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Randomness & Hit Frequency

Randomness refers to events happening by chance, without any purposeful or organized plan. In gambling, an assortment of mechanisms is used to ensure a game is unpredictable. Examples of randomness include:

  • Generating different combinations every millisecond on a slot machine
  • Shuffling multiple decks of cards in blackjack
  • Using a ball hopper in lottery and bingo
  • Spinning the wheel in roulette
  • Rolling dice in craps

Historically, gamblers have formulated strategies and systems to help them predict outcomes of random games. They don't work. Randomness is never influenced by past patterns or events.

Hit frequency is defined as how often a slot machine will have a winning outcome and, like return to player, is usually given a percentage. A hit frequency of 10% means a machine will stop on a winning combination about 10% of the time. Large variations exist between the hit frequencies of slots–it may range between 3% and 40%. Machines with smaller hit frequencies tend to offer larger jackpot opportunities. Machines that offer multiple lines on each spin may give the illusion that a player is winning more often, but in reality, the losing combinations will far outnumber the winning ones.

GameSense Tips

Play for fun, not to make money.

Know how the game works and what the odds are before playing.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Don't chase losses. Accept them as the cost of entertainment.

Balance gambling with other types of leisure activities.

Take frequent breaks.

Set a time limit before you play.

View All Tips

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