A recent question from a slot player in a community of which I’m a part triggered a question I’ve never answered, but have seen periodically. It came up because another casino author (one I won’t link to because of the problems with the material they publish) was telling people they could “test” slot machines to see if they would pay under certain circumstances.
But we can zoom out to a much simpler question: Do betting systems for casino games work?
STATUS: No betting system works consistently against the house edge.
There are all sorts of betting systems out there, but each falls down because each wager you’re placing still goes up against the house edge of the casino. You can bet red and black concurrently on roulette, but occasionally those green 0/00 (or I hope you’re not playing 000) roulette spaces will clear both wagers away. You can bet pass and don’t pass but there’s rolling a 12 on the come out roll not being balanced.
Then there’s betting systems like the Martingale, where you are supposed to double your wager after each losing one and then reset when you win. But you’ll have some scenarios where you lose enough times to either run out of money or hit the table limit, and then you can’t recover your losses successfully. That crash out is how the house wins.
In the case of the example shared, a slot “expert” said you could do five spins on a series of slot machines, and see if they give you a “taste.” His claim is the more machines that give you a payout (whether an actual win or false win), the more likely the casino’s using “tastes” to get people to play.
He hedges his comments in all sorts of ways that lets him be opaque – only a fraction of casinos do this, the longer a game’s idle the better the taste (like any player would know how long a machine is idle), and so on. He says if half the machines or more give you a “taste,” this casino’s using this system.
Except. This doesn’t factor in real things about slots, like the game’s hit frequency. Five spins on any slot machine doesn’t tell you much about the game as a whole. Oh, and for games to be properly running on an RNG any outcome should be theoretically possible when you hit spin, and not reacting to outside conditions like how long a machine has been idle, so a “taste” would violate that premise.
Slot manufacturers would not purposefully try to side step gaming regulations so that casinos can offer players a “taste.” The risk to their business would be too great and there’s no value for them to do this. So don’t fall for the hype.
Betting systems can certainly make things interesting – some people stair step slots to spread their bets out so they’re not just constantly max betting, for instance. And they can certainly be fun when you get on a good run. But casinos aren’t going to leave loopholes where anyone who bets with a certain structure consistently can beat the house.
There may be short term advantages that can exist on slots, as we’ve discussed at length about some of the persistent state machines, but those will still collect money for the house over the long term. So there is no betting system out there that can promise you con