Slot Machine Strategy
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Slot machines today
Slot machines used to be mechanical devices, but now they're computerized. Here's the difference:
A mechanical slot machine literally has physical reels, which are strips that spin. These reels have a certain number of symbols on them, and the mechanism randomly determines where each reel stops spinning. Calculating odds on this kind of slot machine is easy.
But no one uses mechanical slots anymore. Everyone uses a video slot machine now, which is a computerized simulation of a reel slot machine. The odds are all determined by a computer chip called a random number generator. You'll see that abbreviated as RNG.
Mechanical slot machines were limited to 10 or 20 symbols and 3 to 5 reels. Video slot machines have no such limitations.
Welcome to Slot Machine Strategy
Other websites promise slot machine strategy advice, but few deliver it. Many of them provide money management systems (which don't work), and many more of them provide suggestions for where to play online slot machines. This site is different, because its goal is to actually look at the facts and myths surrounding how to play slot machines and whether or not you can actually play slot machines with a strategy.
Online Casino Slot Machines
Before you try online gambling for money you should learn how online slot machines work. OnlineCasinoSuite.com online casino directory reviews online slots in addition to listings of current online casino slot machine tournaments.
Slot Machine Facts
Before you go any further, you should know that slot machines are one of those casino games which are considered unbeatable. But when a gambling writer or expert claims that a game is unbeatable, they're talking about a long term expectation. Any game can be beaten in the short term.
Unbeatable Casino Games
Unbeatable casino games are games that always have a long term negative expectation, no matter how skilled a player is. Most casino games are unbeatable in most situations. Blackjack can have a positive expectation if you know advantage play techniques like card counting or shuffle tracking, and video poker can have a positive expectation if you find the right pay table and play perfectly.
But games like slots are considered unbeatable because the long term expectation for the game is always negative.
The expected return is just a mathematical way of expressing a probability. If the expected return is over 100%, then it's considered a positive expectation, or +EV bet. If the expected return is exactly 100%, then it's considered an even odds bet. And any expected return less than 100% is considered a negative expectation, or -EV bet.
Expected return is calculated by taking the probability of winning and multiplying it by the amount won compared to the amount wagered. For example, a bet on black in roulette wins 18/38 of the time, or 47.3% of the time. (There are 38 possibilities, and 18 of them can win.)
So over 100 spins, you can "expect" to win 47.3 times and lose the other 52.7 times. 100 + 47.3 -52.7 = 94.6. So your expected return is 94.6%, which is less than 100%, which is a negative expectation bet.
Why a Slot Machine Always Has a Negative Expected Return
Slot machines used to have a specific number of reels (the things that spin) with a specific number of symbols (what the reels land on). Each symbol had an equal chance of coming up on a spin. So calculating the expected return was pretty easy.
First you calculate the chances of hitting the same symbol on all three reels. Assuming that each reel has 10 symbols, the chances of hitting a specific symbol on all three stops is:
1/10 X 1/10 X 1/10 = 1/1000 (You multiple probabilities if you want to calculate the probability of multiple events happening at the same time.)
If the jackpot for that bet paid out at 1000 to 1, you'd have an even odds bet. If you played long enough, you'd break even, because every 1000 spins you'd win once and lose 999 times, and you'd have the same amount of money when it was over.
But slot machine jackpots don't pay out at true odds. You'd be more likely to win a jackpot of 800 to 1 in this situation, which means for every 1000 spins, you'd lose 999 times, and when you won, you'd only win 800 credits. The other 200 credits would be won by the casino.
That's why slot machines have a negative expectation. They don't use actual mechanical reels anymore, but each symbols still has a probability of coming up on each spin, and the payouts are still calculated in such a way that the casino has the edge over the player, every single time.
So How Do You Play Slot Machines with a Strategy?
No slot machine strategy will change the mathematical edge of the house. The slot machine strategies that we suggest involve maximizing how much enjoyment you get from the game by playing fun machines, belonging to the slot club, and playing maximum coin when available. And if you're a thoughtful type, we also recommend learning to play video poker.
Why I love slot machines
The first time I ever went to Vegas, I stuck with the table games, mostly roulette, with a little blackjack thrown in just because I used to play it with my mom.
It took me several trips before I ever gave slot machines a try. I still play table games, but slot machines are now my favorite game to play.
I like a lot of things about slot machines. The colors, the lights, the excitement...
People talk about the camaraderie and adrenaline at the craps table, and that's all well and good, but get a bunch of slot machine players around a bank of progressive slot machines, and you'll see the same kind of excitement. Without having to understand the many bets and etiquette rules.
I love slot machines because they're fun, they're easy, and I can control how much I socialize with the other players. No other casino game offers me the same kind of freedom.
Heck, even free slot machines can be fun, and you can't even win money playing them.
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