Debunking 9 Popular Slot Machine Myths

Debunking 9 Popular Slot Machine Myths
By Jon Young

There are dozens of slot machine myths that have preoccupied New Jersey gamblers over the years: Do casinos manipulate slot machines? Do player cards affect slot machines? And do I have a better chance of winning if I play slots at midnight or midday?

Luckily, in 2020 slot machine myths are exactly that: myths. Video slots are tested rigorously before they even land at legal NJ online casinos or hit the casino floor. Developers are licensed and regulated so that their slot machine games meet strict quality control.

Let’s explore some of the common slot machine myths that still circulate in gambling circles. And why not try some safe, legal online slots For yourself? We even have a complete guide to the best online slot games and variations.

Myth 1Can casinos control slot machines?
Myth 2 Do player cards affect slot machines?
Myth 3 A jackpot will trigger if it hasn’t been won in a long time
Myth 4 Video slots have “hot” and “cold” streaks
Myth 5 The coin temperature affects the slot payouts
Myth 6 Pulling the slot machine lever improves your win chances
Myth 7 Slot machines near the doors pay better odds
Myth 8 Slot betting systems work every time
Myth 9 You will win more often by betting the maximum

Myth 1: Can casinos control slot machines?

Do casinos manipulate slot machines, whether they be land based casinos or online casino operators? It’s one of the biggest slot machine myths out there. Slot manufacturers in New Jersey must meet stringent tests before their games are allowed near Atlantic City.

In New Jersey, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) follows the rules of the Casino Control Act. The DGE has its own Technical Services Bureau (TSB) that tests the integrity of all gaming equipment and slot machines. That means you can be sure of playing on a fair machine every time.

So, can casinos control the slot machines themselves? The short answer is no. Each slot machine is equipped with a preprogrammed RNG (Random Number Generators) that governs the outcome of the game. Because of the RNG, the machine can’t be tampered with in any way.

In any case, slot machine odds offer the highest house edge of casino games. NJ casinos are already earning an average 5-10% return on every slot over the long term.

Myth 2: Do player cards affect slot machines?

Most NJ casinos offer player cards where you can earn comps and benefits when you gamble. Every machine has a slot for the card. Insert your player card and earn points as you play.

One common slot machine myth is that using a loyalty card decreases your chances of winning a prize. The fallacy is that casino operators want to stop you from earning too many player points.

There are two problems with this casino myth. First, slot machines use random number generators that can’t be accessed locally by the casino (or virtually by online casinos). There is no way of affecting the outcome of your game by simply inserting a player card or by the VIP points you accrue through an online loyalty program.

Second, the casino doesn’t mind if players earn loyalty points. They are happy to pay comps to loyal customers as they are the ones who will keep coming back.

Myth 3: A jackpot will trigger if it hasn’t been won in a long time

Some gamblers are paranoid that games have a “memory” and can remember who has won, and when.

The truth is a little simpler. Video slots use RNGs (Random Number Generators) that govern the outcome of each spin. Every spin is completely independent from one another. A jackpot might trigger several times in a row or it might go unclaimed for weeks.

One factor that can affect the timing of a jackpot win is the number of players feeding coins into the machine. The longer a jackpot goes unclaimed, the more players flock to try their luck. The jackpot increases even more and eventually one lucky player takes it all.

If you’re curious, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement keeps a full list of jackpots won in Atlantic City. You can search by year, by casino, and by amount won. You can even track the manufacturer to see whose slots are paying out the big jackpots.

Myth 4: Video slots have ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ streaks

You can play online slots in a variety of themes and styles. Whatever slots you love, the idea of a winning streak is strong for many gamblers.

Slots players love to think that once they hit a hot streak of wins, it will continue. They will keep pumping coins – virtual or otherwise – into the machine in the hope that the streak carries on. Similarly, if a player hits a long losing streak, they are convinced that it will come to an end.

The reality is that every slot spin is independent. You might hit a few wins in a row or go 10 losing spins before hitting the jackpot.

Streaks can occur in slots that have high volatility. High-volatility slot machines will pay big, but they will pay on rare occasions. You may have to endure a long losing run before hitting a win.

Slot volatility is down to the arrangement of symbols on the reels. Lots of high-paying symbols on reels 1, 2 and 3 means you may hit bigger wins over the long term. If those symbols are stuck out on reels 4 and 5, your slot machine payouts will be rarer.

While volatility is a real concern for slots gamblers, there is no such thing as a “streak” where the machine knows how many wins or losses you have hit in a row.

Myth 5: The coin temperature affects the slot payouts

This is an old-school slot machine myth when coins were the main currency for gambling. Some superstitious gamblers believe that warming the coin first gives you a better chance of winning.

The myth is absurd. The physical coin simply activates the game. There is no magical temperature gauge inside the slot machine which tracks how warm or cold the coin is.

In any case, most slot machines in Atlantic City now work with either dollar bills or player cards. Presumably, however, there is a gambler who believes a warm bank note affects your chances of hitting a win. It doesn’t.

Myth 6: Pulling the slot machine lever improves your win chances

Some modern casino slots still use old-fashioned levers. Instead of hitting the Spin button, you pull a physical lever to set the reels spinning.

Unfortunately, pulling a lever is no different to pressing a button in determining a win or loss when it comes to slot machine odds. The lever simply activates the video slot software. And once the reels start spinning, the random number generator has already determined whether your spin is a winner or loser.

Myth 7: Slot machines near the doors pay better odds

Some casino players believe that high-paying video slots are placed near the doors of land based casinos. This is to bring in more players, all trying for a big win.

In 2020, however, high-paying slot machine are as likely to be placed near the bar or restrooms as they are near the front of the casino.

If anything, a slots manager may decide to place high-paying machines right at the back of a casino. This ensures you have the longest walk to get to them and will pass other games on the way.

Casinos often experiment with placement. Slots may be moved around depending on local tastes and traffic numbers. New machines may be brought into high-traffic areas for curious players to try. However, new games aren’t always high payers, and some games may be extremely volatile.

Myth 8: Slot betting systems work every time

No slots betting system is 100% foolproof. You can’t count cards like you can in blackjack or follow hot streaks like in roulette.

The best strategies for playing slots are to choose the right games and to budget properly. Start by studying the slot paytable to gauge the game’s volatility. You can judge whether a slot is volatile by looking at the top and bottom slot machine payouts. The wider the gap, the more volatility there is.

Good bankroll management is also essential when you play video slots. Decide on your budget to start with and split your bets accordingly. For example, if you have a budget of $1,000, you should set your stakes at $10 a spin.

While we don’t believe in the myth that slots have streaks, it’s important to cut your losses if you hit a long downswing. All gamblers need to take a break if they go on a bad losing run.

Myth 9: You will win more often by betting the maximum

All slots feature a Max Bet button. By pressing the Max Bet, you can simply select the top stake available on the game. But there’s no guarantee you will hit a winning spin by betting the most.

Slot RNGs only govern the result of each reel spin. They take no notice of how much you are betting on every game.

It is true, however, that on a progressive slot you can increase your chances of winning by betting the maximum.

Progressives work slightly differently to regular slots. Every time you play, a portion of your stake goes toward the progressive jackpot. You also buy yourself a chance of triggering the progressive jackpot. The more you bet, the more chances you have of activating the jackpot.

Of course, the outcome of each spin is still completely random and the slot is governed by a random number generator. Betting high stakes simply gives you more chances or a payout.

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We hope we’ve dispelled a few slot machine myths on this page. The good news is that slot machines are strictly regulated and tested in New Jersey in 2020. The software is fair, developers are licensed, and RNGs are regularly audited.

Remember, you can try out hundreds of exciting free online slots completely legally in New Jersey before making a deposit and playing from the comfort of your home or on the go.



Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.

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