Many players question what kind of playing strategies could be devised for a completely random game. No slot playing strategy will guarantee a winning session. However, the player who follows some simple playing rules will stretch out his bankroll and be better off in the long run. Other than that, there are some money management strategies that will help you stay in the game longer.
Basic Slot Strategy
1. Seek out the highest payout possible: This may seem obvious, but many players disregard this dictum. There can be a difference of 10% or more in the payback percentage offered by the same slot machine located in a casino in Detroit versus a casino in North Las Vegas. The player has a far better chance where general payback percentages are greater.
2. Seek out the higher pay machines: Slots managers generally place higher paying machines in high traffic/high visibility areas. This is so that people will notice the machine paying off and be inclined to try their own luck. Be careful, however. Slot managers may place loose machines in a high visibility area like an elevated carousel where everyone can see winning pulls. Players will assume that all the machines on a carousel are loose. Slot managers are generally several steps ahead of players, it is their business, after all. They will mix their tight slots in the same carousel as their loose slots.
3. Join the player’s club and always use your player’s card: Use of a players card has no effect on the outcome of the pull. It can, however, help you get some of your money back. Many casinos offer a “cashback” program that gives the player back a percentage of their total play. Additionally, all casinos offer comps. Take advantage of these offers, join the player’s club and always use your card.
4. Play maximum coins at all times: Payback percentages are calculated to include the jackpot amounts. Jackpots, generally, are only paid on maximum coin pulls. If you play at less than maximum coin, your payback will be less than the maximum.
5. Seek out single pay line machines: These machines are less expensive to play. Your money will last longer, and your chances of winning a big jackpot will be greater on a single pay line machine.
6. Play only two coin or three coin machines: Once again, your money will last longer on a two coin max coin machine than on a three coin max coin machine. You will be able to play longer and be in the running for a jackpot longer.
7. Have a Money Management and Playing Strategy set up BEFORE you even get into the casino: Going into a casino without money management or playing strategy is like trying to build a house without a set of plans. It is a prescription for disaster.
8. Stay away from progressive slots: Payouts on progressives are much lower than on regular slot machines. For the casual player, they are a bad bet.
9. Use the Play Through Betting Method: As part of your plan, only bet with the amount you planned to bet that session. If your session plan is to bet $200, then play the $200 through the machines, and no more. Pocket whatever wins you have generated off the original bet and end the session. Do not play off the credit meter.
Advanced Slot Strategy
The “Play Through” slot playing strategy dovetails with the money management strategy outlined here. Let’s say you have budgeted $300 for a slot session. You might want to budget $50 or $100 per machine and hit three or more machines. Play the amount budgeted through each machine only. Do not play them from the credit meter. The casinos make this a little difficult because they want you to play from the credit meter, in the end, they make more money that way because you lose more, faster. When you venture to a new machine, convert your budget for that machine to tokens before you start to play. If you want to play $100 in a quarter machine, buy $100 worth of tokens and play them through. When you are done, collect your credits and cash them in.
This is similar to the Play Through Strategy above. Take the requisite amount of tokens and play them through, with a jackpot stop point. That is, if you hit a jackpot before you have played through your budgeted tokens, take the money and run.
Many players insist that the best time to gamble is after the tourists have left, late Sunday night into early Monday morning or after any major holiday. The theory is that novice gamblers will not generally play max coins and the slot machines will be “primed” to pay off. The early morning is a good time to play for the abovementioned reasons plus the fact that you will probably have an easier time choosing a machine.
Serious slot players must restrict their play to casinos in jurisdictions where slot results are published. Play the highest denomination that you can afford. Play at casinos that offer the most generous comps.
Success at slots is much like success at blackjack or video poker. If you follow the “correct” strategy, play a “perfect” game, and use your slot club card at all times you will very well at a tough game. You may not win a lot of money, but you will have a lot of fun and get a lot of free vacations in the form of comps.