A Website About Slot Machines
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A Guide to Slots
Hi, my name is Steve and this is my website. My wife and I love to play slot machines. We enjoy going to the casinos
to play with our friends and making new ones when we get there. My goal with this website is to create a guide to slot machines and have a little bit of fun along the way.
My friends ask me “why do you play those damn machines? You know they’re just money pits. You should play blackjack like me. You might actually win once in a while.
Well, I DO play blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat. And, I DO win money playing slots too. One of the reasons I decided to create this website is to dispel some widely held myths about playing these machines. So, with that in mind, let's move on to...
Ten Widely Held Slots Myths
1. You have a better chance at winning at blackjack, craps or roulette than you do playing slots. The first thing I should get out of the way is the widely held belief that you are much better off playing blackjack than you are slots. Check out the following link to the latest available Gaming Revenue Report on the website of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. For some reason the print on this report is very light (it is a little better if you download the pdf version of the report), but if you scroll down to page four of this report you will find the report for June 2013 and the three and twelve months ended June 30, 2013. Next, look at the far right columns of each section, you will find the average win percentages for all non-restricted gaming licenses across the state of Nevada.
Please take a moment to review the column detailing the win percentage for different casino games for the twelve month period ended June 30, 2013. Look at the casino win percentage for blackjack (twenty one). It is 11.38%. Not quite the 50/50 game you have been told about, is it? Now take a look at Craps with a casino win rate of 13.72%. Roulette at 19.20%. Compare this to the win rate for penny slots at 10.11%. How about 25 cent or quarter slots? Try 5.90 %.
What does all of this mean? You have a slightly better chance at winning at penny slots than you do at blackjack. You have almost twice the chance at winning at quarter slots than you do at blackjack. Kinda puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it? Incredible.
2. Higher denomination slots machines payout at the same rate as penny slots. Another thing you will notice from the report is that the larger the denominations of slots you play, the lower the casino win rate and thus the better percentage for the slot player. Do wonder why that is? The reason is that the larger denomination of slots machine game you play, the faster you play your money thru the machine. Therefore the casino can earn the same amount of money on a large denomination slot game at a lower win rate as they can at a penny slot game with a higher win rate.
3. Casinos don’t really like slot players so you can’t get rated and earn comps. This one kills me. A lot of people actually believe that casinos place slot machines on their floor so that the wives of the real gamblers (those playing the table games of blackjack, craps and roulette) have something to do so they won’t try to pull their husbands away from losing their money at the tables.
Are you kidding me? Casinos LOVE slots players. Take another look at the Gaming Revenue Report referred to above and you will see that the casinos earn three times as much money from slots players as they do from all the table games combined. Another thing to note is the amount of casino floor space set aside for slot machines and the number of people playing them. Don’t ever feel sheepish about being a slot player. The casinos love you man. That is why all of their players clubs were originally called slots clubs. In fact, as far as comps go, casinos rate a quarter slot player at the same rate they do a $25 a hand blackjack player.
4. If you see someone put a lot of money into a slot machine and they don’t win, you should immediately go play that machine as it is due to hit. A lot of people actually believe this one. Many times I have seen slot players watching me and waiting for me to leave so that they can sit down and play the slot machine I just dumped my money into. A long time ago when mechanical slots ruled the world this might have been true. Nowadays, in the age of computers and random number generators this is simply not the case. Folks, these days slots are pre-programmed to pay out a certain rate over the life of the machine. You are just as likely to hit a jackpot one your next spin as your are your 100th spin, or tomorrow or next week. Just the same, if I see someone put a lot of money in a machine and they don’t win. I am making a beeline for that machine when they get up.
5. All casino slots have the same payout rate. A survey was done a few years back in Las Vegas of slots payout rates by casino. It turned out that The Palms had the highest overall slots payout percentage and The Venetian had the lowest. I can personally attest to the latter as my wife and I have been killed playing slots at the Venetian. Each casino sets their slots payout percentages where they want them – and they are all different. Some casinos will even advertise their slots payout rate. Generally, the slots in Louisiana payout better than those on the Las Vegas strip and the Indian casinos in Oklahoma payout better still.
Here is a tip for you. If you want better Slots payout rates in Vegas, go downtown or to the off-strip casinos like The Palms, The Orleans or one of the Station Casinos. Same can be said if you are looking for a better blackjack game or more generous craps odds. Better yet, ask someone who works in the casino you are staying at. They almost always gamble and are happy to share their knowledge. I told a blackjack dealer at the Venetian once that we had been slaughtered playing slot there. Her response was “I never play slots here. You can’t win. Try Casino Royale next door”. We did and had great luck there. Not one of your ritzier places, but, they have better slots odds.
6. The slots in at the Indian casinos just don’t payout as well as the ones in Vegas or Atlantic City. No, they do not payout as well –they pay better. The big story here in Dallas, TX is how people are driving north just over the Red River into Oklahoma and playing the slots at Winstar World Casino and Choctaw Casino. And, they are winning. In know a lot of people making the one to one and a half hour drive weekly. My buddy Hal had 17 IRS tickets from Choctaw Casino in 2009 and was up over $15K! In 2010, I have seen him win $4.5K, $3.6K and $2.2K. The wife and I have started going to Choctaw once a week, usually on Sundays and we are up over $2K so far in 2010. Hal got us started on playing the $1 VGT slots with the red screen free spin feature. They are fun to play and more importantly, they pay out. Our favorites are Star Spangled Sevens Slots, Hot Red Ruby Slots, Lucky Leprechaun Slots and Double Freedom Reel Slots.
7. You just cannot win playing slots. As compared to what? Blackjack? Craps? Roulette? First of all, if you are trying to gamble to make a living – forget it. Casino games always favor the house. Play for fun. Enjoy yourself. Gamble smart, learn the rules and search for the best payouts and manage your money - AND YOURSELF- correctly and you will win a little less than half the time. If you could give you one piece of advice to make playing slots more fun it would be this – learn to be a winner. Quit while you are ahead once in a while and your slot playing experiences will be that much more enjoyable. This is the key to winning at slots
8. Slots strategies are worthless – unlike the other games such as baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette. Let me ask you this? Do you have a favorite betting strategy for blackjack? How about craps, baccarat and roulette? Most gamblers are going to answer yes. Are you a consistent and long term winner at these games? For almost all players the honest answer is going to be no. So then, why is playing utilizing a playing strategy for these games any different than using a strategy for playing slots? I have several slots strategies that I use on a consistent basis. My favorite is the one I use for playing the VGT slots at the Indian casinos in Oklahoma. Another thing about strategies, the most important ones are the ones that dictate how much you are going to win and lose. Yes, you read that correctly. You cannot be a successful gambler unless you know going in how much you are going to win or lose for each gambling session. More on this in our slots strategies section.
9. If I put a player’s club card into a slot machine and hit a jackpot, the casino will report my earnings to the IRS. This won’t happen if I don’t put the card in the machine. I’ve got news for you folks; you are going to get an IRS ticket either way if you hit a jackpot over $1,200. Does not matter if the player’s club card is in the machine or not. However, you are only going to earn points and comps if your card is in the slot machine when you play it.
10. If a casino advertises “our slots pay off at 97%”, this means that all of their slot machines pay off at 97% or better. Another slots myth that can be quickly dispelled is the idea that all of the slot machines in a casino payout at the same rate. There have been numerous books written that state that casinos place their better paying machines in strategic locations in order to draw players into the casino. The theory is that if people see someone winning, they are going to want to play and win as well. Therefore, according to this theory, the best paying slot machines are going to be located outside of the coffee shops, the buffets, close to the elevators and the hotel registration counter as well as near all of the entrances and exits to the casino. I cannot tell you if this is really what the casinos do in terms of slot machine placement the casino floor. However, there is a certain amount of logic to it. What I can tell you is that many c asinos will have big signs on the casino floor advertising 99% payout slots. It may be only for the few machines underneath the sign, but that in and of itself means that other machines do not pay out that well. My advice is to search for and play these machines. Because if their average payout is 97% and the have a few 99% payout machines, this means they also have slot machines that payout at less than 97%. Count on it. Also keep mind that while progressive slots have extremely large payouts for their jackpots, they payout less often and for lesser amounts on the more common smaller wins
My wife and I have been playing slots for decades now. We live in Dallas, TX, but I've traveled all over the country and played slots everywhere, from the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. My purpose with this site is to host a guide to slots games and online slots that is unequaled on the Internet. Here you'll get my opinionated and honest opinions about slot machines and slots gaming both online and off.
Playing the slots has changed significantly over the last 100 years. Progressive jackpots have made the chance of a life-changing win a real possibility, and higher stakes slot machines have changed slots from a bit of silliness to a real exciting way to gamble. (Dropping $25 a spin should keep anyone interested in the outcome.) And the availability of online casinos and online slots games have increased the variety of slot games dramatically.
The menu on the left leads to the main sections of the site, with articles about online slots, progressive jackpots, free games, and more. Most of those pages lead to dozens of more pages on subtopics. (For example, on the progressive page, you'll find links to pages about specific progressive games like Major Millions and Shopping Spree online, and traditional land based casino progressives like MegaBucks and Quartermania.) We also feature content about popular IGT based slot machine games like The Price is Right.
This site is meant to be a complete guide to slots gambling. We will also discuss some of the slot machine systems used by experienced players.
Taking a trip to the casinos to play the slots is something I have enjoyed for years. Hitting a jackbot in the casino with your friends around to help you celebrate amidst the the sounds of all the slot machines produces a rush like no other. However, I warned you that I'm opinionated, and I've included my opinions on the slots selections at some traditional land based casinos too. Some of those include:
Most games in traditional casinos are designed and manufactured by IGT, but several other slot machine manufacturers have made their mark in the business too. I've included comments on some of the more significant makers of slots machines here:
Free Online Slots
When I gamble, I like to gamble for real money, but if you're the type that likes free slots, I've included some information about free slots games in the menu of the site. Most online casinos allow you to play their slots for free without having to make a deposit. So, you really can play free slots almost anywhere. I have plans to add free slots games you can play right from your browser window here on the site too, so stay tuned for that.
Five Truths About Slot Machines
To close out the homepage of the site, I've decided to include a list of five things I've learned about slots, slot machines, and trough the years. This is meant to be a pithy, fun, informational section for the complete novice. Enjoy.
1. The house always has the edge in any slots game. The only exception to this truth that I know of is when a slot machine has a huge progressive jackpot. But even then, you have no way of knowing when the jackpot has gotten large enough to make the game a positive expectation bet. If you're looking for a game where you can get an edge, look to video poker, blackjack, or poker.
2. You can't win money playing free slot machines. On the other hand, you can't lose any money playing free slots either. And there's something to be said for that, truly.
3. Slot machine games are meant to be addictive. The manufacturers of these games have invested millions into researching ways to make them more attrractive and addictive. The occasional small wins are random rewards, and the human brain is wired to seek out more random rewards once they've received some of them.
4. Playing slots can be fun, and you shouldn't let anti-gambling moralists make you feel guilty for enjoying them Just because something is addictive doesn't mean that it can't be a fun thing to do. Some people ruin their lives by becoming alcoholics; that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a beer from time to time.
5. When it stops being fun, it's time to quit playing. Trust me, the casino will still be there after you've had a chance to rest and/or replenish your bankroll. But if you're just cranking coins into the machine mindlessly, and you're no longer enjoying the potential of a win, then it's time to find something more worthwhile to do.
Good luck my friends! Above all, please only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Please be a responsible gambler.
Slots Guy Tip #1
Always join the players club. Immediately you will get lower rates on rooms and discounts on buffets. Plus, when you stick your players club card into the machine, the casino can track you play and comp you rooms, meals and shows based upon your play. The casinos want you to visit them, by joining the players club you give them the chance to send you freebies and incentives in the mail.