Many Australian pokie players (what might be called “slots players” in other nations) have a tendency to think that some pokies are “luckier” than others. Choosing to favor their particular pokies, they seek to maximize their winnings using their own special brand of magic and luck. They may even be very protective of their machines, scolding others who play them and ensuring that they are clean and well tended before placing their bets.
Unfortunately, these players are only fooling themselves, as Australian law prohibits pokies from operating on anything less than a complex and almost perfectly random system. While older pokies which used mechanical parts may have had a certain degree of reliability and repetitiveness, modern all-electronic pokies use complex mathematical algorithims to ensure that the results the post and the bets they pay out are impossible to predict. Additionally, the Australian government has dictated rules concerning payout. Payout varies from region to region but is generally around 90%, and most machines are set and inspected by the government to prevent their owners from cheating pokie players. As such, it is almost a guarantee that no particular machine will pay out more than any other.
But what about a pokie that is “about to strike?” After all, if a pokie must pay out 90% of its winnings, doesn’t it make sense that a pokie which hasn’t paid out recently is “due?” In fact, this is not true. The belief that a particular gambling device is “due” for a hit is known as the “gambler’s fallacy” and it has deprived many pokie players of their winnings for decades. Many people misunderstand the 90% payout as implying that the machine must become more likely to pay out over successive spins in order to maintain a 90% payout. In fact, the machine is no more likely to pay out on any particular spin than any other, so just because a machine hasn’t paid out recently is no indication that it is “due.” The inverse is also true: a “hot” machine that is paying out consistently is no more or less likely to continue paying out.
So how does one get lucky when playing a pokie? The answer is to turn the system’s payout against itself. Since it must pay out 90% of the time, the best way to win is to bet conservatively and carefully, understanding that you are likely to lose at least 10% of what you bet on any particular run. The most common way of doing this is to sit down at a pokey with a fixed amount of money that you are willing to lose, and then leaving the pokie when this supply is exhausted or after your first big win. This is not only a simple system, it is afforable and easy to implement.
Another method of “forcing luck” into a pokie is to use the bank system. This is best used on pokies which pay out continually as opposed to those which simply keep a digital record and pay out upon request, although it can certainly be used in either case. To use the bank method, put in 90% of the money you intend to gamble, keeping 10% in reserve as the bank. Every time you win, take 10% of the winnings and put it in the bank, then continue to gamble with the rest. This ensures that, over time, the bank will grow, and that any lucky wins will be invested back into the system while still putting a little bit of cash aside in the bank. While this does not guarantee wins, it guarantees that you will leave the pokie with at least 10% of what you started with in your pocket, which is both personally satisfying and ensures you have enough to comfort yourself with a few drinks if you win nothing.