Slot machines have always been the center of a huge number of speculations and theories. There are numerous myths, some of which originate all the way from the era of the first slot machines. And many people believe they are true even nowadays.

So, where’s the truth? Is it better to play at a certain time of day? Is it better to play slots online when there is a mega jackpot? Is it better to keep playing when the machine is generous? Or is it random and all of those things are irrelevant? Keep reading this article and find out how slot machines really work.

Random Number Generators

If you are already familiar with slot machines or other applications that utilise this technology, you probably know what random number generators (or RNGs) are. Their job is very simple and quite complicated at the same time – they generate random numbers.

That may sound simple, but it’s not that easy to make sure the results really are absolutely random, don’t follow any trends, and are not predictable in any way. Slot machines usually use RNGs based on electromagnetic noise.

You can compare the electromagnetic noise to an old television without a signal – black and white dots always changing and never staying the same. If you then take a part of the imaginary screen, convert black dots to ones and white dots to zeros, you have a completely random binary number. That’s how these RNGs work – in a nutshell.

The slot machine then takes the generated random number and converts it into a result of a spin. This is done by the game’s internal mathematics. That determines the results of each spin based on the random number provided by the RNG.

That means the RNG is the only thing that determines the result of a slot machine spin. The random number is generated when you press a button to spin the reels of the slot machine. If you pressed the button just a fraction of a second later or sooner, the result would have been completely different, because the RNG would have generated a different number.

Slot machine myths

So, what about the questions at the beginning of the article? Let’s address them one by one:

  • Is it better to play at a certain time of day?
    No. The time you play doesn’t influence the result of the next spin in any way, shape or form.
  • Is it better to play when the slot machine has a mega jackpot’?
    That depends. If it is a regular progressive jackpot, it can be won at any time so it doesn’t matter when you play it.

    However, if it is a timed jackpot e.g. must be won by 10pm, and it’s 9.58pm, then yes, your chances of winning within the next two minutes are greater, though not guaranteed.

  • Is it better to keep playing when the machine is ‘generous’?
    It’s true that it often seems that good and bad results come in waves, but it’s just a result of random number behaving the way they do.

To sum it up, slot machines behave randomly. None of the things described above influence the results of individual game rounds. All you can do is play and hope the random numbers are on your side.

The Casino Always Wins In The Long Run

When playing any casino game, it’s important to know that the casino always has an advantage. The games are set up in a specific way so that the casino always profits in the long run. After all, they are running a business that needs to be profitable.

That being said, it’s also important to keep in mind that not all casino games are the same. European roulette, for example, has a fixed payout ratio of roughly 97.3%. That means that players lose £2.7 out of every £100 wagered.

Slots, on the other hand, are extremely diverse. Their payout ratio usually ranges from 94% to 98%, with the average being somewhere around the 96% mark. This is true for the online slots you can find in most online casinos. Physical slot machines you can play in brick-and-mortar casinos can have significantly lower payout ratios in some countries, depending on the local regulations and other factors.

Whenever you are playing any game of chance, remember to look for one with a payout ratio as high as possible. It’s always good to minimise the casino’s advantage and of course even though you can win in the short run, the casino will be the winner when the statistical deviations cancel out and everything that’s left is the long term payout ratio of the game.