Myths vs. Reality

# Do Jackpots Happen After a Set Number of Spins?

Written by

A new line of thinking began popping up in some arenas I read online that had a new theory about slot machines: That they pay out jackpots after some fixed number of spins, such as 10,000 (that’s the number I was seeing the most).

STATUS: There’s no regular rhythm to when things happen on a modern slot machine.

As we’ve shared here on the site in the past, a random number generator, or RNG, governs what happens when you hit the spin button. The whole purpose of that RNG is to ensure that any specific outcome is theoretically possible when you hit spin, so that the game can’t be designed to, say, not ever offer a top prize.

That also means there’s no cycles. Since the RNG is cycling through so many options in such a short time, there’s no way for it to guarantee a specific outcome within any set number of spins, like 10,000. It’s not cycling through a sequence that will eventually come back around.

It’s using math to figure, on average, over time, that every combination it has will pop up at some point, in the frequency it’s designed to come up. This happens over millions (or perhaps billions if the number of combinations is high enough) of spins, however, and not 10,000.

Before the modern era of the computer chip, I’ve seen write-ups of how slots would work a bit more methodically, and perhaps work to be something closer to on a cycle. You can be certain no such games are in a casino on the floor today – the modern computer chip has been a transformative change to the casino floor for a variety of reasons, but also allows games to be much more exciting.

I’d encourage you to try a 10,000 spin challenge to see this for yourself, but let’s also remember that the average slot spins perhaps 500 times an hour. You’d have to dedicate 20 hours of time, and that’s only after you got that prize, to see if it takes that 10,000 spins to get it again. This is not worth your time and is borne out by all sorts of other verifyable information out there on slots.

So, rest assured, there are no cycles. It’s all about what combination is active when you hit that spin button.