Slot Machine Superstitions: Unveiling the Myths and Misconceptions

We're sure you've heard a few things... we're here to set the record straight

Slots are popular casino games that involve trying to get matching combinations of symbols by spinning the reels. While this is a simple type of game that anyone can play, there are a few slot machine superstitions as well as a number of myths that you should know about.

Myth 1: Slots Go Through Hot and Cold Periods

In the gambling world, there’s a theory of hot and cold slots. To put it simply, this is the idea that a slot will go through a winning streak or else a losing run, so you need to time when you play to coincide with a winning spell.

Sometimes, hot slots are also called loose slots, but do they actually exist? To understand why this is one of the common slot machine myths and misconceptions, we’ll look at how slots work. The symbols you see on the reels are determined by a random number generator (RNG) which ensures the outcome of any given spin is random and unpredictable.

The outcome could produce several wins or losses in a row, but there’s no way of knowing in advance if this will happen or not. We could say slots could randomly go through hot and cold spells but the way they work means it doesn’t help us to predict the outcome of future spins.

This myth can be traced back to the times when slots were mechanically operated, as there was a greater chance of predicting what would happen when playing these older machines at times. The technology used in modern slots ensures this is no longer the case.  

Basically, the outcome of previous spins doesn’t have any effect on what happens next. You might win with three of four spins in a row, but the following spin is still going to be random and give you exactly the same chance of winning again you have in the previous games.

Myth 2: You Can Affect the Outcome

Many of the slot machine myths and misconceptions come from the suggestion players can somehow affect the outcome of the game. This is the reason why people have superstitions about what they wear, how they hit the spin button and whether they stand up or sit down while playing. It explains why players might think they need to learn new skills or strategies.

The previous point explains why this isn’t the case, as there’s nothing you can do to affect the outcome of a game that’s random by nature. It’s easy to see why players believe they’ve influenced the outcome of a spin if they do something different and suddenly start to win, but there’s simply no way this can happen.

With most slots, all you need to do is choose the amount you want to wager with and then hit the start button. There’s nothing else you need to do until the result is known and you automatically collect any winnings before deciding whether to play again. You don’t need to watch the spin or understand what type of winning combo you want to see, as everything is worked out automatically for you.

Other slots ask you to carry out a simple task from time to time, such as picking an object to reveal a prize or deciding which type of bonus round to try. These are still random and unpredictable outcomes where you can’t use any sort of skill or knowledge to decide what to do.

All of this means that the idea of affecting the outcome by doing something specific doesn’t make sense. If you want to play slots, you should be aware of the fact it’s a game of chance that you can’t influence no matter how hard you try.

Myth 3: New Slots Offer Better (or Worse) Odds

Look at any reputable online casino and you’ll see the slots are divided into several categories featuring the likes of jackpot games, the most popular slots, and others. This makes it easier for you to find the kind of game that you want to play.

You’ll see a section covering the latest releases, and you might wonder whether these new games are promoted because they have better odds than the others. Or you might think that the casino promotes them because they have poorer odds and it makes sense to encourage players to play them.  

In fact, the new slots aren’t a way of changing the odds, which vary between all slots anyway. To answer the question of why these new slots exist, we need to consider what these games add to a highly competitive industry that’s already filled with many diverse slots.

The answer is that new releases offer a way for developers to introduce new ideas or technology, as well as take advantage of emerging trends that they think will be successful in the future. A good example comes with slots about fishing and sailing are popular at the time of writing, so it’s no surprise to see that this theme features heavily in the latest slots.

Don’t forget that the slots you can find online are created by many different providers or developers. If a new theme becomes successful, most if not all of them will want to have at least one game based on this idea.

New slots can introduce interesting themes and emerging features, with some continuing a successful series while adding new elements like a jackpot or an extra bonus round. The technology used to create these games changes over time, so developers are already looking for ways to introduce new ways of playing.

In general terms, there’s no difference in your chance of winning a prize if you play an existing slot or a new one. The category covering new games is there to appeal to those players who enjoy trying fresh new games and those regular players who like to switch between games.

Myth 4: Casinos Can Change the Odds at Any Time

You might wonder whether the casino keeps a close eye on how their slots are performing, leading to them adjusting the odds if a game pays out too much or too little over a certain period. Again, this is one of the major slot machine myths and misconceptions that can be easily disproven.

The way that the odds work in slots is controlled by the RNG we looked at earlier. Despite the outcome being random, we know how much it should pay back in the long term because testing is carried out using millions of spins.

This testing allows the operator to give a return to player (RTP) figure that tells us how much it should pay out to players over time. This means the casino doesn’t need to keep a close eye on every spin or adjust the odds because they know the numbers confirm every slot will pay out the expected amount over time.

If you play a slot at Paddy Power then the chances of winning are going to be exactly the same every time you spin the reels. This applies whether you carry on playing in the same session or come back to it later.  

Myth 5: Slots Are Rigged

One of the age-old fears of casino players is that the games are rigged to give them a lower chance of winning, or that they might even make it impossible. This is another point that can possibly be traced back to the way that slots worked in the past when players had to trust the machines with no way of verifying if they were set up to be fair or not.

With land-based mechanical slots and a lack of official control, it could have been easy for some slots to be manipulated to pay out less than a fair amount. This is no longer a problem since it’s a heavily regulated and independently tested industry in the UK, so there’s no reason to believe that online slots are rigged.

You don’t even need to rely on blind trust, as Paddy Power only uses slots from trustworthy providers who have the appropriate gaming licences and whose games are fully tested by independent experts. You can feel certain every game is probably fair and you have a chance of winning on every spin that you play.

Myth 6: Lucky Charms and Mascots Work

If we look more closely now at some of the most common slot machine superstitions, it becomes clear why they don’t work. Some players have a certain piece of clothing that they always wear when playing, or a lucky mascot that has to be close to them when playing.

This no doubt adds some fun to the games, but is there any scientific basis for believing a lucky charm could improve your results? Bearing in mind what we’ve looked at already, it’s clear that the result of any slot game is dependent upon the software in the game producing a random result.

Nothing you wear or hold is going to change the outcome for better or for worse. Having said that, it seems certain that most people already know this, so perhaps seeing the confirmation that it’s a myth isn’t going to change their approach.

Myth 7: No One Ever Wins the Jackpots

Those slots that list big jackpot prizes are designed to catch the eye of players and make them want to play the game. With progressive slot jackpots, the amount that could be won climbs a little bit every time some plays, so you can watch as it gets bigger and decide when to make your move.

What if you think that this jackpot might not really exist and there’s no way of ever winning it? To better understand how this is one of the slot machine myths and misconceptions, we can take a look at how jackpots work.

A progressive jackpot is built up by taking a small percentage of each stake that’s placed in the game. This means that it gets bigger as more people play it, which helps to make it more popular as other players start to notice that the prize is growing.

Once someone triggers the payout, the jackpot starts building up again from its base level. With this approach, it’s a sustainable way of offering prizes. The casinos know that they aren’t going to pay out a massive sum twice in quick succession unless a lot of people start playing the game.

The jackpot is generally triggered on a random basis, just like any regular win. So, just because it reaches a certain amount doesn’t mean the prize will be paid or that you have to wait any longer for this to happen. It can be paid at any time so it’s just a question of playing at the right time.


For such a simple game of chance, many myths and superstitions have built up around slots over the years. Thankfully, the way modern online slots are created dispels these myths and lets us clearly see these as random games of chance that anyone can play.  


What are common slot machine superstitions?

Some slot players like to wear certain clothes or have a lucky mascot next to them, while others play standing up or sitting down. Since it’s a game of chance with an unpredictable result, these superstitions don’t have any effect on the outcome.

Are there any true slot machine myths?

All of the common myths about slots can be disproven by looking at the technology behind these games and how it works. It remains a game of chance where there’s no way of predicting or controlling what happens next.

How do superstitions affect slot machine players?

Superstitions may affect how players dress or where they play the game. These actions have no effect on the outcome of the game.

What do you think?