. Again, this is totally random. There are no hot or cold streaks — you have just as much a chance to win on a slot that hasn’t paid out in months as you do on a game that paid out yesterday. Tell this slots myth to any Megabucks slot winners!
7. Certain Betting Patterns Trigger a Win
The Myth: Betting certain amounts in a specific pattern triggers a jackpot.
The Truth: There is no secret formula for winning a slot, especially not a secret code involving betting patterns. People have claimed in the past that you can win a slot by increasing and decreasing your bet amounts in specific patterns, but there’s no evidence of that. Again, you win on random chance.
8. Autospin Reduces Your Chance of Winning
The Myth: Using the autospin feature instead of hitting spin yourself reduces your payout.
The Truth: Autospin means you can play more games faster. But you’re losing money faster, too. That may be what makes people think that this feature is reducing payout.
Manually hitting spin or pulling the lever means you’re spending a few extra seconds to perform this action. In reality, you save a little bit of your bankroll this way because you’re pacing yourself. But whether you do this manually or use the autospin feature has no effect on whether you win or lose or whether you win a little or a lot.
9. Inserting Your Loyalty Card Into a Machine Reduces Your Chance of Winning
The Myth: Casinos don’t want you to win so that they make up the losses for giving you free play and other perks.
The Truth: Casinos couldn’t do this even if they wanted to. That’s because they can’t change the game’s RNG just for certain players. The micromanaging alone would be too costly for the casino.
Plus, this myth doesn’t make all that much sense. Casinos want their loyalty members to have fun so they keep coming back. Why would they spoil your fun and punish you for being a loyal member?
10. You’re More Likely To Win a Jackpot if You’re a Loyal VIP at the Casino
The Myth: On the flip side, casinos actually reward loyal players with more wins — and bigger ones at that.
The Truth: This one is tricky because it comes down to causation. Let us explain.
In order to win the best jackpots, you have to wager the maximum amount on a winning spin. People who do this regularly spend a lot of money at casinos. And people who spend a lot of money at casinos are more likely to be VIP members. All this means is that it’s still coincidental that a VIP would win a major jackpot.
A non-VIP — heck, even a non-loyalty member — has the same chance of winning a jackpot (or any slot prize) as a VIP on any given spin. But the VIP likely has more money to wager the max on each spin. A non-VIP player may not have that much money to wager the max each time. That means the VIP has more chances to win the huge jackpot because every wager they make qualifies, while the non-VIP player only has a few chances because they can only bet the max a few times and get in a few qualifying wagers.
It’s important to remember that a VIP player’s ability to bet the max does not increase their chances of winning, though.
11. You Can Cheat at Online Slots
The Myth: People can figure out the algorithm and cheat the slot game.
The Truth: This one is tricky, too, since people have tried to “hack” online slots and slot machines with varying degrees of success. For example, people have recorded slot games and used programs to identify the RNG algorithm, information that these people would use to press spin at just the right time. This has happened at both online casinos and land-based casinos.
But again, there were varying levels of success. These programs weren’t 100% right, and players didn’t win large amounts of money. In addition, some people were caught by the casino and even charged with crimes. Others got caught but didn’t face criminal charges, but they were still banned from that casino.
With the casinos and regulatory authorities monitoring online slots and in-person slot machines closely, cheating at slots has become less likely to be successful or profitable.
12. You Can’t Increase Your Chances of Winning.
The Myth: Since slots are random, there’s no strategy to improve your chances of winning.
The Truth: Sure, there’s no skill or strategy involved with playing slots — you just pull the lever or hit spin. And there’s certainly no secret code to make the game pay out. But there are some strategic choices you can make to improve your chances of winning and increase the amount you win.
The first strategy is to play slot games with a high RTP rate. The RTP rate is the average rate at which a slot game is expected to reward players. This percentage tells you how much you might expect to get back from your wager. For instance, Blood Suckers is an online slot with an RTP of 98%. So if you wager $10, you might expect to get $9.80 back (on average).
Another strategy is to play slots with the volatility that will yield the results you want. Volatility refers to the amount and rate at which a slot pays out. High volatility means the game pays out larger prizes at fewer intervals, while low volatility means the game pays out small prizes more often. If you want to win larger amounts of money, a high volatility game may be your style. But if you’d rather win more often, low volatility is the way to go.
The final strategy you can use to increase your winnings is to bet the maximum. If you can, betting the maximum qualifies you for a game’s largest-possible payout. Be sure to read the paytables to see how much your award multiplies based on your wager. You may even find that betting somewhere in the middle could yield you large enough prizes.