Are Slot Machine Bonuses Predetermined – You can’t see the random numbers being generated any more than you can see the dice being dealt, the cards being dealt, or the balls falling into the wheel slots. So the mind tries to fill in the gaps, with varying degrees of accuracy.
Machines have evolved. They also have the myths. No one thinks about whether games have heat sensors to tell if you’re using new coins or recirculating heated coins through the bowels of a game. Slots that still take coins are rare, so the myth of higher payouts on cold coins is gone.
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On the other hand, myths about bonus events and whether the results are predetermined have arisen, leaving a mixture of old myths and news.
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**MYTH #1: Your winnings in pick’em bonus rounds are predetermined and your choices make no difference.**FACT: A random number generator sets the odds in pick’em rounds, but your choices determine your prize
Pick’em bonuses are those where you pick icons to reveal winnings. A classic example is Jackpot Party, where you choose from a grid of gift boxes. As long as you keep picking winners, the round continues. It ends when your choice reveals a party pooper.
The RNG determines where the poopers are placed. Credit prizes of different sizes, multipliers and in-game games are also placed in randomly selected boxes.
If a prize of 200 credits was randomly placed in the third box in the top row, then if you choose that box, you win the 200 credits. If a pooper has been placed on the left edge, fourth from the bottom, tapping that box will bring up the pooper.
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It doesn’t matter what boxes you’ve touched before. You’ve already earned 2,000 credits and you hit the 200 credit box, you’ll still get that prize. If you didn’t win anything and you hit the poor guy… well, sorry.
When the round ends, the prizes in all remaining boxes are revealed. This is typical in pick’em bonuses, and it’s important. In US jurisdictions with licensed casinos, all advertised prizes must be available. By showing you the possibilities, the game is telling you that all those prizes were available, if you made those choices.
In a small minority of games, however, the remaining possibilities are not revealed. In those games, your bonus may be predetermined, but in most games, your choices matter.
**MYTH #2: Slots compensate by paying less when you use player reward cards.**FACT: Using your card makes no difference to wins and losses.
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When you use your card, information is collected about how much you bet, how many bets you place and your results. That information is used to determine what you get in cash back, free games, meals, room discounts and other perks. It is also used to guide the rewards program to make direct mail or electronic offers for return visits and to offer invitations to special events and giveaways.
The software that collects your information does not communicate with the random number generator. The RNG doesn’t know you’re using a rewards card, let alone what rewards you’re earning.
All the RNG does is generate random numbers. It works from the same set of numbers regardless of whether you’re using a club card, so using the card doesn’t affect your results in the slightest.
**MYTH #3: Casino employees can reward favorite players with jackpots or make machines cool for players they don’t like.**FACT: Casino employees don’t have access to anything that will alter your results in the slots.
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Once the random number generator is running, it generates numbers continuously. Those numbers are then assigned to reel positions. If the random numbers map into a losing combination, there is nothing a casino employee can do to change it.
Clerks cannot award jackpots, cannot induce cold streaks, and cannot change results. They can provide customer service that can make your day more pleasant, or less pleasant, on a bad day. But they can’t make you win or lose.
**MYTH #4: Video slots, like computers, adjust payouts in a way that three-reel slots cannot.**FACT: Three-reel slots are just as computerized as video slots . All modern slot machines use random number generators and reel maps to determine your results.
Neither the video slots nor the three-reel ones make any sort of adjustments on the fly. Don’t get cold if you’re winning or hot if you’re losing. The RNG continues to generate random numbers, and the game’s odds will take care of the long-term payback percentage regardless of any short-term streaks.
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But video slots and three-reel slots work very similarly. The difference is mainly in the display, not the ability to manipulate the results.
**MYTH #5: You are more likely to win a jackpot in a crowded casino.**FACT: There are more jackpots in crowded casinos because there are more games being played, but the chance of a player winning is the same . regardless of crowd size.
Imagine a casino full of slot machines that pay out their jackpot an average of every 10,000 spins. That’s a high-frequency pot that would have to be small, but it will serve as an example.
The results are random, so it is possible for the prize combination to appear two times in a row, or not at all for 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 or even more.
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Let’s say on a slow Wednesday morning, 100 people play, each playing 1,000 rounds. In total, there are 100,000 spins. With average results for these machines, we could expect about 10 jackpots. Depending on where you are in the casino, you may or may not see a player winning big.
On a busy Saturday night, 1,500 people play 1,000 rounds each. There are 1.5 million spins, which with average results would give 150 jackpots. Those 150 jackpots appear in space like the 10 jackpots when there are fewer players and more empty machines, so there’s a much better chance you’ll witness a big win or two or three.
With all those big prizes, the lights and sound effects of the slot machines, and the commotion with the slot attendants, supervisors and security guards paying out the big winners, it will seem like there are a lot of wins on the busiest night.
But keep in mind that if the numbers are 10 jackpots for 100 players or 150 jackpots for 1,500 players, that’s still an average of one jackpot per 10 players. The idea that there is a better chance of winning on busier nights is an illusion.
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Real world conditions vary. Not all slot machines in a casino have the same jackpot frequency, many pay much less often than once every 10,000 spins.
But the principle remains the same. There are more prizes on crowded nights, but the odds for individual players remain the same regardless of crowd size.
John Grochowski has been covering casinos and casino games for nearly 40 years. He is the author of six books
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A slot machine (American Glish), fruit machine (British Glish) or poker machine (Australian Glish and New Zealand Glish) is a betting machine that creates a game of chance for its customers. Slot machines are also pejoratively known as one-armed bandits due to the large mechanical levers placed on the sides of early mechanical machines and the games ability to empty players’ pockets and wallets like thieves would.
The standard design of a slot machine features a screen that shows three or more reels that “spin” when the game is activated. Some modern arcade machines still include a lever as a skeuomorphic design feature to activate the game. However, the mechanics of the early machines have been replaced by random number generators, and most are now operated via buttons and touch screens.
Slot machines include one or more coin detectors that validate the form of payment, whether coin, cash, voucher or tok. The machine pays out according to the pattern of symbols displayed when the reels stop ‘spinning’. Slot machines are the most popular method of gambling in casinos and make up about 70% of the average casino revenue in the United States.
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Digital technology has led to variations on the original concept of slot machines. Since the player is essentially playing a video game, manufacturers can offer more interactive elements such as advanced bonus rounds and more varied video graphics.
Plaque marking the location of Charles Fey’s workshop in San Francisco, where he invested in the three-reel slot machine. The location is a California Historic Landmark.
Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York developed a gambling machine in 1891 that was a precursor to the modern slot machine. It contained five reels with a total of 50 card faces and