Online Slots and the Gambler’s Fallacy
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could devise a perfect betting strategy to increase your chances of winning at online slot machines? After all, players of other forms of gambling employ betting strategies don’t they? So why shouldn’t online slot machine players?
There is something known as the gamblers fallacy, which is a psychological tendency to believe that if the same outcome has occurred an unusual number of times consecutively, then the chances of a different outcome occurring are increased. So, for example, if a person tosses a coin nine times and it lands on tails every time, the gambler’s fallacy would be to assume that on the tenth toss, the odds of the coin landing on tails again are less than are the odds of it landing on heads. In reality, however, there is still a one in two probability, because though the odds were against it landing on tails nine times in a row, past events do not affect mathematical probabilities.
There is no doubt that those playing online casino games often have a belief that some betting strategy can be employed to win big. Thoughts like “the slot hasn’t paid out for some time, surely it is due to pay out big at any moment”, or “I’m on a winning streak here, surely the next spin will mean I lose all my winnings” are common, but is this not just another example of the gambler’s fallacy? Well, to answer that question, we need to know just how ‘random’ online slots are.
Random Number Generators
If you don’t know, nowadays Random Number Generators (RNGs) are built into all physical slot machines. They come in the form of computer chips. They are algorithmic, and as the name suggests, they generate a random set of numbers, each with a value that corresponds to the symbols on each reel. These computer programs churn out numbers at an incredible rate—many times per millisecond—even while the machine is not in play. And so, at the very instant when the player pushes the button or pulls down the lever, guess what? they have no clue what those numbers are! And it is those very numbers that have already determined the outcome of the spin. So it doesn’t make one jot of difference how quickly or how slowly you press the button, or how hard you mentally will the reels to land favourably. The only input you have is when to press it, or indeed, if at all.
Okay, now that you know what RNGs are, the next thing you should know is that these exact same algorithmic programs are built into the software of their virtual counterparts in online casinos. There simply is no way of decoding it, and while no mathematical algorithm can be truly random, the sheer complexity of the code means that for all intents and purposes, it is. In other words: forget about it!
Online Slots Betting Strategy
So can you have an online slots strategy? Absolutely! But not a betting strategy for slots that would increase your chances of beating the House. Whether you simply wish to mitigate any losses, or you want to fuel more excitement into your betting, then adopting a betting strategy for slots makes sense.
Elk Studios ‘Betting Strategies’ is a great example. In their online casino, they offer the option of selecting one of four different strategies which automatically determines the bet size based on previous gameplay outcomes. This can certainly add more fun to your playing.
So, we’ve learned that online slots, with their Randon Number Generators are, although not strictly speaking entirely random, certainly impartial, and random enough to conclude that any wistful thinking about winning streaks or losing streaks, and probabilities increasing based on previous gameplay are clear-cut examples of the gambler’s fallacy. Don’t deceive yourself!
This should in no way take the fun out of playing, just don’t believe anyone who tells you they have a winning strategy for slots. The only winning strategy is to bet sensibly, and most importantly, to have FUN!