Jan 3, 2022

Are Slot Machines Random?

Slot machines are among the most popular games of chance in the world, and there are hundreds of disputes about them. Probably the most discussed topic is their randomness. So what is it really like with adds and chances?

How can a casino know that there will be a big jackpot tonight? The reason is simple. If there are many players playing in the casino, it means that there are more opportunities to win, but also to lose.

Players continuously ask the questions about the randomness of slot machines and then try to dispute the answers and insist on their own. Let's take a look at some of the most interesting statements and ideas.

Randomness vs Series

Series (of wins or loses) are a natural part of the probability. Let us think about a slot machine with three reels and a frequency of 12%. You will win at slots an average of once in every 8,333 spins. For your first game, you have an 80% chance of losing it. You will lose two games in a row in 77%, and in 68% of cases, there will be three losses in a row.

Do you think that you will rarely lose 20 games in a row? Yes, the probability is not small, precisely 7.8%. So we can safely say that players who play a slot machine with a frequency of 12% will encounter 20 or more losses in a row during their game session quite often.

It would be the same when you count spins between bonus games, which makes quite a few players. There is no miracle to get bonus game twice in the row and after that do not get a bonus in 100 spins. Both, the short and long series, without winnings appeared in accordance with the probability and chances of the game.

Bonus Games at Slots

Suppose the probability of the game is set so that the bonus game occurs on average once every 30 spins. So for each game, you have a 3.33% chance of winning a bonus game. According to probability, you will hit two bonus games in a row in 0.111% of cases - that's about once every 900 spins - so you likely won't encounter this situation at every game session. Still, if you play often, you'll run into it.

And what about the chances of playing 100 games without a bonus game? In our case, this number will be exactly 96.667%. We will play two games in a row without a bonus round in 93.444% of cases, ten rounds in 71.247%, fifty in a row 18.358 and one hundred in a row in 3.370% of cases.

As you can see, the chances of 100 games without a bonus round are the same as the chances of a bonus game in the next spin. It is perfectly normal to hit a series of losses, and there is no need to overthink it.

However, some 3-reels slot machines have a lower frequency than 12%. And therefore the bonus game appears less often than once in 30 games. On the other hand, these machines offer higher payouts.

Why don't Wins Appear More Often?

"If slot machines are random, why don't I win more often? Shouldn't the winning symbols hit more often?" Unfortunately, no. "Random results" are not the same as "equal results". The game is not programmed to show jackpot symbols as often as other symbols.

The programmer simply programs the return value into the automaton, and the RNG already arranges the randomness of the results, which together meet the average value.

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