Here are some of my personal tips for successful slot play. They’ve done me well over the years, but individual results may vary. And luck / timing does of course play a big part in things too. Whether you’re a professional slot player (which I believe to be 40+ hours per week) or a “fun player” (or casual player), the following tips may be of use to you.
1. Take enough money (bankroll) to play. In order for you to sustain your required play time, you must be able to invest a sufficient amount of money to warrant a successful play period. This will be dependent on the type of machine, the frequency of hits / wins, and the denomination value you choose to play. If you’re playing a machine at $1 per spin, and want to play for a few hours or more, I’d suggest a bankroll of $500. If you’re playing $5 machines, that bankroll should be $2,500. If you’re playing quarter / 25c machines (at 25c per spin), then $150 or thereabouts may be sufficient. Many slot players lose their money because they don’t have sufficient bankroll to last them in between jackpots.
2. Be patient. Jackpot combinations don’t spin up all that often. Bet low amounts and give yourself the maximum number of spins possible for your bankroll – the more spins you have, the more chances you have to get that elusive jackpot! Don’t make big bets on impulse or out of frustration, that could unnecessarily hurt your bankroll (i.e. don’t bet $1 on a $500 bankroll, and then through frustration start playing $9 per spin)! Keep a level head, and a level bet throughout. Separate emotion from logic. Logically, you’re hoping to get a return on investment. You’ve got to make the investment first – but don’t panic when things go wrong. Keep your bets low and equal – and hope for some luck!
3. Never play just for casino comps. Whilst complimentaries from the casino are always nice to receive, they never equal in value what you’d need to spend (in the long term) to justify them. Let’s say a casino gives 1 point (worth 1c) for every $4 into a machine. It’s not worth risking $2,000 ($400 x 5) just to get a $5 comp is it? If you’re playing anyway, that’s fine – but never play over what you were going to, just to get a casino gift. That cash is better in your pocket than theirs!
4. Know when to quit a machine. No slot machine will continually pay out. Generally slot machines will give and take in some form of “cycle”. If you’re winning, move on to another machine. If you’re not winning, ask yourself whether the machine seems to be in a cold cycle (showing you lots of “near wins” – but not actually giving you any payouts), or whether it’s a small glitch soon to come right. If it’s a glitch, stay where you are and continue playing, and wait for the up swing. If you believe it’s a “cold cycle”, cut your losses and move on. Knowing when to quit is one way of protecting your investment.
5. Know when you’ve made enough. When is enough profit enough? For me, anytime I’ve made 25% or more above my starting bankroll, I’ll leave a machine. If I’ve got a budget of $100 for the machine and after putting in say $80 I’ve got $125 of credits, that’s good enough. I cash out and move on. If I’ve put $20 into a machine and I’ve now got $25 after a hard fought battle (i.e. on a 5c machine), I’ll cash out and move on also. Your own thoughts will determine when enough is enough for you – but DON’T get too greedy. Greed can be very unlucky!
6. How often should you play? That’s up to you, and it will depend upon your reasons for playing and the time you have available. For most readers, I’d recommend visiting a land based casino about once a month, for a few hours of dedicated profitable play time (i.e. focused time when you’re there for one reason only: to make a profit whilst playing slots). Internet casino players might wish to visit more frequently – i.e. one night a week (as the slots typically pay higher online). But you should always only play to your own bankroll and time requirements.
7. Which casino should you play in? This is trickier for land-based casinos, due to the wide range of potential considerations: location, reputation, audience catered to (i.e. high end like Bellagio, low end like Circus Circus), comp policy, etc. For online casinos, it’s easier. Avoid casinos that are licensed in the Carribean, in South America, in Africa, and similar destinations. Casinos that are licensed in the UK or surrounds (UK, Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man) tend to be very reputable, and pay out when you win. These reputable solidly licensed casinos are the only types of casinos promoted here on Beat the Slots: Virgin Casino, Coral Casino.
8. Which kind of slot machines should you play? Three real slot machines without progressive meters attached typically pay well. Video slots (i.e. 20 lines etc) like IGT Texas Tea Slot Machine, or Captain Quid Slot Machine, or Join the Race for Riches, are an entertaining way to pass time, with an edge that’s not too detrimental (assuming all lines are played on each spin). However, they do tend to be a little lower in payback (on average) than the traditional reel spinners. Whilst there’s no hard and fast rule, online casino slot machines do tend to pay back a bit better than those in land-based casinos (the overheads are lower – they can afford to be more generous on the game payouts).
Perhaps you’ve got some of your own slot tips you’d like to share with other readers of this blog? If that’s the case, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your views and ideas!