How to know when a slot machine is about to pay out

Loose slots, cold and hot slots, and slots that are about to pay out. These are just a few terms that gamblers use to indicate the situation regarding the generosity of a particular slot machine.

Many players are convinced that there are a thousand and one ways to be able to see, hear, feel or notice that a slot machine is about to give a big prize.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at that and examine to what extent all of this is based on fact or fiction and why it is so. A word of warning: you probably won’t like the outcome.

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The numbers of the RNG (Random Number Generator) determine whether you win a prize and therefore you cannot influence them.

Random events

When you begin to explore the extent to which it is possible to predict when a slot machine is about to give, you will first have to educate yourself about the randomness of the results on a slot machine. In most gambling games, the outcome of a game round is completely random. This means that there is no schedule or algorithm at work that determines when a particular combination will or will not be made.

Let’s take roulette as an example. Suppose you bet on the number 17. The probability of the ball stopping on the 17 is 1 in 36, because there are 36 numbers in total on the roulette. Now suppose the ball falls on 17 not once or twice, but three times in a row. On the next round of play, how high is the probability that the ball will fall on 17 again? The correct answer is simply 1 in 36.

The results of the previous rounds of the game do not affect the probability calculation in any way. No matter how many times the 17 falls in a row, with each new round of play your chances of 17 falling are simply 1:36 again. When playing a slot machine, the same principle applies. Previous results have no influence whatsoever on the next round of play.

What is a hot or cold slot machine

When gamblers talk about a hot or hot slot machine, by hot they mean that the slot machine gives a lot of prizes and by cold they mean that the slot machine gives few prizes. But is the use of such terms actually justified? The answer is yes, the use of these terms is perfectly logical and justified.

The characteristic of random results is that there are times when many prizes will fall in succession. Likewise, there will be times when a slot machine will not give any prizes for a long time. This is inherent in the randomness of prizes. Were one to use an algorithm, it is likely that the prizes would fall evenly distributed. One could then count on a prize every 5th or 6th spin, for example.

When playing a slot machine, no algorithm is used and the results fall completely randomly and sometimes one after the other. This fact causes a lot of confusion among gamblers. They think that when a series of winning combinations falls, the slot machine is about to explode and pay out a mega prize. They experience the series of smaller wins as a kind of announcement of a bigger prize.

They are therefore completely surprised and sometimes even frustrated, when after a series of winning combinations suddenly no significant prizes fall. Slot machines do not think for themselves. There is also no algorithm that causes a slot machine to stop giving prizes when a certain amount of winnings have been won or an x-number of winning combinations have occurred.

Bad advice about playing a slot machine

John Patrick is the author of a book in which he gives advice on playing a slot machine. Pretty clever to write an entire book full of advice on how to play a slot machine, since it’s a simple act, but anyway….

One of his pieces of advice to readers is to walk away immediately when the first spin on a slot machine gives only empty pockets. Thus, when no symbols fall and certainly no prize, one should give up right away. However, there is something very wrong with this advice. The advice completely ignores the odds you have on a slot machine. It ignores the randomness with which slot machines give winning combinations.

After all, it could very well happen that six or seven spins you don’t have a single winning combination, but the eighth spin pays out the top prize. Results on a slot machine are completely random. During a session you will get combinations that give a win, almost give a win or just offer no win at all.

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What about the zig-zag method

Slot machines produce random results, that should hopefully be obvious by now. When the symbols fall on the reels, there will be three or four symbols on the win lines. There are also symbols below and above the paylines. Many players have the idea that the symbols that fall below or especially above the reels are an indication of some future results. However, this is not the case.

Slot machines are regulated, as it were, by a piece of software that determines the outcome of a spin, called the Random Number Generator. This software goes through thousands of numbers at lightning speed and stops the moment the player presses the start button. This happens so fast that it is impossible to predict which number the software will spit out. The number is then linked to corresponding symbols and these appear on the screen.

So the symbols themselves actually have no value whatsoever. It is the numbers produced by the RNG that determine whether a prize is won or not. Thus, the symbols that show up below or above a payline have no value whatsoever, nor are they an indication of combinations that will fall. Each spin on a slot machine is unique and is determined by the Random Number Generator.

Do you know when a slot machine is going to give?

There are quite a few superstitious players who are convinced that they can sense when a slot machine is about to give a big prize. However, in the absence of any evidence that this is indeed possible, one must conclude that it is impossible.

James Randi was a famous skeptic and a master of optical illusions. He established a foundation, the James Randi Educational Foundation and, through that foundation, offered a $1 million reward. The person who came up with demonstrable evidence that he could predict the outcome of a spin on a slot machine using paranormal gifts was allowed to receive this reward.

The reward was given out decades ago and to this day no one has managed to claim it. When it comes to predicting numbers, as is the case with the lotto, for example, one can of course say that one has supernatural gift. This is not true when you only manage to predict correctly once.

Fables and illusions

Many players who regularly crawl behind a slot machine don’t want to hear it, but that’s exactly what it is: hopeless! There is simply no way to predict whether a slot machine will give prizes or not. Nor is it possible to predict when a slot machine is going to give mega prizes or when a series of spins is coming up where no prize will fall.

Anyone who tries to make you believe the opposite is either lying or has an interest in making you believe these fables. Life is hard enough as it is and it doesn’t get any easier when you, as a fanatic slot machine lover, also have to deal with all kinds of fables and illusions. Those who continue to believe in them are deliberately not making it easy on themselves.

Just play with pleasure and all you can do is hope for some luck.


There is no way to predict whether a slot machine will win or not. For this reason, it is also not possible to use an effective strategy when playing a slot machine.

All you can do is enjoy the game and disregard the myths that you will no doubt be told on a regular basis. And if you ever win big money on a slot machine, don’t be under any illusions: in that case, you’ve just been lucky!