x

May

12

2010

Can Slot Machines Be “Due”?

A woman once phoned me, certain a slot machine had been rigged. She usually played roulette, she explained, but on this occasion was taking a chance on a $5 slot machine. She’d lost a couple of thousand dollars, then went to an ATM and withdrew a few thousand more. And she lost THAT.

“I hadn’t hit ANYTHING,” she told me. “I was SURE it was due.”

There was nothing wrong with the machine, but there was plenty wrong with her approach. Slot machines are never “due” — they’re as random as humans can program them to be, and previous results have NO EFFECT on future outcomes.

Whether your game is slots, roulette or anything else where the house has an edge, the smart play is to ease off in a losing streak. Take a walk or a lunch break, go to the player rewards booth and check your points, watch the craps table for a while or just change games and make smaller wagers.

Do anything you like, but don’t continue to bet big on the assumption the game is due to give you a winner. It doesn’t work like that. A slot machine, the roulette wheel or the dice don’t know whether you’ve been winning or losing. They just keep chugging along within the normal odds of the game.

Stay within your budget, and don’t count on a cold machine to suddenly heat up. Long cold streaks are as much a part of the normal odds of the game as big jackpots.

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