Slot machines are one of the most popular forms of gambling and have the potential to be the most harmful.

It is well known that all casinos make money because they hold on to a percentage of the money wagered by those playing the slot machines. For the record, the odds of you winning large payouts on a slot machine is not very good.

Slot machines are very profitable because they are programmed to pay out a percentage of the overall money that is wagered. As well, the machines are designed and tested to make sure they don’t lose money over time.

The payout rates are based upon hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of spins so they don’t reflect what happens daily at the casino.

Here are some interesting facts about slot machines you need to know:

Weighted Reels

  • The reels on slot machines are weighted so the low-paying symbols come up more often than jackpot symbols.

Unbalanced Reels

  • To the average player, it looks like all symbols have an equal chance of coming up, but each machine has unbalanced reels which have fewer jackpot symbols than the other reels.
  • Unfortunately, players have no way of knowing that one of the reels doesn’t have jackpot symbols and believe they have a better chance of winning than they really do.

False Wins

  • A false win happens when the amount won on a spin is less than the amount wagered.
  • The slot machine celebrates this as a win even though the player lost money on the spin.
  • With a false win players may feel they are winning, when they are not.


Small Wins

  • When playing a slot machine, players may experience frequent small wins.
  • Small wins don’t compensate for the overall money lost and in most cases any money won is rolled back into the game.
  • Like false wins, small wins give players the feeling they are doing better than they really are.
  • Small wins create an illusion that continuing to play the slots will lead to a large win, when in fact, extended play usually leads to more losses.


Near Misses

  • A near miss occurs when a jackpot symbol appears directly above or below the pay line, making it appear that it was one spot away from a win.
  • The symbols displayed above or below the pay line have nothing to do with how close the player was to winning the jackpot.
  • Research has shown that near misses motivate players to continue playing, because they feel they are close to winning.


Stop Button

  • The stop button gives players the illusion of being in control, but it has zero impact on the outcome of the game.
  • In fact, by the time the reels are spinning, the outcome has already been determined;
  • The outcome is decided the instant the player presses the spin button, but the reels spin for five to six seconds before displaying the outcome to the player.


Slot machines are exciting to play but remember that they are huge revenue generators for casinos. Many of the machine’s features are misleading and designed to keep players in their seats and make them believe they have a better chance of winning than they do.

Please gamble responsibly.