Slot machines account for 70% of all gaming revenue. That means there are a lot of people coming home with empty pockets after visiting the casinos. Slot machines are no longer used to keep the women occupied while the men bet the “real” money on table games. Slot machines now bring in the “real” money, and slot machines are played by both women and men of all ages.
There are no secret tips that can guarantee a person will win on slot machines. Any claims that are made that slot machines can be beat are completely fraudulent. Every slot machine is programmed to payback less than the amount of money it takes in. In other words, if you own a slot machine you are guaranteed to make money. That being said, there are some strategies that can help a player increase their chances of success while playing slot machines. I am going to present to you ten useful strategies and tactics that will improve your play.
Strategy #1- Determine your bankroll before you get to the casino
This is the most important tip I can give you. Before you ever sit down to play a slot machine, you should have already determined a fixed amount of money that you are prepared to LOSE. You need to assume you are going to lose all of your money. I am going to go over ways to keep that from happening, but you must be fully prepared for the worst case scenario. Make sure you are okay with losing that amount of money, and if you are not, then reduce the amount. Do not have access to any other money while you are playing. Use the bankroll that you have, and that is it.
Strategy #2- Difference between class II and class III slot machines
One of the hidden secrets in the gaming industry is the use of class II slot machines instead of class III machines.
Class III slot machines are known as “Vegas-style” slot machines. They’re the machines that most people think of when they think of a slot machine. However, slot manufacturers have managed to develop class II machines that look and play very much like class III machines.
Why is that a problem? Well, class II machines were developed in states that had laws against the use of slot machines. Many of those same states allowed the game of Bingo. Slot experts figured out a way to side-step the law. They developed a slot machine that was based around the game of bingo. The class II machines today look and play almost exactly like a regular slot machine, but internally they are very different.
Any class III slot machine in a regulated gambling jurisdiction must have a random number generator (RNG). The RNG insures that every spin of the slot machine is completely random, or at least as close to random as humanely possible. The specifics of how the program works are unimportant, the important part for the player is to know that each spin of the machine is truly random and not programmed into the machine. Class III machines in regulated jurisdictions such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City are often tested to make sure this holds true.
Class II machines are not completely random. Unfortunately, the exact workings of class II machines are a bit ambiguous and therein lies the problem. Supposedly, the games are based around the game of Bingo and you are competing against others in the casino. Each spin represents a numbered ball that corresponds to a board similar to a Bingo board. The bottom line is it has already been determined who is going to win. The spins are not random, they are programmed into the machines. You cannot hit the jackpot on every spin of a class II machine, but on class III machines you can. Class III machines provide the security of knowing that every time you push the spin button you have the same chance of hitting the jackpot.
My advice is to make sure any machine you play is a class III machine that works with a random number generator. I would be hesitant to play any class II machines. If you want to learn more about class II and III slot machines, I have written an entire post on this that you can view here at my professional gambling blog.
Strategy #3- Casino must be regulated and have independent third-party oversight
This strategy relates to the previous strategy because usually you find class II machines in casinos that are not state regulated. Most class II machines are found on Indian gaming reservations where many state regulations do not apply. Most Indian casinos are self-regulated by a tribal gaming counsel that is composed of fellow Indians. This is not to say that they are unfair, but there needs to be independent third-party oversight with any casino.
For land-based casinos, make sure they are state regulated by some type of gaming commission that answers to the state and the people, not the casinos. For online casinos, there are now independent third-party regulators who test the accuracy of the software that online casinos use to make sure that it is completely random. Whether the casino is on land or on the Internet, there needs to be an outside unbiased party that is regulating the casino where you are going to play.
Regulated Class III Casinos
Strategy #4- Split your total bankroll into session bankrolls
Once you’ve determined your overall bankroll for your trip, you need to split that up into session bankrolls. You do this based on the length of time you will be staying and playing at the casino. If you arrived at a casino on Saturday morning and plan to leave Sunday at lunchtime, you might want to plan four gambling sessions. Then you would split your bankroll into four equal parts and bring ONLY that amount with you during a session.
Be careful not to stay longer than your bankroll will last, unless you plan on not gambling. If you only have $100 to gamble and you are staying for four days (3 sessions per day), that would leave you with about $8 per session. That’s not very practical or realistic. If you are the type of person that can’t be around a casino without playing, be sure you figure out your length of stay based on your bankroll before you make reservations.
Strategy #5- Limit your session playing time
In correlation with your session bankrolls will be the length of time for each gambling session. No gambling session should be longer then two hours. At the end of two hours, you must take at least a thirty minute break. This break needs to be away from the casino floor. It can be in your room, in a restaurant, outside, wherever you prefer, but remove yourself from the casino atmosphere. It is very important to adhere to this rule. After two hours of play your body and mind become fatigued and begin to make rash decisions. You are no longer thinking logically, your emotions have taken over.
We’ve all witnessed someone playing a machine for hours on end, getting angrier and angrier as they continue to lose. They can’t will themselves away from the machine. Even though their rational mind knows they should get up and leave, their anger and frustration won’t allow them. They continue to play until they win their money back, which usually doesn’t happen, or all their money is gone.
If you follow this advice, you will notice that once you get away from the casino atmosphere your emotions will subside and you are able to think logically again. Poker players call this “going on tilt.” When poker players allow frustration to override their logical decision-making process and they begin betting wildly and can’t leave the table, this is known as “going on tilt.” Don’t allow this to happen to you.
Remember, two hours is the maximum, but if after an hour you find yourself getting agitated and not enjoying yourself, leave. Get away from the environment. Casinos create this atmosphere intentionally to make it difficult for you to walk away from the machines. It is important that you exit the casino as soon as you begin to feel frustrated.
Strategy #6- Find the best “comps,” promotions, and bonuses
One of the best things about being a slot player is the complementary or “comps” you receive. Casinos have come to realize how valuable slot players are so they will do everything in their power to keep you there. Take advantage of each and every incentive that they give you. The rewards will range from free food and free rooms to free slot play, and they will even give you cash back. Make sure you know everything about the rewards program in the casino you choose, and try to plan your trips around special promotions.
The one thing you don’t ever want to do is increase your play to get more comps. Never play more than you planned solely for this purpose. It is counterproductive and can cost you a lot of money. Play your established bankroll and whatever rewards for which you qualify. Make sure you use them all!
Strategy #7- Set strict win limits
You may know someone who never leaves the casino a winner. This person will hit mini jackpots and maybe even a large jackpot, but they always manage to give it back to the casino. They do this by playing erratically. They may jump to a higher denomination or increase their session time, somehow they always come home empty-handed.
Follow these win limits and this will never be you. If at any time you double your session bankroll, end your session. Even if it is your second spin, go back to your room and put the winnings in the room safe or anywhere it won’t be used. Then you may return to the casino with the original session amount.
After two hours have expired you are going to cash out. That money you have remaining will now go into the “win” pile and is not to be used for the remainder of the trip. Remember, you’ve already determined how many sessions you are going to gamble and you have enough money for each session. Winnings need to be put aside so that you are guaranteed to leave the casino with some money in your pocket.
Strategy #8-Slow down your speed of play
If you’ve noticed, casino slot machines are getting faster and faster. From the casinos perspective the more spins the more money they make. Make sure you slow down your play. When you win, do not hit the button to speed up the counting of the credits that you’ve won. You are there to have a good time, enjoy each spin. Order something to drink and sip it as you play. Strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Gamblers often have a built-in bond because all gamblers are trying to take money from the casino. Whatever you need to do to slow down your play is fine, just make sure you do it.
Strategy #9- Don’t bet maximum coins unless it is a jackpot requirement
On the older three-reel slots, the advice was to always bet the maximum number of coins allowed because that was the only way you could qualify for the jackpot. Most new video slot machines don’t adhere to this rule. Most video slot machines pay proportionally to the number of coins you bet and there is no bonus for betting the maximum.
This is when you need to study the machine you are playing. Never just start playing a slot machine. Always make sure you understand the payouts, the bonuses, and the requirements for the jackpot. If the jackpot does not require you to play the maximum number of coins, then don’t. I will explain why in the last strategy.
Strategy #10- The higher the denomination the higher the set payback percentage
Even though class III slot machines are completely random on each individual spin that does not mean they are not set to payback a certain percentage of the money it takes in over the long-term.
Each slot machine is set to payback anywhere from 80% (very bad) to 99% (very good) of the money that it takes in. This average will appear after thousands, if not millions, of spins. As a slot machine player it is difficult to determine the payback percentage at which a slot machine is set. There could be two machines right next to each other and one may be set at 86% and the other at 93%. Statistically you would have a much better chance of winning on the machine set at 93%, but how do we know.
Well, there is a method that generally holds true. The higher the denomination, the higher the payback percentage is set on slot machines. This is why you don’t want to play maximum coins unless there is a bonus for the jackpot. A gambler is better off playing one credit on a $1 denomination machine than playing four credits on a 25 cent denomination machine. The $1 denomination machine is almost always set at a higher payback percentage than the 25 cent machine.
With that being said, do not play a slot machine denomination that is too high for your bankroll. Don’t play the $1 machine for the higher payback if you can only afford one credit on the 25 cent machine. If that is what you can afford, it’s better to play one 25 cent credit than 5 credits on a nickel denomination machine.
As I stated in the introduction, there are no hidden secrets that can help you beat the slot machines. However, all of this information that has been provided will absolutely increase your chances of success. If you follow each strategy, you will be much more likely to walk away from the machine with money in your pocket.
Are there any strategies you think I left out? Do you disagree with any of my strategies? I would love to hear your thoughts.