5 Common Slot Machine Superstitions

There are a lot of games in the casino that require thinking and strategy, but slots are not one of them. It’s almost entirely a game of luck, so that allows the customer to just sit back, relax and go for a spin. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the reasons why slots are so popular: anyone can play. However, that doesn’t stop people from overthinking the simplicity of these games. As a result, that’s led to a number of myths being created with people crafting all sorts of superstitions and coming up with all sorts of wild reasons why they win or lose.

In an effort to put some of these myths to bed, let’s go through the five most common ones and explain why they are nothing more than a figment of your imagination.

Online Slots Are Rigged

Some people are skeptical when it comes to online slots, but there is really no need to be. Of course, it’s online and it’s understandable to ponder whether the casino or some developer in the back end is rigging the game against you. But the reality is very far from that. The truth is that casinos are heavily regulated and monitored to make sure that all of their games are fair. And they can face some very steep fines if that’s not the case. The other factor here is that the developers themselves actually craft the games. That means these types of payout or Return-To-Player percentages can’t be manipulated. Random number generators are used, so that the game is not in anyone’s hands and therefore can’t be controlled.

5 reel slots

Online slots are completely legit just as any regular slot machine. There’s nothing to worry about here.

Casinos Can Change Slot Game Settings

Similar to the first entry on this list, some players believe in the myth that the casinos can change the slot game settings. This myth applies to both online slots as well as the ones at land-based casinos too. This myth is built around the fact that a casino would go into the game and change something like how frequently the bonus round is triggered and bump it from 300 spins to 500 spins. Or that maybe if it’s a progressive, they turn down the frequency that the winning jackpot is hit. The reality is that these are not only untrue, but they’re also impossible.

What most people don’t realize is that very few casinos actually create their own slots. Whether it’s online or land-based, casinos typically get their games from a provider. The games arrive with a number of presets in there already – including the RTP. That can’t be changed on the fly via a switch or lever. More importantly, every game – especially online – has to show you the paytable, paylines, RTP and hit frequency, so you know going into the game what to expect.

If casinos were ever busted for manipulating the slots, they would face seven-figure fines. They don’t bother with this type of thing as they win enough off of these machines as is.

Progressive Jackpot Games Are Tilted

There is a mindset that goes around that while progressive jackpots can produce a life-changing payout, they also payout less (for smaller wins) because they have to make up for it with the big wins that they eventually giveaway. That’s not true whatsoever. The progressive jackpot works in a completely different fashion.

Slot machine surrounded by flying coins,

To make the pool for the big prize, what happens is that after each spin, a set amount is set aside for the massive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The more you play; the more is added to the jackpot and the bigger it gets. That’s how it is progressing. You can still win smaller amounts as per usual as those are not tied to the progressive jackpot. Those are tied to the RTP of the game – whatever that number is.

So, when a slot machine pays out $100,000, that’s not because a lot of players got screwed out of smaller wins along the way. All it means is that the machine was played a lot and a lot of money was set aside given the volume of the spins. Usually, a casino will connect several machines to the one jackpot, so that the number rises faster. Your odds of winning aren’t tilted in any way, shape or form with this game. The RTP actually pays out whatever it says and the jackpot is unaffected.

Slots Are Hot/Cold

This has more to do with the machines at land-based casinos rather than online. However, some people view this fallacy as relating to the actual temperature of the machine. And also the “mood” of the machine – for lack of a better term.

When it comes to the temperature, some people feel that slots at land-based casinos need to be warmed up. In other words, when you first sit down, you’re not going to win for the first little while because the slot needs time to get going. It’s kind of like a basketball player who starts the game and needs to get into the flow of things. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The machine is exactly that: a machine. It works off a set random number generator and delivers based off of that. Regardless of the temperature of the machine, it pays out the exact same.

Slot Machine

As for the second part of this fallacy, the machine doesn’t get hot as in it gets on a streak. If the machine pays out once, there is no correlation to future payouts, so don’t expect to go on any type of a streak one way or another. The previous spins have no effect on the future ones, so you can put that thinking to the side.

Time of Day is a Factor

There’s a common misconception with slots that the machines are set to payout more at different times. In other words, some people walk around in Vegas and think that the machines are set to pay out more in the evening, so that it entices more people to play when there are crowds in the casino. Meanwhile, they are set to payout less during the day when the scene is quiet. This is completely false.

Slots are almost entirely a game of luck. All you’re doing is hoping that the random number generator works in your favor. There is no specific time of day where you are more

Dave Golokhov

Dave Golokhov

Dave has a long history in the media. His career began at The Score Television Network. He’s since been a radio host on Sirius Satellite Radio, made numerous television appearances as a panelist, and has written for publications like FOX Sports, Playboy.com and The Baltimore Sun. He’s interviewed hundreds of celebrities in both sports and entertainment, ranging from Shaquille O’Neal, to Floyd Mayweather, to The Mannings.

As a travel/adventure writer, Dave has written a number of destination stories covering some of the most unique destinations, such as Bilbao (Spain), Tel Aviv (Israel) to Iceland. He’s also (been lucky to) had the opportunity to review the experience of eating at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Noma (Copenhagen), Amber (Hong Kong) and Eleven Madison Park (New York). All of those stories can be read on AskMen.com, The Daily Beast and The Globe & Mail.


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