24Bingo
Joined: Jul 4, 2012
• Posts: 1348
August 21st, 2012 at 9:15:44 PM permalink
Is there any truth to the idea that slot machines are programmed to "tease" the customer with "near misses"? There seems to be the implication in a number of Q&As that slot reels are independent, but I hear often from people who seem fairly sane that the machines are set up specifically to do that. Is it just that near misses are more likely than hits? Or maybe also that the high-paying symbols are spread out as evenly as possible among reels 2+?
The trick to poker is learning not to beat yourself up for your mistakes too much, and certainly not too little, but just the right amount.
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
• Posts: 13976
August 21st, 2012 at 9:36:07 PM permalink
Quote: 24Bingo

Is there any truth to the idea that slot machines are programmed to "tease" the customer with "near misses"? There seems to be the implication in a number of Q&As that slot reels are independent, but I hear often from people who seem fairly sane that the machines are set up specifically to do that. Is it just that near misses are more likely than hits? Or maybe also that the high-paying symbols are spread out as evenly as possible among reels 2+?

There is absolutely truth in that statement.

The way it works is with the reel assignments. I'm going to use my, patent pending, "Simple Sevens," example machine to illustrate my point. If I have a, "Simple Seven," machine with 30 symbols per reel and I put six 7's on the first reel, three on the second, and one on the third:

6/30 * 3/30 * 1/30 = 0.00066666666667 1/0.00066666666667 = 1:1500 spins in which you will hit the jackpot.

However, you can expect to see 7's on Reels 1+2 only

6/30 * 3/30 = .02 1/.02 = 1:50 spins

Reels 2+3 Only

3/30 * 1/30 = 0.00333333333333 1/0.00333333333333 = 1:300

Reels 1+3 Only

6/30 * 1/30 = 0.00666666666667 1/0.00666666666667 = 1:150

In 1500 total spins, then, you will hit the jackpot once, but you will see Two Sevens on the payline:

1500/50 + 1500/300 + 1500/150 =

30 + 5 + 10 = 45 Times

In other words you will see two sevens on the payline, in total, once every 1500/45 = 33.333- spins.

The answer to the question is, both! Near misses are more likely than hits AND they are designed to keep the player spinning because the player sees Two Sevens and thinks he/she is, "Close," to hitting the jackpot Three Sevens!

If you are playing a slot machine with three reels, the higher paying symbols will generally be weighted to the first and second paylines because we read from left to right. It also boosts the player's excitement as he/she is waiting for the third reel to stop spinning. The reason for this is because, if you blank on the first reel you have already lost. There's no more excitement on that spin.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
MonkeyMonkey
Joined: May 1, 2012
• Posts: 770
August 21st, 2012 at 9:38:51 PM permalink
I don't know much about slots but I don't think that's necessary to address this issue.

Let's say it's a mechanical reel machine with 3 reels, each having 10 possible symbols to stop on.

If you got the same symbol on the first 2 reels, you'd have a 1 in 10 chance of getting it on the third reel, but the other 9 times you'd get a near miss. Nothing special needs to be programmed for this to occur.

I would think a completely digital machine using RNG's would exhibit the same behavior.
24Bingo
Joined: Jul 4, 2012
• Posts: 1348
August 21st, 2012 at 9:45:26 PM permalink
You seem to be missing my point - obviously, if the reels are independent, there are going to be a lot more "teases" than hits, just like you're going to see more aces than blackjacks. I was wondering about the rumor that the machines were specifically designed to "tease" the guest, or if this was just a consequence of that fact?
The trick to poker is learning not to beat yourself up for your mistakes too much, and certainly not too little, but just the right amount.
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
• Posts: 13976
August 21st, 2012 at 9:49:05 PM permalink
Quote: MonkeyMonkey

I don't know much about slots but I don't think that's necessary to address this issue.

Let's say it's a mechanical reel machine with 3 reels, each having 10 possible symbols to stop on.

If you got the same symbol on the first 2 reels, you'd have a 1 in 10 chance of getting it on the third reel, but the other 9 times you'd get a near miss. Nothing special needs to be programmed for this to occur.

I would think a completely digital machine using RNG's would exhibit the same behavior.

There's more to dealing Blackjack than just throwing out the starting hands and doing what the player says, as you have shown us in your articulate and well-thought out posts on the subject, and there is more to the Slots than that, as well.

For example, if you have said ten-stops-per-reel machine, but there is only one Jackpot symbol on each reel, then there are going to be less near-misses. Furthermore, an equal number of near misses will be missed on the first or second reel as opposed to the third reel, so these misses will not have as much as an excitement-inciting impact on the player because they have already lost on that spin before the third reel displays the result. It is very important on a single payline machine that the miss happen on the third reel more often than the other reels. The player feels as though he/she, "Almost hit it," you don't feel like you, "Almost hit it," as much if you miss on the first reel. Even the uneducated player realizes (when the 7 comes on the second/third reel) that he never had a chance.

It's true that nothing special needs programmed for your near miss to occur, but that just makes the machine...nothing special!!! Near-misses add to the excitement, the build-up, the anticipation, the hope that the jackpot is right around the corner! You need a good many near misses, but not too many, lest the player think the machine is ripping him/her off. If 1/2 spins was 7-7-Nothing, the player would probably never go to that casino again.

The video slot machines do exhibit the same behavior. The reel assignments are also set in such a way as to (hopefully) maximize excitement. When you maximize excitement, you maximize revenue.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
• Posts: 13976
August 21st, 2012 at 9:49:58 PM permalink
Quote: 24Bingo

You seem to be missing my point - obviously, if the reels are independent, there are going to be a lot more "teases" than hits, just like you're going to see more aces than blackjacks. I was wondering about the rumor that the machines were specifically designed to "tease" the guest, or if this was just a consequence of that fact?

Yes, specifically designed. Not a rumor, fact.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Joined: Apr 4, 2012
• Posts: 6506
August 21st, 2012 at 10:19:58 PM permalink
The Psychology of Near Misses
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
• Posts: 13976
August 21st, 2012 at 11:22:00 PM permalink

The Psychology of Near Misses

https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
soulhunt79
Joined: Oct 8, 2010
• Posts: 207
August 22nd, 2012 at 12:45:31 AM permalink
Quote: 24Bingo

You seem to be missing my point - obviously, if the reels are independent, there are going to be a lot more "teases" than hits, just like you're going to see more aces than blackjacks. I was wondering about the rumor that the machines were specifically designed to "tease" the guest, or if this was just a consequence of that fact?

While I have no proof, I am convinced a few slot machines I've played have a better chance of hitting the bonus symbol on the 2nd reel vs the 4th reel(in this case I'm playing a machine that requires something on reels 2/3/4 to get to the bonus. I don't know if this is the case or not, but I'll assume it is for my point.

Would you consider this just random chance or would you call this designed to tease? They are intentionally making it look like you are very close to the bonus. This isn't just the random chance, they designed it so it will have that slow 3rd symbol spin more often than is mathmatically possible if all reels were equal.
FarFromVegas
Joined: Dec 10, 2010
• Posts: 878
August 22nd, 2012 at 6:32:01 AM permalink
Quote: soulhunt79

Quote: 24Bingo

You seem to be missing my point - obviously, if the reels are independent, there are going to be a lot more "teases" than hits, just like you're going to see more aces than blackjacks. I was wondering about the rumor that the machines were specifically designed to "tease" the guest, or if this was just a consequence of that fact?

While I have no proof, I am convinced a few slot machines I've played have a better chance of hitting the bonus symbol on the 2nd reel vs the 4th reel(in this case I'm playing a machine that requires something on reels 2/3/4 to get to the bonus. I don't know if this is the case or not, but I'll assume it is for my point.

Would you consider this just random chance or would you call this designed to tease? They are intentionally making it look like you are very close to the bonus. This isn't just the random chance, they designed it so it will have that slow 3rd symbol spin more often than is mathmatically possible if all reels were equal.

Plus, putting a bonus symbol in the third spot lessens the chance you'll get a third symbol you need to complete a payline. You'll get the first and second frequently, but they lessen your chance of getting a non-bonus payout. It's no accident.
Each of us is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Preparing for a fight about your bad decision is not as smart as making a good decision.