Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Frank Scoblete
Simple, satisfying, safe slot strategies7 August 2011
There are three major categories of slot articles written for slot players. The first is to discuss particular machines: how they are designed, why they are fun and, perhaps, where they can be found. The second category focuses on the various intricacies of slot machines, such understanding what the RNG (random number generator) is and how it works, how machines arrive at the payback percentages, and comparing hit frequencies with winning hits.
The first two categories are certainly interesting and important for slot players to know. However, I like to dwell more in the third category -- I guess you could call that the "money management" category. Once you know about the various machines, once you know the technical jargon, then which of all these machines should you play and how should you play them to generate the most fun with the least financial risk?
Many slot writers tend to think of me as a fuddy-duddy, meaning a conservative in terms of how to spend one's money in those infernal machines. I prefer ultra-conservative methods of play as opposed to aggressive methods of play. I consider the "pie in the sky; I'm gonna hit the BIG one!" to be the type of thinking that can destroy a slot player's bankroll.
My slot strategies are based upon the following foundations:
These three categories obviously dovetail, but each can be taken separately to get a good grasp on the handle of my ideas.
Machine Selection: Which machines should players avoid? My advice is to avoid all the interlinked progressive slot machines that require full coin to achieve the jackpot win. Many of these machines have about a 50 million to 1 chance of hitting that jackpot and the return percentage in these machines is usually a dismal 85 to 88% (or lower!). That means your expectation is to lose around $15 per $100 wagered. Yeow!
I would also caution you against playing penny and nickel machines that allow you to play dozens of lines depending on how much money you want to put in. These machines do not return high percentages -- they hover around 88% or less -- but they can gobble up your money if you bet so many lines that you are averaging 25 cents to a dollar per spin.
If you play these mega-multi-line monsters for big bucks, you are no longer a penny or nickel player (even if you think you are). You are, in fact, a quarter, 50-cent, or dollar player. Jump up to those higher denomination machines and get a far better payback, somewhere in the 90 to 94% range.
Number of Credits Played: I am going to go against the trend that says, "Always play full coin in all the machines." I think just the opposite and I base this not on the infinitesimal difference in house edge between playing full coin or one coin, but on the concept of loss per hour. If the machine returns 90.5% of all money played when going full coin (let's make it three coins) and pays only 90% when one coin is played, there is a staggering difference in loss per hour between the two.
If we figure a player will do 360 spins per hour (a very conservative six spins per minute), the expected loss on a dollar machine for the player betting three dollars per spin is $102.60. If the player merely plays one coin per spin, his loss is $36 per hour. That is some gigantic difference.
Money Management of Total Bankroll: I am a firm believer in having a gambling stake that is separate and apart from your normal, everyday money. Set up a 401G (the "G" stands for gambling) and on a regular basis put some money in it. As the account grows, you now have playing money that will not make you say, "Oh, my lord, I lost how much?" Take a small percentage of this money with you to the casino and divide it up into session stakes. You can think to yourself, "I will play this amount of money through the machine once (or twice or three times) and wherever I am when it all goes through, whether I am winning or losing, I quit until my next session."
Speed of Play: By way of analogy: The kid has never had a drink before. He takes a sip and drinks the glass of booze slowly. The next glass he drinks a little faster. By the tenth glass onwards he is chugging down booze so fast it is hard to actually keep count. This holds true for slot players too. You start off your session spinning those wheels in a leisurely fashion but as time passes you are spinning them faster and faster. Instead of four decisions per minute, you are doing six, then eight, then 12. Your credits are flying through the machine now.
You've heard of the runners' high? Well, there is a slot players' high as well. The thought process slows down while the total number of spins speeds up.
In a random game, the math of the machine will inevitably defeat the player. The longer the player plays, the better the chance he or she will be down. So a leisurely pace should be done from the first second to the last second. Keep your wits about you and you will have a losing expectation substantially lower than the player next to you who is lost in the slot players' high.
I think if you follow my advice, you will have a simple, satisfying and safe slot strategy in playing the machines.
Get the Edge! Join Frank Scoblete in Las Vegas, October 21, 2011 for Advantage-Play Friday.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of Frank Scoblete