Slot machine strategy – 7 tips for winning at slot machines

Slot machines use a computer program called a random number generator (RNG) to continuously generate numbers. These numbers determine when each reel stops after you spin the reels.

An important fact to remember is that this process is entirely random and there is no way to predict what will happen on any given spin. Another important fact to remember is that each roll rotation is an independent event. This means that the results of previous turns have NO effect on the results of the next turn.

The final fact to keep in mind is that the random number generators are programmed in such a way that the casino has an insurmountable mathematical advantage. If you play long enough, the casino will win, because that is how the game is set up. This does not mean that you cannot win in the short term, but it has nothing to do with the choice of hot or cold machines.

Slot machine strategies that don’t work

Here are some of the strategies that are presented as winning techniques on the Internet. Some of them are obviously ridiculous, while others seem to make sense but collapse when examined with cold, hard logic.

The zig zag system is one of my favourite absurd strategies. The idea is that you look at the coils of the different machines to try to find a pattern. For example, you want to find a « V » or « X » shape drawn by a particular symbol. The idea is that such a machine is ready to bear fruit quickly.

Money management systems are often presented as a way to make sure you are a winner, but the reality is quite different. The idea behind money management is that you set yourself profit targets and a loss limit. The goal is to limit the amount of money you lose when the machines are cold, and to stop while you are ahead when the machines are hot.

Of course, we understand that slot machines don’t really heat or cool, so in the long run, any type of money management programme is pointless.

Often, money management techniques are combined with methods of predicting whether a slot machine game is hot or cold. Author John Patrick has published an entire book of strange « strategies » based on this combination.

One of them is called the « straight 60 » strategy. The idea is that you will walk away from the slot machine once you have won or lost 60% of your funds. The other stipulation of this system is that once you have made 9 naked draws, you will walk away as well. (A « naked pull » is a draw in which you win absolutely nothing on that round).

So, for example, let’s say you start with a 25 Euro session box. You will play until you have done one of the following:

  • You have lost 15 Euro.
  • Won 15 Euro.
  • Lost on 9 consecutive rounds.

Honestly, it’s a pretty simple system, and it’s easy to remember and put into practice. But the idea that it will help you win more money and/or lose less is ridiculous. Nothing in the system changes the odds in your favour.

Another system in the same book is called the « play and run » system. The idea behind this system is that you don’t spend more than 5 or 10 minutes at each slot game, and then you walk away with your winnings. Patrick suggests that you divide your money into 5 or 10 sessions of 5 or 10 minutes each. Like all of his systems, you give up on any machine when you have made 9 naked draws.

It is disconcerting to think that this strategy can help you make more money playing slot machines.

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Tips for slot machines

Now that we’ve discussed some of the strategies of slot machine games that don’t work, let’s take a look at some concrete slot machine tips that could make a difference for your money. These tips are all based on the reality of how these games work.

Tip 1 – Play for fun

Play for fun. The house has a mathematical advantage, and you can’t beat it. So you have to go to your gambling sessions expecting to lose, but hoping to win every now and then. Your goal should be to have fun while you’re at it.


Tip 2 – Join the VIP Club

Join the Slot Machine Club. Most casinos offer loyalty bonuses, discounts and benefits to those who patronize their establishment. They give you a card to swipe through the machine so they know exactly how long you’ve been playing at the casino. They then return a tiny percentage (something like 0.1% or 0.2%) to you in the form of discounts on: food, lodging, entertainment, etc. etc.

A legend about slot machines that you should ignore is that slots pay less when you play with your card inserted into the machine. This is simply absurd. We discussed earlier how the random number generator works.


Tip 3 – Avoid progressive jackpots

Forget about progressives unless you are determined to earn a life-changing amount. The potential rewards of progressive slots are very high, so they pay out less often. They have to do this in order to be able to afford the rare jackpot. For the casual gambler, playing on a machine with a lower jackpot offers more chances to win, even if the winnings are smaller.

On the other hand, if you are determined to win a million dollars, stay in the race for progressive wins. Understand that you probably won’t change your life with a big slot jackpot. The odds are similar to winning the lottery.


Tip 4 – Play what you lose

Don’t play with rent money. It should be common sense, but if you are gambling with money you cannot afford to lose, then you have a problem and you should seek professional help of some kind.


Tip 5 – Try other casino games

Try video poker. This type of game is similar to slot games, but it allows you to get better payout percentages and gives you the chance to use a strategy to increase your chances. Video poker is not for everyone, but I know many slot machine players who have made the switch once they have tried it.


Tip 6 – Take your time

Slow down. Some slot machine players spin 600 revolutions per hour or more. But keep that in mind. The more action you bring to the casino, the more opportunities the house has to reduce your capital. So slow down. Talk to the players next to you. Sip your drink between games. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of money you put on the table every hour will make your money last longer.


Tip 7 – Don’t play everywhere

Do not play slot machines at the airport. They are the worst games in town, no matter where you go. Wait until you arrive at the casino to play the slots, you will increase your chances of winning.

Our articles on slot machines written by experts.
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