May 15th 2007
Let's dismiss some misconceptions about slot machines. They only steal your pleasure to play a casino game.

'Don't play that machine, it just hit so it isn't due for a while'. But a slot machine doesn't base whether a spin is a winner or not on previous spins, it never bases a spin on a previous spin's outcome because it can't remember anything about a previous spin. Every pull is a random event. Over time a machine with a 92% payback will pay back 92% regardless of when, in it's life, you begin to play.

Slot machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payoffs. Not true! Modern slot machines run off of random number generators which take seed values from variables presented at the time of the spin. This means that the nanosecond upon which you pull the arm or hit the spin button, some very large pseudo-random numbers are drawn from the number generator, translated, and mapped to slot reel positions. This is what determines the position of the reels, not a cycle or position within a non-random set of occurrences.

Casinos reward or punish players by observing them and hitting a jackpot button: False. There are no "jackpot buttons" or dip switches that can change the payout characteristics of a slots machine on the fly. The payouts are set at the factory and can only be changed by swapping motherboards. This cannot be done without the approval of the state gaming board.

Hot/cold coins or hot/cold machines are more likely to give in good returns. The temperature of the machine and/or coins has absolutely no bearing on anything. Because machines may be bought from many various suppliers, they are likely to work a little different, including how quickly they heat up etc. The lights in a machine can heat up the coins already deposited, but it won't affect the outcome.

Pulling the handle in a certain way will bring better results: False. The slots machine program does not care how the handle is pulled. How long or how fast you pull has absolutely no influence on where the reels stop. The random number generator is constantly calculating new numbers. As soon as you pull the handle, the position of the reels has already been determined.

Depending on how long you play you can affect wins/losses. Some people try to measure the length of time between dropping in coins, as they believe it will affect the outcome of play. Chalk that one up under unbelievably silly slot machine myths.

Machines pay more if a player card is not used. Or sometimes, machines pay more if a player card is used. When you insert your player's card in the slots, the player's club computer is notified that you are playing at a certain machine. Your amount of play, wins, and losses is also recorded as long as your card in in the reader. This entire operation is totally separate from any other function of the slots machine. It has no affect on payouts whatsoever.

If I use a slot card the casino will report my winnings to the IRS. Slot club cards don't play a role in whether or not your winnings are reported to the IRS. If you manage to win over $1200 in one spin you will automatically be reported. Small wins are not accumulated by the casino.

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