The other day I was sitting around with a few of my friends and the conversation turned to superstitions and any personal idiosyncrasy we have when we are gambling. One of my friends brought up the subject of whether it was better to leave a slot machine after winning a sizeable jackpot or to "play off" the winner and leave after a losing spin. This started a conversation about leaving the machine after even a smaller win
Leaving a slot machine after a small winning spin is not a big decision so we only discussed larger jackpots of $200 dollars or more. A few of my friends believe that once you hit a jackpot you should switch machines.
Most of us agreed that we would play an additional hand or two after the jackpot. A couple of us said that whenever we leave a machine we prefer to play it down to an even dollar amount before cashing out. There was a time when you did not have a choice of playing one more hand after a big jackpot.
Before slot machines were equipped with ticket capabilities, the slot attendants used to make you play off a winning hand after any win that required a hand-paid jackpot. The attendant would reset the machine and then watch you play the next spin. One of the reasons the casinos wanted you to play off the winning hand is because they knew that many players will not sit down to play on a machine if they saw that the previous player had just won a large jackpot.
You don't have to do that anymore on the TITO machines when the jackpot does not require a W2G form but you still may come across it in casinos that still use coins in the machines. The first time I hit a royal flush on a quarter coinless video poker machine, I was surprised when the machine just registered my 4,000 credits win and did not lock up.
Many players are not bothered by playing off a single hand, but they will cash out after hitting a small jackpot or even 4 of a kind on a video poker machine. They believe that once the machine pays out it will not be "due" to hit again for a while. If they plan to continue playing they will switch to a different machine instead of continuing to play the one that just hit.
The mathematical odds of hitting a jackpot or winning video poker hand on the next spin are exactly the same as on the previous spin. The random number generator has no memory as to whether the previous hand was a winner or loser. The machine is not "set" to pay you or not pay you based on the results of hands that were previously played. Some players feel the opposite and will never leave a machine until they have a losing hand.
A Silly Slot Strategy
When I started going to the casinos many years ago, there were no video slots and all of the machines had three to five reels. You could walk down any aisle of slot machines and quickly determine if the last hand had been a winner or not. One of my friends had purchased a "winning slots system" that advised playing a spin on any machine that showed the previous player had left after a winning spin. The reasoning was that the machine could be at the beginning of a hot streak and you could catch it if you played. This, of course, was fallacy but we killed quite a few hours walking up and down the banks of slot machines with a few rolls of quarters to finance our adventure. Of course, once I understood how the machines actually worked I quickly gave up on this system. It also was not fun jumping form machine to machine after one or two spins.
Identifying slot machines that were left after a winning spin is a little more difficult because the newer machines in most casinos revert back to a main menu when the machine is not being played. In order to see the last hand you have to select the game on the machine.
Many video poker players study the proper strategy and are aware of the pay tables and payback returns for each machine, but they still play with the false notion that they should switch machines after a small win. One of my friends said that she will never sit down at a video poker machine if she could see that the last hand was a four of a kind or higher. When she does hit a four of a kind or higher she will switch machines.
It is entirely up to you whether you want to leave after winning a jackpot or winning hand but your descision should not be based on the false assumption that the machine will not pay again.
I never leave a machine immediately after a winning hand. I am always hoping to get on a winning streak so if I am getting ready to leave I will play it until I lose. I once hit a royal flush on a deuces wild video poker machine and when the attendant asked me to play it off, I hit four deuces on the very next a hand. After that experience I will always continue playing for a few hands and when I take a break it has nothing to do with whether or not I just had a winning hand.
The main reason to leave a machine after hitting a substantial jackpot has nothing to do with whether or not you think the machine will pay off again. After you have a nice win it is perfect time to take a break and lock up a win.
Until next time remember:
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.