Top slot tips!

Jul 6, 2004 5:45 AM

(First of a two-part series)

Moses had his Ten Commandments, Lee Marvin had his "Dirty Dozen" and porn star John Holmes had his ”¦ well, you do the math.

Not to be outdone, SlotsToday launches its inaugural issue with its Top 60 Tips for Slot Players.

If any group of players needs tips, it’s the slot players. Without benefit of optimal strategy or expected values or 100 percent payback, slot players must rely on good old-fashioned luck.

And while we don’t claim to have the market on rabbit’s feet, we’ve learned a thing or two about playing slots that might be of interest to those hearty souls willing to challenge Lady Luck.

To be fair, we’d like to credit some of these tips from industry colleagues and practitioners: Frank Scoblete, Terry Murphy, VP Pappy, Bill Conrad, Anthony Curtis, John Patrick, Tony Frank, Mellisa Raimondi, Rob Wiser, Lou Krieger, Arthur Reber and Jodi Skorniak (a kindergarten teacher at Wasden School).

Whether following our advice and trying these tips will help you beat the odds remains to be seen. The most important thing, however, is to have fun, so please accept these aphorisms within that context.

1. All slot machines are random and, short of cheating, there’s nothing you can do to alter that fact.

2. A typical 45- to 90-coin video slot machine seems to have a better return than a typical 3-coin reel machine.

3. A computer chip inside a slot machine is generating random numbers all the time, even when no one is playing. So, even if someone did hit the jackpot on the very next spin on the machine you just left, it wouldn’t mean that they hit "your" jackpot.

4. Most slot machines are set at 85 percent to 95 percent payback.

5. Play the single pay-line machines only. There’s some evidence to suggest they pay the top award more often than the multiple-line kind.

6. A casino can and will deny you a jackpot if they decide that a malfunction caused the win.

7. A change in the machine’s pay back percentage can only be accomplished by physically changing the computer chip inside the machine and there must be a gaming board officer present to witness it. Although, in some states, all the casino has to do is file a written request with the gaming commission.

8. Today’s slot players are the backbone of all casinos and they are babied, pampered, and highly sought after.

9. Push the spin button, pull the handle, or do both at the same time, it makes no difference in the outcome.

10. Most slot players play until they have lost all their money.

11. Nickel slots are usually set at 85 percent to 90 percent payback.

12. Five dollar slots are usually set at 95 percent to 98 percent payback.

13. Never play two or more machines at the same time. The odds are tough enough to beat playing just one, let alone more than one.

14. A player’s card is used by the casino to keep track of your coin in and coin out so they can reward you for your play with comps and cash back.

15. The symbols on the reels of a slot machine are just there for show. Once you hit the spin button, the random number generator has already chosen the result before the reels come to a stop.

16. If you have the time and the patience, sit at a spot that has a clear view of another bank of slot machines, especially a bank that advertises that their machines pay "up to 98 percent," or some other percentage. Watch and record in a notebook which ones seem to pay off more than the others and play those exclusively.

17. Although slot machines may look different, they all work essentially the same way.

18. Money management and discipline are the only tactics that can save you money in the long run.

19. It is more than likely that you will never hit one of those giant jackpots. Very few do. Look for machines that pay the most for the secondary wins.

20. Look for machines that have cherries, double and triple pay symbols.

21. Winning at slots can be as simple as leaving the machine when you are losing, and staying when you are winning.

22. Linked, progressive slot machines have a much lower pay back (80 percent to 85 percent) than non-progressive slot machines.

23. On the slots, you must set your win goals lower and take those small wins and leave, or at least move to another machine.

24. Never leave a machine on a winning streak. Set a losses-in-a-row limit, then move on to a new machine.

25. Your bankroll determines what denomination machine you should play.

26. Slot machines are not fixed to cheat you. They are set to pay out a certain percentage over a long period of time.

27. If you have no discipline, no money management skills, and just can’t stick to those win/loss limits, then you will most likely lose almost every time you play.

28. Today’s modern computer-chip slots could have as many as several billion different combinations on a typical machine.

29. If a casino does have loose machines, they "may" be near the entrance, near the cages, on the ends of aisles, on carousels, or any place where people congregate.

30. Other than casino execs who decide on machine placement, no one working at the casinos know where the loose machines are, or even if there are any.

(Haven’t had enough? Catch the other half of our list next week.)