Slots Bankroll Management

Best Bets at the Slots

When we think of casinos, slots are often the first thing that comes to mind. After all, they command the majority of space in live casinos and their bright lights and endless varieties always keep us entertained. Despite some of the highest house edges of any casino game, their easy nature and potential for big jackpots make slots very popular.

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In contrast to other casino games, you don’t choose from a variety of different bets. Rather, you pick out a slot machine—an often difficult task due to the countless options. Once you’re seated at a machine, it’s all up to lady luck. You simply press a button or pull down a handle and wait to see if you are a winner. There is absolutely no skill involved and there is no way to beat slots in the long term. Machine selection and hunting down additional VIP incentives are both necessary in order to maximize your enjoyment as well as give your bankroll its best chance of survival.

When you enter a brick and mortar casino or browse offerings at an online casino, you will encounter several different types of machines. Every slot machine today is a small computer equipped with a random number generator which determines the outcome. Each machine is programmed to pay back a certain percentage over the long run. Simply subtract this “payback percentage” from 100% to calculate the house edge. (A 5% house edge would be reported as a 95% payback percentage.) The casinos won’t reveal the exact number for your particular machine, however; they instead list the percentage for a row or group of slots. In other words, you won’t know the exact house edge you are facing when you make your bets.

There are many, many different types to choose from. Some slot machines are known as “flat tops” and offer the same maximum payout amount regardless of the money going into them. Others, known as progressive jackpot machines, keep increasing their maximum payout with every non-jackpot spin. The prize keeps growing until a player hits a jackpot, and usually all the machines in the same area will be linked together.

Slots Smart Bets

Machine Selection – Since there are no different bets to choose from and you won’t know the exact house edge of the machine you are playing, you might think there is no way to make a smart slots bet. Even though the odds are stacked against you, however, you can still find a machine that suits your own game preferences.

First, be sure to hunt around for the lowest advertised payback percentages before you sit down at a slot machine. Next, you will find that you usually face a tradeoff between house edge and maximum jackpot. The house edge can be as low as about 2% on a basic flat top machine (98% payback percentage), but the fixed maximum payouts will be relatively small. On the other hand, a progressive slot machine might have a house edge of up to 15% but gives you a shot at a massive jackpot that could change your life. On the flat top machine you will generally win more frequently, which is a plus for many players, but you sacrifice the potential for a huge jackpot. Before you decide on a slot machine, you need to evaluate your own personal preferences and determine if you are the type of player who is hoping to play for a lot of small wins or one who is willing to accept higher risk for the chance at an incredible payday.

Progressive Jackpot Strategy – As is the case with all other progressive jackpots, smart slots players can look out for ones that have reached a particularly high level. This is the only way slots players can experience a positive expectation and eliminate the house edge altogether. Be aware, however, that you will only encounter this situation on rare occasions and even when you do, there is no guarantee that you will win anything. Remember that progressive slot machines pay out much less frequently than flat top machines. The odds of hitting that big jackpot are still exactly the same; the prize pool has only been increased.

Worst Slot Bets

Believing Common Slot Myths  – There is no shortage of slot advice out there; however, the vast majority of it is simply not true. Over time, slot myths have spread and many of them are believed by a high percentage of players. Despite what they might say, don’t ever believe that certain slot machines can be “hot” or “cold;” the computer at work inside the machine has no idea what has happened on previous spins and will never be “due” for a jackpot. Other tips like considering the location of the machine or the manner in which you make your spin are also completely false.

Building your Slots Bankroll

The bankroll you will need for slots depends on the type of machine you play. If you play flat top machines, for example, you will typically win more frequently for modest payouts. Thus, you can get away with a smaller bankroll. If you play big jackpot progressive machines, however, you may go long stretches without winning anything, so you need to have more money with you for your slots play.

Slot machines have some of the highest house edges in the casino, so you will never be able to win in the long term. Every spin you make means additional time your bankroll is exposed to this inherent disadvantage, so you need to seek out other ways to find value. Fortunately, you will be able to find many additional incentives. Most casinos, both online and live, offer bonuses, comps, VIP offers, and special promotions to slots players. With these factors on your side, you can cut down on the casino advantage and give yourself your best opportunity to find value.