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Slot machines aren’t the highest-paying games on the casino floor, but they’re popular because they are so entertaining. If you want to spend some time at the slot machines and also maximize your payouts, here are some tips to follow.
Strategy to Consider Before You Start to Play Slots
A successful slots strategy begins before you ever start to play. Here are a few things to consider before you even look at a machine.
What’s Your Main Goal? Fun, Entertainment, or Cash?
The first thing you need to consider is what your goal is at the casino. Are you there to have hours of fun or for the most entertaining time possible? Or is your main goal to try to win as much cash as possible?
The way you prioritize those three aspects, play time, entertainment value, and payout, will affect everything else about your strategy, so think about what’s most important to you before you start.
What’s Your Bankroll Budget?
Before you ever set foot in a casino, you need to decide how much money you are willing to spend while you’re there.
Start by deciding how much money you can afford to lose at a casino. Of course, no one likes to lose any money at all, but you can consider it the cost of your entertainment.
Once you decide how much you are willing to lose, think about how long you plan to stay at the casino and divide your bankroll by the number of hours in your stay. For example, if you can lose up to $100 and you are planning on playing for five hours, you can’t lose more than $20 per hour.
Set a timer and, if you run out of money early, take a break until the hour is up. You can also consider whether you might want to play a less-expensive machine.
How Will You Handle Your Winnings?
Many people have won a respectable amount at the slot machines, but lost it all again before they left the casino. To avoid having that happen to you, make a plan for how you’ll handle your winnings.
Some people choose to bank all of the money they win. Others will set a win limit, like double their bankroll, and stop playing when they reach it. Or you can take a middle road that will protect your winnings while still extending your bankroll by banking half of your wins and playing the other half.
Which Casinos Will You Visit?
If you are not going to a specific casino but rather to a place like Las Vegas, where many casinos compete for your attention, take a moment to research which of your options offer the best odds.
Many casinos publish their slot odds, guaranteeing a 90- or 95-percent payout rate. You can choose to play at the casino with the best odds.
Remember, however, that those published odds are for all slot machines that the casino offers. Payout rates for specific machines are not published.
Sign Up for a Casino Benefits
Many casinos compete with one another for players by offering benefits and rewards. Make sure that you take advantage of these rewards.
For example, some attract customers by offering a no-deposit bonus, where you can play for free and keep the winnings. Others have a deposit bonus, where they will match whatever amount of money you convert into chips.
Some casinos offer slot cards. They use these cards to track how much you play and extend special offers to you. The offers might include cash back, free meals and drinks, and more. The cards cost you nothing and the rewards can be valuable.
Take advantage of any promotions available to you to extend your profits at the casinos.
Choosing Your Slot Machine
Now that you have your basic strategy outlined, it’s time to make some decisions to help you pick the right slot machines.
There are two important things to keep in mind about slot machines in general: first, you won’t know what the odds of winning at any given machine are, but you can determine the various payout levels for each machine.
Secondly, you can’t do anything (legally) to change the odds of winning once you start playing.
And thirdly, the general wisdom is that you always want to make the maximum bet when you play. Many slots only offer their biggest prizes to people who bet the max. You don’t want to miss those prizes.
So how do you decide which slot machine you want to choose?
Pick a Denomination
Slot machines come in different denominations, like penny slots, 5-cent slots, dollar slots, etc. Dollar slots have bigger payouts, but more risk and you might hit your loss limit faster. Penny slots won’t bankrupt you, but you won’t win big, either. However, you can spend a lot of entertaining time playing.
Don’t forget that you are going to want to bet the max amount per spin, so take that into consideration when you are picking your denomination.
Go for Simpler or More Exciting Slot Machines?
Some slot machines have a lot of exciting bells and whistles that are fun to play. The simpler games pay out more money, but are less fun. So think back to the goals you set before making your choice.
Avoid Progressive Slots
Progressive slot machines have life-changing prizes but horrible odds. They take a part of the money they’d normally pay to players to put toward the progressive jackpot.
Remember, casinos don’t dip into their own pockets when they can avoid it. Jackpots are funded by the losing spins on the slot machine. Bigger jackpots mean more losers.
So instead, read each machine’s pay table to see what their payouts are. Look for machines with moderate jackpots and lots of mid-value prizes.
You should now have enough information to be able to make an informed decision about which slot machines you should choose at a casino.
Remember, if your goal is fun, you might want to go for more intricate video slots with lots of bells and whistles, but lower payouts. If your goal is to spend as long as possible at the casino, you’ll want to concentrate on lower-cost machines like penny slots, even if your chances of winning big are lower. And if you want to make the most money possible, you’ll want to forgo huge jackpots, fancy slots, and low-cost machines.
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