Slot Myths

There is probably nowhere in the casino where you hear more wild, ridiculous claims than on the slot floor. It has, unfortunately (for you) reached a point where these claims have reached mythical status.

We hope we can clear up some of these myths before you lose ALL your money.

MYTH #1: By pulling the handle instead of pressing the key, you'll win more often.

If you know anything about a way a slot machine works, you'll know that this is just so much hogwash. It doesn't matter one iota which way you play. Both ways tell the machine that it's time to choose and play a random combination. The advantage to pulling the handle is that it takes a little longer than hitting the key, which means that you may lose a little less money. The downside is that you will have a very sore arm the next day if you spend hours playing the slots the night before.

MYTH #2: This one probably rates as the #1 myth, but we're not listing these in any particular order. This myth says: If you've been playing a machine for a long time and it hasn't given you a big payoff, stick with it because it's ready to hit.

The easiest way to explain this is to ask you if you've ever flipped a coin. Of course you have. We all have. If you remember when you were flipping coins, there were times when you would flip anywhere from five to 10 heads in row. You always figured that after three in a row of heads or tails, the opposite had to come up because it was due. Not so. Every flip of a coin is a random event, without any guarantee what the next flip of the coin will be.

Slot machines are the same, but instead of only two ways a coin can turn up, a slot machine has millions of combinations. Sure, there's no question that if you played a machine long enough, it would hit big for you, but you probably would have had to have sold your house to last that long.

MYTH #3: The huge jackpots hit within a few minutes of play.

It may seem that way, because how often have you heard of someone who just sat down at a machine, put in 20 bucks and hit for a $1 million jackpot. Good for them, but we have to go back to how slot machines work ­ each spin is a random event. So whether you've been playing one machine for a very short time, or for hours, the machine will hit when the right combination of numbers comes up during its random choosing. So if you think by moving from machine to machine, and playing each one for only a few minutes, that you're going to hit the jackpot, good luck. You're going to need it.

MYTH #4: It's better to play during the week.

People who believe this must believe that every Friday night, the casinos secretly pull a switch that changes the payback percentages in all of the slot machines. Then on Sunday night, after they've taken all the money from those suckers who jammed the casino slot floor on the weekend, they switched the percentages back. If you believe this, then you really do believe that Elvis is still alive.

Changing the payback program on a slot machine is a tedious, time-consuming job. You have to shut the machine down, take it apart and replace or alter the computer chip. Having done that, you have to supply the paperwork demanded by the Gaming Control Board, which takes more time than it's worth.

Listen, the only advantage of playing during the week is that usually the casinos aren't as crowded.

MYTH #5: Avoid joining slot clubs. They're for suckers, because it's just another way for a casino to keep you there.

There is some truth to this myth, but it's only the part about trying to keep you playing at the casino. Why would you not want to join something that gives you prizes, free rooms, free food, invitations to special events and even extra cash? Remember, you aren't limited to joining only one slot club. You can become a member of every slot club known to man. This way you find out who has the best club when it comes to "comps" and you play at that casino more than at the others. Slot clubs are a good deal. Join them. Even if you don't win any money playing, at least you'll get something out of the casino.