The category of video slots is highly popular in both land-based and online casinos, which leaves many gamblers wondering about the question: Is it possible to predict the outcome of a slot machine?
As an avid gambler, it is quite likely that you are already familiar with sloth machines – whether these are old-fashioned fruit machines or modern-day video slots.
These games are available in many pubs, fish and chips shops and casinos since dozens of years. While the old machines featured just three reels and one payline, modern-day slots feature multiple paylines and exciting bonus games. These machines are widely popular not only in casinos, but also in the many online casinos which you can find on the internet.
Given the popularity of slots, it is not surprising that there are many myths and misconceptions about how they work. One of the aspects of a slot machine people speculate about a lot is whether or not there are tactics which can be used. Some players believe they have found a strategy for winning money on online slots, while others say they can predict the outcome of slots in a land-based casino.
The truth is however that video slots are widely unpredictable and there is no way how you can now the outcome of a spin on a slot machine. When you play at a trustworthy online or land-based casino, you will only play on fully licenced and regulated slots which are supervised by the local gambling authorities. The same counts for slot machines you can find at your local pub or chips shop – as these machines all come from respectable slot machine builders and are subject to the same regulatory oversight.
Of course, if you play a video slot at an untrustworthy online casino without a valid licence, or go to an illegal speakeasy which might have some dodgy slots which could have been tinkered with, you run into the possibility that the game you play might not be completely fair. These slots may be possible to predict – but it will most likely be in your disadvantage!
When playing at premium online casinos or at reputable casinos, your slot machine will be completely honest and fair – which in turn means you cannot predict the outcome. That is exactly the point of the video slot!
Slot machines use a piece of software code called a Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure completely random and unpredictable results. This way it is impossible to know in advance which symbols will appear on the reels. Other than that, each turn is independent and does not affect other turns.
As its name suggests, it means that on every spin you will have a purely random result which is not connected to previous spins at all. It also does not influence the turns to come afterward. If a slot has a 1 out of 10.000 chance to hit the jackpot and you are lucky enough to win it, the next spin will still have the same 1 to 10.000 chance to win the jackpot again. It could also happen that the jackpot may not fall for 30.000 spins in a row. That again doesn’t influence the chance of hitting the jackpot. On the next spin, you will again have a 1 out of 10.000 chance – the fact that the jackpot has not fallen in a long while doesn’t change your chances!
The way how these machines are configured – and the way how jackpots or other high prizes are won – is pure mathematical. You should never look at slot machines from a short-term perspective, but rather from a long-term perspective. The software generate thousands of numbers in a millisecond, and these numbers refer to a specific symbol on the reels. As a result, none of the turns affects the others, which is why you can just win a big prize twice in a row or nothing at all for maybe twenty turns in a row!
When gambling, a lot of people suffer from what is called the “gambler’s fallacy”. In the world of slot machines, this creates a common misconception in which people think they can predict the outcome of video slots – or at least think they know on which slots they stand a better chance.
For example, there are gamblers who think that a casino game which has not paid out for a long time must be a signal that sooner than later they will hand out a major prize. After all, they cannot possibly go even longer without a win?
It also works the same way around. There are gamblers who say that such a slot is “haunted”, “cold” or “unlucky” – and is best to be avoided. They say you should only choose a slot which pays out a lot. These are the kind of gamblers who observe in a casino on which slots other gamblers are winning. Once these winners walk away from a certain slot, these gamblers will sit down there as they think this must be a “lucky slot”.
Both ideas are completely wrong and misplaced and are what we call the gambler’s fallacy. It is also called the “Monte Carlo fallacy” – which refers to an incident that happened in Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco in 1913. At a roulette table, the ball landed on black 26 times in a row, one of the longest sessions ever recorded. After the ball had already landed on black 10 times, more and more players started to bet on red, assuming that the ball now had to land on red – which it didn’t.
Of course, such long “black only” streaks are rare – but they aren’t impossible. At any spin of the roulette wheel, the chance is basically 50/50 for the ball to land on black or red (if we forget about the green 0). Even if the ball hits black ten times in a row, the eleventh spin of the wheel still has the same 50/50 chance for the ball to hit black again!
Humans are so programmed to recognize patterns, but we’re not very good at it. As we mentioned before, video slots have no memory and each video slot turn is a random, independent event. There are independent testing agencies of the local gambling authorities which monitor online casinos, as well as slots in the pubs and restaurants.
They ensure that video slots provide fair results and they require payout percentages to be displayed on a video slot. They also regularly check whether or not the actual payouts are matching the RTP percentage of a slot machine.
RTP – which stands for Return to Player – is another abbreviation in the world of slot machines you must be aware of. The RTP indicates the probability of winning a prize. But the percentage is calculated over thousands to millions of spins, and not over a few spins only. This means that a video slot with an 90% RTP basically means that of every 100 dollars which is being waged, 90 euro will be returned to the players in payouts.
This bit of data has been calculated in a simulation – and is an average of millions of plays on a slot machine. It therefore is an expected long-term result, which doesn’t tell you anything what you can expect on the short term of just a single session of you playing for two hours on a machine. Heck, you may well end up winning the million dollar jackpot! You may end up losing your entire 100 dollar. Remember that if you lose your 90 euro, while another person wins 180 euro while gambling after waging 100 euro – it would mean a RTP of 90% when you combine the two situations. This is exactly how the RTP is calculated, but not with the data of just two players, but those of thousands on a long-term!
How to win on online video slots
While you can’t predict the outcome of video slots, it doesn’t mean you can’t win. Below are a few tips that will help you maximise your chances of winning some money. That said, you have to remember that on a long-term, the casino always has an edge over the player!
– Look at video slots with the highest payout percentages (RTP). The payout table varies per video slot. The higher the payout percentage, the more chances you have of winning money.
– Know the game rules of video slots you play. By knowing exactly which paylines and bonus features pay the best, you might be able to put this to your advantage.
– Check out great casino bonuses such as free spins offered by online casinos for new and existing players.
– Make sure you don’t lose control of yourself while gambling. Keep track of how much money you have spent and determine in advance how much money you can afford to lose. A profit limit is also important. Be satisfied with a certain profit so that you can leave the casino with a nice profit in your pocket. If you only want more and more – you might end up losing all!
At Highrollers Casino, we have written some online casino reviews of reliable, fair and reputable online casinos. If you want to play some online video slots, these might be some great places to start your gambling adventure. And who knows! Maybe it will be your lucky day and you might win the grand jackpot!