Debunking Online Slot Games: Separating Fact from Fiction

Slot machines have been a source of entertainment for generations. Since the creation of the one-armed bandit and the subsequent fruit machine, slot gaming has taken the world by storm.

As video and online slot games began to rear their head and technology was developed, with HTML5 delivering cross-platform, mobile-first gameplay without the need to download innovative mobile apps, these next-generation games became shrouded in myths and misconceptions. From theories of “hot” and “cold” slots to the belief in lucky charms to influence outcomes on the reels, these misplaced theories have always been incorrect – and it’s time to set the record straight. Below, we debunk the myths surrounding online slot gameplay so you can better understand how these games work.

Myth 1: “Hot” and “Cold” slots exist

One prevalent myth surrounds the issue of “hot” and “cold” online slots. Hot slot games are those perceived to be on a winning streak, while cold slots are those expected to be due a winning streak having delivered very few winning combinations.

The reality is that every spin of a slot game online is 100% independent of previous or future spins. That’s because most online slots are powered by decentralised random number generators (RNGs), which generate fully random outcomes on every reel.

These RNGs are continually generating random numbers, so it’s practically impossible to get the same results from consecutive spins. These RNGs are also programmed to trigger payouts in line with each slot’s predetermined return to player (RTP) percentage and its general volatility.  The RTP slots debate has raged on for years, but RTP and volatility are two different things – RTP explains how much you can expect to get back from every bet placed. Meanwhile volatility refers to how the RTP is distributed. This could be over small, frequent wins or large, infrequent wins.

Myth 2: Betting more increases your chances of winning

Another common misconception in the iGaming world is that just by placing high-value bets you’re increasing the likelihood of landing a win. Although it’s true that higher bets can generate bigger payouts when a win occurs, it doesn’t influence the probability of winning itself.

We’ve already touched on the power of RNGs but an RNG ensures each spin has an equal chance of resulting in a win or loss, in line with its RTP and inherent volatility. Responsible gaming involves setting a budget and understanding that wagering more doesn’t alter the fundamental odds of an online slot.

Myth 3: Timing is everything with slots

Another pervasive myth surrounding online slot gameplay is that the time of day or specific hours of gameplay influence the likelihood of winning on the reels. In truth, the internal clocks of slot machines do not determine when they will pay out – unless, of course, you choose to pay a slot which has a daily progressive jackpot which must be triggered before the end of every 24-hour window. Otherwise, slot games operate 24/7 and the RNG ensures each spin is independent of external factors such as time.

Myth 4: You can spot when a progressive jackpot is about to pay out

Progressive jackpot slots usually gather more attention than bog-standard online slots due to their potential for triggering life-changing payouts. Some players wrongly believe that a progressive jackpot is more likely to hit when it reaches a certain threshold or hasn’t been won for some time.

However, the mechanics of progressive jackpots are determined by the game’s design, and the RNG dictates when the jackpot will be triggered entirely at random. The jackpot’s size or the time since the last win won’t influence the outcome either – except for those with daily jackpots to be triggered.

Myth 5: Lucky charms and rituals can influence the results of spins

Last but by no means least, some slot players believe in the power of lucky charms and rituals to influence the outcome of slot spins. Whether it’s a lucky coin, a special shirt or a particular routine before playing, these superstitions are not rooted in reality.

The results of slot games are determined exclusively by the work of RNGs, rendering any external influences wholly irrelevant. Nevertheless, lucky charms may offer a sense of comfort or familiarity.

It’s therefore important to trust in the randomness of online slot gameplay. Licensed and regulated operators have their slot games periodically tested and verified for fair play by independent third parties like eCOGRA. All of which helps to offer peace of mind in the integrity of your iGaming sessions.

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