Why Our Own Observations on Slots Fail Us

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Brian Christopher searching for a slot machine

We share a lot of information on the site. Sometimes, people have a specific experience that clashes with that information. It can be easy to apply some additional weight to that experience, because it happened personally. Here’s one example:

I read all your information and want to believe it, BUT we just got off a cruise and for the first couple of days I won $2600, not one big win but a lot of smaller wins on various machines, but then the last 2 days of the cruise, I spent $600 on various machines and didn’t hit 1 bonus, how can that be?


Those who regularly watch Brian Christopher’s videos know that sometimes he can’t seem to stop winning, and other times he can’t seem to stop losing. As we write this, his previous three trips were wild swings in different directions. On one trip, he kept getting great bonuses, and on the next, he couldn’t get a thing.

So in the case of your example, Valerie, it’s not necessarily unusual to go some period of time without a bonus, even a couple of days on a cruise ship, or have a big run of wins. One of our staff members won a grand jackpot about half way through the cruise, and the last night of the cruise proceeded to win another $1,000. So we all will likely have anecdotes that prove or disprove the rule.

Some believe cruise ships tighten up the casinos on the last day, but even if they did, bonuses (and jackpots!) can happen at any payout level. They can’t suppress bonuses because that’s now how payback percentages work. And they don’t have the ability to set slots so low that bonuses don’t happen at all.

In the end, this was just a lucky run to start, and an unlucky run to finish, although it sounds like you came out ahead if $600 is all you gave back of the $2,600 (which would make that a wonderful session indeed). But you can rest assured that it wasn’t them changing around the payouts – it was just your trajectory for this particular cruise.

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