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Ask The Slot Expert5 October 2000
The numbers on the meters you can sometimes see inside a slot machine are used for accounting purposes. The order of the meters isn't necessarily the same from machine to machine.
You can't use the numbers on the meters to tell whether or not a machine will pay. The Random Number Generator (RNG) in the computer program running the slot machine chooses the symbols for each reel at random. And the RNG doesn't care how much money the machine has or hasn't paid out.
"Loose" and "tight" are terms that describe how much a slot machine is set to pay out in the long run. "Loose" machines pay out more than "tight" machines. They're relative terms. A "loose" machine in casino A may pay back 95% while a "loose" machine in casino B may pay back only 92%. It's a good idea to play "loose" machines because you'll win more money on them in the long run.
There are a number of problems with that advice to only play "loose" machines. First, there's no way for you to tell that a machine is "loose." Just because a machine hits frequently, that doesn't mean that it's "loose." Perhaps you've played a nine-line video slot. That machine can give you a hit of a coin or two on practically every hand and still be a "tight" machine.
Second, it takes hundreds of thousands of spins for a slot player to feel the effects of a few percentage points difference in payback. The randomness of slots has a bigger effect in the short run than a small change in payback.
Finally, the advice is outdated. In the past, slot managers used "loose" machines to encourage slot play. Players would see or hear another player winning and be encouraged to keep feeding their machines.
Slots are so entertaining today, slot players don't need to be encouraged to keep playing. They want to keep playing until they get one more spin on the Wheel of Fortune or one more fishing expedition or one more time around the Monopoly board. As a result, all of the machines of a particular denomination in a casino have roughly the same percentage payback.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at email@example.com.
For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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