Apr

27

2016

# Slots Paying Early vs. Late In The Game

It’s not difficult to see patterns in wins and losses, and it’s all too easy to jump to conclusions based on small samples. Over the years I’ve fielded questions from readers who wondered if they should skip drawing to four-card straights because they missed several times in a row and from others who were convinced 20 was a losing hand in blackjack because they dealer drew a few 21s to beat them one night.

Such things happen as a consequence of normal probability, but the odds still favor drawing to open-ended straights and standing on 20s.

The latest pattern-spotting to land in my email box came from a slot player who wrote, “This happened to me on three different slot machines in one evening. I put \$20 in, and got to the bonus right away. I had a couple of other wins and got ahead \$10 or \$15, then the machine just quit paying off and I lost money.

“That got me thinking. Do machines pay off early to keep you there, then quit paying when they have you hooked? Three times in a row!”

I’ve had days like that. Most players probably have. I’ve also had days when I just couldn’t win for losing early, but came on strong with late wins, and had tims when wins and losses were mixed throughout the day.

Similar results in three trials is nowhere near enough of a pattern to draw conclusions. What this player had was just had a day of coincidences.

If you keep track of results over a long time, you’ll find you’re just as likely to win – or lose – early, late or in the middle of a session.

The random number generator that determines slot results doesn’t know who’s playing the game, nor does it know how long you’ve been on the machine. It keeps generating numbers even when the game is not being played. The duration of your play has no effect on the numbers being generated, and any patterns are purely coincidental.