Tips on Gambling Slot Machines

By R.L. Cultrona
Slot machines, a variety, themes

Casino games can be broken down into two distinct categories: table games and slot machines. Slot machines take up the majority of the casino floor and are responsible for the majority of money a casino makes. Though these machines once were run by mechanical power, the modern age has added digitalization to the mix. Though slot machines may seem confusing, knowing some basic tips about them will help you determine how to play and whether this is the game for you.

How Slot Machines Work

Modern slot machines work by using a random number generator. When the machine is operating, it generates random numbers that correspond to "reel positions." These numbers are generated at a speed of hundreds per second. When you push the "spin" button on a slot machine, it tells the machine to display the reels that correspond to the random number the computer picked at that moment. Pushing the button one-hundredth of a second later would give a different result.

Odds

The odds of winning a jackpot are high. For example, a slot machine that has only three wheels with 30 possible positions on each reel will yield 27,000 different possible results. Usually the major jackpot is only on one of the results, which puts the odds of winning that jackpot at less than one-onehundredth of a percent.

General Tips

If you are not looking to win the mega jackpot, you can minimize your losses. First, remember that machines which have a higher minimum bet have a better overall payout. For your best chance to win something, play the $1 and $5 machines. These will generally (but not always) pay out at a higher percentage than the machines with lower bet minimums. If you can't afford that level, play the highest level you can. Also, as with any casino game, you should only play with what you can afford to lose. Any sign advertising a percentage payback on slots (for example, "98 percent payback!") is technically true, but that is over the entire life of the machine. Many times these machines may give their 98 percent back to one person at one time. The best way to keep your bankroll up with slots is to play the maximum coins possible; though each bet is higher, you will have more chances to win money back. If you find yourself getting annoyed at the game, walk away and do something else. If you are not having fun, you shouldn't play the game.

About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.