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Ask the Slot Expert: Stopping the spin on a slot machine25 December 2013
Thanks for the kind words about my columns.
Your neighbor is right -- up to a point. The machine polls the RNG and determines the results of your spin right after you press the Spin button. The result will be the same whether you stop the reels or sit back and enjoy the show.
His second statement is that the symbols roll a certain way only on winning spins. I've never seen a machine reveal whether a spin was going to be a winner by "rolling" the symbols differently.
One of the innovations in Charles Fey's Liberty Bell Slot Machine over 100 years ago was the staggered stopping of the reels. The staggered stop lets the excitement build as each symbol in the result lands on the payline one by one. I find it very unlikely that a machine will indicate that a spin will be a winner -- or, really, that a spin will be a loser.
The whole point of the staggered stop is that the spin isn't over until it's over, until all three reels have stopped. You can have two jackpot symbols land on the payline and you're possibly going to hit it big all the while until the third reel stops. If the reels acted differently based on whether a spin was a hit, you'd know right away whether your jackpot dreams will be fulfilled this spin.
You can stop the reels without spoiling your chances to win. You might spoil your bankroll, though. If you let the spins play out, you'll play fewer spins per hour and that will decrease your expected loss per hour and that will stretch your bankroll. You'll get more playing time for your bankroll.
What you described sounds like a system casinos can use if they want to offer roulette and not have to have dealers operate the game. Each number on the wheel should be equally likely to be chosen. A random number generator is used to determine which pocket the ball will land in. As long as the payouts are the same as on the live roulette game, the house edge will be the same.
I don't recommend playing this type of roulette for one reason: With a computer handling all the functions, play will go much faster than at a live roulette table. Speed kills bankrolls in gambling. You'll tend to get more play time from your bankroll at the live roulette table.
The same thing happens with Baccarat versus Mini-Bac. You tend to lose more at Mini-Bac even though the rules are identical because the game goes so much faster than at the big table.
You can play the electronic roulette and be assured that you're facing the same odds as at the live table, but be aware that play will go faster and your bankroll may not last as long.
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at email@example.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
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