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Ask the Slot Expert: Do slot machines hit more frequently when I play more than one coin?

17 July 2013

Can you explain how random jackpots pays are done via the RNG and number of coins played, i.e., does someone with 5 coins trigger 5 RNGS towards the random jackpot win versus someone playing only 1 coin generating 1 RNG?

I've had this debate with my wife, suggesting that it's funny how it appears as if max play get more of the mini random jackpots than single play -- or so it seems.

I compared it to each coin acting like a PIN in an exhibition game of poking holes in a board until you hit a winning hole (5 pins hit 5 consecutive holes while 1 pin gets only 1 hole), but not sure if that is correct.

Thanks,
Doug

Dear Doug,

Playing multiple coins does not get you multiple tries at the jackpot. Each spin gets one try regardless of the number of coins played.

When you press the spin button, the program running the slot machine gets a number from the Random Number Generator (RNG) to determine where to stop the first reel. The program then gets additional numbers from the RNG to determine where to stop the other reels. After stopping all of the reels, the program checks to see if the combination of symbols on the payline is one of the winning combinations. If it is, the program then uses the number of coins played to determine how much to pay the player.

The only time the program cares about the number of coins played is when it has to determine how much to pay the player.

It may seem like you get more mini-jackpots when you play five coins, but if you kept track I'm sure you'll find that you're just as likely to hit a mini-jackpot combination with one coin in as with five.

Jackpots for all,
John

Am I more likely to hit a jackpot or large hit if reels on a machine appear to be spinning at a slower rate than usual? My experiences appear to show that when a slot machine is spinning fast, it takes my money, but when the reels appear to be spinning slower, it gives a hit. Can this be?

Thanks,
Chuck

Dear Chuck,

Please refer to the description above of how the program running a slot machine determines the results of a spin. Nowhere does the speed of the reels enter in.

The program running the slot machine uses different spin profiles to mix up the rhythm of the spins and keep play interesting. Some spins take some time to play out; others end fairly quickly. Some machines even spin the reels in different directions sometimes. The different profiles, though, have no effect on the RNG or the symbols that land on the payline.

Your chances of hitting a winning combination are the same on every spin, regardless of how quickly or slowly the reels are spinning.

Jackpots for all,
John

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots