Follow these ten simple slot rules and you will be a smarter slot player AND in some cases have a mathematical advantage over players who do not. It's as simple as that.
#1 MAX your WAP's: Wide Area Progressives (WAP's) are those multi hundred thousand dollar progressives you see on some machines like Wheel of Fortune and The Wizard of Oz. Ninety-nine percent of the time the only way to win a WAP is to bet the maximum credits the game will allow. If you want to bet a lesser amount just for the fun of playing the game, go right ahead! But know that you are at a mathematical disadvantage to the people that bet max.
#2 Read up! Take three minutes when you sit down at a machine you've never played before and check out the pay table. By looking at the pay table you may find something you don't like or you may notice that the machine pays differently than the same machine next to you. Buffalo by Aristocrat for example has several different pay tables depending on the version and game.
#3 Hex on you: If you are feeling unlucky, stop. Grab a coffee, grab a cocktail, grab your neighbor - anything! Stop and take a break. You'll be surprised how often it helps to reset and start fresh.
#4 Know the Vol: No, not the volume, the volatility! I have an entire page dedicated to volatility because it's that important. If you want to know more about volatility and see some game examples, check it out here. Knowing your machine's volatility can save you from a headache and a half - and an empty wallet. High Vol = High Risk.
#5 Hey, I know you!! Plain and simple, play games your know and are comfortable with. If you are not sure of a machine and how it works, read #2. Or even better, take a minute, go to YouTube, and do a quick search from your phone and see how the game plays. Knowing is half the battle!
#6 Don't Chase: Never, ever, ever, EVER chase a progressive. Slot manufacturers put those "Must hit by $50" or "Must hit by $500" on there for a reason. The manufacturers and casinos know that psychologically people will play more (read, lose more) believing that a progressive is about to hit. Did you know that a typical G+ Deluxe machine's progressive goes up by about a penny per $1.60 won?
#7 Player's Perks: Simply put, always use a player's card - ALWAYS! Most casino's offer between 1/2% to 2% back in perks per dollar wagered. Run through $1000, and you will get some nice cash back!
#8 High over Low: Always play a higher denom equivalent if it is available. For example, if you are playing a penny version of a game betting $1 and a nickel version of the same game is nearby, leave the penny machine and play the nickel version for 20 lines. In most casinos you will gain between a 1% and 3% edge by switching to nickels.
#9 It's your fault: Always know that no matter how much you want to blame the casino or the machine or the manufacturer or the person who played before you or your mother, know that you are the only person to blame if you lose. I won't get into the math of Random Number Generators (RNG's) but they cycle through thousands of numbers per second and if you push or pull at the wrong time, you simply pushed or pulled at the wrong time.
#10 Play away! When playing in Vegas, the off strip (local casinos) generally pay better than on strip casinos by up to 3% points. Also, if you want to play very far from the strip, Reno Nevada and some Atlantic City New Jersey casinos have some of the loosest slots in the country!
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