Casino Slot Machine
Hot tips slot players need to know
About The Author
a recognized authority on casino gambling, Pilarski survived 18 years
in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos.
writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, Deal Me In. Check out
Mark's archive of columns.
By Mark Pilarski, player advocate
are the easiest and most popular game to play in the casino. Insert a
coin, pull the handle, then reach into your billfold for more money. Unfortunately,
that's what normally happens when the house has such an enormous built-in
edge against you.
are today's slot machines that they now constitute 70 percent of all casino
action. The quarter machines alone takes in more in profit for the casino
($2.6 billion in Nevada) than blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, keno
and the sports books combined.
any sure-fire ways to win with a slot machine? Absolutely. I will give
you're one of the 70 percent willing to do battle against these cybernetic
one-armed bandits, some of these slot tips below will help you overcome
the casino's huge house advantage.
- Get a
casino gambling license and operate your own slot business.
in the solid companies that manufacture slot machines.
- Buy an
antique slot machine and sell it when the demand increases.
can't guarantee that you'll become an instant winner, because it's tough
to beat a house edge that generally runs well over 10 percent, but it
also doesn't have to be so tough on your bankroll. So, let's get started.
- The only
true skill to playing slots is machine identification. Example: progressive
machines offer the opportunity to compare and shop around for the best
value. One 25 cent "slot machine carousel" can have a progressive jackpot
of $2,600, and another bank of machines- exactly the same and standing
side by side-$1,900. You should always be looking for the best slot
will advertise machines that have a 98.5 percent payback. WOW! A casino
game holding just a percent and a half, and on a slot machine no less.
But there's a down side. If you look closely at the advertisement, it
will probably say "on select machines." Furthermore, it probably won't
be posted on the machine itself, and it will generally be limited to
a single bank of machines in the casino. Now it becomes your responsibility
to find them. Easiest way: Ask a slot employee, and if he or she doesn't
know, have one of them ask a direct supervisor.
give away millions of dollars in comps each year, and as a slot player,
you deserve your share. Repeat, you deserve your share. How? Casinos
now offer you the ability to "comp yourself" by using one of their player's
club slot cards. It's generally based on the number of coins you cycle
through a machine, so you might as well get credit for all those quarters
you're inserting. Shop casinos for comp value and find out what you're
worth to them.
- You always
want to treat "comps" as a form of profit, but you never want to gamble
just to receive them. It's much better to play a 98percent payback machine
and increase your winning opportunities than play machines with a poor
return that cycle more of your coins. Remember, you're there to stay
in action and possibly win, not lose your bankroll for a free buffet.
- If you
can't afford to play the maximum amount of coins, you shouldn't be playing
that denomination of machine. If dollar slots are too rich for your
blood, drop down to a quarter machine. It's always better value to play
five quarters versus one dollar or five nickels instead of one quarter.
- I recommend
not playing back the credits you've accumulated. Cash out and take stock.
The problem with playing back credits is that the longer you stay, the
machines built-in advantage eats away at them. It doesn't take long
to zero out.
decide which type of slot machine to play? If you're going to choose
between video poker and slots, play video poker. Even poor play on a
video poker machine will have a better payback than most slot machines.
you walk away from a machine, don't forget to press the cash-out button.
Millions are lost each year by gamblers forgetting their winnings (stored
- It is
your responsibility, if destiny favors you, that you receive full payment
when hitting a jackpot. Even with some relatively small jackpots, if
the slot is short coins in the hopper, you'll receive only a partial
cash payment in the tray, with the balance to be paid by a slot attendant.
If you were to insert more coins and pull the handle, say bye-bye to
the remainder of your jackpot.
- Read all
the posted material on a slot machine. It is your responsibility to
fully understand all printed information concerning the number of coins
to insert, lines needed to be lit, prizes or awards. In most cases,
when someone calls a slot attendant over and complains the machine "just
ripped me off," that individual generally didn't read the pay schedule
- When you
insert coins, don't assume all the tokens register before you pull the
handle. Played five but only four recorded? Sorry. You'll get a sympathetic
pat on the back from the casino, but no money.
machines that use video representations of symbols. With these slots,
there is absolutely no way to figure out what the payoff percentage
of that machine is.
- Most casinos
will hold a slot for you while you go to the restroom, take a short
break or even go on a buffet run. Just ask a slot supervisor to reserve
your machine and give a specific time when you'll return.
chain yourself to a cold machine, even if it's your favorite. Why? Because
the longer you stay on any slot, the more time the machine's built-
in mathematical advantage has to work you over. This is how casinos
build megaresorts, time always working on their side and a mathematical
edge on each and every slot.
- Even though
you're only playing slots, you still need to set a loss limit on your
bankroll for both your trip and each individual gaming session. Divvy
up your wad per playing session, discipline yourself and stick to it.
- When searching
for high payback machines, ask a few employees where the local players
find the best slot value. Simply put, locals don't play dog machines.
both your credit and bank teller cards at home so you will not be tempted
with the easy convenience of getting cash. Only bet what you can afford
I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that all slot machines consistently
pay. They pay the casino's rent, the light bills and all the employees'
salaries. They also pay millions of dollars in profits to casino owners
and stockholders. You the player just so happen to be on the low end of
the food chain.
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