It’s tough to beat the slots when the house edge averages around 10 percent. Playing slots is great fun. With proper strategies, playing the slots doesn’t have to be tough on your bankroll and there is always the anticipation of hitting that big jackpot.
Here are the most important things you need to do if you want a better chance of beating those slot machines. So, let’s get started.
Slots Types: Walk into any large casino and you’ll be confronted with a bewildering assortment of slot machines. There are many different games, jackpot sizes, coin denominations and number of coin options. Today’s “one armed bandits” are completely electronic. Inside every slot machine is a computer chip, known as a Random Number Generator, it determines what symbol combinations come up for every spin. Machines are pre-programmed to return to the players a certain percentage of all the money that is fed into them.
Payout Percentages: The payback percentage on slots ranges between 80% to as high as 98%, depending on coin size and local competition. Generally, the loosest slots can be found in Las Vegas. Nationally the average house advantage is calculated to be around 10%. Be aware that payout percentages are calculated over the long term, which could mean the life of the machine. If a slot machine is programmed to pay back 95% it will pay out $950,000 out of every one million dollars it takes in, but payouts will come in wildly fluctuating random fashion. A few lucky players will collect big jackpots, most others will lose all they put into the machine.
Know the Rules: Read the pay table and all instructions posted on a machine, If you don’t understand everything correctly ask an attendant. It is your responsibility to know the rules concerning the number of coins to insert or lines needed to be activated in order to collect prizes. Should you line up the jackpot symbols without having met the requirements, you’ll get a sympathetic pat on the back from the slot personnel, but no money.
Loose Machines: Always look for the highest payout slot machines you can find. Some casinos advertise 98% percent payback. A slot holding just one percent! Great! But look closely at the advertisement, the fine print probably says “selected machines”, or “up to 98%”. The 98% machines probably won’t be identified. It will be up to you to find them: Try asking the change person. Better yet, find out which machines are most popular with local players. Locals don’t play tight slots.
Coin Denomination: Play the coin denomination that’s right for the size of your bankroll. If playing progressives or slot machines that offer a bonus for playing maximum coins and the dollar level is too rich for your blood, drop down to the 25-cent machines. Look and compare. If the maximum payout on a dollar machine is $300 for single coin play, and a quarter machine pays $300 with three coins (75 cents) inserted, then the quarter machine is the better deal.
Progressive Jackpots: Play the progressives with maximum coins. You won’t collect the jackpot if you don’t play the required number of coins. When selecting progressive machines be sure to look around for the best value. One bank of 25 cent slots can have a progressive jackpot of $2,654 while on another carousel nearby the top prize is 3,572. Always look for the best opportunity.
Jackpot Bonus: Always bet the maximum number of coins if the highest jackpot pays a bonus when all coins are played. Example, on a three-coin slot machine, the jackpot pays 1,000 for first coin, 2,000 for second coin and 5,000 for third coin. It’s smart to play three coins and qualify for that extra 2,000 coin bonus. But if the third-coin payout was only 3,000 then there would not be any advantage in playing maximum coins.
Credit Meters: Do not play back the credits you’ve accumulated. The problem with playing back credits is that you lose track and the machine’s built-in house advantage eats away at your bankroll. It will be gone before you realize what’s happened. If you start with $100, play the $100, but do not allow the credits to accumulate on the meter, let the coins drop into the tray. When your original $100 has been played through, take stock. See how well or how poor you made out.
Money Management: Set a loss limit on your bankroll for both, your entire trip and for each individual playing session. Divide your gambling money into playing sessions, discipline yourself and stick to your promise. Stop playing once you’ve reached a pre-determined limit. For example, if you allotted $50 for a session, stop playing when you’ve either doubled your money or lost it all. Don’t get caught up in the “I need to win my money back” mentality.
Hit and Run: Continue to play the same slot machine only if it hits at an average of at least every three or four spins. Don’t keep feeding a cold slot, hoping it will warm up. The longer you stay at any gambling activity, the greater the odds against you. The casino’s built-in mathematical advantage takes effect.. You want to “hit and run”. Let the casinos build those mega resorts with someone else’s money.
Collect Your Coins: Before you walk away from a machine, don’t forget to press the cash-out button. Be certain you have received full payment. Small fortunes are lost each year by players forgetting to collect all their stored credits or coins in the tray. If, when cashing out, the machine’s coin hopper runs empty, you’ll receive only partial payment in the tray. Don’t leave until an attendant filled the hopper and you’ve collected all your coins.