All you need to know about playing the slots
Every year there are bridge tournaments hosted in casino cities. The 2015 Winter NABCs were held in Reno, and indeed Reno holds a very popular regional every year over New Years, but there are also tournaments in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Connecticut to name a few. And the hundreds of bridge players who attend these tournaments of course enjoy the many offerings of a casinos and that includes the slot machines.
Slot machines are highly visible and accessible at casinos which makes them by far the most popular game for visitors. And because they are easy to play, the potential to win is very enticing. These 5 tips will help you play wisely and successfully during your stay in Reno.
Known world-wide as ‘fruit machine’, ‘puggy’, ‘the slots’ or ‘pokies’, slots have grown up a fair bit from the ‘one armed bandit’ reel driven machines with the lever to pull on the side. Modern day versions of the game are mostly video slots with buttons replacing the lever. The most popular are penny and nickel video games with touch screen technology and lots of bonus rounds.
How do slots work?
Modern day slots are actually built on a microprocessor computer with a programmable random-number generator. Generally, if one machine is programmed to pay out a jackpot once every 10,000 pulls, your chance at hitting that jackpot is 1 in 10,000 every time you pull, whether it’s your first pull or your 10,000th one. You have just as much chance of winning twice in a row as you do of not winning at all. It’s a game of chance, not finesse.
So how do people win?
Winning can come down to being at the right machine at the right time. However, here are some tips that may help improve your chances and keep you coming back.
1) Make a budget
Before you even get to the casino, be sure to formulate a budget plan and stick to it. Designate how much money you have available to spend in a session and if you lose it, don’t go beyond it. This will keep the game enjoyable.
2) Choose your game wisely
Do you like to bet it all for a big win, or do you like to take your time? Discover your playing style, then research the different kinds of slot games there are out there. Choose the one that you are most comfortable with, that gives you the best chance at winning for your kind of risk.
Four main kinds of slots:
The multiplier machine allows you to multiply your risk for a larger gain. Play one coin, get a certain payout, play two, double the payout, play three get much larger sum. This obviously increases your winnings, but it won’t increase your chances at winning.
Progressive slots have a jackpot that increases every time the game is played and there is no win. Also, these machines can be ‘banked’, which means a number of them, networked together. In this case the overall jackpot is the culmination of the whole bank of machines. When someone wins, they win the whole jackpot. Needless to say, though the odds can be lower because you’re playing against other players, winning at progressives can be very lucrative.
Another strategy is playing lower denominations like penny, nickel and quarter slots. You spend less and your jackpots will be smaller, but you increase your chances of winning because your money lasts longer.
Veteran slots player Linda Goodwin, from the Yukon territories, recommends being satisfied with the smaller more consistent wins to keep you going and making profit. Goodwin explains “The machines are programmed to pay out more times on a smaller win. The random number generator will pay out a certain total amount of money and it makes sense that it can pay out smaller jackpots more often than larger.”
Three or five reeled slot machines are a traditional style of game and a similar strategy to the penny slots. If you are a conservative player or you have a small bankroll to start, these can be fun because they have maximum number of reels you can spin at a time, which also spreads your money out.
3) Choose your casino
Many casinos offer bonuses and giveaways, especially if you are a first time player. Be sure to take advantage to tip the scales in your favour. Also casinos may offer different payout rates. Law dictates the payout rate minimum but beyond that it’s up to the casino. Look for anything over 90% to increase your chances of winning.
4) Bet max
According to most casinos betting maximum for a maximum win is the way to play. With most progressive slots and many other games you must bet max to win a jackpot. Also max betting can open the road to bonus rounds. Keep an eye on your wallet though and bet within your budget.
5) If you win, walk away
This point reflects the first point in this list. Remember that slots are a game and can be fun and relaxing if played with perspective. If you have a windfall, call it a good night and cash out. The slots will always be waiting for you. If you keep going, odds are you’ll lose everything you just won and more.
A consistent winner for the past five years, Goodwin’s number one tip for new players is: “Stand behind someone that bets max and watch the payouts and the money put in versus the payouts. Then when the player leaves go and bet min. It always works.”
No discussion on Slot Machines is complete without touching on online slots. Some of you might even think to practice pre-tournament at an online casino. There are many differences between online and real-world slot machines but the main ones are:
a: There’s more variety – endless different kinds of slot machines to choose from
b: No machine breakdowns.
c: No lineups
d: Better payouts! Online casinos have minimal overhead compared to real-world casinos and so are able to pay out more to the players.
As Wikipedia explains on their slot machine page:
Online casinos generally offer odds and payback percentages that are a bit higher than land-based casinos. Some online casinos claim higher payback percentages for slot machine games, and some publish payout percentage audits on their websites.