Online Casino Games & Slot Machine Myths, Debunked

online casino games slot game myths

The amount of misinformation you’ll find on the Internet (and in most gambling books) about playing slot machines and online slot games is enormous. The main thing to remember about slot machines is that they’re entirely random. Once you understand that fully, you won’t be fooled by any of the scams and system-sellers on the Internet.  Here’s an example of the text you might find on a website selling “slots secrets”:

“Can you keep a SECRET? – If every slot machine player knew these hush-hush ‘insider’ secrets… every casino in the world would be forced out of business!”

That’s an excerpt from the sales pitch from “Bill Stone, Professional Slot Machine Player”. Once you’ve read through these myths debunked, you’ll understand that there’s no such thing as a professional slot machine player, period. Slots have a negative expectation, so anyone who plays long enough eventually loses all their money.

Myth #1 – Slot machines become due when they haven’t hit a jackpot in a long time.

This seems like it would make sense, but it’s not the case. Slot machines aren’t programmed to pay out on a particular schedule. Modern slot machines use a random number generator, which is just a fancy name for a computer that generates thousands of numbers per second. Each number corresponds to a combination of reel symbols. When you press spin, the computer stops on a number, and that determines your results.

This random number generator has no knowledge of how long it’s been since you’ve won a jackpot. Your chances of winning don’t increase no matter how long it’s been since someone hit a jackpot. The reverse is also true. Games don’t get hot and start hitting more often.

Modern online casino games also have random number generators installed in their systems that operate throughout a player’s session. Each time the player places their bet and presses the Spin button, the game’s RNG will independently determine when the reels will stop and which paylines the player will land.

You will, however, find patterns that spring up. But they will only occur in retrospect. You can’t predict when a winning or losing streak will begin or end. But it’s human nature to look for and find patterns in the random. These patterns don’t provide you with any opportunities to take advantage of, because they’re just as random as anything else on a slot machine game.

One way to have a chance of landing that jackpot is to have more chances of spins and free games. Online casino operators typically have these readily available for players in the form of their sign-in bonuses and promotional freebies, and loyalty programs. That said, you need to comply with their respective requirements, and it is still not a surefire way to get that jackpot. But hey, utilizing those bonuses are better than not having them since they give you more chances of winning.

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Myth #2 – You’re more likely to win if you pull the lever instead of pressing the spin button.

Wouldn‘t  it be nice if this were true? The reality is that the random number generator doesn’t know whether you pressed the button or pulled the lever. So you cannot get any kind of edge over the casino by changing whether you press the button or pull the lever.

On the other hand, the number of spins you make per hour affects your expected loss per hour. Pulling the lever can slow down your play, which can indirectly cause you to lose less money per hour. This doesn’t increase your chances of winning; it just increases the amount of time you can play with whatever size bankroll you have.

Slot machine players, on average, play about 600 spins per hour. Slower players can play as slowly as 300 spins per hour, which means they’ll put half as much money into play during the same time period as other players. Most online casino games have an Auto Play function which allows players to place their bet and pick how many spins they want to be automated. Once programmed, the game will proceed to spin at an interval which players can stop at any time they want to. However, this doesn’t affect the likelihood of getting winning paylines.

Theoretically, you’ll lose half as much money per session this way, everything else being equal. If pulling the lever helps you achieve that, then great—go for it.

Myth #3 – When you play affects your chances of winning.

Some “experts” claim that slots pay out more (or less) during conventions, or that they pay out more (or less) in the mornings as opposed to the evening. If you could figure out when the machines paid out more, you could limit your play to those times, and guarantee yourself consistent winnings.

Unfortunately for the player, this is just more nonsense. The games use the same random number generator regardless of when you’re playing. This program has no idea whether or not a convention in town. Nor does it have any clue whether it’s morning, noon, or night. You put your money in, and you take your chances, and that’s that—regardless of what time it is.

Myth #4 – Newer slot machines or online casino games perform better than old ones.

Newer slot machines and online slot games are often divisive for players since the superstitious ones feel like the newer models are better to play on than the older ones. In a way, this is warranted, since newer titles and machines generally are equipped with newer components and systems that make the general playing experience more enjoyable.

But on the side of getting more favorable spins and landing paylines, newer models or online game titles do not have the edge over their older counterparts. Both slot machine and online slot game have RNG programmed to their in-game system which randomizes the reels and possible winnings.

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Myth #5 – Casinos Change the Odds Instantly

Licensed brick-and-mortar casinos must follow state laws which dictate when casinos can change the house edge on a machine. In Las Vegas, a casino cannot change the pay schedule on a slot machine while it is in operation. Also, the casino cannot change the pay schedule for 4 minutes before or after the machine has been played.

Gaming Control Boards have “gaming control agents” who make spot inspections of the casinos, often walking the floor in plain clothes. Casinos which do not comply face stiff fines and the possible loss of their gaming license. A gaming license is effectively a license to print money, so whatever reward could be gained from flipping a switch and changing the odds is not worth the risk of losing a casino gaming license.

Native American casinos are the same way. Though their Class II slot machines work a little differently, tribal casinos sign gaming compacts with the state authorities, so gaming control agents also patrol the reservation casinos, too.

Local and offshore online casinos need to comply to different country laws so that players from across the world can access and win money when playing their casino games. If online casino operators try any funny business and are caught, they run the risk of having their operating licenses revoked which results to losing players. Such a risk is not worth it, so they keep their operations honest.

Myth #6 – You need to pay the maximum bet to land those jackpot prizes

Slots and online casino games have corresponding maximum bets which vary game type to game type. One of the biggest myths when playing slot games is that you should bet the maximum to increase the chances of landing those jackpot prizes. This slot strategy is false, since slot machines and online casino games have built-in RNG systems that generate reels and randomize whether or not a spin will have winning paylines or not. For slot games that have progressive jackpots that can happen within the course of a player’s spins, this occurrence is not affected by how much you bet before you press or pull the lever for your spin.

Betting the maximum each spin is a lose-lose scenario for players as well: if you always bet on the max, you will bleed your bankroll faster than betting on lower denominations. If you’re playing to make your bankroll bigger, it’s a no-brainer to not bet on the max if you have other betting options.

Myth #7 – Player Cards Mean Casinos Report Winnings to the IRS

Casinos report all wins over $1,200 to the IRS, regardless of whether you win or lose. They like to do this to help offset their tax numbers each year. If you play a lot of slot machines in a year’s time, you’re likely to have net losses. If you play once or twice and get a jackpot exceeding $1,200, then you probably want to report those earnings. Slots cards have nothing to do with reported earnings, though.

Myth #8 – Using the Stop Button alters the possible outcome of spins

Online casino games have a stop button that players can use once they start their spins. Some believe that hitting that stop button will help increase the chances of landing favorable paylines. Sadly, this isn’t the case: the stop button is there for players who activate the Auto Play function, and would like to place another bet.

Some modern slot games give players the option to speed up the spins, but that only affects the visual animation of the reels. Online casino games have a set spin interval that cannot be altered in any way.

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Myth #9 – Cycle of Payoffs

Let’s say you walked away from a slot machine and someone else walks up and wins the jackpot. It is highly unlikely you would have won the jackpot, had you stayed. Modern electronic slot machines use computer chips called “random number generators” or RNGs to determine the outcome of a spin. An RNG creates thousands of spin results per second. Anytime someone hits the spin button, the latest spin result is shown on the screen.

Myth #10 – Winning the Jackpot

Every single split second produces a new result, so you would have had to hit the spin button at the exact same instant as that person who played after you. The odds are maybe 5000-to-1 you would have won the same jackpot–probably far less since that assumes you both would have hit spin in the same second.

Myth #11 – The Time of Day Makes a Difference

Another legend among slots players is the time of day is a factor in the looseness or tightness of slots. As the story goes, during the slow times of the day, the odds on machines are better. When it gets busy, the casino tightens the odds. Under this assumption, casinos want to lure players to gamble by offering better odds at low-volume times. That isn’t true. If they did this, casinos would advertise the fact.

Myth #12 – Systems Exist to Beat the Slots

No one has a system to beat the slot machines. If they win, it’s because they got lucky. The casino has a license to operate games with a house edge. The house edge is a built-in advantage the casino has. While it doesn’t dictate that you will lose on any given spin, it assures that, the more you play, the more likely you’ll lose. Here’s why.

The house edge and results will not match perfectly. But the more spins are played, the more likely the house edge will look like the results. No system of modifying bets or trying to divine the reel symbol placement is going to change that. Only if you used illegal cheats could you affect the odds, and this site doesn’t advocate cheating. If you believe in mathematics, then the math says that no system will beat the house edge.


What all of this misinformation has in common is that it’s designed to prey on your hope that you can find a way to get money for nothing. The reality is that casino gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry. The casinos don’t make money by having easily exploitable ways to win at slot machines. Common sense should tell you that.

Now that we’ve debunked these slot game myths, hopefully you’re more knowledgeable and have a better appreciation when playing at slot machines and online casino games.

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