Expert Gambler

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Author: Tracy Morton
Blog Editor
Tracy Morton

When is The Best Time to Play a Slot Machine?

Fans of slots are naturally also fans of winning, so of all the questions they ask, this is the most common one:

Do slots really pay out more at different times of the day?

There is a common belief that playing your favourite machine at a specific time of day will make you a winner, so we decided to look at the facts to see if we can prove it one way or the other, as well as examining some other slots myths.

Myth 1 – The Magic of Numbers

We are sure you all know that the entire functionality of slot machines is built on numbers and the ones that are important to players are the Random Number Generator (RNG) and the Return To Player (RTP).

The myth is that both of these factors are variable and are altered at different times of the day by the operator of the slot machine.

Myth 2 – Playing by System

There is a firmly held belief that the odds of winning on a slot machine will increase if you play in a certain way. One such system is known as the Inverse Correlation Theory, which simplified suggests that you have more chance of winning when there are fewer total players.

Suppose you have the time and the necessary brainpower to unwind the mysteries of the mathematics behind the theory. In that case, you can calculate a factor called ‘Pearson’s r’ which supposedly can increase your chances of a win at a given time.

Myth 3 – Superstitions

Slot players, in general, are a highly superstitious bunch and their ‘theories’ are numerous (lucky charms excluded).

Don’t play on a cold/warm seat, don’t play with warm/cold coins, play the machines in specific locations, always play the newest devices and so on. I am sure that you could add a few of your own to those.

Myth 4 – The Best Time to Play

Some slots fans will swear that machines pay out more, or more frequently, at night. Others are convinced that it is certain days of the week or month that are the key to winning.

Many people have studied this concept, and there have even been successful university dissertations based on that particular topic.

Time to Burst The Bubble

We expect you were hoping we could tell you categorically that at least one of those myths has some basis of truth; unfortunately, that is not the case. In reality, your chances of winning come down to complex algorithms built into the slot machines themselves and good old-fashioned luck.

You cannot beat the RNG and the slot operator has no control over it. Every time you hit the Spin button, the random number generator takes over and ‘decides’ whether that spin equates to a loss or a win and how big the payout for the latter.

However, there are two factors that you can take account of when you choose your slot machine: the RTP and the volatility of the device.

The RTP varies between operators and is usually somewhere between 90% and 97%, but can be as low as 85% in casino cities like Las Vegas. That figure relates to the total amount the machine will pay out in winnings based on the total amount wagered, not your chances of a win.

The volatility of a machine is the ‘risk’ factor. A slot machine with high volatility pays out more per win, but infrequently and the stake required per spin is often high. Conversely, low volatility games pay out smaller amounts more often but for a much lower stake.

At the end of the day (or the start of it) you have just as much chance of winning or losing. The best advice we can offer is to choose an affordable machine that you are happy playing, rather than trying to beat the odds and playing outside of your comfort zone.

Meet The Author
Tracy Morton
Tracy Morton
Blog Editor

Tracy started writing for us in early 2017 and is a crucial player within our team. She’s the editor of our Blog and regularly writes other articles. Tracy’s online gambling insights are born out of years of real-world experience as a Croupier overseeing table games.

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