I'm the editor of the American Casino Guide Book, and our blog today is Three Secrets to Winning on Slot Machines.
Hi. I'm Steve Borie, and I am the author of The American Casino Guide Book.
Most people, when they go to a casino Caino, they're going to end up playing a slot machine. Actually, in the United States, the average casino makes about 70% of its profits off the slot machines. Now, most people know how to play a slot machine. You just put your money in, you push the button, pull the handle, whatever. They know how it works. But they want to know how to win more often. The one question we get more often from people, most often from people is How do you win more often on a slot machine?
So today we're going to give you our three secrets for winning on slot machines.
Now, what you've got to understand before we go into this is at the end of the day, a slot machine is just a computer that is programmed to pay out less money than it takes in. In the long run, anything can happen in the short run. But in the long run, you're not going to win money on a slot machine. So these tips are going to help you. Your money lasts longer because the longer you play, the more chances you have of hitting a jackpot and hitting a jackpot is probably how you're going to come out ahead when you leave on a slot machine.
So number one is to always join the players club, and you'll see a lot of bad information all over the Internet, and especially in our comments section. You'll see it where people will say, oh, don't join the players club. It's a sucker thing to do, because if you happen to win money and you're playing on your players club, they're going to know that you hit a jackpot and then they're going to somehow flip a switch and set the slot machines to just take all of your money back as soon as you put your player's club card.
And they're just going to know that it's set to take back all your money. And that's not the case. That's not how casinos work. In the long run. Casinos know that they have the edge. They're going to make money in the long run. You've heard the saying, the house always wins. They know that we know that. So all they want to do is just get people to play as long as they can. And the reason we tell you to join the players club is you'll get a lot of bonuses after you play it and it'll make your play more worth it.
Yes. What you want to do is try and cut down the casino edge on any game you play. So if you play slot machines, the casinos love slot machine players because they make most of their money off of those players. So what they'll do is they'll rebate back to you some of your expected losses. These are all theoretical, but in real life, it's pretty close to the expected outcome over a long period. We always say the long term, the casinos are going to expect to win a certain amount of money, and therefore they'll rebate back to you money in the way of free play, to let you play for free on the games.
So whatever you can do by using that free play, it's going to cut down on the casino advantage. So anytime you cut down the casino advantage, it's good and you want to be able to stay inaction as long as you can. Number one, because it's fun if you're going to the casino and you lose all your money in 15 minutes, that's not much fun if you go into a casino and your money will last for a couple of hours, well, you can have a lot of fun.
You have winning sessions and you go down and you go up and your bank rolls all over and you're getting bonus rounds and you're having fun. So the idea is to have some fun. But you want to be able to take advantage of the free play that they give you to lower the casino advantage against you. And you're not going to be able to do that unless you join the players club because that's going to track all your play. And that's going to let the casino know how much you played and how much they should rebate back to you.
Plus, the other thing is you'd be eligible for other freebies. They'll give you gifts. They'll give you free show tickets, free buffets.
They give you free rooms.
Free meals, all sorts of stuff. Right. And if you were going to go stay at the hotel, it would cost you money. So again, these are things that will help you cut down on the casinos advantage by rebating to you cash or also some of these free gifts or food items that you can always use.
Tip number two is to set a budget. The worst thing that you can do is say, you're going to Vegas and you're going to be there for three days and you set aside $1,000. You said, oh, I've got $1,000. I can gamble with. The worst thing you can possibly do is blow that $1,000 all in the first day. I mean, it happens. People go to Vegas, they get all caught up in all the lights and signs and all that and they lose track and just blow all their money right up front.
And then what are you going going to do for the last two days if you lost all your gambling money?
Yeah. And you want to be realistic with the budget that you said if you have $1,000, you're going.
In Vegas for three days. I don't think you want to be playing $5 slot machines. I don't even think you want to be playing one dollars slot machines you might be able to make with quarter slot machines, but more realistically, probably nickel or even Penny slot machines. So you want to set a budget and don't go chasing comps by this. We mean, if you're a quarter player, don't go to play in dollar slots because the costs are going to be better. Yes, the comps will be better, but your expected loss is higher also.
So you want to set a budget. And with this budget, gambling is entertainment, basically, that's what it is. If you were to go out to say a concert or something, you spend $150 at a concert or you went to a football game, you don't have anything tangible to show for it. All you have is the thrill of the experience of going to this event. So gambling is the same thing you're paying for the experience. But the only thing is with gambling. You might actually win money, where if you go to a concert or a game of some kind, you're not going to win money.
So the idea is to have some fun and to be realistic about it, you really need to set a budget and stay within the parameters of that budget.
And tip number three is don't always bet the Max coins. Sometimes you should bet Max coins, and there's sometimes you shouldn't. For instance, if you're playing on one of these Penny slot machines that have these crazy wide area Progressives where you can win millions of dollars, you're going to want to bet the Max coins, because if you're not betting the Max coins, you're just building up that progressive jackpot for somebody else to win. Can you imagine if you're sitting there on a megabytes machine and Max bet is three credits and you're only betting two credits and you hit the three gold Eagles or whatever it is to win the $10 million progressive.
- But instead of winning $10 million.
- You win $1,000 and it's happened.
- Yeah, it's happened a lot and you'd be pretty upset, I would think.
And when it comes to games with bonus rounds, what you want to do is make sure you bet enough to be eligible for the bonus round. Now you don't always have to bet Max coin in order to be eligible for the bonus round. It depends on the game. And I would say most games you don't need to bet Max coins. Usually, if you just bet one per payline, cover all the pay lines, one coin on each pay line. You're eligible for the bonus round. Now, these bonus rounds are very important for two reasons.
Number one is when you're in a bonus round, you're not betting any money. The machine you're playing it for free. So you're having fun there in a time period where it's not costing you any money on the machine, because the more money you put through the machine, the more your expected losses are. So this will cut down on your expected losses. Number one, make sure you're betting enough to be eligible for that bonus round. So when you go into these bonus rounds, you're not spending more money.
And number two on these machines, there are really two payback percentages. There's a payback percentage on the bonus, and there's also a payback percentage on the base game. So let's say a machine is 88% while the base game may be 80% and the bonus adds an additional 8% to the payback of that game. So if you don't get enough money to be eligible for the bonus round on a game with the bonus feature, then you'll never be able to achieve the highest payback percentage on that machine.
So if you're only betting five lines and it's a 20 line machine, the highest payback percentage you could get on that machine would be 80%. But if you were to bet enough, you bet 20% covered all the pay lines. You could bring it up to 88%. Now, these are theoretical examples, but that's how the machines work. The numbers might be slightly different depending on the machine, but that's how it works. So make sure you've got enough to be eligible for those bonus rounds.
It's very important, and it differs from machine to machine on what you actually have to do to be eligible for these bonus rounds. And if you're not sure, the easiest thing to do is to go into the you can just go into the game rules and look like if you're on the slot machine generally down in the bottom corner, there's a button that either says, See rules or C pays. And if you just hit that and there'll be multiple pages, a lot of times, you'll have to hit the next page button to get to where you need, but it will tell you in there exactly what you need to do or how much you need to bet to be eligible for the bonus round.
So if you're not familiar with the slot machine, make sure you hit that button and read through to see exactly how much you need to bet to be eligible.
Yeah. Very good advice.