How To Win At Casino Slot Machines
Need to know how to win at casino slot machines? There’s a simple reason that casinos don't cheat with slot machines; they don’t need to. The odds are so bad on slot machines that all they have to do set them up and rake in the money. No system or strategy you can dream up will overcome the house advantage on slots because slot machines are entirely random. Inside the machine, a random number generator generates the numbers, which are then mapped to the symbols on the reels. On three-reel electromechanical slots, the reels are usually independent, meaning the machine picks a different random number for each reel.
Slot machines also do not pay off on a particular day of the week or during a certain time of day. Slots don’t care if you have your slot card in or not. Payoffs are not predicated on how long it’s been since a payoff or whether you’ve chosen to press the button or pull a lever. Slot machines don’t pay off because you put your hand on the side, or are wearing your lucky argyle suit or you’ve just given a bum a dollar bill. The random number generator is the only thing that has anything to do with winning on a slot machine. Since you can’t actually win, here are a few strategies for saving money when you play casino slot machines:
- Play the lowest denomination machine you can. Even though lower-stakes machines have worse odds, you'll still lose less money on them. A 90% five-coin nickel machine loses $18.75 an hour on average, while a 98% two-coin dollar machine loses $30 an hour. Even when the difference is extreme, you still lose less money on lower denomination machines.
- Limit play on progressives. Progressives are the machines with the LED marquees that show the ever-increasing jackpots. They typically pay back two to seven percent less than standard machines, so you should play them sparingly, if at all. If you must play (because you want a shot at a huge jackpot), play a two-coin machine instead of a three-coin machine, and look for a nickel or quarter machine instead of a dollar machine.
- Avoid video reels. Video reel slots pay back a percentage point or two less than their mechanical counterparts. Also, the ability to play five coins on each of nine lines ($1.45 per spin) could seduce you into betting a lot more than you should.
- Use a slot card. Get a slot card and use it at any casino you play at. While the cash-back rewards for slot points are usually insignificant, playing on a slot card means that the casino may give you free meals and will usually mail you offers for free or deeply discounted rooms, and that can save you a bit of money. Contrary to popular myth, using a slot card has zero effect on whether you win.
- Don't bother playing max coins. So-called “experts” who say you should always play the maximum number of coins in a slot machine are just plain wrong. You have a better chance of winning if you simply keep on playing your high-stakes machine with one coin at a time. The slight difference in return on playing max coins only matters if you hit the jackpot, and that usually happens about once a month. The one exception: if you're playing progressive machines where the top jackpot is huge and keeps going higher, obviously you should play max coins.