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Seven Steps to Playing the Slots

21 March 2015

By John Marchel
When reviewing information about casinos revenue, what they have taken in, based on the amount of table and machines games offered, we find that they receive the most income from slot machines. The American Gaming Association, a casino trade group, reported in their annual survey that 62 percent of all casino visitors played slot machines while only 21 percent played blackjack. Poker had 7 percent of visitors playing that game, followed by craps at 3 percent, along with roulette, also at 3 percent.

That illustrates slot machines are such an important game for a casino's survival that they take great steps to insure they have the latest, best and most fun machines available for players. In fact if you examine records of gaming equipment installed in most casinos you will find that over the years casinos have been removing table games and replacing them with slot machines.

We know they make a great amount of revenue from the machines, but casino management also knows that they can’t take all a player's funds away; otherwise no one would be playing the slots at all. They offer a great number of different machines, some have life changing jackpots, others have lots of small payouts but the big jackpots are rare. How the machines are laid out, free standing, or grouped together, what types of “bells and whistles” they have, and what the denomination is, all have a big impact on which machines are played. Many visitors like the Wheel of Fortune, or Elvis, or Megabucks machines.

The real question is what machine should you play? The answer is you really can’t tell a winning machine for one that hardly pays at all. So what should you do? There are a few things that will help you play longer, smarter and maybe even end up a winner. Here are seven simple and easy techniques you can employ that will help you during your visits to casinos and playing slot machines.

1. Join the Slot Club

One of the first things to do when you visit a casino is to join its slot or player's club. Even if you only travel to Las Vegas or Reno once a year, it pays to join. The casinos will than begin to provide you with “comps” or complimentary items. They can range from a free t-shirt or coffee mug to free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and cash rebates. Remember, sign ups are free and you’re not obligated to play at any certain level or amount of time.

2. Budget Your Money

Establish the amount you expect to play with during your visit. If it’s over a three day period for example, divide your bankroll into three parts. Next if you want to play three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening, divide those days’ funds by three. Over the three day, nine sessions, you probably won’t win all nine, but by managing your budget it should help you improve your end result.

3. Pick the Best Machines

Try to find and play machines that are posted with signs saying they payout at least 97% or higher. If you can’t find any that advertise that payout, you should than play only the most popular machines. The main reason is because these machines are so popular that they are most likely to have higher paybacks than most other machines.

4. Always Play the Maximum Coins

Most machines are programmed to pay off different amounts for each coin played. Look at the payoffs listed on the machine. For example, playing two coins in a multiplier machine will pay out twice as much as one coin. A three coin win will payout three times the amount that a single coin would have paid.

5. Play What You Can Afford

If you can’t afford to play a three coin dollar machine, go down to a three coin 25 cent machine. You might move to a three coin five cent machine. As explained in the suggestion above, you always want to bet the maximum coins, but, if you can’t afford that level, move down to a denomination level you can afford.

6. Higher means more

You should be aware that the higher the denomination machine is, the higher the payout. The 25 cent machine's payout is more then the nickel ones. Dollar machines pay better then the 25 cent machines, so if you expect to really win big you need to play at a high denomination machine, such as a dollar one. Here is one report about payouts based on the denomination played.

Coin payout
5¢ 92%
10¢ 92.5%
25¢ 95 %
$1 95.5%
$5 96.5%

7. Speed Is Expensive

Since slot machines are rated as a game of chance, and not one of skill, the faster you play, the faster you can expect to lose your bankroll. It takes a lot of self-control to play slow, but it will help to increase your chances of going home a winner.

These seven techniques might not help you to become the biggest winner in the casino, but they will certainly help you towards that goal. Lastly, be sure to have fun, if you are not enjoying the experience, stop playing!


• It was in 1932 that slot machines were first introduced to Monte Carlo in Monaco, 53 years after the casino first opened.

• The US Army operates over 5,000 recreation gambling slot machines in 320 overseas army clubs and recreational hotel facilities. The other military services operate an additional 3,000 machines also overseas. Profits are earmarked solely for capital expenditure, which support the military’s moral, welfare and recreation programs, all at no cost to tax payers.

• In Nevada it is a crime to knowingly take advantage of a malfunctioning video or slot machine by playing it. In fact it’s considered a felony.

• In the Far East, slot machine players win if they line up lucky eights, not sevens, as per local superstitions.

• It is a fact that slot manufactures perform more player research than any other segment of the gambling industry.

• Early American slots were first known as “Coins-in-the-Slot-Machines.”

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at


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John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

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