Stop or Not Online Slot’s Reels While Spinning

Stop or Not Online Slot’s Reels While Spinning

Casino players, I would say, are rather prone to believe in superstitions, conspiracy theories and “The Holy Grail” strategies. As a result, those ideas are flooding gambling forums and even some info casino websites nowadays so that it is hard to figure out which one is true.

Since the 2000s, when online slots have started to dominate the online gambling niche, I think nobody would argue that the most popular and, at the same time, the most controversial topic is whether a casino player should or should not stop online slot’s reels while it is spinning.

Given that, in this article, I am going to dive deep into the subject and, hopefully, once you have read, you will get some notion about:

  • What’s stopping the reels and the reasoning behind it

  • Why it is not just a myth, but a harmful one

  • When it can make at least some sense

What’s it and how you can stop the reels

Every online or land-based slot has some reels with different symbols on it (5-reels slots are the most common ones). The round of the game in slots is usually called a “spin”. Why? Because a casino player is supposed to spin the reels, and their position at the end of the round will determine how much you win if anything.

When you press the “spin” button to start a new round of a slot game, the reels do not stop right away. It takes them some time to arrange themselves in the final position, usually, it happens within 1-3 seconds.

However, it is not mandatory to wait these seconds and every online casino player can stop spinning of the reels at any moment he/she wishes. In that case an online slot produces the outcome of the round (spin) right at the moment the stop button has been pressed.

Where can you find this magic button? Nine times out of ten, it is the same button that triggers an online slot to spin. Just press it the second time at any moment you want the reels to stop.


Some online slots have a separate button for this purpose which is very explicitly called “stop” so that it is hard to confuse it with other buttons on the dashboard.

The main reason some players believe they should stop the reels

The final goal of all these allegedly cunning strategies you can come across is to benefit financially, obviously. But what is the reasoning behind the belief that by stopping the reels a player may get an advantage?

Well, while the reels are spinning you can have a glimpse of what the symbols are, and everybody knows that paying symbols in online slots are very different in terms of how much of the winning they bring. As you may have guessed, whenever a casino player sees some high paying symbol on the reels (usually they hunt for specifically Scatter symbols since their position on the reels do not matter), he/she immediately presses the stop button.

By doing it, a casino player implies that at least some high paying symbols are already there, and, as a result, a slot will more likely produce a high winning during this round of the game if it is stopped at the right time.

Why such theory is a myth

To prove this point I have to familiarize you with how online slots generate the outcome of the particular round (spin).

It happens randomly with RNG (Random Number Generator) being involved (the outcome of a particular spin can not be predicted by any means), but based on some algorithm (it allows to set RTP level so that a slot is still random but within some boundaries).

I have the whole article devoted to RNG if you feel like the above explanation was not enough.

What is crucial for understanding is at what exact moment in the time RNG decides what the outcome of a particular spin will be.


Here you can see that even if the reels are still spinning, an online slot already “knows” the outcome it is going to show you. Hence, no matter whether you decide to stop the reels forcefully or let them stop naturally, the outcome will be exactly the same!

Let’s also take a look at this theory from a common-sense perspective. I guess, it is common knowledge that “the house always wins” in the long run. Therefore, if “stop the reels while spinning” strategy was legit, it would immediately destroy the online gambling industry as online casinos would not be able to cover their operational costs.

Are there any legit strategies to win in online slots long term?

As I said, it is a very hard goal to accomplish since you have to overcome an eternal limitation that “the house always wins”. However, it can be done in some cases, and, of course, with particular caveats to be taken.

If you are interested in learning more about it, here is how it can be done in online casinos with:

Why this myth is so harmful

“Stop the reels while spinning” is not just an innocent superstition, but it can cause certain negative consequences for online casino players:

1) First thing first, it makes the gaming process much faster allowing a casino player to make at least twice more spins per hour than he/she normally would. Guess what it means? Correct, it means that a casino player losses twice more money for the same period of time. Hence, by stopping the reels in online slots you significantly reduce the time spent in a casino, losing the money much faster and getting much less fun as a result.

2) Last but not least, it creates an illusion that you are in full control and can even profit some money by using some “ultra-smart” strategy. I think it is needless to emphasize how many casino players have lost more than they had to lose having similar thoughts in mind.

The last thing I would like to mention, that “Stop the reels while spinning” does not even work in scripted video slots, because they use the same principles even though being a scam.

When stopping the reels makes sense

The only possible situation that comes to mind is when an online casino player wants to play faster. Only then “Stop the reels while spinning” might be beneficial for players even though it does not allow them to make money anyway.

Also worth to mention that some online slots already have the “Fast play” option so that if you want slot’s round to perform faster, it can be done in a much easier way.

How common is stop the reels feature

I can not remember even one online slot without this feature in place, especially if we are talking about modern slots. Though I think you can definitely come across a few of them (mostly among the older ones) even though they are super rare.

Is it better to play slots fast or slow?

In terms of chances to win, it does not matter how you play, fast or slow. So if you are planning to start to play fast to win more then don't do it, it is not going to work out.

Other than that, this is a question of your personal preferences. So choose the mode you are more comfortable with.


Hopefully, I have managed to make things a little bit more clear about how online slot’s reels actually spin, and since now it will be impossible to get you involved in any questionable “strategies”.