Slots winnings – What are my chances?
First, you should know that slot machines, like many other casino games, are games in which there is no “winning strategy”. Technically speaking, they are games with negative expectations, or -EV for short. Unlike games like poker (against live opponents, not the establishment), where the right application of skill can make the game at nice webs such as https://casino-stake.com/ profitable over the distance, casino games are designed in a way that makes this impossible.
Why can’t I win at slots consistently?
Let’s break down why, in the case of slot machines, you don’t have the ability to win money regularly over a distance. For simplicity, let’s imagine a game where there is only one type of payout, the “jackpot,” which pays out if you collect five of the same symbols on the screen. Of course, exactly the same logic can be applied to complex modern slot machines. In this hypothetical machine, there are five symbols on each line, and you must collect five of the same to break the jackpot on the machine at $1 per spin.
RNG games and it’s big prizes
The lines are controlled by a random number generator, and so over time, five different symbols will open equally often on each line. Therefore, the chance of catching, say, a cherry on one line is 1/5. The chance of catching a cherry on the second line is also 1/5. Thus, the chance of collecting five cherries in a row is 1/5 x 1/5 x 1/5 x 1/5 x 1/5 x 1/5, or 1/3125, or 0.032%. Your chances of winning are better than these, as you can collect five bells, five stars or any five other identical symbols. So on this machine your chances of collecting five any symbols is actually 5 x 0.032%, or 0.16%. So, once for every 625 spins of this hypothetical machine you will collect five identical symbols in a row and win the jackpot.
Now, if the jackpot payout is $625, then the machine runs at no loss, as you will spend about $624 on average without winning anything, and then once out of 625 you will hit the jackpot with a $625 prize. Of course the venues set the payout at a lower level, usually between 90% and 98%, meaning for example if this fictional machine worked with a payout of 95%, the jackpot would be $594.
Catch the jackpot
Sure, you might get lucky and catch the jackpot on your second spin, and then walk right out with your money, technically remaining in the black. But there is no known way to beat the law of averages on the long run, so the institution’s advantage will continue on short stretches of time and results. Very rarely have some machines given payouts of just over 100% for an entire month, but this is just the variance inherent in randomness, and such results will not be sustainable in large samples.
The advantage of slot machines is known to managers as “retention,” and retention percentages can vary greatly. They are usually less on the more expensive slots, often about 1 to 3 percent on five-dollar machines. Of course, the percentage of lost investment is not a real money figure, and in reality you will still lose more money on the more expensive machines, since you put a lot more money into the slot every hour.
The basic rule of thumb is that the more expensive games have a lower retention rate from the casino, but it will be at least 1-3% anyway.
You can also calculate your likely loss per hour when playing slots with different betting levels.
Breaking the myths of slot machines
As with all casino games, myths swarm like flies and there are plenty of people who believe they have a cold-blooded strategy that allows them to beat slots and other casino games. These people are usually either lying or deluded. In case they are trying to sell you their system, it is likely the former. Unless you have some sort of device that allows you to control or break the slot machine, you will not be able to win at slots over the long haul.
Many people believe that slot machines have cold and hot cycles. This is a myth because the random number generator is programmed to run on individual spins. The slot has no machine memory of previous spins of the reels; each spin is a completely isolated event. The same principle applies to coin flipping. If ten times in a row heads fell out, it does not increase the chances of tails in the next flip. Each flip is a separate probability event with a 50/50 chance.
Advanced Slots Tip
Some games have skill-dependent bonus rounds or other skill components that can increase your odds. Of course, they are set up so as not to destroy the casino’s advantage, so they are not capable of making you profit over the long haul, but tips on how to play these rounds on certain slots should help you greatly increase your advantage.