Everything the player does, is to simply pull the lever or press the button, waiting for the outcome to be win or lose. Howver, there are ways to optimize the game. Using various strategies, you can increase your winnings.
The player should be constantly searching for ways to improve the game by choosing a better casino or slot machine. The right money management can help the player avoid risks and have fun at the same time.
Choosing the right casino area
Just like any other business, casinos compete with each other for gaining more popularity amongst players. They often offer different payment ratios. This is essential to comprehend, because the player can use it as a leverage.
Some casino operators might prefer small-time players and give them a bigger ratio, while others could be trying to attract average or big players, so they work on that aim. However, due to geographical limitations, the player is not necessarily able to visit the casino with the most appropriate ratios for them. Statistics show that casinos usually strive for attracting bigger players.
Typically, casinos tend to award players with bigger coins, because they would generate more income Also, there is a minimum RTP (return to player rate) or other requirements you simply have to comply to. For instance, casinos in some countries are required to return at least a certain percentage to the slot players and slot machines with a coin value that is too high, are forbidden. It is always a good idea to get as much information as possible about the casino before deciding to visit it.
What to avoid?
On the other hand, it is always a bad idea to play slots where they are not a primary business, including locations, such as airports, bars, gas stations and so on. People visiting them intend to do something else. They are not coming exclusively for playing slots and frequently, the ratio offered by these slot machines is a lot lower in comparison with the casino ones.
This doesn’t automatically mean that all casino slot machines are a good choice. Avoid the one-armed bandits near strange places like bathrooms and buffets. They are often set with lower ratios, because the players will use them for a limited amount of time before returning to the main machines.
The “loose” slots (or machines with higher RTPs) are usually located in visible spots, because casino operators want to attract as much attention as possible to them and encourage people around to play.
What to do when you are in a new casino?
If you visiting a casino for the first time, we advise you to find someone local or a person with more experience than you in a certain casino. You have to observe their actions, the machines they play with and the ones they avoid. For example, if you notice that most local players avoid certain slots, then they might know something about these machines that you don’t. Practically, you can try to mimic their actions until you become more familiar with the casino in particular.
Choosing the right amount
There are different values of slot machines in a typical casino. Some one-armed bandits allow the player to bet one to five coins per spin, but there are others for 100 coins or above. Modern casinos offer a prevailing number of machines with a variety of values. Although the slots with higher values might have better payment ratios, it is important to choose a value, according to your funds. Rule number one of gambling is not to bet an amount you cannot afford losing.
What is RTP in casino terminology?
It is not a wise idea to move to a greater value only because the RTP there is higher. For example, if you are playing a machine for 1 EUR with 1% RTP, there is no point switching it with a 5 EUR machine with 96% RTP (Return to Player rate). If your bank account cannot support you playing a 5 EUR game, just hold yourself back from it. Let us note that regardless of the denomination chosen, it would be better if you bet the maximum amount allowed. RTP stands for the “Return to Player” won.
Like we mentioned above, it is not always better to bet the machine’s maximum. If the amount chosen by you is 1 EUR and the maximum coins allowed is 5, then you actually bet 5 EUR per spin. Keep that in mind when you choose the machine. A reason to bet the maximum amount is that progressive machines only pay you the full, enormous Jackpot when you are playing with the maximum coins.
There are slot machines that have no proportional Jackpots. Let’s say that the Jackpot is 1000 coins when you play with one coin, so you can expect a payment of 2000 coins for a stake of two coins. However, some machines would pay more – even 3000 coins. It is very useful to take a look at the pay table before you start playing.
During a gameplay at non-progressive slots, there are often disparities in the payout when you play with a different number of coins. For example, one coin can pay 400, two – 900, three – 2200 and so forth. Besides, if the machine you play includes “buying the payment”, you either have to bet the maximum or leave it at once.
No penalty machines
Machines using more coins frequently offer a bigger chance to win and it is always better to place your stakes at the allowed maximum. There are some devices, though, that do not give you a penalty for playing with less than the maximum number of credits.
For example, the machine pays a proportional amount for each coin added, which means that it doesn’t award the player for a bet with more credits per spin. A rational way to take advantage of that is to switch to a lesser value. For example, a 25 cent player can easily move to 1 EUR machine and one coin gameplay without making it a financial burden for themselves. Moreover, this surely increases the RTP.
Playing a 25 cent slot machine with its maximum credits, the player always bets more than 1 EUR per spin and moving to a higher value is a good way to increase the chance of a win. It is essential to note that this also applies to slots without penalty for one coin gameplay. Remember that the player doesn’t need to skip a value level. For instance, moving from 25 cents to 5 EUR. On the contrary, this can actually harm your balance.
Hot and cold
Slot machines are coded with a particular chance of winning and each spin is almost random. The spins are not related to each other and the machine doesn’t change the chances to win or lose based on the last few spins. The chances are already installed and they cannot be modified by the player.
In case you are playing slots, which haven’t paid for a while, then you might be dealing with a “cold” machine. The best strategy in a situation like that is to stand up and go to another machine or just take a break of slots for a bit. This is not a trick to improve your chances of a win, but it will cut your losses and most of all, it will help you remain cool and calm. Nobody wants to lose money and this can drive you crazy, which is not the purpose of playing slots.
However, you should never leave a “hot” slot machine for another one once you landed on it. The best you can do is stay right there while the machine is giving you credits. Don’t go, take everything it can offer. Once you recognize that the one-armed bandit is taking the given credits back, you should stop for a little bit, take a rest before picking another machine to play.
If you are sitting at a slot machine, which pays from time to time, and notice that a player leaves a hot one, just grab the opportunity and move there right away. Playing slots, you have to keep trying to be at the machine with the biggest payout, because it is usually the best slot of the entire casino.
Developers code the payout chances. Although these chances are often similar or the same for some machines, they can differ or offer a bigger chance to win. Generally, the player keeps winning and losing over and over again. When this happens, they should be ready to cut their losses in time by simply walking off or maximizing the win by playing the maximum amount of the machine.
Mega progressive jackpots
Let’s dissect the structure of Mega progressive Jackpots in order to make you more aware of winning chances by reviewing their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s assume there are three different Jackpots A, B and C, each one with a 90% payout ratio and the same RTP.
Now suppose there are 20 million EUR in bets and 18 million in payouts. Each game is played by 200 000 players betting 1 EUR per spin for a total of 100 spins. After a total of 20 million EUR in bets is reached, the casino takes its 10% share and returns the rest to the players. The payout ratio of an individual player varies, depending on the Jackpot structure, though.
Jackpot A pays one big win of 16 million EUR to one lucky player and distributes the remaining sum to the rest of the players. Thus, the amount of 2 million EUR is distributed amongst 199 999 players who didn’t hit the Jackpot – 10 EUR per player. In other words, each of them gets about 10 EUR for their bet of 100 EUR, or their RTP is 10%.
Jackpot B pays to 50 lucky players 20 000 EUR and distributes the remaining amount. This structure also includes 1 million EUR for the big winner and 17 million EUR, or 85 EUR per small winner.
Jackpot C does not include big amounts and constantly payouts small wins to players. The sum of 18 million EUR is distributed amongst all the players that have 90 EUR returned for each bet of 100 EUR.
Jackpots A and C are not based on existing Jackpots, since they are quite extreme, as you see. On the other hand, Jackpot B is pretty balanced and realistic. Jackpot A offers an enormous win for only one player and terrible return to all the others, which would turn most people off after playing for an hour or two. Jackpot C is not a huge Jackpot, which wouldn’t make it very popular, since a lot of the players are after big wins. However, we can say that the RTP ratio is good.
By the way, example B is similar to the big Jackpots currently available at slot machines, because the payout rate is acceptable. It wouldn’t chase the players away and there is a chance for big win. As a whole, progressive slot machines offer lower RTP ratios at the expense of the chance to make a gigantic break.
Advantages and disadvantages of progressive machines
We mentioned above that progressive slots pay less than the usual ones. They also give a chance to hit a lot bigger wins, which can settle the player for life. Although the chance to hit the Jackpot is kind of slim, it is still attractive to potential players.
Note that you have to make sure you checked out all the progressive Jackpots the casino has to offer if you decide to play a progressive slot machine. Frequently, identical machines offer different Jackpot sums and you need to always strive for the higher one.
Not all slots in a certain casino have the same RTP. The payout ratio is set by the manufacturer, together with what the casino operator wants. It is not unusual for a casino to offer machines paying more mixed with others with a smaller return.
However, not too many people know the payout ratios of slot machines in the casino, because the manager of slots organizes the locations of slot machines, banks and carousels in order to make the most profit.
There are certain common rules and calculations that suggest where the machines paying the most might be, but the only sure way to know is to observe.
You have to figure out what exactly is the “loser machine” doing, how it serves the casino. Apart from the fact that it generates wins, the main purpose of such a slot is to attract players who would devote hours of their time in front of a low payout rate machine.
The casino often places the loser machine next to a tighter or average in payout one-armed bandit. Non-stop wins make people euphoric, which really draws the attentions of other players around the winning machine.
Generally, loose machines are in visible spots where the players can sit comfortably for a long time. These places are surrounded by other slot machines or a slot carousel. They are preferable for loose slots, because they get ton of attention. So basically higher payout ratio slots are placed strategically, so that they could constantly attract new players.
Tighter machines tend to be located at places where players don’t hang out for too long or where it is harder to attract new players. For instance, slots in toilets and buffet often have the lowest payout ratios, because it is not expected from the players to stay there more than a minute or two.
Slot machines facing open aisles are often set with a tighter payout ratio, because serious players are not comfortable playing hours and hours on end when there are always people passing by next to them. These slots can attract people intending to pass the time or some that are not bothered by a passerby.
Additionally, slot machines facing table games often have a lower RTP, since there is almost no chance for a table player to be so captivated by the triumphing shouts of a slot winner to switch to one-armed bandits.
We may repeat ourselves, but the best way to determine the best slot machines is by observation. You might even ask an employee about their observations, because they spend hours around these slots and they should also know a thing or two. Don’t forget to ask politely and leave a tip.
Hot and hot don’t get mixed
It is not a secret that people usually go in a group to play slots and that the winning machine quickly attracts players around. That is why casinos almost never put two loose machines next to each other. If a group of friends comes to play the slots, one of them will sit at the hot machine and their non-stop wins improve the general mood of the group encouraging others to go on playing.
Once a player finds a hot machine and starts winning, he quickly attracts more people.
Casinos don’t refuse loosing up a bit in order to ensure that extra excitement of their players making them happy. Besides, casinos don’t lose that much, because the payout ratios of machines near the hot one compensate the decreased profit of the “lucky” slot machine. Keep that in mind when you choose where to sit starting your game session.
Playing only one slot
As you already know from us, hot machines are usually NOT next to each other, so it is not a good idea to play more than one slot machine in the same row. It is better to play two machines at the same time, which are far from each other, but it could be practically and physically a challenge. Another issue is that you will leave a slot full of credits.
In addition, the amount of your bet will be increased when play more than one slot machine and in result of that, your funds wouldn’t last that long. This situation can be solved when you move to a smaller value, but then your RTP is going to be smaller, too.
We believe that the best option is to simply play a single machine, not many simultaneously.
Hitting the Jackpot: Non-progressive vs. Progressive
Many players would leave a slot machine the moment they hit the Jackpot, but this is far from wise. Although slots catch data regarding spins, wins, gameplay duration, etc., they do not change the chance to hit the Jackpot or have it paid based on this information. Practically, a player can hit the Jackpot with the very next spin, despite the slim chance, it is still possible.
This means that there is no actual reason to leave after hitting the Jackpot if you have already chosen to play the slot machine in particular.
If the player hits a progressive Jackpot, though, it would be wiser to press the Payout button and leave. You still have the same chances to hit it, but it is pointless, because the amount won will be much smaller.
Progressive Jackpots restart the predefined amount any time they are hit, so continuing to play is not worth it, because you have already made the most of it. This rule applies to cases when someone hits the Jackpot of an adjacent machine connected to yours. Still, there are some progressive Jackpots starting off pretty high.
Maybe an example will make it absolutely clear. Let us assume that we have 100 balls, including 60 red, 39 blue and one green. We put them in a hat, close our eyes and choose one at random. If it is red, we lose 1 EUR, each blue awards us 1 EUR and the green awards us 20 EUR. After each withdrawal, we put the ball back in the hat and repeat.
Since there is a chance of each ball to be chosen 1/100 and we have 60 reds, there is 60% chance to lose 1 EUR. Likewise, we have 39% chance to win 1 EUR and 1% to win 20 EUR. Therefore, after 100 withdrawals we would expect to lose 1 EUR, so the house edge would be 1%.
Calculation: 60/100*1 – (39/100*1+1/100*20)
What happens when we hit the magical numbers, you ask? Assuming that the green ball is the progressive Jackpot and the predefined restarted amount is 10 EUR, the player is expected to lose 11 EUR for every 100 withdrawals. This is quite a decrease in the return expected. Calculation: 60/100*1 – (39/100*1+1/100*10)
Although the example is similar with the behavior of one-armed bandits, numbers could not be further from the real ones. In the example, only two winning combinations are used, but there are much more of them in reality. Also, note that the suggested 40% winning ratio is much higher than the one applied in real life slot machines.