Slow Down! The Slots aren’t Going Anywhere, but Your Money Is

False Gambling Strategies: Don’t fast play slot machines, it won’t help you win.

Fast Play Slot MachinesOver the weekend, I took a trip to the local casino to see if the slot machines would shine a little fortune upon me. They did not. Nor did they light up the purse of the lady next to me, who was drawing a lot more attention to herself than she probably realized. But I doubt she would have cared had she noticed. She was a woman on a mission!

It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen at a casino—and believe me, I’ve seen some crazy stuff. I was two seats over from her, with no one between us, so I had a clear view of the spectacle. This woman was smashing the spin button like there was no tomorrow. She was in a complete frenzy. For a moment, I wondered if they were filming another sequel to Speed, and there was a bomb set to go off if her spin-speed dropped below this insane level!

After this went on for a while, she stopped to catch her breath. Knowing my window of opportunity would be short, I leaned her way and asked if playing so quickly was doing her any good.

She said, “Oh yes! I always play like this. It helps me win.”

I told her that’s great, and asked how much she was up. Turns out she was down $45, but wholly confident she’d win it back as she rubbed her hands together just before hammering the button once more. I don’t know how much she lost, but she didn’t collect a ticket from the machine before she left about 20 minutes later.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was committing one of the worst false gambling strategies.

Don’t Fast Play Slot Machines, it Won’t Help you Win

I’m assuming that, like other victims of this false strategy, she thought that she would be more likely to hit a big win if she stopped the game’s random number generator (RNG) as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not how RNGs work.

The truth is in the name. They are “random”. They may produce a winning number algorithm, or a losing one, any time the button is pressed. How quickly you press it is irrelevant. It makes no difference whatsoever.

Winnings are determined by the game’s RTP, or return to player. Over the long term, the machine will pay its intended RTP, no matter what. Looking at it this way, you have to expect that you’re going to lose. If a game’s RTP is 88%, you should expect to lose 12% of your bets, and win back the other 88%.

Based on this mathematical theory of probability, playing fast is only working against you. Someone who plays the slots for $0.50 per play, spinning the reels 600 times per hour, will put $300 at risk every hour. A player who slows down and takes their time, playing the same $0.50 at 150 spins per hour, is only risking $75.

Fast play slot machines, and you’re only putting more of your bankroll in jeopardy. At 12%, the difference is a probable loss of $36/hr for the fast player, and just $9/hr for the player who takes their time and enjoys the experience.

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