When you simply bet more on the same game, it doesn’t change the RNG’s number set.
It will continue to generate numbers in the same proportions regardless of whether you cover 20 lines at one coin per line, or at five coins per line.
Not a week goes by without my email box including a variation on this theme: Do slot machines change results when you bet more?
Let’s let Howard, a Chicago area player, and Joe, who signed himself “A. Player,” ask it their own ways, in emails that arrived about a week apart this April.
Howard first: “We just got back from taking my in-laws to Las Vegas and had a great time.
My father-in law and I get along great, but when it comes to gambling he has some weird ideas about how slots work.
His latest belief is that on a machine that offers say 5 betting amounts (i.e., 20, 40, 60, 80, 120), it will pay off more often when you bet more (i.e., 60 vs 20).
I tell him that the machine does not alter the payoff frequencies due to the amount you bet, only that you will win more money if you bet more and have a winning combination. He thinks the big wins come more often if you bet less.
He is in total defiance of this theory and says that the machine knows if you play more and that you will hit more often. “If a slot player plays one unit instead of the three maximum units, and wins (say $100), would the winning combination still have necessarily occurred if the three maximum units had been played (say $300 win)?
Could you please let us know who is right, maybe he would bet and lose less in the future? Howard’s father-in-law believes that betting more brings a higher payback percentage. It seems that the relatively higher dollar winning combinations usually occur more frequently when only one or two units are played rather than when the maximum three units are played. The random number generator that determines what you see on the video screen or on the reels doesn’t know how much you’re wagering.
In other words, the $100 win for the one unit play may not have happened at all if the maximum three units had been played at that particular time. I realize that conventional wisdom dictates ‘always play the maximum units,’ but aren’t there many specific instances where maximum play can work against you? It just generates random numbers corresponding to reel symbols.
If you happen to be betting more when those random numbers lead to a big winning combination, so much the better. Howard’s father-in-law was playing video slots, with the option of betting multiple coins per payline.