Slot machines have a very volatile payout structure, whereby a small percentage of players win big while many others lose. This unpredictability is part of what makes slot machines so fun; you never know when a huge win is around the corner.
On the downside, though, it also causes gamblers to experience lots of losing sessions. Many of the same players have trouble explaining their losses.
After all, they can’t see what’s going on inside of slot machines. These gamblers often make up excuses for why they’re losing, given that they don’t have a clear understanding of what’s happening.
The following nine excuses are the worst of the bunch. Keep reading to find out why they’re so bad and what the realities are behind each excuse.
1 – The Casino Changed the RTP
Many gamblers mistrust the casino when it comes to slot machines. They suspect that the casino can change return to player (RTP) whenever they feel like it.
These same players may even blame gambling establishments for causing their losses. A common belief is that casinos change RTP whenever a player is winning.
Here’s a sample scenario on how this might happen:
- Bob is up $1,000 on a slot machine
- His luck suddenly takes a downturn
- He loses heavily over the next two hours
- His $1,000 profit has now vanished
Certain gamblers also believe that casinos alter payout percentages based on the time of day. They think that gambling venues raise RTP during less busy daytime hours, only to lower it during the busier evenings.
The idea that casinos change RTP to suit their situation seems plausible. After all, land-based casinos do have some ability to adjust payback.
However, they can’t just modify payout percentages whenever they feel like it. Gambling jurisdictions have laws in place that require casinos to undergo specific protocols when they switch RTP.
Nevada requires that a casino leave a game offline for four minutes before they change payback.
They also must put a sign on the game and leave it offline for another four minutes after the changes are made.
If casinos modified RTP to take advantage of busy nights, then players would see the signs and clearly find out. Assuming they tried altering payout percentages when players were winning, a staff member would have to inform gamblers and shut down the machines.
Therefore, the idea that brick-and-mortar casinos change payout percentages whenever they feel like it is a completely invalid excuse.
2 – This Isn’t My Lucky Machine
Many slots players who visit land-based casinos develop a lucky machine or two. They may experience a hot session on a certain game and believe that it will bring them profits every time.
Of course, these gamblers don’t have the right to reserve machines. If their favorite game is taken, they have to play a different one.
This scenario leads to a common excuse where, after suffering losses, a player will claim that it’s because they couldn’t get their lucky machine.
Slots results are determined by a random number generator (RNG). This program cycles through countless combinations each second to determine spin results.
The key word is “random,” because an RNG truly does deliver random results. A lucky slot machine is simply one where the RNG happens to be spitting out favorable results at the moment.
No slot machine is technically lucky, but some can have high hit frequency, which refers to how often slots deliver winning payouts.
Many times, a game with high hit frequency doesn’t offer many bonus features and/or a large jackpot. It makes up for these deficiencies by delivering more wins than the average slot.
Anybody who plays these games might feel lucky because they’re winning more often than usual. But the downside is that they probably won’t be playing for a large jackpot or many bonuses.
3 – Online Slots Are Rigged
I’ve discussed how some gamblers don’t trust slot machines. But this mistrust ramps up to a new level when combining slots with online casinos.
Skeptical players believe that internet casinos can alter slot machines more easily than land-based venues. Their logic is that gaming sites are faceless online operations that essentially do whatever they want.
But what many of the same people don’t realize is that casinos themselves don’t usually run their slots. They instead license games from software providers like NetEnt, Microgaming, Betsoft, and Real Time Gaming (RTG).
These software developers — not the casinos they’re supplying — are the ones that have the opportunity to cheat players. Of course, software companies have plenty of incentive not to cheat anybody when considering that their reputations are on the line.
Moreover, software providers often secure multiple licenses so that they can operate in different licensing jurisdictions. Microgaming, for instance, is licensed in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
A developer is therefore not only risking their reputation but also their licensing by trying to cheat players. They don’t really have much reason to rig online slots when considering that they’ve already been paid by casinos that license their products.
Some incidents have arisen in the past that comprise players’ worst fears. Amigotechs, for example, was twice caught running faulty video poker games.
Betsoft was involved in a controversial incident where they failed to pay the full value of a $1 million jackpot. They instead settled privately with the player in question.
Of course, the industry is good at identifying these incidents and bringing them into the light. Both Amigotechs and Betsoft drew heavy scrutiny for their failures.
If you’re leery about online slots, then you can read reviews on the different providers featured at your favorite casino. You should uncover any possible dirt on the developer — if there is any — through reviews.
4 – I Was Ripped Off Because I Used a Rewards Card
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding slots is that casinos find a way to recoup the rewards they give out.
As you may know, players receive comps based on their playing volume. If they play a lot of slots, then they’re going to receive plenty of rewards.
The key point to realize here is that gambling establishments are fully aware of how much they can comp each player and still make a profit. Furthermore, the amount of rewards they give out doesn’t even come close to what the average gambler loses.
Here’s an example:
- Jimmy plays a slot machine with a 5% house edge
- He bets $20,000 on the game throughout a week
- The casino’s comp rate is 0.1%
- 20,000 x 0.001 = $20 in rewards
- 20,000 x 0.05 = $1,000 in theoretical losses
- 1,000 / 20 = 50
- Jimmy’s theoretical losses are 50x greater than his rewards
Many players would be happy to get $20 worth of comps. However, they wouldn’t be so pleased to learn that they’re expected to lose $1k in the process of earning these rewards.
Casinos offer low comp rates to ensure that they still make a healthy profit off slot machines. They don’t need to further gouge players by programming slots to pay less whenever a rewards card is used.
5 – I Was Ripped Off Because I Chased a Slots Bonus
Continuing off the point above, some online slots players believe that sites will rip them off when they’re pursuing a bonus.
Online casinos commonly offer welcome packages that feature a deposit bonus, which is based on a match percentage of your first deposit.
Of course, casinos don’t just hand over the money immediately after you deposit. They instead require that you meet terms and conditions before withdrawing the bonus.
Playthrough is the most noteworthy requirement because it determines how much you need to bet in order to unlock bonus money.
Here’s an example:
- An online casino offers a 100% match bonus up to $200
- You deposit $200, thus qualifying for a $200 bonus
- Playthrough is 40x the bonus
- 200 x 40 = $8,000 must be wagered
- The slots you play feature a combined 5% house edge (95% RTP)
- 8,000 x 0.05 = 400 in theoretical losses
- 400 (losses) – 200 (bonus) = 200
- You’ll theoretically lose $200 while earning this bonus
The variables used above represent a common deposit bonus offer within the industry. You can see that at the end of the process, you’re expected to lose a little money.
The good news here is that deposit bonuses are a better deal than land-based casino comps. But again, you’re going to lose money on average by the time you can withdraw the funds.
This is another case where casinos have already worked out the math and know they can make money off the average player through bonuses. They don’t have programming in place that lowers RTP when people are going after these rewards.
6 – The Game Was Running Cold
Many players are convinced that slot machines run hot and cold. They may cite evidence of sessions where they switch from one game to another and suddenly start winning countless credits.
It can definitely seem like slots run hot and cold when these scenarios arise. However, the truth is that multiple factors are behind a hot game.
The chief element is that you need the RNG on your side. As explained before, the RNG moves so quickly that you can never predict slot results with any measure of success. Therefore, you’re merely getting lucky if this program is favoring you in the moment.
Hit frequency also plays a role in so-called hot games. A slot machine with higher hit frequency will seem like it’s on a roll. The truth, though, is that it’s simply designed to pay more often than the average game.
Finally, RTP plays a small part in how often you win. Slots with higher RTP will usually pay out more often on average.
7 – I Wasn’t Betting Enough to Win
Another excuse used among slot players is that they lost because they weren’t betting enough. Those who subscribe to this belief think that slots are programmed to pay more based on how much one is betting.
This excuse actually has a little truth to it because certain slots can pay more based on bet sizes. Here are a few instances where this is the case:
- A slot requires a special bet to qualify for a jackpot
- A game’s jackpot pays more when all coins are used on paylines
- Gamblers need to play every line to qualify for a bonus feature
- Players have better odds of winning a random progressive jackpot when they bet more
You can see that these situations offer bonuses and higher jackpots based on one’s bet size. But you can see when a game’s bet size factors into RTP by visiting the info/help screen.
An info screen explains all of a slot machine’s rules. Assuming you need to make a special bet or play a certain number of lines, the help screen will explain so.
However, ill-informed players only have a vague understanding of how bet sizes factor in when they make this excuse. Whether a slot truly pays out more based on your bet size varies from game to game.
Look at the info screen to see the requirements on winning the top jackpot and unlocking bonus features before automatically assuming that you need to wager more.
8 – This Slot Must Have Made a Big Payout Recently
One of the biggest myths in slots is that payouts are based on a scheduled cycle. Those who adhere to this philosophy believe that the jackpot only comes around once in a cycle.
When they lose, they’ll claim that the slot machine must have recently delivered a jackpot. Therefore, the game supposedly can’t pay very often in order to make up for this huge payout.
Once again, the RNG determines results by cycling through different payout combinations. The RNG has no recollection of previous wins, including jackpots.
It could theoretically pay a jackpot in back-to-back spins. The odds of this happening are extremely unlikely, but it is a possibility.
What’s not possible, though, is slot machines determining payouts based on a cycle. Slots prizes have no rhyme or reason, other than the odds at which they’re programmed to happen.
The only time that you can possibly predict when a specific payout will be made is with either a bonus accumulator slot or mystery jackpot game.
A bonus accumulator slot features a meter that’s gradually filled when you collect special symbols. Once the meter is full, a bonus will be delivered.
You know that these bonuses are set to be paid when the meter is near the top. You should therefore continue playing until you release the feature.
A mystery progressive slot machine shows exactly when the jackpot will be paid. For example, a game may deliver its top prize at $500 no matter what.
Assuming you see that this game’s jackpot is at $485, you can ramp up your play in hopes of making the contributing bet that pushes the prize to $500.
These types of games aren’t very common, though, meaning you’ll barely ever deal with a single prize — let alone an entire pay schedule — that’s paid with any degree of consistency.
9 – Everybody Loses at Slots
Gamblers can be resigned when they keep losing at slots and chalk it up to everybody losing with these slot machine games.
Earlier, I discussed how slots usually see a few big winners against a sea of losers. The thought that everybody loses with slot machines therefore has some element of truth to it.
But on the other hand, it’s not completely true.
Otherwise, nobody would ever play them.
Volatility plays a huge role in making gamblers feel like they’re destined to lose. After all, you can run through $50 on a slot machine rather quickly when the results aren’t going in your favor.
However, slot machines’ redeeming quality is that they can also award you a payout worth 1000x your bet or greater. You may only need 1-2 of these prizes to guarantee yourself a winning session under normal circumstances.
Of course, some players also win massive jackpots worth seven or eight figures. These gamblers are almost guaranteed to be lifetime winners.
You shouldn’t ever bank on winning a life-changing jackpot. After all, the odds on these prizes are usually something terrible like 1 in 100 million.
But you can at least look forward to having a chance to win some payouts that are much bigger than your average bet. When you do hit one of these prizes, it makes all of the previous losing sessions seem like a distant memory.
Gamblers commonly suffer losing slots sessions due to these games’ extreme volatility. But rather than recognizing the unpredictability of slot machines, some players make up lame excuses for their losses.
Most of these excuses have to do with not understanding how the RNG works. This program cycles through numerous combinations to determine completely random results.
Those who don’t understand this fact may believe anything from payout cycles to machines running hot and cold. These aren’t valid excuses, though, because the RNG determines results — not cycles or how “games are running.”
Other excuses derive from a mistrust of casinos. Players might claim that gambling venues change RTP when they’re winning.
Most casinos can’t legally change payout percentages whenever they feel like it. Instead, they need to go through the proper channels to adjust RTP.
Yet another set of excuses revolves around rewards. Some believe that their slots club card or online casino bonuses will cause them to lose more.
This idea is based on thinking that casinos want to make up for the comps they give. In reality, these rewards aren’t worth a fraction of theoretical losses.
Excuses don’t bring back losses from slot machines. Furthermore, they’re flat-out wrong in many cases.
Once you understand the realities behind slots losses, you can avoid falling for other players’ excuses and have a better chance of winning yourself.