Slot machines are the most popular way to gamble.  It is easy to sit down, put your money in, push the button and watch the reels spin.   

Slot machines contain random number generators that can generate thousands of numbers per second, each of which is associate with a different combination of symbols.  The instant you push the button, you have picked numbers from the random number generator (RNG) that determines what symbols are going to appear on the screen.  You decide when to push the button, but have no influence on the outcome of the spin.  The results are truly random. 

 Whether you win or lose is based on the pay lines you have covered and if those winning symbols appear on those lines.  If the winning symbols appear on lines you have covered, your payout is determined by the denomination of the machine, and the credits you have wagered per line.  Every slot machine has a pay table in the menu that explains how the machine will payout for different combination of symbols.  

While machines can be programed to payout higher or lower odds, the average house advantage is 8 percent, meaning the average return to player is 92 percent.  No matter what machine you decide to play, the odds always favour the house.  This means over time, it’s more likely that than not that you will be walking away with less money than when you started.

Illustration of a slot machine with three icons; the number 7, cherries, and a bell

GameSense Tip:  Slot machine wins are purely random, with every spin having an equal chance of winning or losing.  You are never any closer to winning on a slot machine, no matter how long you play.  

GameSense Tip: There are things you have control over as a slot player that impact the amount of money you will expose to the house advantage:

  1. The denomination of the machine 
  2. The number of lines you cover
  3. The number of credits per line
  4. Speed of play/how fast you press the spin button (note the stop button feature does not influence what you are going to get on the screen, that just makes you play faster)
  5. When to quit

GET HELP. If you are concerned about your gambling or someone you know, contact the Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-800-306-6789 or visit Where to Get Support.

GameSense is a registered trademark of British Columbia Lottery Corporation, used under license by SaskGaming.

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