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Ten mistakes of slot play9 December 2014
In truth, the biggest mistakes of slot play have nothing to do with playing slots. Some have to do with how folks play the slots and some with what machines some people choose to play. But gambling at the machines is an adult’s privilege. I don’t think anyone plays the slot machines and thinks he has an edge. But here are the real 10 mistakes:
1. You should have about an equal chance of winning a decision as losing a decision. This rarely happens in any given session. Since slot machine hit frequencies are usually between 8 and 20 percent, losing streaks are the norm; sometimes long losing streaks.
2. I know a person who never loses at the slots and she plays all the time. I know that person’s best friend and she told me that person you mentioned rarely wins at the slots. Unless someone has won a monster jackpot in the hundreds of thousands or millions, or if that person went a couple of times, won and then quit, slot players do face having their bankrolls ground down. That’s what it means to play against the house edge.
3. My local lottery has odds of 135 million to one. Megabucks has odds of about 50 million to one. Megabucks is a better bet.
4. It is logical that if you lost a lot of decisions on a cold machine, that machine has to get hot soon. Keep in mind that one single big win on a slot machine can make up for dozens of negative decisions. However, since the hit frequencies are so low (see above), you will have longer negative streaks than positive ones. The big winning hits might be coming for you after a cold streak, but then again, they might not. Many slot players have stopped playing only to see someone else play the machine and win. Or someone else play the machine and lose.
5. My saintly mother used to say, “Casinos have luck on their side.” I wish that were so, because then my luck might counteract the casino’s luck. But the casinos have nothing to do with luck on their side of the gambling equation; they structure their games based on math. They will program machines to give out a certain percentage of the money and to keep a certain percentage of the money — and they keep much more than they give out.
6. The best slot machines to play are the ones with inter-casino links. Actually, almost all machines linked with different casinos return less money than standalone machines. In order to build such big jackpots, the machines need to keep more money. It’s as simple as that. Standalone machines tend to be the machines that pay out the most generously. In fact, with the exception of the advantage-play machines that I wrote about in the last few issues, the next best are the standalone machines that are not advantage ones.
7. The casinos place their loosest machines near the entrances. In the old days this might have been true. It isn’t anymore. People do not have to be lured into the casinos; they flock to them.
8. To save money, I like to play penny and nickel multi-line machines. This is a common mistake made by many players who think they are saving money on the multi-line low-denomination machines. It is often not so. The last multi-line penny machine had a minimum play of 75 cents. That’s three quarters! The payback percentages did not change from a normal penny machine for this multi-liner. So you bet just as much, but get a poorer return. My recommendation is to stick to the traditional coinage and also to avoid those multi-line games.
9. If you pull the handle of a machine, your return tends to be greater. No, it doesn’t. What pulling the handle might do — and this would be a good thing — is slow down how many decisions you face per hour. This would mean lower expected losses.
10. There are no machines where players can get a real edge at the game. In the last few issues I have shown just what machines a player can actually beat. These are generally grouped under the heading “banking machines.” At certain points in the banking process the machines will start to pay more out than they take in. At these points if you jump in to play the machine you will have an edge. You can also find these machines in my book "Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines."
Frank Scoblete's newest books are "Confessions of a Wayward Catholic" and "I Am a Card Counter." Available from Amazon.com, Kindle or at bookstores. Join Frank on his website at www.frankscoblete.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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