Slot Machine Facts

Slot machines are the most profitable form of gambling for casinos.

How They Work

Class III slot machines are based on random number generators. The outcome of each spin is random.


The cost of play on slot machines is built into every spin. If the payout is 90% to the customer, then the cost of play is 10% per spin. If you were playing at a rate of $1 per spin with a 90% payout, on average you would have $0.90 remaining. Therefore, your cost of play would be $0.10 per spin. Incremental wins count as part of the 90% pay out. Jackpot wins ($1200 or more) also count in the 90% payout. Jackpots make up only 1% of all payments.

Problem Gambling

  • The majority of people who seek treatment for gambling disorder say playing slots was the primary problem.
  • Addiction to slot machines likely results from the interaction between the player and the slot machines.
  • Cognitive, social, emotional, biological, and genetic dispositions all impact the player.
  • Myths about how slot machines work exacerbate these risk factors.

Debunking Common Myths


Slot machines are neither “hot” nor “cold,” just random. There are no “loose” machines. Playing two or more machines at the same time does not increase chances of winning.


The rate of pushing buttons or time between bets has no effect on the outcome. The time of day or day of the week has no effect on wins.


There is no such thing as a “near win” or a “near miss.” Playing with cash versus a player’s card does not affect wins.

There is no skill to playing slots, and there is no strategy of play that increases the chances of winning.

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