If you love to play slots at your casino of choice, then you love the excitement that precedes that first pull. You spot one of your favorite machines, it’s open and calling you to join in. You rush to it like a long lost friend. But in the rush to play, many players forget to be mindful of certain important events that precede that play – there are things you need to check before that first push of the button. So many slot players get caught up in the excitement of playing, the anticipation of winning or even the disappointment of a losing session, that they forget the following checklist before they play. Forgetting any one of the following items could cost you money and/or comps. Remember this Pre-Play Checklist
1. Get a Rewards Card
It’s free. It reduces the casino edge by earning comps on dining, shows, and giveaways. That free hotel room might not feel free with losses, but if you’re going to play, get something for it, no matter how little you may play. And, always get two cards. How many times do you lose your card or forget it in a machine? Lots! Before you regret sitting at that favorite machine and finding your card is missing, always ask for more than one card at the rewards desk.
2. Check the Game Denomination
Have you ever played a penny slot machine, only to realize it was a dollar, not a penny? It happens when slot and video poker players mistake the basic denomination of the machine. Be sure you’re spending the correct amount you intend for your bankroll. Some machines have denomination options, like nickel, quarter, or dollar video poker. Be careful on these machines after you have chosen which game to play – you still may have to check and choose the correct denomination for your play.
3. Check Your Players Card
If I only had a dollar for every time I made a player aware that their players card needed to be re-inserted, I could double my bankroll. Before you play, insert your card and wait to see that it registers your name. If it starts blinking, take it out completely and try it again. Some casinos, like Mohegan Sun, only process one event at a time. If you love to put in your money or TITO at the same time as the card, the card usually doesn’t register. Take your time and insert one, then the other.
By the way, don’t be a “conspiracy Charlie” (or Charlene) concerning what the card does. It is not connected to changes in denomination, it doesn’t change payoff percentage because “it knows you won” and it doesn’t hold back jackpots. Don’t play without your Card, it’s the only way you can earn comps these days with the new casino players clubs. Most casinos only comp you only according to the playing data registered by your card.
4. Be Sure Your Money or TITO Ticket registers in the Machine
Sometimes in your rush, you have trouble with your money or your ticket. One trick is to use a machine next to you if you have trouble. Some slots just have trouble reading what you add. Use that machine to get a fresh TITO Ticket.
5. One Last Check – Money in, players card registering, the denomination is correct. Ready to go.
6. Leaving the Machine
Before you leave that machine, win or lose, follow these easy quick Habits for Leaving the Machine. This habit will stop leaving your players cards in the machine as well as your money. Yes, it does happen! And there are people in the casino watching for just that mistake. It only takes a moment with you looking the other way to happen someone snatch your ticket without you noticing. It happened to me one morning at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, it can happen to you, too.
When cashing out, get in the following habit:
- Push cash out button.
- Right hand takes card
- Left hand positioned at TITO dispenser.
- Check for both in hand before leaving.
Remember, CARD & TICKET, CARD & TICKET.
Now, go get that jackpot.