Factors that Cause Pokie Machines to Stop Paying

why do pokies machines stop paying?
Why do pokie machines stop paying?

Pokie machines, or slot machines in other countries, are popular attractions in casinos and gaming establishments worldwide. They offer the chance and potential for lucrative payouts.

However, there are instances when pokie machines cease to pay out winnings, leaving players puzzled and frustrated. Understanding the factors that can cause these payout interruptions is essential for players to understand the game and its dynamics fully.

We will explore the factors that can contribute to pokie machines stopping payouts, ranging from mechanical problems and software glitches to human errors, fraud, and even player behaviour.

If you play any casino game long enough, you’ll finally hit a downswing. However, pokie machines are more predisposed to losing streaks than any other casino game. Things can be going well for you on a pokie, but then, suddenly, the machine will just quit paying.

Why Do Pokies Stop Paying?

Why is it that pokie machines seemingly stop paying out of nowhere? As you’ll see below, multiple factors cause you to experience more cold streaks with pokies.

1. Pokies Are Volatile Games

Pokies Are Volatile Games-Factors that Cause Pokies Machines to Stop Pay?
Pokies Are Volatile Games

Volatility means how likely short-term results are to align with a statistical average. Low volatility indicates that the results will be more consistent. High volatility, in contrast, leads to wild results in the short run. This is why Pokies stop paying.

Pokie machines are the most volatile casino games. Their payouts rarely align with the stated return to player (RTP).

As you may know, RTP refers to how much a pokie will theoretically pay out—a game with 96% RTP will pay $96 for every $100 wagered over time.

“Over time” is essential here as you do no know how much pokies will pay in a session. Even if it features 96% RTP, it could deliver 40% or 200% payback for a single session.

This extreme volatility leads to unpredictable results. At one point, you might trigger a bonus round worth 1,000x of your stake. Later, you could spin the reels 10 times and fail to win anything.

2. Hit Rates Are Low

Hit Rates Are Low-Factors that Cause Pokies Machines to Stop Pay?
Hit Rates Are Low

A hit rate refers to how frequently a casino game offers any payout. The baccarat banker bet, for example, offers one of gaming’s highest hit rates at 50.68%. This figure means you win over half of the banker wagers in baccarat.

The average pokie doesn’t offer a hit rate worth anywhere near this amount. Many pokies feature hit rates that are 30% or lower.

In such cases, you’ll only win something on approximately three out of 10 spins. It’s no wonder why you’ll feel that pokies suddenly quit paying at this rate.

You can find pokie machines with hit rates of 35% or higher. Even these figures don’t make it feel like you’re winning at an incredibly high rate.

3. You’re Ultimately Going to Run Into Cold Streaks

You’re Ultimately Going to Run Into Cold Streaks-Factors that Cause Pokies Machines to Stop Pay?
You’re Ultimately Going to Run Into Cold Streaks

High volatility and low hit rates combine for low win frequency. The statistics show you will suffer many losing streaks with pokie machines.

Sometimes, these losing streaks last only a few spins. Other times, you’ll win very little throughout an entire session.

Pokie machines offer much larger payouts relative to your stake than the average casino game. As a result, they can’t pay out as frequently as other games.

Even when they pay frequently, the wins may not even equal your original stake (i.e. losses disguised as wins or “LDWs”). These LDWs can eat away at your bankroll and cause you to lose more money. This is yet another factor that makes it seem like pokies magically quit paying at times.

4. Poker Machines Move at a Fast Rate

Pokies Machines Move at a Fast Rate
Poker Machines Move at a Fast Rate

You don’t have to put much effort into playing pokie machines. Instead, you must hit the “spin” button and let the game do the rest.

The fact that you only need to select spin over and over means you can play pokies very quickly. Depending upon the game, you may spin the reels 500 times or more per hour.

These quick rounds create more chances for winning and losing streaks. Given how many rounds you’re paying per hour, you’ll naturally experience more downswings.

5. You May Feel Pokies Are Fixed

You May Feel Pokies Are Fixed
You May Feel Pokies Are Fixed

The combination of more losing streaks and fast play can lead to quick losses of money. At times, you might feel like pokie machines are entirely rigged.

You wouldn’t be the first one to feel this way. Many gamblers are paranoid that casinos change payout percentages at the drop of a hat.

The reality, though, is that the RTP doesn’t change. Casinos don’t need to mess with payout percentages because they already have a long-term advantage.

The factors described before make it seem like the casinos are manipulating results. The rigged feeling comes from a fusion of the low hit rate and high volatility.

You won’t win as frequently with pokies as with games like blackjack and baccarat. Furthermore, the volatility only makes the results seem even crazier.

Fortunately, pokie machines aren’t rigged beyond the house edge. They already give casinos. Instead, the unpredictability is why they stop paying suddenly.

You may also like – 10 Popular Features Of Pokie Machines.

How to Win More Consistently With Pokie Machines

How to Win More Consistently With Pokie Machines
How to Win More Consistently With Pokie Machines

You can never be too sure about how much you’ll win or lose during a Pokies session. However, you can take the following steps to make your winnings seem more consistent.

1. Choose Less Volatile Games

As stated earlier, volatility is the significant factor that makes pokies’ results so wild. All pokie machines are volatile to a reasonably high degree.

Some games, though, are less volatile than others. They make payouts more consistent and, thus, allow you to sustain your bankroll better.

Some developers put volatility ratings in the info screen. For example, a pokie machine might feature an 8/10 rating, placing it in the medium-to-high category.

In such situations, you can refer to the info screen and see what kind of volatility you’re dealing with. Anything at 6/10 or lower is pretty mild as far as pokies go.

2. Pick Pokies With High RTP

Pick Pokies With High RTP
Pick Pokies With High RTP

Although RTP may not significantly impact your short-term winnings, it has at least some bearing on how consistently you’ll win.

The game with 97% RTP will provide slightly more consistent payouts.

Aside from short-term winnings, choosing a high-paying pokie is excellent anyway. You stand to be a more successful punter when consistently playing games with high RTP.

3. Use Smaller Stake Sizes

Use Smaller Stake Sizes
Use Smaller Stake Sizes

Stake sizes don’t have much impact on the win rate. Nevertheless, a lower stake allows you to play longer and get more out of your bankroll.

Many pokies allow you to wager as little as $0.10 or $0.20 per spin. Such bet sizes will enable you to place 100 wagers for $100 and $200, respectively.

You might consider risking higher stakes with a larger bankroll. However, it would be best to remember that your funds will last longer, and you’ll get more entertainment with smaller bets.

4. Don’t Use Bonus Buy

Don’t Use Bonus Buy
Don’t Use Bonus Buy

Bonus buy is an option that’s available with some online pokies. It allows you to automatically trigger the bonus by spending a multiple of your stake.

Here’s an example of how this option works:

  • You’re betting $0.50 per spin.
  • Bonus buy costs 100x your stake.
  • You’ll need to spend $50 to launch the bonus.

This option is for when you don’t want to wait for the bonus round naturally. However, it requires you to risk a lot of money simultaneously.

Assuming you don’t win much in the future, you’ll lose a sizable portion of your bankroll. If consistent winnings are your goal, buying a bonus is a bad idea.

5. Cash In on Bonuses and Rewards

Cash In on Bonuses and Rewards
Cash In on Bonuses and Rewards

VIP rewards and pokies bonuses can help boost your winnings. Therefore, you should take advantage of these instances when they’re available.

Land-based casinos offer various comps, such as meals, drinks, cashback, and hotel stays. Online casinos provide cashback and other perks like free spins and deposit bonuses.

In any case, you want to qualify for these rewards when they’re available. This way, you don’t rely entirely on winnings to make money with pokies.

You must also read – How To Know When A Pokie Machine Will Pay Out?

What are the reasons why pokie machines cease paying out winnings?

Mechanical problems

Mechanical issues can cause pokie machines to stop paying out winnings. These can include malfunctioning components such as faulty coin sensors, jammed mechanisms, or problems with the payout mechanism.

When these issues occur, the machine may temporarily or permanently halt payouts until the problem is resolved.

Software glitches

Software glitches or errors in the programming of pokie machines can also lead to payout interruptions. These glitches can cause inaccuracies in determining winning combinations or disrupt the random generation of outcomes.

When software glitches occur, it may result in the machine stopping payouts until the software is fixed or updated.

Human error

Human error by the player or the casino staff can also cause pokie machines to cease to pay. Players may make mistakes in inputting their bets or selecting the wrong options, impacting the payout process.

Similarly, casino staff may make errors in handling payouts or machine maintenance, disrupting temporary payouts.


Instances of fraud can cause pokie machines to stop paying out winnings. This can occur through various means, such as tampering with the machine’s mechanisms, using counterfeit coins or tokens, or manipulating the software to cheat the system.

Casinos implement security measures to detect and prevent fraud, and if fraudulent activity is suspected, payouts may be suspended until the situation is resolved.

Bankroll and Player Behavior

Pokie machines are designed with a predetermined payout percentage, but individual player behaviour and bankroll management can influence when a machine stops paying.

If a player exhausts their bankroll or continues to chase losses without a proper strategy, it may appear that the machine has stopped paying. In reality, it results from the player’s gameplay and choices.

Casino Regulations and Compliance

Casinos operate under specific regulations and compliance standards set by gaming authorities. These regulations ensure fairness, transparency, and the integrity of the games, including pokie machines.

If a casino fails to comply with these regulations or faces investigations, payouts may be temporarily suspended until the issue is resolved and compliance is restored.

Random Number Generator (RNG) Factors

Pokie machines rely on random number generators (RNG) to determine the outcomes of each spin. However, RNG factors can influence when a machine stops paying.

Randomness in results means that payouts will fluctuate, and winning streaks or dry spells can occur naturally due to the game’s inherent randomness.

Tips to Help Avoid Problems with Pokies

Only play at reputable casinos—When playing poker machines, it is crucial to choose reputable casinos. Reputable casinos are licensed, regulated, and audited to ensure fair gameplay and reliable payouts. Playing at reputable casinos ensures higher security, fair odds, and a trustworthy gaming experience.

Be aware of the rules of the game – Before playing pokie machines, it is essential to understand the game’s laws. Familiarize yourself with the paytable, winning combinations, and specific features or bonus rounds. Understanding the rules helps you make informed decisions and increases your chances of winning.

Set a budget and stick to it – To maintain control over your gambling habits, set a budget before playing pokie machines. Determine the amount of money you are comfortable spending and stick to it. This approach helps prevent overspending and potential financial consequences. Remember that gambling should be viewed as entertainment, and never gamble with more money than you can afford to lose.

Take breaks—Playing with pokie machines for extended periods without breaks can lead to fatigue and clouded judgment. It’s essential to take regular breaks during your gaming session. Step away from the machine, stretch, and refresh your mind. Taking breaks helps you stay focused, make better decisions, and have the gaming experience without becoming overwhelmed.

Following these guidelines can enhance your pokie machine gameplay and make your gambling experience more responsible. Play at reputable casinos, understand the game rules, set a budget, and take breaks to ensure a positive and controlled approach to playing pokie machines.


Many factors can contribute to pokie machines stopping payouts. Mechanical problems, software glitches, human errors, fraud, bankroll and player behaviour, casino regulations and compliance, and random number generator (RNG) factors can all play a role.

While these occurrences may disrupt payout, reputable casinos strive to promptly address and resolve such issues to provide a fair gaming experience.

To maintain a responsible pokie machine experience, choose reputable casinos, know the game rules, set a budget, and take breaks. By understanding these factors and adopting responsible gambling practices, you can maximize fun.

If there’s a reason why it feels like pokie machines suddenly stop paying, it’s because they often do. However, pokies aren’t pre-programmed to automatically quit paying.

Volatility and low hit rates are the key culprits behind why pokies suddenly stop making payouts. Many games are highly volatile and can quit paying at any point.


1. Why Do Gaming Machines Stop Paying?

Pokie machines use random number generators to determine outcomes, making each spin-independent and random.

They don’t remember past results, so it’s possible to experience periods where the machine seems to “stop paying.”

This is simply due to the game’s inherent randomness and no guaranteed way to predict when a machine will pay out.

2. How do you Know When A Pokie Machine Will Pay Out?

Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to predict when a pokie machine will pay out. Each spin is random, and previous results do not influence outcomes. Pokie machines are designed to be games of chance, and their payouts are determined by RNGs, making it impossible to predict when a win will occur.

3. Can casinos set machines not to pay out?

Casinos are regulated, and the operation of pokie machines is subject to strict oversight. Machines must adhere to specific payout percentages, ensuring they pay out over the long term. While individual machines may experience winning and losing streaks, casinos cannot set machines to consistently not pay out as it would violate gaming regulations.

4. Is There a Trick to Pokies?

No, there are no tricks to winning at poker machines. Poker machines, including pokies, operate on RNGs, ensuring that each spin is entirely random and independent. There are no patterns or strategies that can guarantee a win. Players should approach poker machines as games of chance and play responsibly.

5. How Do You Pick a Winning Poker Machine?

Picking a winning poker machine is essentially a matter of personal preference. Look for machines with themes and features that you can use. Additionally, consider your budget and choose a machine with a denomination and bet size that suits your bankroll. Remember that there’s no guaranteed way to predict which machine will win.

6. How Do You Know If a Pokies Is Hot?

The concept of a “hot” pokies machine is a common belief, but it’s essential to understand that there’s no objective way to determine if a machine is hot or cold. Each spin is random, and past results do not influence future outcomes.

If a machine has recently paid out large prizes, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more likely to pay out again soon. Always play within your means and play poker machines for their entertainment value.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.