How to Win at the Slots

Slot machines are strictly games of “chance”, based on the “luck of the draw” and whose outcome varies over one hundred times a second. How is that possible? Unless a gambler is playing a game on a vintage or “retro” slot machine still driven by gears and reels, they will be relying on something called Random Number Generation, or RNG.

In all modern slot machines RNG computer software determines the outcome of every single “pull”. This means that before a gambler sits down at a machine to play, the RNG software is churning out over one hundred numbers each minute. At the fraction of a second it takes for the player to hit or pull the lever to play, the software locks into the correct set of numbers.

While the process of how the numbers chosen are used is a bit complicated, and can best be described using a chart, the end result is a series of signals sent to the reels telling them where to stop. Experts agree that RNG is a safe and effective method of delivering a fair and even chance at winning to every player who plays the game.

While some people believe that there are patterns within the RNG software, most players understand that they cannot even try to develop a strategy using the “brains” of the game. In reality there are no strategies to use when playing any kind of slot machine game. There are, however, some sound bits of advice that players can follow to be sure they walk away with their profits in hand.

The first suggestion is to work with a budget. Slot machines are addictive to even the most self-controlled people, so set aside a limited pool of funds and stick with it.

A second suggestion is to investigate exactly how “tight” or “loose” any casino’s slot machines actually are. This means finding out what their payback percentage is; information that can usually be found printed on each machine. Payback amounts are the percentage of bets that a casino returns to their players, taken as an average. Most casinos are obliged to set machines at nothing less than seventy five percent payback to a player. However, the gambling industry is very competitive and most casinos set their machines significantly higher as a way of keeping clientele.

While a published payback percentage is not a guaranteed figure to rely on, it can help a player determine if they are willing to risk the averages. For example, a player who wagers twenty five cents on a spin, which is about six hundred “pulls” per hour, is risking one hundred and fifty dollars within that hour. If they choose a “tight” machine set at eighty percent payback they are risking about thirty dollars, but if they go with a “loose” machine at ninety eight percent they are, theoretically, risking about three dollars per hour.

Once a player picks a machine, and determines their bankroll, they should play for a short while and then examine their situation. If a player is “up” and has some winnings, these should be removed from active play. If a player is down, it may be time to consider another machine and begin again.

When playing the newer multi-line slots such as “reel” and “video” slots it is best to work at maximum wagers to win the bigger awards. For example, reel slots usually require a maximum number of coins (at flexible denominations) to be wagered on a spin in order to qualify for the jackpot. For video slots there are usually numerous paylines that must have a wager, and a sound strategy is to place a bet on each payline available. This does not mean wagering hundreds of dollars on every spin, simply making sure that “all bases are covered” with a wager affordable to the player.

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