Slot Machine Myths

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Myth - Slot machines stop on any possible set of stops with equal probability. This is not true of modern single line slot machines. Some stops are much more likely than others. At online casinos, the reels are computer-generated images and the winning or losing patterns are random events.

Myth - Slot machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payoffs. Although the cycle can span thousands of spins once it reaches the end, the outcomes will repeat themselves in exactly the same order as the last cycle. This is not true at all. Every trial is random and independent of all past trials. Just because you lost or won ten times in a row makes no difference as to what the next outcome will be.

Myth - Slot machines are programmed to pay off a particular percentage of money bet. Thus after a jackpot is hit the machine will tighten up to get back in balance, and when a jackpot has not been hit for a long time it is overdue and more likely to hit.The only part of this that is true is that they are designed to pay off a particular percentage. However, the laws of probability dictate that the longer the machine is played, the closer it will come to its target payoff, even with every trial being completely random. A jackpot is equally as likely to be hit on every spin, regardless of past outcomes.

Myth - Hot/cold coins are more likely to yield good returns. The temperature of the coin does not matter. It also does not matter how long it has been since the coin was last played.

Myth - Machines pay more if a player card is not used (land-based casinos). The mechanism that determines the outcome of each play does not consider whether a card is used or not.

Myth - If I use a slot card the casino will report my winnings to the IRS. The use of a slot card will not change your tax liability. If you win a certain amount that is determined by the government in a single spin (including the original wager) then the casino will report the win whether a slot card is used or not. Always check with the casino to find out the current amount that the government determines is reportable at any given time, since the US government can change this dollar amount at any time. Any smaller win will not be reported whether or not a slot card is used. Any online or offline casino does not add up the smaller wins and report them to the IRS. Aside from the big wins, the player is on the honor system to report a net win over the entire year. Even when you win at an online casino that is based in another country, you should report the taxable winnings to the IRS.

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