Where Are the Loose Machines?

Do casinos really have "loose slots"? According to this myth, and because the term loose slots is so familiar, the answer would seem to be yes. Even casinos themselves advertise that they have the "loosest slots in town."

So, how do you find these loose machines?

Well, not only are there myths about the location of loose machines, there are also tales about the best time of the day or the best day of the week to find one. Do any of these sound familiar?

-The machines on the aisles or near the windows pay off better because other people can see you win and then will want to play, too.

-Don't play slots during the daytime; they tighten the machines then so it will look like people are winning more often at night.

-Only play slots on Fridays or Saturdays because by then they've made their money for the week and be less stingy.

-Put your hand on the front of the machines; if it feels warmer than the other machines, it's a loose one.

Actually, there are hundreds of false ideas about finding loose slots and winning tons of dough.

But, first of all, let's consider what is meant by the term loose slots. Does it mean that the parts inside one machine are literally looser than in some other machines? Does it imply that if a machine is more tightly bolted together it will be less generous?

Many people actually believe that this is true, so they seek out only those machines that make a loud noise when played. These players look for the older mechanical machines that may clang and rattle when the handle is pulled and the reels are spinning. These people are sure they've found the secret of how to play slots.

Other players use the term loose in the figurative sense of the word, believing that how often or how much the slot machine pays off, rather than the way it looks or sounds, is what makes a machine loose. Again, the advertising of many casinos would seem to support this definition of loose slots because it implies that the casino is willing to lose money one some machines in order to attract business. Such familiar statements as "We Have More Slot Winners" or "Our Slots Pay More Jackpots" are designed to make prospective players think they will win more at that casino. The implication here is that the less money the casino makes on slots, the luckier the slot players will be.

But this is not necessarily so. The terms loose and tight are only relative, and have very little influence on whether the individual player wins or loses. Some machines called high-frequency machines are set to pay out fewer coins more frequently, and other machines pay out more coins less often. The end result is about the same, even though many players believe that the machines that pay more often are the looser ones.

Let's clear up another myth of so called loose slot machines. Many people believe that inside every slot machine is a dial or a level or special wires or a switch that will make the machine pay off or if you are winning not pay off.

But the reality is there are no magic buttons or secret switches that will make your slot machine looser or tighter. Casinos do not go around at four a.m. and tighten all the machines until the next evening or the next weekend. To start with, it would be far too expensive and time consuming to attempt to increase or decrease the payout percentage on most regular slot machines. Except for certain electronic machines and video slots, index discs and reel strips would have to be changed, as would, in many cases, the payout schedule glass on the front of the machine. It could take hours just to change one slot.

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