Winning at Slots machines

For a more complicated example, featuring sticky wilds in the bonus, please try my Vamos a Las Vegas slot machine.

Odds

The following table shows the casino win for Clark County Nevada (where Las Vegas is) for all slots for calendar year 2012. They define "slot" as any electronic game, including video poker and video keno. I've found video keno to be about equally as tight as reeled slots, but video poker has a much higher return. So, the return for reeled slots should be higher than these figures.

Clark County Slot Win 2012

.01.05.25
Denomination Casino Win (pct)
Denomination
$0.01 10.77%
$0.05 5.96%
$0.25 5.74%
$1.00 5.64%
$5.00 5.51%
$25.00 3.97%
Denomination
Total 6.58%

Source: Nevada Gaming Control Board, (PDF, see page 6).

Most players play penny video slots. Based on past research, I find the house edge on those to usually be set from 6% to 15%. In general, the nicer the casino, the tighter the slots.

Advice

While there is no skill to playing slots, there is some skill in selecting which machine to play and ways you can maximize your return. What follows is my advice, if you must play slots at all.

  • Always use a player card. Slots may be a lousy bet, but the casinos treat slot players very well. A slot player will probably get comped better than a 0 blackjack player. Of course, don't play for the reason of getting comps. You'll give them a lot more than they'll give you.
  • The simpler the game, the better the odds. The fancy games with big signs and video screens tend to not pay as well as the simple games. However, slot players always tell me the fancy games are more fun.
  • The higher the denomination, the better the odds. For that reason, it is better to play one coin per line on a 5-cent game than five coins per line on a 1-cent game.
  • Don't forget to cash out and take your ticket when you leave. It is easy to forget after hitting a jackpot.
  • Try to play slowly and as little as possible to get your fix.
  • In some games there is a skill feature, like Top Dollar. In such games, advice is usually offered, which you should take.

Myths and facts

Just about everything that players believe about slots is untrue. Here are the most common myths and facts.
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Popular Q&A

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Is there a PROVEN way to win at Roulette? | Yahoo Answers

I would say your best odds are to stay away from picking numbers and instead play the even money bets...odd/even, black/red.
It's not as exciting of a win, but the odds are least close to a coin toss. Try using a mini-martingale doubling your bet up to 4 times if you lose.
For example, you bet $5 on black. If you lose, repeat your bet but at $10. If you lose, repeat at $20. If you lose that one, repeat at $40. At any point you win here, you are up $5. If you lose all 4, you are out $75.
Set a win limit of 10-20%. If you buy in at $100, quit when you're up $10-$20. Over the long run, …

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