Have you wondered why it seems harder to win at your favorite casino?
We all know that table games are in a state of flux, with lower payouts and more side bets – all increasing the house edge. We’ve seen blackjack payouts diminished quickly within the last two years with the advent of 6:5 payouts instead of the traditional 3:2. We’ve seen lower times odds in craps. More “carnival” table games continue to be added to the casino floor like 3 & 4-card poker, Let it Ride, and BlackJack Switch – all table games with high infrequent payouts, volatile side bets, and a much higher increase to the casino’s edge as compared to traditional games like baccarat & blackjack.
Let’s face it, U.S. casinos are making it tougher for players to win at the slot machines as well. The portion of slot wagers kept by casinos rose to 7.7 percent last year from 7.25 percent in 2007, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers reported. So, it’s no surprise that the total amount bet on the machines fell to $291 billion from a peak of $355 billion over that span. “Slots have been tightening slowly over time,” Marcus Prater, executive director of the association, said in an interview. “There is a theory out there that when people have a bad experience, they’re not as likely to come back.”
Listen, casino management still doesn’t get it. The fact is that people will show up if they feel they have a chance, some hope, of playing a while – or even winning.
I understand that the most entertaining slots may be the ones that also don’t pay well. If you are willing to play them with that understanding, then, go for it. But if you want a better chance to win and a better chance to play longer on video slots, here’s three tips to helping you.
DISCLAIMER: The following information is not going to tell you how to win at slots. Nobody can tell you that. If someone tells you they are a professional slots player, or that they have a sure way to win at slot machines, RUN – RUN FAR. The Random Number Generator (RNG) is made to pay a certain percentage for the casino’s win over the long term. No one knows what machine pays what percentage, except the company that sold it and the casino who bought or leased it. So, the following are just suggestions to consider, THAT’S ALL.
To understand the Random Number Generator, try reading these previous posts:
Suggestion #1 – Be wary of the “Celebrity” or “Themed” slot machines. These games are referred to as “participation games.” When a casino installs a participation game, they do not buy the machine. The machine remains the property of the manufacturer, and the casino and manufacturer share in the revenue that the game produces. However, a fee to license that brand – for example, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Jackson, Big Bang theory, Batman – which is all figured into the revenue share. So, because of licensing fees, leasing fees, and revenue share, expect the payout percentage to be lower than a traditional slot. Just enjoy it for the entertainment it is, and if you win, so much the better.
Suggestion #2 – Know your progressive. Many slot machines include progressive wins – but not all progressives are alike. Be knowledgeable of the differences.
- “Pay for Play” Progressive – these progressives usually are only eligible for the taking when playing Max Bet.
A good example is Quick Hit machines. If you don’t play max on these machines you are not eligible for the progressives, which can get hefty, thus diminishing your total payout percentage – whatever that may be. The progressive is figured into the total payout percentage. Play without Max Bet, and you’re throwing away more money to the house. Always check what denomination and how much Max Bet is before playing. “Quick Hit machines can range on a penny machine from $1.50 to to $4.00.
- “Pay Within” Progressive – these payout on any bet, anytime withing a certain amount accrued.
For example, Konami slots often have 2-4 different progressives, that will pay between $25 – $50 (a mini progressive) at any given time. Keep in mind that the increase of the progressive is incredibly small. One Las Vegas trip I played a fun slot called Rumble, Rumble “SweetZone” by Ainsworth at Cosmopolitan. At $1 a play, my wife and I figured out $5 in made the progressive meter increase one cent – $5 increased ONE CENT! So, be careful – seeing a progressive like this close to its payout could still mean a lot of playing (and money) ahead.
- “Mega-Progressive” – these are those that are connected to a few others, or even regionally like MEGABUCKS.
Keep in mind that to payoff such a large progressive, the payout percentage that you hear sucking the money out of your bankroll will be low. It has to be to be able to payoff the winner of such a high payoff. These usually require a high Max Bet.
Suggestion #3 – The less Bells and whistles, the higher the payout. Again, not necessarily, you don’t really know, you can’t tell, yaddy yadda yadda. But if the casino doesn’t have to pay other interests such as progressives, themes, lease agreements, additional set up, special lighting, etc, it might encourage your bankroll to last longer.
Sometimes, an old Cashman slot by Aristocrat is just as fun. My favorite – “Betting Zoo.”
Now, go out there and hit a jackpot.