Slots are the bread and butter of every major and minor casino around the globe. There’s a lot more to the flashing lights and spinning reels than just dropping coins into a machine. These days you can play Price Is Right or Wheel of Fortune, spend time with Elvira or Elvis, and even ride to the moon with these one-armed bandits. One of the wonderful things about slots is that you can play at almost any monetary level, from one cent to over $500 a spin!
Each slot machine has its own set of combinations, jackpots, and coin play. You need to make sure that you know the ins and outs of slots play before you toss your money into a slot machine. The average slot return usually varies between 85% and 98%, with an average casino advantage of around 9%.
The slots courses listed below will help you find your way through all the bells and whistles of playing slots. You’ll learn the different types of slots games available, including progressive machines. You’ll also learn about slot machine myths and strategies. Above all else, playing slots is about having a good time. Remember to relax and enjoy the ride!
Slot Machine Basics and Strategies
There is at least one slot machine for every eight people living in Las Vegas. They tend to take up the majority of the floor space in your average casino. So what’s all the hype about? Well, in 2004 a lucky software engineer from Los Angeles won $38.7 million on a single spin of the reels. How’s that for incentive?[table “3” not found /]
There are many different kinds of slot machines, single-line slots, multi-line slots, progressive slots, video slots, and online slots to name a few. They all work on the same principle.
RNGs and Payback Percentages
Each slot machine is governed by an RNG or Random Number Generator, which determines the combination of symbols that you see when you spin. This combination of symbols is based solely on math and is predetermined as soon as you hit the Spin button or pull the Arm. It has nothing to do with how often you spin, how much (or how little) has been paid out, if it’s your birthday, if you use a player’s card, or any other condition you can control.
So if slots are random, how do you play slot machines and win? The hard truth is; there’s no way to guarantee consistent winning when playing slots. However, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of winning. It all starts with understanding how slots work.
Each slot machine has a predetermined payback percentage. The average payback is around 90%. What does this mean? A machine that has a 90% payback rate will return 90% of players’ money throughout the life of the machine.
If 10 million dollars are played on this slot machine over several years, you could expect it to payback 9 million dollars over this period. This does not mean that every time you sit down at the machine it will return 90% of your money. If you’ve ever played slots before, you’ll know this isn’t what happens. Most of the payback occurs when the big jackpot combinations are spun.
Maximizing Your Chances of Winning
Payback percentages typically vary anywhere between 80% and 98%. The higher the payback percentage the better chance of return you have. Unfortunately, casinos don’t post the payback for each machine.
The good news is that there are ways to find these high payback machines, known as “loose” slot machines.
1. Try Machines in High Traffic Areas
Casinos like people to see winners. For this reason the higher payback machines tend to be located in higher traffic areas such as near aisles, cashiers, and restaurants.
2. Play Higher Denomination Slots
If you have the bankroll, higher denomination machines tend to have higher payback percentages than low denomination penny slot machines. If you’re looking for a higher payback, you’ll have better luck trying dollar machines than nickel machines.
3. Avoid Progressive Slots
You should also avoid progressive slots if you want to play slots with higher payback percentages. It’s true that you aren’t going to win millions on one spin at non-progressive slots, but these machines have a much higher payback in the short run. In general, machines with smaller jackpots payout more often.
4. Play Progressive Slots
Wait?! Didn’t I just tell you to avoid progressive slots? Yes, I did. But there’s an exception with online slots. More specifically, the Random Progressive Slots at Bovada Casino. Their slots have good-sized jackpots (sometimes $20,000+) that hit randomly.
Here’s the key though: You can qualify for the progressive regardless of how much you’re betting per spin. That means on a 20-line machine, you can play as little as $0.01/spin and hit the jackpot. I like to play at least $0.20 per spin on these in order to have a better chance of hitting free spins or a bonus round. But either way, that makes those progressives well worth playing and affordable for any budget.
5. Read and Understand the Payscale
All right, so now we know where the looser slot machines are located, but don’t just down and start spinning those reels. Make sure you read the slot machine instructions before you start to play. Even machines that look the same may have different play rules. Many machines pay special bonus jackpots when you play the maximum coins. Standard slot machines will often allow you to play 1 to 3 coins at a time.
A machine may pay different level jackpots for a good combination like “777”. For example, it may pay 100 coins for a 1-coin bet, 200 coins for a 2-coin bet, and 500 coins for a 3-coin bet. If you were playing this slot you would always want to play the maximum 3-coin bet. When in doubt, always play the maximum bet.