Casino Gambling Guide

Slot strategy

The optimal strategy for playing slots is *not* to play them. Slots offer payback percentages that are much lower than offered by games like video poker or blackjack. Nowadays slots account for 60 to 70 percent of the gross revenue of a typical casino, so a lot of people aren't practicing this optimal strategy. Of course the reason for this is the infinitely small chance of hitting that one big jackpot that will change your life.

Tip: Except for Boss Media all casino software providers represented on our site offer many high quality slots. Microgaming has the largest selection of regular and progressive slots. Playtech and Cryptologic offer less games, but what they offer is pretty good too.

Slot strategy tips

If you do choose to play slots, despite our advice not to, we have compiled a few tips that can help you to minimize your losses:

More competition leads to lower prices. This implicates you will find the highest slot payback percentages in places with the fiercest competition. For example, the average paybacks in Las Vegas are 95% compared to 91% in Atlantic City. Another example is the relatively low payback percentage of airport slot machines. An airport isn't interested in repeat business, and this will result in lower payback percentages.

Play certified or advertised slot machines if you can find them. If it is near to impossible to figure out the payback percentage of a particular slot, you must expect the worse, i.e. a very low payback percentage. Shop around for the machines with the highest payback percentages.

Generally speaking, slot machines that accept higher denominations will offer higher payback percentages. Keep in mind though that you will lose more money per hour in absolute terms on these machines.

Most slot machines have a non proportional payout table, meaning that the payback percentage increases when you increase the number of coins you bet. If your bankroll can take it you are advised to always bet max coins. If not play max coins on a machine that accept lower denominations.

Limit your bankroll to a predetermined amount and keep those credit cards at home. When you reach your limit cash out the remainder of your balance and walk away from the machine.

Frequently jackpots are paid out by attendants. If you hit such a jackpot stop playing and only continue after the attendant paid you the jackpot.

Join the slot club and never play without your slot club card. Take advantage of all the comps and promotions you can get.

Payback percentage and hit frequency

Don't compare slot machines solely on the basis of payback percentages. Two slot machines that offer the same payback percentage can behave very differently, depending on the hit frequency that is programmed into the software. Generally speaking, a slot machine with a high hit frequency pays out small prizes more often and offers a relatively low jackpot, than a slot machine with a low hit frequency, which pays out small prizes less frequently but offers a relatively high jackpot. Progressive slot machines often have a low hit frequency, compared to flat top slot machines. It might be a good idea to choose a slot machine to play based on your risk tolerance, your bankroll and the amount of time you want to play. If you can tolerate high risks and have a large bankroll, you should consider playing low hit frequency progressive slot machines. If you don't tolerate high risks and want to play longer, you should consider playing high hit frequency flat top slot machines. The (guesstimated) relationship between the prizes you can win and the hit frequency is summarized in the diagram below.

slot diagram


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