Reader Vicki recently submitted this question about slot betting:
Does starting low [with betting] to warm up the machine and then increasing your bet really help?–Reader Vicki
This is a similar question to the one around changing around your bets after a big win, where somehow making some wagers at one level and then changing to another will help you win more.
STATUS: There’s no such thing as warming up a machine – each spin is an independent event.
Similar to other topics that have been discussed here, such as honeymoon periods, one persistent superstition revolves around hot and cold periods on machines. One variant of that is that you sometimes need to bet for awhile to “warm up” a machine before it will begin to really pay, because it may have been sitting for awhile or something like that.
If you’ve been following along with explanations of the random number generator and so forth, you know that each spin is an independent event, and as such warming up a machine isn’t a real thing. Either you win or you don’t, but the next spin isn’t determined on whether you’ve been betting lately to warm up a machine or not.
Players have since the beginning of slot machines sat down, put $20 in, and got a massive win on their very first spin. No warming up was required there, certainly, and the odds of it happening on that first spin are the same as the second, the third, etc.
So betting low at the beginning will do nothing more than offer you a spin with different stakes than, say, a max bet spin. And given that scenario, as long as you aren’t losing out on benefits from a max bet spin, such as being eligible for progressives or anything like that, there’s no harm either, so if it makes you happy as a player, have fun! Just realize it won’t have any impact on the outcome of future spins.