When Losing on a Slot, Should You Stay or Should You Go?

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Sad Brian Christopher shows a small ticket

When a machine isn’t cooperating, what should you do? That’s what the player who submitted today’s question wishes to know:

Is it better to stay on the same machine when losing because you’re closer to a win? Or better to try a different machine if one doesn’t do much in the first several spins?

Tyler B., on Facebook

Regular readers of the site may be talking to their screen already on this one, but the answer is it doesn’t matter.

What's your next step when you're losing fast on a slot machine?

Regular players that watch Brian Christopher’s YouTube channel lean into moving – a bit more than half prefer to move on vs. holding out for a bonus. But 30 percent don’t always want to give up too soon either!

That’s because what has happened on a slot is not a predictor of what will happen on a slot. So if you’re on a machine and losing, it doesn’t mean you’re any closer to a win. And if you get up and move after several spins, you won’t necessarily do any better by moving to another machine. Of course, you won’t necessarily do worse either.

It’s a neutral change, one that you’ll never truly know what was the best outcome because you aren’t playing both machines to see what would happen on each. But because of the way slots work, presuming all is equal – same game, same payback setting, etc. – you have the exact same chances of any outcome occurring on either machine, whether you stay put and keep playing or moving to the other machine.

We do, however, just from a player balance perspective, recommend setting stop points. Deciding when to get up is healthy because it encourages not shoveling money into a slot in chase of an elusive bonus that’s no more likely to arrive on spin one as spin 100.

So ultimately it’s up to you – if you’re not feeling a machine, feel free to get up and find another place to play, or take a break! Or, if you’re willing to spend more time on a machine, that’s fine too – there’s no one right answer here that will help you do better.

Have a question? Submit yours here!

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