Factors that Cause Pokies Machines to Stop Pay?

Why Do Pokies Machines Stop Paying?
Why Do Pokies Machines Stop Paying?

If you play any casino game long enough, you’re finally going to hit a downswing. However, pokie machines are more predisposed to losing streaks than any other casino game. Things can be going really well for you on a pokie. Then, all of the sudden, the machine will just quit paying. Here is why Do Pokies Machines Stop Paying?

Why Do Pokies Machines 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 line up 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 do Pokies Machines Stop Paying.

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

As you may know, RTP refers to how much a pokie will theoretically payout. If a game has 96% RTP, then it’ll pay $96 for every $100 wagered over time.

“Over time” is important here as you have no idea how much a slot will pay in a given session. Even if it features 96% RTP, it could deliver 40% RTP or 200% payback for a single session.

This extreme volatility leads to unpredictable results. You might trigger a bonus round worth 1,000x your stake at one point. Later on, 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 type of payout. The baccarat banker bet, for example, offers one of gaming’s highest hit rates at 50.68%. This figure means that you win over half of banker wagers in baccarat.

The average pokie doesn’t offer a hit rate worth anywhere near this amount. In fact, many pokies machines 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 pokies machines that feature hit rates of 35% or higher. Even these figures, though, 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. Based on the statistics, you’re going to suffer many losing streaks with pokie machines.

Sometimes, these losing streaks only happen for a few spins. Other times, you’ll win very little over the course of 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 do pay frequently, the wins may not even equal your original stake (i.e. losses disguised as wins or “LDWs”). These LDWs can eat away 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. Pokies Machines Move at a Fast Rate

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

You don’t have to put much effort into playing pokie machines. Rather, you just need to 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 playing 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 you quickly losing money. At times, you might feel like pokie machines are completely 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 are what 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’re not going to 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 that they already give casinos. Instead, the unpredictability is why they stop paying suddenly.

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 a little more consistent.

1. Choose Less Volatile Games

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

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

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

In such situations, you can simply 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 have a big impact on your short-term winnings, it does at least have some bearing on how consistently you’ll win.

The game with 97% RTP is going to provide slightly more consistent payouts.

Aside from short-term winnings, it’s great to choose a high-paying pokie anyways. When consistently playing games with high RTP, you stand to be a more successful slots player.

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 allow you to place 100 wagers for $100 and $200, respectively.

You might consider risking higher stakes with a larger bankroll. However, you should always keep in mind 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 great for when you don’t want to wait for the bonus round naturally. However, it also calls on you to risk a lot of money at once.

Assuming you don’t win much during the future, then you’ll lose a sizable portion of your bankroll. If consistent winnings are your goal, then bonus buy 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 a wide variety of comps, such as meals, drinks, cashback, and hotel stays. Online casinos provide cashback along with 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 have to rely entirely on winnings to make money with pokies.


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.

Of course, you must deal with these scenarios if you want to play for the big prizes that pokie machines offer. The best way to handle these losing streaks is to understand why they happen. This way, you won’t be shocked when you aren’t getting any payouts all of the sudden.