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Does pressing the stop button affect the outcome of a spin?

29 September 2007

By John Grochowski

I noticed on some multi-line video slot machines that you can stop the spin. Does stopping the spin affect the outcome? Or is the outcome predetermined?


Dear Chet,

The outcome is determined by numbers polled from the RNG. Stopping the spin only decreases the length of time that the reels spin. It has no effect on the outcome.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

i read some answers to your questions. they seem a contradiction- you say the rng doesnt change depending on bet. in the next question your answer refers to a possibility of hold percentage going down as higher coin demonitations are selected well I am not a slot designer but the rng selects from a page of millions of numbers and i beleive the size of the page changes with inputs and the hold percentage would be governed by that chip so something would have to change with the chips selection ability to change hold percentage

I have noticed these machines are not just simple rng's because you cannot find any info on them and it is all a big secret=so something is not random


Dear Bill,

You're right that something has to change to change a machine's long-term payback, but the thing that changes is the virtual reel layout, not the RNG.

There's no "page of millions of numbers" involved with the RNG. The RNG just generates a number in a certain range, which is determined by the formula used.

There is info on the RNG available (in my book, and books by Scoblete, Grochowski and Kilby and Fox), though maybe not on the specific RNGs used by each manufacturer because the information might be used by RNG cheats to cheat the machines.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

I am planning a trip to Las Vegas next month and I can't decide which of my strategies I will use.

1. Bring $500 and gamble on 2 Wheel of Fortune slots ($0.25 and $1) (max. coins) total $174 and the rest on non-progressive $1 slots (single coin).


2. Bring $1000 and gamble on $25 slots. Single coin.

I will be staying at the Orleans for 2 nights. I am leaning towards playing the $25 slots since they have a higher payback percentage. I don't care how long I play. What are your thoughts?


Dear David,

I recently read a "book" by someone who uses an approach similar to your second strategy. He figures that if he is going to win 10, 20 or 100 credits on a spin, say, the credits might as well be worth something. Of course, he claims to have won a lot of money using this approach. An amount that might be the jackpot on a dollar machine is just a middle pay on a high-limit machine.

The key to not losing your shirt with this approach is to quit after you've lost your bankroll. Most players want to play, so they have to have large bankrolls to hit the $25 machines. If you truly don't care how long you play -- and your playing time might be less than 30 minutes with only a 40-spin bankroll -- then you'll have a better chance of hitting something big at the $25 slots.

If you want maximum playing time, I would play a buck a spin on a dollar machine. But there's nothing wrong with spending a portion of your bankroll on the Wheel of Fortune machines.

Those are my thoughts. Let me know what you chose and how you did.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago, with podcasts at Look for John Grochowski on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

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