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  1. #1
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    Is winning slot machine strategy a myth?

    We know that slot machines use a Random Number Generator (RNG) and each spin is completely independent of the other, but machines do have a payback percentage and must pay that percentage over the long haul. It's no secret that Casinos place different odds on payback throughout the Casino. The trick is finding which ones with the best payback. In the old days you had the myth that the best slots were at the end of the rows, but we all know that is rubbish. I do however believe Casinos still place the better odds machines in high visibility areas. They want people to see others winning. The question also comes up whether Casinos change the odds on machines often. I believe they do, even on an hourly basis, if the machines can be controlled via a central computer and less often if the machine must be opened. It is my understanding they are not allowed to remotely change the odds while someone is playing and has their players card inserted.

    I suspect they change the odds on machines that have been idle for awhile. This could be a good thing if the machine wasn't paying previously, or a bad thing if it was. Also, people tend to shy away from machines that just hit. My philosophy is that if you're looking for a higher payback machine, then why not take a few spins to see if it is still hitting? I believe taking 20 spins on idle machines is a good gauge. One of the worst things slot players do is staying on a cold machine, thinking that it is "due to hit" and that is a big mistake IMO. If you're on a cold machine, get up and go to another machine, thus increasing your chances at finding a higher payback machine.


    We all know that the outcome has already been decided when you hit the spin button and what you see is a graphical representation of that spin (RNG). You would be surprised how many people believe they can control the outcome by stopping the reels. Unbelievable. All that does it make you play and lose faster. Having said that, if you're playing at a certain rhythm and losing, I suppose it couldn't hurt to change it up some. Wait a minute It probably won't make any difference, BUT what the hell, try it. If it is a cold machine move on to another machine and increase your chances at a better machine. Don't be one of those people who is stubborn and stay at a losing machine until your pockets are empty. At the end of the day the goal is find a machine with a higher payback and even then you can be unlucky, but you increase your odds.

    Should you avoid playing branded machines? Examples are machines based on favorite characters, TV shows, movies, etc. There is more overhead costs for the Casinos to place branded slots on their floor, so I expect a lower payback.

    There are thoughts out there that say not to play slots in places of waiting, such near the buffet line, or facing a restroom. I don't know if that matters or not. Then there is the old saying of never play close to table games because card players don't want to hear the bells and whistles of winners, and they could drop a few dollars into a machine on their way to and from the tables, so why waste a good paying machine on them?

    Advantage play machines - Some machines you have to build something up that is metered. Sometimes slot players get up and leave machines where they have built up the meter. Those are the types of machines you should sit down and play. If you hit the feature, get up and leave.

    There are also progressives that have a "must hit by" number. I haven't seen these at my local (Treasure Island, MN), but if that number is real close to the "must hit by" value, then that may be good candidate to sit down and play.

    Choosing better ratio machines. In other words, avoid sucker bets. What is the max jackpots on max credits. If the max is in currency divide it by both the denomination and max credits. If the jackpot is displayed in credits divide only by the max credits. Example, if the max jackpot is 15,000 on a machine with max credits of 2 coins, it's ratio is 7,500. If the max jackpot is 6,000 with max credits of 3 coins, it's ratio is 2,000. Apply this to several machines and play the one with the best ratio.

    What are some of your thoughts on slot machine strategy? Is it all BS?
    Last edited by CharlieC; 06-11-2021 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Member JJinNewkirk's Avatar
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    I think we all have somewhat of a playing strategy. Number of spins or amount of dollars before moving on. That works for my other half. Me, I shy away from anything with progressives because I am the one staying on a cold machine.

    Being server based now, I can't help believe that each casino does have control. If I walk into a casino, and every single machine, regardless of who made it, gives zero bonus's, yeah, that entire casino has somehow shut off bonus functions. This happened to me at the local Osage casino. VGT, IGT, Konomi, Aristocat, every machine on the floor, on a Friday Morning. I dropped a bundle and have not been back since. Bad for business. Never, ever have I had such a bad day since we started gambling.

    Its a crazy world . What is even crazier is Oklahoma has zero control over any of the casinos. The feds will fine them if the paperwork is not filed properly, or on time, but other than that, they have nothing but their own consciences to rule.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinNewkirk View Post
    I think we all have somewhat of a playing strategy. Number of spins or amount of dollars before moving on. That works for my other half. Me, I shy away from anything with progressives because I am the one staying on a cold machine.

    Being server based now, I can't help believe that each casino does have control. If I walk into a casino, and every single machine, regardless of who made it, gives zero bonus's, yeah, that entire casino has somehow shut off bonus functions. This happened to me at the local Osage casino. VGT, IGT, Konomi, Aristocat, every machine on the floor, on a Friday Morning. I dropped a bundle and have not been back since. Bad for business. Never, ever have I had such a bad day since we started gambling.

    Its a crazy world . What is even crazier is Oklahoma has zero control over any of the casinos. The feds will fine them if the paperwork is not filed properly, or on time, but other than that, they have nothing but their own consciences to rule.

    Like clockwork, every time I start to play I will get a bonus in short order to set the barbed hook and keep me going before they REEL ME IN !!! And they don't believe in Catch and Release !!!!

  4. #4
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    I have spoken to ex-casino workers who tell me that they DO change the machine percentages, that if a server based machine is winning, they change it in the middle of play... the player does not know. They tell me that the casino can program the payouts.... like if you are betting 50 cents, the pay out can be at 96%, but at max bet, it might only be 74%. they can program them to do anything.... to not bonus, to bonus only after so many spins, or to bonus and pay out only a certain percentage when it does. I do not believe there is any such thing as a RANDOM number generator anymore.... at least not one that is random in the true sense of the word.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by steph View Post
    I have spoken to ex-casino workers who tell me that they DO change the machine percentages, that if a server based machine is winning, they change it in the middle of play... the player does not know. They tell me that the casino can program the payouts.... like if you are betting 50 cents, the pay out can be at 96%, but at max bet, it might only be 74%. they can program them to do anything.... to not bonus, to bonus only after so many spins, or to bonus and pay out only a certain percentage when it does. I do not believe there is any such thing as a RANDOM number generator anymore.... at least not one that is random in the true sense of the word.
    That is illegal if a person is playing and they change the odds while they are playing. I think you are misinformed. However, if the machine is idle they can change the odds, whether that is remotely if server based, or by opening the machine if not. Casinos stand to lose a lot more with losing their license to operate than they do by taking your money by changing odds in the middle of your play. Regulators don't want Casino employees to be able to goose the paybacks on machines for their relatives or friends. It would seem to me that this type of activity is a major offense that could shut down a Casino. They already have the house edge, so why take the risk?
    Last edited by CharlieC; 06-12-2021 at 09:58 AM.

  6. #6
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    I thought this was an interesting read - https://www.casinocitytimes.com/john...-casinos-63738

    Ask the Slot Expert: Paybacks at Indian casinos

    29 October 2014

    By John Robison, Slot Expert™

    Please discuss the Indian casinos in Michigan. Are their paybacks the same as non-Indian casinos? Who regulates them?
    I frequent a newer casino in Battle Creek. I never can win. Other casinos seem to pay well but not this casino.
    All the slot machines are new. Can they control these machines with the computer software?
    Indian casinos are regulated by the federal government via the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and also by the state if the tribe has negotiated a compact with the state in order to offer Class III games.
    Long-term paybacks at Native American casinos aren't necessarily lower than those at corporate casinos. I think the operator's philosophy on payback and the amount of competition the casino faces have more to do with the long-term payback on the slot floor than whether the casino is owned by a tribe or a corporation.
    Last week I discussed why it's difficult to win on many video slots. Compared with a traditional 3-coin, quarter reel-spinning slot, you may tend to get more play on the video slot for a $75 bankroll, but you can still end up losing the entire $75. On the reel-spinner, it takes only a 100-for-1 payout to break even. On the video slot, assuming 3 cents bet on 25 lines, it takes a 2,500-for-1 payout on one line to break even.
    Finally, referring to your last question, if by "control" you mean control when a machine hits or tighten or loosen a machine, the answer is a definite no. Slot regulations require that the outcome of a spin be determined by a Random Number Generator that operates without any outside influence whatsoever. (I believe the casino you referred to has Class III, RNG-based machines.) The casino cannot influence the outcomes on the machines, nor can the casino change its long-term paybacks at whim.

    Last edited by CharlieC; 06-12-2021 at 10:12 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieC View Post
    That is illegal if a person is playing and they change the odds while they are playing. I think you are misinformed. However, if the machine is idle they can change the odds, whether that is remotely if server based, or by opening the machine if not. Casinos stand to lose a lot more with losing their license to operate than they do by taking your money by changing odds in the middle of your play. Regulators don't want Casino employees to be able to goose the paybacks on machines for their relatives or friends. It would seem to me that this type of activity is a major offense that could shut down a Casino. They already have the house edge, so why take the risk?
    Yes... it IS illegal..... but only if you get caught.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steph View Post
    Yes... it IS illegal..... but only if you get caught.
    They have the house advantage, so why risk losing your license to operate over cheating on a given slot session? Also, don't you think Casinos want to prevent their employees from giving an edge to family and friends? Look at this logically.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Slotspert's Avatar
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    Its a MYTH and here is why: The experiences/observations you are describing do not focus on the primary "feeling" you get when playing a slot. That is the "volatility" of the game. Try a typical Ainsworth or Konami game (with some exceptions) to get a traditional high hit frequency with lower paybacks (most often just a percentage of your actual bet). Its the sensation of how long your money (bank roll) will cycle rather then the "payback" the machine would pay over its "lifetime" (which is calculated at about 10,000,000 spins or video poker hands to approach a 90% confidence interval of the programmed payback). Since it is unlikely you will ever push the same slot 10,000,000 times, you are unlikely to experience the actual payback a game is programmed with and then its only a 90% confidence interval. Here is the "math" that explains a 99.5% payback on a videopoker 9/5 Jacks or Better played perfectly at 90% confidence interval which you can also use as a slot spin indicator to get a understanding of what I am talking about as you try to approach a games actual payback programming:
    Number of Spins/Hands Interval
    1,000= 76.5%-122.6%
    10,000= 92.3%-106.8%
    100,000= 97.2%-101.8%
    1,000,000= 98.8%-100.3%
    10,000,000= 99.5%-99.6%

    When a full/busy casino has 4000 slot machines spinning 6-10 times a minute, you can easily approach 30,000,000-50,000,000 spins every few days and that what makes the "hold" percentage important to a casino. What you experience is the volatility and the interval payouts explained above.
    Last edited by Slotspert; 06-14-2021 at 07:04 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Random$$Slots's Avatar
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    Watch this to see how volatility works:

    https://youtu.be/mEKYd9AmP6A


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