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Slot machine strategy?

Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
101 posts
34 reviews
25 helpful votes
Slot machine strategy?
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For my first ever trip to Vegas next month my wife and I are trying to see and do as much as possible, including visiting as many casinos as possible just to get a taste of them all (staying at TI). We are probably only planning on actually gambling not more than 2 or 3 hours a day tops. We're also on somewhat of a budget and want to keep our casino spending to about $100 each per day (4 day trip). I know there are no real 'strategies' for slot machines, but my question is how you guys would maximize our fun. It's been a long time since I've played slot machines (well over 5 years since I used to go to some of our local Ontario casinos like Casino Niagara, Casino Rama, Casino de Hull, and Fallsview Casino) and I know slots have changed a lot with more and more penny and nickel machines and lots more themed machines.

My plan would be to just try out a number of different machines, get some free drinks (with some good tipping of course), and just see what happens. I want to play the video poker too and after reading this board I'm going to do the 'simple strategy' from Wizzard of Odds for Jacks or Better.

I've read a lot of different opinions on max-bets, avoiding penny slots, etc. Are there any general tips for how best to enjoy myself at the slots? Should I try and stick to the nickel slots? But then wouldn't maximum bets be like $3/spin? Obviously it would be boring playing a single line on a penny or nickel slot, but I also want my money to last at least enough to get a taste of what vegas has to offer.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,790 posts
1 review
1. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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You don't need to play max bet on many of the machines. There's two ways you can play most of them -- maximum variance with high potential payout, or minimum variance with low potential payout. Many machines will have buttons for how many lines you'd like to play, and a separate row of buttons for how many credits per line. For example, let's say a penny machine has 20 lines, and you can bet 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20 credits per line. That means max bet on the machine is $4.00 ($0.01 * 20 * 20). If you don't want to play that high, you could:

High variance, high payout method: fewer lines, but maximum credits per line. This means you'll hit less on the machine, but when you do hit something, it'll more likely be for a large amount.

Low variance, low payout method: play max lines, but fewer credits per line. Doing it this way, you'll hit more small wins which will keep you playing longer, but likely won't hit the "big one" that makes you cash out and stop playing on the spot.

A lot of people like to mix the two up, too. For example, I often like to start with 1 credit per line, and whenever I hit something, move up a step, and if I don't hit something, move down a step. Some people do the opposite, moving up if they don't hit anything, hoping for the machine to turn for them.

Some video machines only allow bonuses for max bet. For these, you'll want to make sure you're always doing the max. Team games like the linked Monopoly, Press Your Luck, etc are like this, as well as some individual games like Deal Or No Deal.

If you play reel slots, most of them have a significantly higher jackpot payout when playing max coin. The jackpot doesn't hit very often, so it's a calculated risk if you want to play short coin on one. Some machines just double the wins for two coin, so if you're wanting to kill some time, you can play short coin without any real risk.

Video poker machines almost always have a huge Royal Flush payout for max bet, but the rest of the payouts are the same. Since you've got about a 1:40,000 shot of pulling a Royal, it may make sense to play single coin if you're trying to conserve your bankroll. It'll sting if it hits, though. I see no reason to play 2-4 coins on standard 5-coin video poker machines, though; if you're going to do that, just play the full coin and get the Royal bonus if it hits.

Vegas Baby
Level Contributor
120 posts
2. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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Find a 2 coin quarter slot.

Cook,mn
Level Contributor
131 posts
3. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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Ok I'll give you my opinion, since I'm mainly a table game player I play the slots just for fun. What I like to is jump around on them playing for bonus games when I hit a bonus I generally jump to another machine, or if I get a nice payout I move machines. This has nothing to do with strategy just simply entertainment. Now if you want to maximize your profits, or improve your odds your better off playing max credits for what your budget allows. I'll give you an example.... Your better of playing 2 out of the 3 credits on a nickel machine then max on penny's. The odds on denominations increase are better then the odds on credit increase. But it is best to play the highest denomination with the most credits you can afford. But.... If your budget is 100. Just play for fun and what lasts you the longest. Slots suck in general but are fun once and awhile. Sorry if I confused ya ;)

Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
101 posts
34 reviews
25 helpful votes
4. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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Does that mean a 50 cent maximum pet per spin? And Zeromus-X, thanks for your awsome detailed reply!!!!

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,790 posts
1 review
5. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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In general, the higher denominations will pay out more on average. But we're also talking differences of a percent. With the amount of coin-in the original poster is doing, he/she is likely to never see a difference, and it's going to completely depend on luck sitting in front of the machine.

There are lots of 2-coin machines in various denominations. They'll be the older reel-style slots, which some people don't find to be as fun -- but they're much easier to "figure out", too (sometimes with 40 lines on a machine you have no idea if you actually won something or not!).

With a $100 bankroll, just fine something that looks fun and play it. If you're looking for a risk/reward situation, play higher denominations -- a two-coin $5 slot, for example, only gives you ten spins to win before you're broke, but if you hit anything at all, it'll be an impressive amount! On the other hand, a penny machine at ten pennies per pull could last you all day, but you're not going home with bags full of won money.

SOUTHERN OHIO
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931 posts
17 reviews
28 helpful votes
6. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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I play penny machines,, max lines, minimum bet. This way my money lasts longer and I have more of a chance to actually win something. I've won what for me is big money on a 25cent bet (25lines@1cent per) and hit for $500. Also won $500 on a quarter machine on "their" money - he he he.

I encourage you to sign up for players' cards everywhere you go because most will give you some free play just for signing up and their money is always better to spend than mine. Lots of small wins add up.

Just look for machines that look like fun and don't "try" to win. Enjoy the bonus rounds and cash out when you're ahead.

Kenosha, WI
Level Contributor
14,651 posts
13 reviews
6 helpful votes
7. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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I mainly play blackjack, but sometimes just for fun, I will play the slots. My favorite is the Lucky Penny Bright Diamonds machines. They are fun and you get some good bonuses. It is a 25 line game, with 15 to be eligible for the bonus rounds for a total of 40 cents per spin. I can usually play for about 1-2 hours on $20-$40. I even break even sometimes, and have even cashed out with more than I started with a couple of times.

Davinci Diamonds is another one that I have seen talked about on here. I finally tried it for the first time on my last trip and liked that as well. I plan on playing that one a little more next time around, since there seem to be a lot of bonuses.

Level Contributor
3,529 posts
114 reviews
134 helpful votes
8. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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Since you plan on casino hopping, pick up an American Casino guide for each of you (@$12 at Amazon.com). You will find many free slot play coupons ($25 at Venetian, $10 at Palms, Hard Rock, El Cortez, $5 at Plaza and Vegas Club) along with matchplays and 2 for 1 food coupons. Also, sign up for a slot club card at each casino - many will give you $5 or $10 in free slot play when you sign up.

North Bend...
Level Contributor
2,292 posts
17 reviews
7 helpful votes
9. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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I'm not trying to be contrary here, but I've gotten the bonuses on the community games (monopoly, press your luck, etc.) when not playing max bet.

My basic strategy is to start playing all lines at one credit per line. If the machine seems to be hitting I'll move it up. If not, I usually play down to a certain amount (arbitrarily set at that time) and move on.

Good luck no matter what you decide to do!

New Mexico
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338 posts
18 reviews
6 helpful votes
10. Re: Slot machine strategy?
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Some of the games will have a separate button (usually on the right side) that will light up something like "20 lines + feature". This will assure that you get the bonus features activated and most don't require max coin-in when you press the button. It will be betting max lines though. Many of the penny machines that have this feature button will allow you to play max lines + the feature bet for like 30-40 cents a spin. You really shouldn't play games w/ this button on less than max lines since you'll be missing out on the fun & lucrative bonus features.

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