The popularity of slot machine play is at an all-time high. The games offered by casinos and racinos provide an array of options for slot players to choose from and sometimes confusing strategies to maximize profits. Here are ten tips to insure your quality of entertainment on your next gaming trip.
1. Use Your Players Card
If I could give only one tip to casino players, this would be the one I would pick. Your Player’s Club Card can earn you comps for food, lodging and shows. Some casinos even offer cash back for your play. When you do not use the card, you are essentially depriving yourself of valuable incentives the casino is giving back to the players. Some slot players think that using their slot cards affect the way a machine pays out. This is a myth and a very expensive mistake for those who believe it.

2. Read the Pay Tables
Looking at the pay table of the machine can help you judge the frequency that the machine returns a winner. If you see there are a lot of combinations that return smaller wins, then this machine will usually have a larger hit frequency than one that has fewer winning combinations that pay back larger wins. Some players like a lot of smaller wins more often.

3. Play Full-Coin in Progressive Machines.
Progressive machines offer large jackpots. The big progressive jackpot is made by taking a percentage of all the money played into the machine. You can only win the progressive jackpot if you are playing the maximum number of coins. Don’t play these machines if you don’t plan to do this.

4. Slot Candles
The lights on the top of the machines are called candles. The bottom light is colored, and that color can tell you the denomination of the machine. In most cases, the candles on dollar machines are blue, quarters are yellow and nickel machines are red.

5. Lock Up a Profit
If you hit a jackpot, make sure that you “lock up” a profit. Take your initial playing stakes and a little profit and set it aside. Then play with a small percentage of your winnings. There is nothing worse than the feeling of being a winner and then giving back all your winnings to the casino. I recommend taking a little break after hitting a jackpot. Savor the win and enjoy that feeling.

6. Keep a Log
If you hit a jackpot over $1,200, you will be given a W2-G and your winnings will be reported to the IRS. If you keep an accurate gaming log, you can use your losses to offset your winnings come tax time.

7. Slow Down
Slow down when you are playing slot machines. There are no prizes for the player hitting the spin button the fastest. You will lose less money if you play slower. Don’t play more than one machine at a time. Playing more than one machine just exposes you more to the house edge. In the long run you will just lose your money faster.

8. Manage your Money
Never bring money to the casino that you need for other expenses. If you can’t afford to lose it, then you shouldn’t be playing with it in the casino. Break your casino bankroll down into several playing sessions. Don’t risk it all in one playing session. Take a break between sessions.

9. Cashing Out
When you are done playing, make sure that you take all your coins from the tray or your voucher ticket from the machine. Do this right away before you collect your personal belongings. Go directly to the cage. Don’t walk around with a bucket of coins. They can be spilled or lost if you set them down. If you are playing a coinless machine that pays you with a paper voucher, make sure you cash it in. Some of these have an expiration date, making them worthless after a certain period.

10. Don’t Purchase Slot Systems
Slot systems that claim they can show you which machine is ready to hit are a scam. The Random Number Generator determines the winning combinations of the machine. There is no way to determine if a machine is “due” to hit.

Until next time, remember: “Luck comes and goes…Knowledge Stays Forever!”

By: Bill Burton

Bill Burton is a columnist for a few gambling outlets and is also an instructor for Golden Touch Craps: www.thecrapsclub.com.