Randomness & Hit Frequency


Randomness refers to events happening by chance, without any purposeful or organized plan. Gambling uses an assortment of mechanisms to ensure that any game is unpredictable.

Examples of randomness include:

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

Gamblers have historically created strategies and systems to help them predict outcomes of random games. In short, they don’t work. Randomness is never influenced by past patterns or events.

Hit Frequency

Hit frequency is defined as how often a slot machine will have a winning outcome and, like the stated return to the player, it’s 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 – they 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.