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HOME > Gaming > The stop spin slots

The stop spin slots

9 March 2014

By John Grochowski

QUESTION: On slot machines that have a "stop spin" button does it make a difference or will you get what you would have gotten if it completed its spin on its own?

ANSWER: It makes no difference. The reels are going to show what the random number generator tells them to, regardless of whether you stop them.

There are a few rare exceptions. Several years ago, IGT did a couple of three-reel machines in its Reel Edge series that gave players the option of stopping each reel individually. On those, there was an element of skill, and your timing did matter. Those games carved a very small niche, and IGT changed direction in its Reel Edge games.

On modern games such as Blood Life Legends and Caterpillar, the skill element is confined to the bonus events, and not on stopping the reels.

But on the vast majority of slots, there is no skill element at all. Once you hit the button or pull the handle, you’re going to get a reel combination that corresponds to the RNG’s output. There’s nothing you can do to change that.

QUESTION: Say you are playing a penny slot machine that lets you play the bonus round if you get three bell symbols. Say I am playing that machine and I get the three bells on my 5th spin. Would that bonus spin still have come up whether I was playing 20 cents a spin or 4 dollars a spin or doesn't the amount I am playing make a difference when that bonus is going to come up?

ANSWER: Your wager size makes no difference as to what symbols land on the reels. The random number generator does not know how much you've wagered All it does is generate random numbers, spin after spin, and those numbers determine what you see on the reels. The frequency of winning combinations will be the same regardless of how much you bet.

One place your bet size can make a difference is on games with mystery jackpots, or mystery bonuses. Mystery jackpots or bonuses are those that appear without a winning symbol combination. One common way to program them is to have the RNG generate a target number. Let's say we're looking at a mini-jackpot, where a portion of every bet is added to the pot until it hits. Let's define this mini-jackpot so the casino seeds it at $5 and sets an upper limit of $10, so that it must hit by the time it reaches $10.

If the RNG generated $8.32 as the jackpot number, the player whose wager took the total to $8.32 would trigger the jackpot event. Those who are betting the most money would have the most chances to raise the jackpot for $8.32, so they would win more often than those making smaller bets. But for regular symbol-driven slot play, raising your bets does not make winning combinations come up any more or less often.

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 fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

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