When someone hears the term “slot machine”, he immediately conjures images of one-armed bandits, spinning reels and huge jackpots. The simple yet seductive appeal of these machines is why most online casino operators attribute nearly 80% of their annual revenue to this game.
For the player, they are the ideal game. Unlike blackjack, craps or roulette online games, he doesn't need to memorize any complicated rules or strategy, nor does he need any training in probability or statistics. Drop in your money, pull the lever (or press the button), watch, wait and (hopefully) win! What could be easier?
But how to win at slots? Just because playing is easy doesn't mean that you should ignore slots tips. Remember, it's still your money. Even if you're just looking for fun or a way to kill time, you should still play to win.
The GamblingCity.com Game Guide will give you the tools you need to play your best, have fun and, with a little luck, walk away from the machine with a few extra bucks in your pocket.
Selecting the Right Machine — Slot Machine Strategy #1
Now that you know how the game works and how it pays, the next question is, “Where do I find the best machines?” This is a crucial question when figuring out how to win at slots.
As mentioned earlier, many casinos will have signs trumpeting their jackpots and payout percentages. In most cases, the closer the machine is to the sign, the better the payout odds. Also, you can ask one of the change-persons and, in exchange for a nice gratuity, they can point out which machines have the best odds or more frequent payouts.
Another prime spot for loose machines is in any area that is highly visible, such as the raised carousels or high-traffic casino entrances and exits. Casinos want visitors to see winners, thus leading them to believe that they, too, can play and win. This tactic is a bit of strategy on the part of casino owners and managers.
Winning slots, however, won’t be found near the table games, especially at the end of a row. Many table players don't appreciate the distraction of their noisy, flashing bells and whistles, so they don't get much traffic.
Another slot graveyard is any space near elevators, buffet lines or box offices. Machines are parked in these areas to pick up stray players waiting for something better to do. This rule applies especially to non-casino locations like airports, bars and gas stations.
How to Get the Most Out the Machine — Slot Machine Strategy #2
At this point, you've found the perfect machine and you're ready to play. If you really want to make the most of your strategy, you'll need one more thing: your casino club card. You can sign up for your free card at the casino guest relations desk. When you insert it into the machine, the casino's computers track your statistics, such as average bet per spin and time per session.
Although using the card doesn't change your odds or payouts, it does enable you to receive points on your account that can be redeemed for free gifts, or “comps”. Casinos use comps to reward players with everything from t-shirts to buffets to a night's stay in their best suites. Ask the guest relations attendant about the best ways to earn these prizes. Some casinos have promotions where they offer double or triple points at certain times of the week, so take advantage of those where you can.
Now the fateful moment has arrived — you've inserted your card into the machine, you're playing with “Max Credits” and you take another spin: Jackpot! You've hit the big one! Your credit counter is ballooning faster than the national debt! Now you can buy that dream car, dream house and dream boat you've always wanted. You feel so lucky that you reach to take another spin.
If you hit a jackpot, the first thing you should do (after you stop jumping for joy) is call the floor attendant. Most machines have a “Call Attendant” button; winners should press this button to insure that they receive their jackpot.
In the case of smaller winnings, the attendant will hand-pay the winner in cash. For bigger prizes, the attendant will help you fill out the paperwork so that you can receive your prize. In the case of payouts over $1200, you may have to fill out a tax form to report your winnings to the government.
Even if you don't hit the jackpot, you should always remember to cash out your remaining credits, especially if you're winning. Once you're “up” by a good margin, don't keep playing; you'll be giving your hard-spun profits back to the casino if you keep playing with your winnings.
Remember, the longer you play (in the case of both land and online slots) the more the house's mathematical advantage creeps into your bankroll. This is also true when you play online video poker, online keno and roulette. If you're showing a good profit, cash out and put that money toward something fun as a reward for your smart decision. If you're “down” from where you started, take a break, complain about your bad luck or the “stupid” machine and take your mind off your losing streak.
At GamblingCity.com, we hope you have fun, win lots of money and earn great comps wherever you play. Above all, play responsibly and only with money you can afford to lose. Employ the above winning slots tips to help you stay within your comfort zone and, ideally, turn a profit. Win at slots with us!