Experiments with slot machine games


If there is a way to make money, then there is someone trying to figure out the most efficient way of making it. When it comes to the gaming industry, no game has gone through more statistical study on both ends than slot machines. From the development standpoint, slot machine manufacturers have attempted to create slot machines that provide near misses and cater to the psychological aspect of gamblers to create loyal players. That is because the game has a built in house advantage, and the longer someone plays, the more money they will lose.

From the gambler’s perspective, there has been tons of statistical modeling conducted to attempt to identify their own advantages. The best way to perform these studies is by a series of experiments. As a player, you can attempt to find anomalies in either spin bet amounts, frequency of spins, or amount patterns. Other studies may simply just focus on the total spend per machine.

Many of these experiments have yielded some worthwhile results. For example, some slot machines have proved out to have a higher payout ratio shortly after the slot machine has been funded. This is because they are attempting to get the player “hooked”. There may be bonuses and smaller payouts that are designed to excite the player. Over the long haul, however, the slot machine will revert back to the mean and eventually achieve its programmed payout ratio.


While the amount of statistical data can be overwhelming, and even intimidating for some people, it must be said that for the most part, slot machines payouts are really too random for anyone to truly gain an advantage when playing them. Only really sophisticated operations of people can even dream to be able to identify patterns in a bank of slot machines, and then know when to capitalize on those patterns.

In response to this dilemma, a very low tech answer has surfaced to this highly technical problem. What has been termed as the multi-armed bandit strategy, a player will begin to play a number of slot machines at the same time in an attempt to get a feel for which one seems to have a favorable payout ratio. The player may start the experiment with low stakes, perhaps $20 per slot machine. As the experiment continues, the player will begin to exclude slot machines that are not paying out at a high enough level, or that are beginning to tail off.

As stated earlier, this is an extremely low tech experiment. It has been said that there is no substitute for experience. With an experiment like this, the point is to put your experience in direct contact with immediate results. The thinking is that your experience will help you determine which slot machine you should focus your attention on.

Colin Jones

Colin Jones is a born and raised Chicago writer specialized on topics related to the casino and gambling industry. Having years of experience on the field, Colin will keep you in touch with the latest news and advances on the casino industry.


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