About the author:
Paul Diamond Blow is a musician, spoken word artist, punk rock star, kung fu master, and part time Space Commander living in Seattle, Washington. Blow is a frequent contributor to the Seattle Sinner magazine and performs regularly in the Pacific Northwest rock club circuit. His book Tales From Outer Space is out now.
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How to win BIG on casino slots
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Casino Club Cards: how to use them to earn cash and other benefits
The Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards (and how to use them)
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How to Win at Casino Slots
(or at Least Have a Good Time Playing Them)
Tips on How to Maximize Your Casino Slot Game Experience, Have Fun, and Maybe Even Win!
by Paul Diamond Blow
First off, I have to admit... the title of this article is a little misleading because quite frankly there are NO 100% GUARANTEED tips for winning on casino slot machines. While it is possible --and not at all uncommon -- to win money at casino slots, the slots games are programmed to make money for the casino, not you. On average, a casino slot game will pay out roughly 90%... that means over time it will pay out 90 cents for every dollar put in the game. That does NOT mean you will get back 90 cents for every dollar you put in every time, but over a period of time that is about what you can expect. Of course, sometimes you may win big, sometimes you may lose big, most times you may just win a few bucks, lose a few bucks, or break even. But, I do have several tips on how to HAVE FUN playing casino slots games and avoid leaving the casino with an empty wallet.
1) Look at slot games as entertainment: Rule number one -- You should not go into a casino expecting to win money... you should go in expecting to spend a bit of money and have fun. Slot games these days are indeed fun to play what with the flashing lights, sound effects, bonus rounds, and the thrill of winning the larger payouts. You should look at slot games as entertainment and if you do win money that is an added bonus. For instance, if you play slot games for three hours and lose $20, you should look at it as having spent $20 for three hours of fun, just as if you went to a movie you would spend $20 on the ticket and some popcorn and a drink, or if you went into a video arcade and spent $20 playing the latest Star Wars games. Slot games are supposed to be fun, and if you are not having fun playing them then it's time to go home or avoid playing them in the first place.
2. Know your limit: When playing casino slot games, you should have a limit of how much you are willing to spend and can afford to spend on the games. Personally, my budget for an evening or afternoon at the casino is $50. Most players would say that's a very low budget, but I can afford to spend $50 on a few hours of gaming and not feel bad about it. If I lost $400 in an evening I would definitely feel like a turd. I personally stick with the penny slot games and I usually bet one penny per line. If a game has 15 total lines I bet 15 cents a spin. If it has 40 lines available, I may bet 40 cents a spin. Some people will say that you cannot win big on slot games unless you bet the maximum (on some penny slots games that can be up to $5 a spin) but I tell you what... with my lower bets I do NOT lose big and I have actually had several good nights when I went home ahead $50-150 dollars with those 20-40 cent spins. On the other hand, while people who bet the maximum credits on every spin may win big sometimes, more often than not they will LOSE big. Don't let the lure of the jackpot make you bet more than you can afford, that is a losing proposition. And I'll tell you one more thing: the times that I do go into the casino betting like a high roller on the slots are the times I lose $200 and I go home feeling like a turd.
3) Know your game: It's much more fun playing a casino slot game when you know how the particular game you are on is played. Check out the "payouts" menu so you can see how much different wins will pay and how the bonus rounds work. Also, If you bet smaller amounts --like I do -- you should AVOID playing "progressive" slot games. The progressive slot games are the ones where each bet made puts a small amount of the bet toward the jackpot, and in most cases you can only win the jackpot if you are betting maximum credits on the game. Progressive games generally pay out a smaller percentage than regular slots, since they have the jackpots.
You should also make sure a game is one you can afford to play before you put your money into it. There are penny slot games, nickel slot games, 25 cent games, and $1.00 slot games. I myself stick with the penny slot games, and I make sure that it's not a machine with a minimum bet of, say, 100 credits -- there are games like that, so check out the game carefully before you put your money into it.
4) Know when to quit: Knowing when to quit can mean the difference between going home a winner and going home a loser. The best time to quit is when you are NO LONGER HAVING FUN.... if you find yourself blindly pushing the buttons, staring at the screen and not enjoying yourself it is time to pack up and go home. If you have lost your budgeted amount, it is time to go home. Face it... some nights you will just have to say, "The games aren't being kind to me, this is not my night." and get the heck out of the casino before you lose all your money. On the other hand, let's say you've been playing the slots for a couple hours and have won some nice bonus rounds, finding yourself ahead $60 or so. Do you say, "I've had my fun, it's time to go home while I'm ahead!" or do you say, "I'm not done yet... I gotta win $100 before I leave." Indeed, if you stick around you MAY win some more money, but more often than not you will probably lose most or maybe even all of the money you've won.
5) Avoid the losing mentality: The losing mentality is what I call it when you have been playing the slot games for several hours and have lost your budgeted amount but keep playing hoping to win back the money you've lost. You may find yourself increasing your bets hoping for "one good spin" and you are probably not having fun anymore, you are just pushing buttons, staring at the game screen, trying to win back your money. You may even say to yourself, "I'm not leaving until all my money is gone." This is the losing mentality, and if you find yourself in this situation you have lost control and need to pack it up and leave. The sad part of the losing mentality is that you will KNOW you should pack up and leave but will not be able to. This has happened to me a couple times when I was more inexperienced in the ways of the slots, and this is why you should follow rule number four and know when to quit before you fall into the losing mentality.