Do Slot Machines Have a “Best Time of Day” to Play?

Some slot machine players believe that playing at certain times of the day can significantly affect their chances to win or lose.
I have already discussed how casinos don’t manipulate slot machine payouts based on locations, casino whims, or whether they’ve recently paid. Some players believe they always win at certain times of the day because the casino manipulates the system.

A machine’s RNG doesn’t know the time, nor does it have any memory of past spins. Gaming regulations prohibit external factors such as historical payouts or previous spins being used to determine what future spins will pay. This can be attributed to confirmation bias.

Although I have used this phrase before, I need to learn how to define it properly. Let’s do that now.

What is Confirmation Bias, exactly?

It’s simple. If you believe in a particular belief, it’s more likely that you will recall and keep examples that support that belief or theory and less likely to throw away models that don’t fit.

If you have had large handpays and poor sessions at night but believe that casinos are more likely to pay at night than you, you will be happier to recall the handpays and forget about the routings. You can use even unfavorable examples to support your position.

Psychology has extensively studied confirmation bias. Gamblers are often superstitious and believe anything that makes them feel lucky or more likely to win. Similar arguments can be made for the opposite, that casinos cheat players.

Although most superstitions are harmless, some of them can be dangerous. The games are designed to pay over time through millions of spins. They are based on a mathematical model and not the current clock.

Don’t feel you must be at a casino at three o’clock in the morning to win. It’s just as possible to succeed at 3:00 p.m.