Can Casinos Control Jackpots?

 Can Casinos Control Jackpots?

Slot jackpots occur randomly. There’s no way to tell when one might be coming. That goes for casino operators as well as for players. The people who run the casinos don’t know when the big hits are coming.

Still, a reader was taken aback when she heard what a casino employee said one night.

“It was a crowded night, and I heard a casino employee say there would be a lot of jackpots that night,” she wrote. “How could he know that if the casino doesn’t control jackpots?”

All the casino employee was doing was surmising that with a lot of people playing, there would be more play, and more opportunities for jackpot combinations to come up.

Let’s make up a hypothetical casino in which all slot machines are the same, and the slot machine odds are programmed so that random results will lead toward a top jackpot once per 25,000 plays.

If there are 100 customers, each spinning the reels 1,000 times, that’s a total of 100,000 spins. With average results, there will be four top jackpots.

But if it’s a crowded night with 1,000 customers each spinning 1,000 times, there will be 1 million spins. Average results at that level will lead to 40 top jackpots.

There are more jackpots not because the casino has any control over when the machines pay out, but simply because there has been more play and more chances for the big winning combinations to come up.

Does that mean the individual has a better chance for a jackpot on the more crowded night? No. Per player, the average results and the jackpot odds remain the same. In a big crowd, you’ll see more big wins around you, but it doesn’t affect your odds at all.

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