Why is Your Favorite Slot Machine Your Favorite?

Almost every slot player I have ever known has at least one favorite slot machine. Usually, that slot became their favorite because they won money.

They began playing it because it looked like fun, but once they won it became one of their favorites. That seems like common sense. You win money, you have fun, and that machine becomes your favorite. However, just because you won money doesn’t mean it is a “good” machine.

For those that win, that machine forever becomes associated with that wonderful feeling of winning. The problem arises when the slot player still associates winning with that particular machine even though their winning ways have come and gone.

I still have visions of playing one of the older video slot machines called “Chicken…” something, I can’t remember the exact name. Anyway, you had to get the three golden eggs to get to the bonus round and I got five. Then you were able to choose five numbers and the chicken would begin laying eggs with numbers on them. Every time you matched a number your prize increased. My good little chicken laid the eggs I needed and matched all five for a large jackpot.

Does that mean this game was a “good” game for me to play? Absolutely not!

You can bet the Chicken game became my new favorite slot. I would play that slot machine every time I would gamble at a casino for years to come, but of course I never received the large jackpot again. I would win some smaller jackpots here and there but never the big score. Eventually, I’m sure I lost much more than I won, but that didn’t keep me from associating that game with success.

That feeling stays with you and your mind yearns to recreate it. This is when your logical mind must take over and insist that you play games that you have a better chance of winning. Of course you can put logic aside and play entirely based on emotion, but that can spell financial disaster so be careful if you decide to do this.

How should we choose what slot machines to play?

  • We certainly want to select machines that we enjoy playing, but payback percentage needs to be the biggest consideration. Payback percentage is the percentage of money that each machine pays back in winnings. Yes, each machine is programmed to payback less than it takes in, but remember each spin is random as long as a random number generator is being used (RNG).

Here is an article on payout percentage to help you better understand what I am talking about.

Granted, there isn’t much consolation when you are still losing even though you are playing a machine with a higher payback percentage. That being said, the math will dictate your results in the long run. If you continue to play higher payback machines eventually the math will work itself out and you will be much better off than playing lower payback machines.

Selecting the best slot machine is not always an easy process. Often the same slot machine is set at a different payback for different casinos. In fact, in many land-based casinos there could be two identical slot machines sitting side by side and each has been set at a different payback percentage. So what do you do? Research!

I know you didn’t want to hear that, but it’s the only way to really know. Let me give you an example. One of the most popular slot machines is Wheel of Fortune. People love the huge progressive jackpots and Wheel of Fortune slot machines have them. I wrote a whole article on the large progressive slots, but the bottom line is all Wheel of Fortune slots are set by the manufacturer to have a payout between 86%-89%. That means if you are playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine the best you could hope for is an 89% payback which is BAD.

Casinos online and off that have higher payback machines want you to know about them. They will advertise online, magazines, newspapers, etc. letting you know they have high payback machines. Many online sites have slots that payback as much as 99% which is unheard of in land-based casinos.

If you’re reading this article then you are probably a frequent gambler, so spend some time researching different games and casinos BEFORE you decide to play for money. That’s the only way you can have any control over your results. If not, bring your rabbit’s foot and hope to get lucky because the odds are heavily against you.

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