Slot machines – physical or online – have been hugely popular since they were invented and some could argue that they are responsible for the attraction to the gambling space. They are relatively easy to play and can offer tremendous payouts, while providing an entertaining setting that involves more than shuffling cards and passing them around the table. As much as everyone wants to win at the slots, don’t be fooled by misguided tips. There are ways to make the experience more enjoyable, but trying to increase your odds of winning is virtually impossible.

It helps to understand how new slot machines work. This is directed for the new digital age of slot machines, not those that have been around since 1870 that were purely mechanical. The first thing to know about slots is how they determine winners. They use a random number generator (RNG) to constantly generate new number combinations, which then determine where the reels land when they stop spending.

This is important to know because, as the name suggests, the process is completely random – there’s no way to predict or calculate what will happen on any given spin. Another important nugget to remember is that each spin of the reels is an independent event. In other words, the last RNG-generated numbers have zero impact on the next numbers.

Obviously, with the understanding that the house always wins, slots are programmed to give the casino a virtually insurmountable advantage. If you play long enough, the casino wins. Multiply one player by 50, and the casino win increases. This isn’t to say that someone can’t hit a massive jackpot from time to time, but those are the rare exceptions, not the rules, and it’s impossible to pick a “hot” or a “cold” slot.

One tip that should be dismissed immediately is the zig-zag system. Some gamers believe that if a pattern, such as a “V” or an “X,” can be formed by a particular symbol when the reels stop, a major payout is coming. Knowing how RNGs work shows that this is completely impossible.

Money management systems are often combined with predicting whether a slot is hot or cold. The idea is to play hot and walk away cold; however, this is a fallacy. For the same reasons mentioned above, there is no system to the RNG that “counts down” to a win. Since no slot is ever hot or cold, there’s no way to incorporate money management into developing a winning strategy.