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Common misunderstandings in slot machine

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Display screen of a slot machine in tilt mode

“Hot” and “Cold” machines

Standard slot machines do not get “hot” or “cold”. The odds of hitting a winning combination are determined by a random number generator contained in the machine’s software and is exactly the same with every spin. Such slot machines are never “due to be hit” if they haven’t paid out a jackpot in a while. (Exception: UK-style AWP machines are progressive which means chances of winning will increase over time if the machine has not paid any wins out. Many also “force” wins on players in order to meet the payout percentage).


There is a science to the placement of slot machines on the gaming floor, but the highest paying machines are not necessarily placed in high-traffic areas. Typically, machines of similar payback percentages are grouped together, with 1% or less difference from machine to machine in the group.

Payout changes

  • In most jurisdictions, casinos cannot alter the machine’s payout percentage by time of day, day of week, or remotely via a computer.
  • Using a slot club card does not affect the machine’s payout percentage. The card just allows the casino to keep track of the amount wagered by a player and issue complimentaries accordingly.

Missed opportunities

  • You leave a machine. Another player comes up and immediately hits a jackpot. You think, “If I had played just one more time, I would have won that jackpot.”
  • A machine returns a higher jackpot for playing more coins. You play fewer coins, and a winning combination appears. You think, “If I had played more coins, I would have won more money.”

In both cases, you did not “miss” an opportunity to win. The results of modern slot machines depend on exactly when you play them. It is very unlikely in either case that you would have received the same result if you had played just one more time or just one more coin.

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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