related links: Games rules: Baccarat - Blackjack - Craps - Keno - Poker - Roulette
Slot machines - Winning at slot machines
Secret #1 - Behind the fancy facade, all slots are basically the same
Don't be confused or intimidated by today's new breed of slot machines. Each year a new crop of slot hits the casino floor with their gimmicky names (Cool Millions, Top Cat), theme reels (cows, frogs, spaceships), and digital sound effects. But beneath their fancy facades, all slots are basically the same. They're simply boxes housing the slots' hardware and software produced by the manufacturer. And they all work on the same principle: put in one or more coins and wait and see whether you won or lost. They may have different pay out percentages or bonus games but thats about it.
Secret #2 - Slot machine payouts are usually random
Today's slots are controlled by a miniature computer (microprocessor) that generates hundreds of win-loss symbols every second, 24 hours a day, whether the slot is being played or not. And since the computer's generation of win-loss symbols is 100% random, no one can predict what symbol will appear on the screen and when. So beware of ads or mail-order offers promising some "secret" or "sure-fire" way of beating the slots. They're mostly worthless, out-of-date, or out-and-out scams. Ask yourself: If you found a way to make millions off the slot machines, would you sell it?
Secret #3 - Slots with four or more reels may be bad for your health
If you see one, run, don't walk, past any slot with four or more reels! Each added reel actually increases the odds against you by the millions.
Secret #4 - Better to play with coins rather than with credits
Don't play with credits. Some players claim that playing with credits is a practical way of keeping track of a slot's ups and downs. But when you play with credits, money can sometimes lose its meaning (you don't think of those numbers in the credit meter as real money). It may be tiresome to hand-feed coins into a slot, but when you hold a bucketful of coins, you can see and feel the increase and decrease of coins. And playing with coins forces you to slow down, which extends your playing time. Remember. Fast is good for the casino. Slow is good for you - you minimize the house edge.
Secret #5 - 'Hot slots' do exist
Casinos want players to see other players winning - it's good free advertising for them. So often, they put their better-paying 'hot slots' in heavy-traffic, highly visible locations, with room for crowds to gather and cheer winners on. Such locations include crosswalks, elevated carousels, and banks of slots near the casino bar, lounges, change booth, and coffee shop.
Secret #6 - 'Cold slots' do exist
Know which locations to stay away from. Because lots of them have very 'cold slots'. There are some places that I have never personally witnessed anyone winning big - and these are all in non-gaming areas such as airports, bus terminals, gas stations, drug stores, and on cruise lines.
Secret #7 - There is no "right", "wrong" or "best" way to bet
If, like me, you go to a casino to get away, have a few hours of fun, and maybe win a few bucks now and then, it doesn't really matter how you bet: maximum, minimum, or a combination of both. Ignore any "expert" or casino know-it-all who says to always bet max coins. They always stress the possibility of winning - conveniently overlooking the greater reality of losing. Just remember, it's not their money you're playing with.
Secret #8 - It is "pure luck"
Regardless of what the "experts" say, winning at slots is like winning at keno, bingo, and your state lottery - pure luck! And luck is either with you at any one time or it isn't. If it's not, it won't matter what strategy you use or what you do.
Secret #9 - Bribe a casino employee
Ask an employee in the slots area which machine is the best to play (based on how often they have noticed people winning at it). Offer them a percentage of your profit for pointing you in the right direction. Remember though, that this offers no guarantee of a positive payoff for you.