Picture yourself dropping a coin into a slot machine and winning the “big one.” That may be most people's dream, but it rarely happens. For example, most casinos set their slot machines to pay out only 83-to-99 percent of the money they take in. Play at a gas station, bus terminal or any other place that has slot machine, and it pays out even less. However, there are ways that you can increase your odds.
Convert your bankroll to coins or tokens and play only one round, then quit. Presumably, you have won some money along the way. You may even win a jackpot during that round. If the slot machine you are playing begins paying more than average and you have more money than the original bankroll, play the slot machine a second time, but limit your exposure to the original amount of your bankroll. You'll be taking an undue risk if you play the same machine a third time.
Play a slot machine until you have about 50 percent of your starting amount. Count your winnings, and if those winning combined with half of your bankroll exceeds your total bankroll, continue playing the slot machine until you've spent the second half of your bankroll on the same machine. On the other hand, if you tally your winnings with the remaining half of your bankroll and that equals less than the amount of your bankroll, drop down to the amount you bet and play half the remainder of your bankroll. Once you have finished, add you winnings to the one quarter that's left of your bankroll. If it is more than the original bankroll, move up to the next level of betting. If it is less, drop down to the next lowest bet. This method is certainly not guaranteed to make you rich, but you have lengthened your time betting on the slots, and you have not gone over your limit.
Play 5 percent of your bankroll on each bet. For instance, let's say your bankroll is $500. Using this system, that means that you will bet $25 the first time. A $5 slot machine usually takes five coins or tokens. Should you win, go to a higher-value machine and bet 5 percent of the new total. Should you lose, drop down to four tokens or coins, then three, then two, then one. After five losing bets, stop playing. Also, stop playing when you have bet about 50 percent of your bankroll.
Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.