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10 Myths of Slots Play

1 October 2001

By Gayle Mitchell

No slots education would be complete without the 10 most oft-repeated myths about the game. There have always been theories/myths about sure-win slot playing. I'm listing the most common of these incorrect myths here with explanations.

Myth #1: Someone hits a jackpot at the machine you were just playing: that could have been your jackpot!

This is not true, because of that programmed random number generator (RNG) in the slot machine. It's constantly in motion, picking different number/symbol combinations, even when the machine is idle at a speed faster than you can pull that handle or press the spin button. Don't beat yourself up if someone comes along right after you and hits a jackpot. Also, don't be afraid to leave a slot machine because you think this might happen to you. Think about this instead: Do blackjack players worry about who is going to sit in their seats after they leave the table? Of course not. When you and your bankroll are ready to find another slot, don't dally: move on.

Myth #2: The casinos can flip a switch to make machines tight or loose.

Nope. Only the slot manufacturer can make any changes to a slot machine. Besides, most Gaming Control Boards do not allow casinos to do this.

Myth #3: Hot coins mean the machine will win and cold coins mean a cold machine.

The only reason a machine has hot coins is because of the lights near the hopper.

Myth #4: If an attendant or mechanic opens your machine, it will stop paying.

Usually, a machine is opened to correct a problem or to refill the hopper with coins. This does not affect the RNG's programmed mission. Sometimes a slot mechanic will give a player two or three free pulls--especially if the player is polite. But if stopping for a mechanic makes you lose your rhythm, you have two choices: When the mechanic is done, play another three pulls and decide whether to stay or leave: or, leave as soon as your play is interrupted.

Myth #5: Higher denomination slots have more payouts.

All machines are preprogrammed with payout schedules. Higher denominations ($5+) probably have a higher hit frequency; but it's all relative when you invest more from your gambling bankroll. Start off with quarter machines which account for 25% of total slots revenue and are the most popular slots. The nickel machines do have fewer payouts because the maintenance costs are higher. They are played often and require more maintenance than other slots.

Myth #6: Players should play less than maximum coins until the machine starts to pay.

This myth really scares me, because it goes against basic slot playing strategy and could be very costly to the player. Remember, the RNG doesn't know if you're putting in one coin or three. You gain no advantage by trying to pump or prime that slot machine for the jackpot, because you have no idea when that jackpot will be. The next symbol combination to come up has already been determined before you pull the handle. Follow my advice and trust me on this: If you can't afford to play maximum coins, drop down to a lower-priced machine.

Myth #7: Players should move up to higher denomination machines in hopes of better payoffs.

This is the reverse of Myth #6 and can be very costly, too, because you will lose more money at a faster rate.

Myth #8: You've put so much money into a slot; it must be ready to hit. You deserve to win!

Yes, you do deserve to win, but the length of time a slot is played without winning has no bearing on its readiness to pay. Any slot can go months or years without paying its top jackpot. It maintains the programmed payoff percentage rate by paying smaller wins.

Myth #9: Machines pay better if you use a casino slot club card.

Tell that to the RNG! It doesn't know what a slot card is, and it certainly doesn't care if you use one, but you should. That RNG just keeps rolling with those symbol combinations, greedily taking money in any form--cash or card. The advantage to you are the slot card freebie benefits.

Misconception #10: Play the machines nearest the doors or aisles.

While you may be more comfortable in these seats and these slots are played more often; they are not always the best-paying slots. Moving over 2 or 3 machines can be more profitable.
Gayle Mitchell
Gayle Mitchell, one of the first women to break through the “felt ceiling” of the previously male-dominated world of casino gambling gurus, is now regarded as one of North America’s leading experts on casino gambling.

Gayle’s commitment to educating the gambling public began almost 20 years ago, when she walked into a Las Vegas casino and experienced for the first time the thrill that comes with winning even a small bet. She made up her mind then and there to learn every game in the casino, and a short time later resolved to make a career out of sharing her insights with other gamblers. She had always considered herself to be a good teacher – she believes in keeping things simple – and decided that she would commit herself to showing newbies how to become knowledgeable, intelligent gamblers.

Gayle started her own publishing company, and her first book came out in 1997. Today she is the author of seven books, seven EBooks, and a set of five Tips booklets, and has presented many seminars on casino gambling. Currently she teaches Learn to Win Programs with other leading experts at GamblingTeachers.com. The site is a player-friendly Free Gambling Learning Center offering 300+ online lessons for popular casino games plus Gambling Teachers Blog. Gayle also operates www.gamerisms.com, which is a games glossary site for sport, casino, skill and video game players.

“It’s a fact that less than 2 percent of casino players know the profitable, correct strategies and/or rules for most casino games,” Gayle says. “Our group of career teachers and writers are working to improve that statistic.”

Gayle Mitchell Websites:

www.gamblingteachers.com
www.gamerisms.com