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Ask the Slot Expert: Stopping the Spin Does Affect Future Results

16 January 2013

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Hello John,

I don’t agree completely about your reply about stopping the wheels and having no effect on outcome, only speeding up play.

Stopping the wheels to speed up play thus creating an outcome that otherwise would not have resulted in the next spin is affecting outcome.

Every nanosecond is a different result from the RNG, right? If a machine is playing well, I’ll play it faster for a few spins in the hope that it might result in a better win or at least a winning combination that wouldn’t have appeared otherwise. That’s been my thought; correct me if I’m wrong.

Many thanks,
Bob

Dear Bob,

There are two different outcomes that could be affected. One outcome is the result of the current spin, the one that will be stopped. The other outcome is the outcome of the next spin -- and all future spins, for that matter.

Stopping the spin has no effect on the outcome of the spin in progress. Stopping the spin only causes the machine to stop the reels on the result that was chosen when you began the spin.

Stopping a spin, however, could have an effect on the outcomes of future spins. As you pointed out, the RNG is generating new results very quickly -- not every nanosecond, but hundreds of times each second. If you stop the current spin, you might start the next one at a different point in time and therefore get a different result.

Different, but not necessarily better. Consider a strange craps game in which the shooter throws three pairs of dice. To be able to tell the pairs apart, one pair is red, one is white, and one is blue. The shooter also throws another die, which has two faces of each color. All dice are fair. The shooter throws all the dice and the color that is face up on the odd die tells us which pair we'll use for the result of the throw.

The result could be different depending on which color is chosen, but the result won't necessarily be better. One pair might be the point number, while the chosen pair was a seven. It's also possible that the chosen pair is better than the others. The point is that it's just another outcome chosen at random and no pair of dice will be any better or worse than any other in the long run.

The same thing applies to stopping spins. Yes, you may get different outcomes than if you hadn't stopped the spins because you're pressing the spin button at different points in time, but your long-term results will be the same whichever way you play because the odds are the same on every spin.

Playing at a faster (or slower) pace will change your results compared with those of your prior pace. You can hope for better wins, but your new results won't necessarily be better. And, in the long run, it will not have mattered whether you changed your pace.

Jackpots for all,
John


John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots