The Myth of Hot and Cold Slot Machines
Physical slot machines are said to run hot and cold and maybe once upon a time they did. These days, however, slot machines are, in fact, glorified computers and the outcome of a slot machine game is determined by a Random Number Generator planted in the slot’s belly (this is true of online slots, as well). The existence of the RNG means that your chances of winning at slots is the same with each and every spin and no one spin is influenced by what came before or impacts on what comes after. Therefore, don’t believe that if a slot machine hasn’t come through for a while it means that it’s due to hit soon; it just doesn’t work that way.
The existence of the random number generator also debunks the myth we’ll call the “missed-opportunity” myth. In this case, you play a particular slot machine and finally leave it for another without winning. The player who sits down after you at that first slot machine wins as soon as he sits down. “Man,” you think, “if only I had stayed for one more spin, it would have been me raking in the coins.” Wrong! The random number generator spits out numbers hundreds of times every second so that the results are determined every split second. If you had stayed with that slot machine and continued to play, there is no way at all of knowing if you would have won. You didn’t miss an opportunity; the other guy just got lucky.
Forget about Counting Symbols on the Slot Machine
In the days of mechanical slots, the odds of winning at slots were determined by the number of symbols on each wheel. However, it would be a serious misconception to think that you can still determine the odds this way in today’s slots. The odds on each slot machine are set at the factory according to the casino’s specifications.
Over a very long term (millions of spins, in fact), the machine pays out according to these percentages. The RNG determines each spin and a computer chip determines the payback percentage. Between these two factors, you can forget about counting symbols; one thing has nothing to do with the other.