Slot Machine Strategy

Published by Lucky Dog under Slots.

First off, I’m going to tell you that there is no such thing as a slot machine strategy that can guarantee a win every time. The odds are in the casino’s favor. The more you go to the casino, the greater your chance of having a non-winning experience. Compared to other casino games, slot machines historically have the worst odds. Yet, we still love to play them. The colorful flashing lights and enticing sounds make playing slot machines a fun and addictive experience.

My first experience with slot machines was back in 1984 on a trip to Las Vegas. At that time I didn’t know anything about gambling. I think I won forty dollars in quarters on that trip. It wasn’t until ten years later, when Indian casinos began to appear in Wisconsin, that I had another opportunity to play a slot machine. Even then, it wasn’t until about 2002 that I started studying gambling strategies and visiting casinos more frequently.

I have yet to win more than $900 on a slot machine payout. My girlfriend won $1200 a few years ago. Unfortunately $1200 isn’t going to change your life, and if you gamble as a hobby, that money is only going to be around until the next time you go to the casino. That’s why you need a strategy for keeping some of that cash in your pocket. It’s always nice to leave the casino with more than you went in with. That’s what I consider a winning experience.

The first step is to set a budget. How much can you comfortably afford to spend on this type of entertainment? It is best not to think about what you could buy with the money, but to think of it as working material. The goal is to generate more working material during the time you are there. More on that later, right now lets decide on how much we need to work with. My budget is usually around two or three hundred dollars. Some of you will consider this a lot and some will not. Some of it depends on how long you plan on playing and which machines you want to play. I usually play quarter and dollar machines with progressive payouts.

Unless I have planned an overnight stay at a casino hotel, my visit to the casino is about three hours long. That gives me two hours of playtime and an hour for lunch or dinner at the buffet. The longer you stay at the casino, the more money you are going to need. That sounds like a losing strategy, but remember; if you stay too long the casino odds will get the best of you. So you have to decide ahead of time how long you are going to stay at the casino. The following three decisions are interrelated:

1. How long am I going to stay at the casino?
2. Which slot machines am I going to play?
3. How much money should I take with me?

There has been a lot written about which slot machines are better than others. Some people say that machines that are located in high traffic areas have better payouts. Some people say that the old mechanical machines are better than the new video slots. The fact is that any slot machine has to potential to give you a jackpot on the next spin. The unseen variable has to do with how frequently the casino has programmed the machine to payout. Some machines do have the potential to payout more often than others. Unfortunately, this information is a closely guarded secret.

One good thing is that casinos group similar slot machines together. So for example if I am looking to play a dollar machine, I will have a row of them to choose from. The reason you want a group of machines to choose from is because I are looking for one that is in a winning cycle. Have you ever played a slot machine that seems to give you something back on every spin? That machine is in a winning cycle. Similarly, machines can have a losing cycle where they payout little or nothing for a long time.

Finding a machine in a winning cycle will be your biggest challenge. The only way to do this is to test the machine by playing it for a while. Set a limit, lets say $20. If you lose the $20, move on to another machine. If at anytime while you are playing on the $20, you win at least 50 percent more than you started with, cash out and put in a fresh $20. Keep doing this until the machine goes into a losing cycle. Then try another machine. There is still a chance that you will use up your budget testing machines, but at least you are not placing all your hope in one machine with a low payout percentage.

Here is an example playing max payout on a dollar machine:
Machine One
-Win $30, Win $46, Win $66, Lose $20
Machine Two
-Lose $20
Machine Three
-Lose $20
Machine Four
-Win $48, Win $36, Lose $20

I used nine twenty-dollar bills ($180) and got back ($226). At this point I’m ahead by $46. This is typically how it goes. These small wins can be used to keep the process going, and hopefully at the end of the time you have set for yourself, you will have more money than you came in with.

Here are some more tips:

Always play the maximum payout level. There are usually three or more payout levels on a slot machine. Be sure that you can afford to play at the level that pays the biggest jackpot.

Don’t go to the casino during a big promotion, if you want to use any strategy. You may have to wait for a slot machine to become available or settle for one you don’t like, if the casino is too busy. It is more fun to play a machine that you are familiar with than one that no one is playing in a crowded casino.

If you double your money before it is time to go, you should either stop playing, or put some of your money in a pocket where you won’t use it. The temptation to keep playing and trying to add to your winnings will be too hard to resist. Quit while you’re ahead (if you can).

Always take a break after playing for an hour or so. Plan your trip to the casino so that you have lunch or dinner between playing sessions. Take this time to regroup and decide which slot machines to play next.

Here are some of the Indian casinos in Wisconsin and Minnesota:

Grand Casino Minnesota
Majestic Pines Casino
Treasure Island Resort & Casino
St. Croix Casino & Hotel
Northern Lights Casino
Mole Lake Casino
Ho Chunk Luxury Hotel And Casino
Oneida Bingo & Casino
Rainbow Casino
Potawatomi Bingo Casino

Good Luck!

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