You can’t force a big jackpot, no matter how many coins you feed into a machine. No slot is ever “due” to hit. Jackpots are created by a computer chip inside the machine. They happen at random; if you’re lucky you’ll be at the right machine at the right time.
In the meantime, your aim should be to “play for playing money”. And that’s what this booklet is all about. Going home broke after every casino visit is no fun. I’ll show you how to change direction towards keeping more money in your pocket
The aim is to recycle the same bankroll over and over, instead of finding new money every time you go to chase that elusive jackpot. It’s not that hard, if you let 47 Ways To Beat The Slots be your guide.
If you’ve been playing slots for some time, you’re probably familiar with the various machines and how they work. In that case you may want to skip the rest of this first chapter.
For those readers who are relative newcomers to the slot scene, here’s a rundown on the different types of machines and how they work. Reading this overview will also help you understand some of the peculiar lingo used in slot play:
Standard or Basic Slots
Regular or standard slot machines have a fixed jackpot that never changes. Standard models with a relatively small to medium sized jackpot generally hit a winning combination more often. The ones offering a huge top prize pay smaller amounts less frequently.
On progressive machines a tiny percentage of every bet goes towards increasing the jackpot amount until someone wins it.
Over the last few years more and more “multi-event/gamewithin-a-game” machines appear on casino floors. Two of the most popular examples are Wheel of Fortune and Piggy Bank slots. There are many others.
These are machines with “double” symbols. If you get a winning combination that includes the double icon, the payoff amount is doubled. And it gets better, if the winning combination includes two “double” symbols the payoff is quadrupled!
“Wild jokers”, “wild cherries” or other “wild” images should not be confused with double-up symbols. They simply substitute for any other paying symbol, but they do not increase the payout amount.
An individual progressive machine is self-contained, it does not receive from or contribute to another machine.
As the name implies, linked progressives are groups of machines that are electronically hooked-up to contribute to one common jackpot that can get quite large.
Hitting the jackpot on one of these machines is what everyone likes to dream about. Hundreds of machines, located in many different casinos, all feed that giant pot of gold. Your odds of winning those millions are about the same as those for winning the lottery. But then, someone always wins the lottery too.
Single-line machines pay only if the winning combination appears on the center line. They generally accept two or three coins maximum and feature bar symbols with the traditional 7’s denoting the top prize. This is the most popular type of machine.
These models have three to five paylines, offering more chances to line up a winning combination. However, they require an additional coin for each line and they almost always pay the jackpot only if maximum coins are inserted.
Today’s slot machines are run by computer generated programs. It’s a microchip that triggers the random selection and decides what symbols the reels will stop at. Hence that little microprocessor, known as a random number generator (RNG), controls when and how much a machine pays out.
The display, usually at the top of the machine, that tells you how many coins you’ll collect for the various symbol combinations. Sometimes there are also special directions, relating to the payouts, printed on that panel.
Instead of coins falling into the tray, when you win, all newer machines have a “credit meter” that displays your coin balance from spin to spin. Instead of having to count what’s in the tray, you can see at a glance where you stand. Don’t forget to cash out when you leave!
All machines are programmed to pay out a certain percentage of all the money they take in. If you see a machine advertised as returning 97%, it means that over a very long period of time it will pay out 97 cents for every dollar it collected. It does not guarantee you’re going to get back $97 for every hundred you put in.
The opposite of payout percentages. If a machine pays back 97% it keeps 3%. Therefore that particular machine has a 3% hold. In most jurisdictions hold percentages are regulated by law and can be as high as 25%. Although in very competitive markets the numbers will likely be in the 2% to 10% range.
The random number generator (RNG) does just that. It generates numbers at random, which translate into losing and winning combinations on the reels.
Over the long term it’ll produce a number of large and small wins that will add up to precisely the payback percentage it was programmed for. But in the short term you can experience cycles when an abnormal number of winning or losing combinations appear. In other words, deviations from the norm.
Maximum Coin Play
Slot machines take from one to five (sometimes more) coins per spin. In most cases it is advisable to always play all the coins the machine will accept for every hand.
Inserting less than maximum coins is generally not recommended. But on some machines, under certain circumstances, playing one coin at a time can actually be advantageous.