Always read the payoff information on each machine, particularly on ‘Pay for Play’ machines. These are usually three coin slot machines with the first coin paying only on limited symbols, the second coin pays on the next set of symbols and the third coin pays on any win. The big win is with the third coin.
Be sure you have cashed all of your credits before leaving the machine. The cash out button controls the payout function; it either indicates credits or it drops the coins in the tray.
Never leave your machine until you have received your total winnings. If you hit a jackpot, you may have to wait for the attendant to pay you the rest of the jackpot as some machines can only pay a partial jackpot.
Over the time, you will win more money using the higher denomination machines than the lower, but you will definitely need a money management system as you might get carried away and lose more money than you bargained for.
If you can’t afford to play the maximum amount of coins or the higher denomination machines, drop down.
Look for ‘Hot’ machines as you enter the casino. It is customary for casinos to have some loose machines to attract the attention of new visitors. Some machines are set to pay better than others. However, be aware that the casino can move around the loose slot machines or have the settings changed back to a lower percentage return, so don’t expect a hot machine to stay that way everyday. (Note: Casinos must send their machines back to the manufacturer to be reprogrammed for their choice of percentage as long as it meets the minimum percentage return required by the Federal Regulators.)
If you’re lucky enough to hit an attendant-paid jackpot, do not touch your machine or leave it for even one moment. Do not insert more coins or allow anyone to touch it. A slot attendant must come by to complete the transaction.
Slot machine carousels can have large variations in the progressive jackpot amount. You should always be looking for the best slot opportunities possible and play at those that show the highest amount.
If a casino advertises that they have machines with a high payback (90% or more), look for them. Ask a slot attendant, and if he or she doesn’t know, have one of them ask the supervisor.
Shop around for casinos that offer comp value and use them. Casinos now offer you the ability to ‘comp yourself’ using one of their player’s club slot cards, so you get credit for each coin you insert in the machine.
Treat the comps as a bonus. Never gamble to increase your comp credits.
It is always better to play on a high payback machine and increase your winning opportunities than play on machines with good recycling capability of coins but with a low return.
If you can, give preference to Videopoker machines. Their payback is usually better than slot machines.
Most casinos will hold a slot for you while you go to the rest room or take a short break. Just ask a slot supervisor to reserve your machine and give a specific time when you expect to return.
Don’t stick to a cold machine because it is your favorite. Remember, you are there to win.
Even in the same aisle two identical looking machines can be set to different average returns. If you are not winning on one, try the other one.
Don’t assume because you have spent all night feeding a particular machine that it is now due for a jackpot, and that you will get your money back. Before you start play, set your loss limit and stick to it.
It is best not to replay your winnings. Have a set bankroll to start with, and when you have used it up, collect all your winnings (if any) and quit.
On a lucky day, if you are on a winning streak, have a few shots (2 or 3) at one of the $5 big-payouts machines. You never know! If you win — anything — take the cash and leave. Don’t replay or recycle any of the winnings.
In Jacks or better, a pair of Jacks or better pays even money. Hold on to the two off-suited face cards for the best chance of a winner.
Make sure all the cards you want to hold are held before pushing the draw button. If you hit too fast or not hard enough, the machine might not register your request.
Never keep a ‘Kicker’ — a high card with a pair.
Cash out your credits frequently.