Slots strategies and tips
This article has two purposes. The first is to debunk the so-called "slot strategies" that are sold by narrow-minded and unethical people. The second is to provide a number of useful slots tips that can really help you win more and have more fun with slot machines.
How slot machines work
The first thing to understand about slot machines is how they determine the winners. These games use a computer program called a random number generator (RNG) to continuously generate numbers. It is these numbers that determine how a particular reel will stop after you press the spin button.
An important fact to remember is that this process is completely random, and there is no way to predict what will happen during a particular spin. Another important fact to keep in mind is that each spin of the reels is a completely independent event. This means that the results of the previous spins have NO effect on the results of the next spins.
The latter fact says that the random number generator is programmed in such a way that the casino has an irresistible mathematical advantage over the player. If you play long enough, then the casino will certainly remain in the black just because the game is set up that way. This is not to say that you cannot win over the short run, but it has nothing to do with choosing a hot or cold machine.
Slots strategies that don't work
Here are some of the strategies that are called winning techniques on the internet. Some of them are obviously ludicrous, while others seem to make sense, but fall apart when viewed from the standpoint of cold logic.
The zig zag system is my favorite nonsensical strategy. The idea is that you look at the reels of several machines in order to find a pattern. For example, you want to search for the "V" or "X" shape with specific characters. The idea is that if such a form is present, then the machine is ready to make a good payout.
Of course, if you realize that the symbols on the reels are just designations, this whole strategy falls apart completely. Slot machines never go into a mode when they are ready to make a payout. Each spin is a completely independent event.
Money management systems are often touted as a way to get out of a gaming session as a winner, but the reality is quite different. The idea of money management is that you set yourself goals for winning and caps on losing. The main goal is to limit the amount of money you can lose if the machine is cold or exit the game if you are in the black when the machine is hot.
We understand, of course, that machines don't get hot or cold in the real world, so any type of financial management like this won't matter.
Often times, these financial management techniques are combined with methods for predicting whether a slot is hot or cold. The writer John Patrick has published an entire book about these odd-sounding "strategies" based on this combination.
One of them is called "even 60". The idea is that you have to exit the game if you have won or lost 60% of your bankroll. Another condition of this system states that if you made 9 wasted spins in a row, then you must also leave the game (a wasted spin is a spin during which you won absolutely nothing).
So, let's say you start your session with a $ 25 bankroll. You will play until one of the following happens:
You lost $ 15. You won $ 15. You lost in 9 consecutive spins.
To be honest, this is a fairly simple system, so it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to memorize it and put it into practice. But the idea that it might allow you to win more money (or lose less) is just ridiculous. This system does absolutely nothing to tilt the odds in your favor.
Another system from the same book is called "play and run." Its meaning is that you should not spend more than 5 or 10 minutes at each slot machine, and then you should simply run away with your won money. Patrick recommends splitting your bankroll into 5 or 10 sessions of 5 or 10 minutes each. In addition, as in all its systems, you must exit the game on the machine if you have played 9 spins in vain in a row.
How anyone would think that a strategy like this could help them win more money is just confusing me.
Now that we've covered a few slot strategies that don't work, let's take a look at a few real, fact-based tips that can really impact your bankroll. These tips are entirely based on the reality of how these games work.
Tip # 1 - Play for fun. The house will always have a mathematical advantage over the player that you cannot beat. Therefore, you must approach your gaming sessions expecting to lose, but hoping for a random win. Your main goal should be to have a lot of fun while you play the slot.
Tip # 2 - Join a players club. Almost all casinos have loyalty bonuses, perks and rewards for loyal players. The casino gives you a special card that you insert into the slot machine so that the casino can track how much money you put into the game. Then they give you back a tiny percentage (something like 0.1% or 0.2%) in the form of benefits, food, paid travel and other entertainment.
One of the myths that you should ignore is that slots pay out less winnings if you insert your club card into it. This is just ridiculous. We have previously discussed how the random number generator actually works.
Tip # 3 - Avoid progressive games unless they offer money-making opportunities that can change your life. Due to the fact that the potential winnings on progressive slot machines are so great, these slots give wins much less often. They are forced to do this in order to allow players to win a huge jackpot on rare occasions. For the average player, playing the machine with lower jackpots provides more opportunities to win, even if the winnings themselves are smaller.
On the other hand, if your main goal is to win a million dollars, then choose progressive games. You just have to understand that the chances of winning a huge jackpot are very slim to change your life. The odds are about the same as the odds of winning the lottery.
Tip # 4 - Don't gamble with the money you need for a living. This should be self-explanatory, but if you are gambling with money that you cannot afford to lose, then you have a problem and should seek professional help of some kind. You cannot play slots and make your living from it.
Tip # 5 - Try video poker. This game is similar to slots, but in video poker, the payout percentage is slightly better, as are the opportunities for using strategies that can increase your chances. Video poker is not for everyone, but I know many former slot players who switched to video poker as soon as they tried it.
Tip # 6 - Play slower. Some slot players make 600 spins per hour or more. However, remember the following. The more money you put into a casino game, the more opportunities the casino has to take advantage of and win all your money. Therefore, play slower. Chat with the players who are sitting next to you. Take a sip of beer between the backs. Anything you do to reduce the amount of money you put into the game per hour will keep your bankroll going longer.
Tip # 7 - Don't play slots at the airport. These are the worst games in town, no matter where you are. Be patient until you get to the casino, and your money will last longer, and you will also improve your chances of winning.