Slot Machine Facts

Slot Machine Facts

Slot machines are popular online and offline casino games. Nowadays, they are so common that you will hardly find a casino without slot machines. The brightly coloured symbols on the screen and the ease of play attract players to try their hands at spinning the reels. However, while slot machines might not require much skill before playing, getting your facts right about these famous games before dabbling in them is a good idea. Let’s get right into discovering slot machine facts for USA players.

How Slot Machines Work

Though modern slot machines have advanced and are no longer what they looked like decades ago, the gameplay did not change that much. You still spin the reels by pulling a handle or pressing a button, and the images that fall on the payline determine whether you win or lose.

You win a slot machine game if every reel displays the same winning symbol along the payline.

The sequence of numbers generated by the random number generator at the exact time you press the start button determines whether you win or lose the game. An essential part of the slot machine game is the symbols, usually of different types and functions. The type of symbols that appear determines what your payout will be.

Slot machine playing field
An essential part of the slot machine game is the symbols

Top Slot Machine Facts

Since the 1990s, slot machines have been generating income for casinos. But how much do people know about this game? Some conceptions about slots will amaze you when you hear or read about them. They are just as fascinating as the game itself. As you may have rightly guessed, not all the notions about slot machines are true. The following are some slot machine facts for USA users that may pique your interest and entice you to play the game.

Most Fruit Slots Are in Japan

Let’s start with the popular concept that Las Vegas is the number one gambling city in the USA. While gambling might be widespread in places like Singapore, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City, to name a few, slot games are more predominant in Japan. Pachinko, a slot-like machine that is not only entertaining but also awards material prizes to players when they win, is one of the most played games in the country. The game generates an annual revenue that is way higher than what is generated in Las Vegas.

Slot Machines Do Not Heat Up

A popular misconception about slot machines is that there are cold and hot slots:

  • A “hot” slot machine is the one that pays out more recently.
  • A “cold” slot machine pays out less.

This is one colossal fallacy you should not fall for. The fact is slot machines do not “heat up” or “cool down”. Each win is independent of the other, so the idea that the slot machine will keep being “cold” if it does not pay out or is “hot” simply because it is paying out is wrong. Regardless of whether a slot has been paying out for a while, it will keep paying out if the sequence generated by the random number generator is a winning combination.

Randomness of Winning

One of the slot machine facts you should never forget is that winning at the reels is entirely random. When you press the spin button, your winning chances do not depend on whether the slot has just made a payout or not. For instance, if you had a 1 in 1000 chance of winning a jackpot on a turn of the reels, it doesn’t matter if you won on the previous spin; you’ll still have a 1 in 1000 chance of winning a jackpot on the next spin of the same reels.

Slots Are Hugely Popular in Casinos

Originally, slots were underrated. Only a few people took the big boxes found near the elevators and halls of casinos seriously. But things changed during the 1980s when casino operators discovered that the neglected slot machines generated more revenue than other table games. Since then, slot machines have grown in fame across casinos and among players.

With internet technology taking slots from land-based casinos to the comfort of players’ homes, the game is not leaving the gambling industry soon.

User Won $39.7 million at the MGM Resorts

For some, winning at the slots may seem more of a dream than a reality. But it was a life-changing event for the Las Vegas player who won one of the largest slot jackpots of all time. It happened in 2003 when a $100 stake in the Megabucks slot machine at the Excalibur Casino won the lucky player a staggering $39.7 million. When such events occur, casinos have a system where they pay the winnings over some years. The winner can also negotiate other convenient payment options.

Professional Slot Players

Another one of the slot machine facts that will most likely excite you is that professional slot players exist. Some beginners dream of becoming pros at the game, but this dream is often dashed when they discover that slot games rely heavily on luck. However, some people still specialize in knowing the ins and outs of slots and are considered experts at the game. They analyze slot machines, hunt for the ones with the best payout rates, and come up with plans to win the game.

Slots Are Named Differently

Over time, different people have called slot machines lots of names. Some of these names have stuck to the game — like labels. One of the most common is “one-armed bandits”. This name came up because slots have caused players to lose money and leave casinos with empty purses. Another explanation for the name is that the early slot machines had large levers by their sides.

Furthermore, players in different countries have their way of referring to slot machines. Here’s a table showing the names slot is called in different countries.

Country/RegionSlot Name
United KingdomFruit Machines
AustraliaPokies or Poker Machines
United StatesSlots
New ZealandPokies
JapanPachisuro, Pachinko
RussiaGaming Machines
MacauSlot Machines

Playing Slots Is Gambling

Playing slot machines involves staking money in hopes of getting winning combinations after spinning the reels. Many will call it a game of chance. For this reason, putting money on slots is gambling since the outcome mainly depends on luck. This is primarily influenced by the Random Number Generator (RNG), which always generates random numbers by the second.

Slot Machines Work Even if No One Plays

Because the random number generator is constantly in operation, slot machines work even when no one is playing. The number generator works nonstop to guarantee the fairness of game results.

Time on Slot

A relatively less known slot machine fact is that the time gamblers spend playing the slot machine is one that interests casinos and slot machine manufacturers more than players themselves. This is because the more time players spend on the slot, the more profit the casino will rake in. Because of this, casino operators are always on the lookout for slot machines with a high “Time on Device”.

Time on Device” represents how well a slot machine game captures the attention of players.

They Have Opaque Odds

For a game like crap involving a pair of dice, a player will know that only a limited number of combinations can come up since a die has only six sides. However, if there is a game with opaque odds, then it would be the slot machines, as there is no known way of determining which symbol will show on the reel after each spin. Compared to other casino games where the odds of winning are obvious to players, you can hardly measure the odds of winning at slots.

They Make Up 85% of Casino Income

Slot machines are no longer just there to take up space in the hallways and provide entertainment for women while their men finish their table games. Ever since they started generating even more than what the so-called real games are making, they have become a staple source of income for most casinos. This did not happen suddenly. The changes occurred over the years. In 2003, about 85% of casino profits were said to have come from slot machines. Nowadays, several online casinos have hundreds of slots available to players.

Catalog of slot machines
Several online casinos have hundreds of slots available

Slots Are Legal in 41 States

As of the year 2000, slot machines were only permitted in 31 states. Since then, they have become legal in 10 more states. If we include lotteries, then 48 states allow gambling in some form. The revenue generated by states that have legalized gambling will no doubt propel other states to consider putting the legalization of gambling into action. Even in states where gambling is illegal, there are innumerable avenues to play. In locations like Texas, where there are no legal casinos, you can play these unregulated games in pubs, gas stations, and restaurants.

Slots Quickly Become Addictive

The high rate of addictiveness is a slot machine fact that shouldn’t be ignored. Several factors combined have made slot machines addictive to players. The ease of play is one such factor. All you need to do is press a button, and you either win or lose. This way, you can easily play many rounds of the game within the space of a few minutes without realizing it. Compared to table games, where you have to wait for other players to play or get the result before placing the next wager, slots are relatively easier to play.

Studies have shown that when players win at slots, the brain associates the pleasurable feelings it gets with the machines. This causes people to play more, even at the risk of losing all their money.

Systems & Strategies Don’t Work

Nowadays, search engines have the answer to almost any question you ask. Unfortunately, some of them include frivolous ideas like John Patrick’s System, which involves stopping the reels at a particular time or after spinning the reels seven times so that you can win. These systems do not guarantee a win. As much as you can play slot machine games and make them more interesting by using these strategies and systems, it is not wise to depend on them for winning. This is because they do nothing to improve your chances at the game.

Progressive Slot Jackpots Are Like a Lottery

A progressive slot jackpot increases as players play the game. Some liken progressive slot jackpots to a lottery, but if we are to go with the odds, you stand a better chance of hitting the jackpot than the lottery. You can think of the lottery as a multimillion-dollar grand award that you have a 1 in 500,000 chance of winning. However, the Megabucks progressive slot, which is still one of the highest paying slots of all time, has a one in a quarter million chance of winning. Starting at $10 million, the jackpot keeps growing until someone hits it.

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One thing that sets the lottery apart from the progressive jackpot is that you can get smaller payouts like on the Megabucks slots. Also, you can know if you have hit the jackpot instantly, compared to the lottery, which involves waiting for draws.

Slots Are Similar to Skinner Boxes

While conducting one of his behavioral experiments on animals, Skinner discovered something interesting. His little laboratory companions were more enthusiastic about a box they didn’t find rewards in more often than the one they always found something in. We can compare this to human behavior too. If you win on every spin you make, the inspiration to play the slot machines won’t be there again.


No. This is not possible, as the result of each spin is entirely random.

Technically, there is nothing like a "cold" or "hot" slot. So, it makes no difference if you skip a machine and move to the next.

Yes. This is because slot machines operate using the RNG system, which ensures randomness.

It is impossible to outsmart the RNG system with strategies and skills. However, you can use them to make the game more enjoyable.

When the combinations on the reels look like they stopped right when they were about to give a winning arrangement, you would think if you had stopped it just a moment earlier; you might have won. So, you stop the next spin earlier to win. This is one of the most common slot myths.

With luck on your side, you can win the mouth-watering jackpot just like the man who won $39.7 million. This happens rarely, though. You just need to hope for the best while playing.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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