Slot machines have came a long way from the1895 Liberty Bell mechanical slot invented by Charles Fey. It has also came a long way from the Las Vegas gum and cigar dispensing “Keep the ladies busy” type of machines. Slot machines now take in over 80% of the total casino profits.
Slot machines are a multi-billion dollar business with the average machine cost of around $2500.00 for a 3 reel type machine and over $3500.00 for one of the new video machines. Slot machines are just about the only game in casinos that provide you with the chance to make a very big profit off of a small investment.
Here are a few pointers to make your gambling experience a little more fun. Only play what you can afford, remember even the nickel machines pay off big sometimes. If you’re playing for a jackpot set your sights a little lower, for example on the Double Diamond machines the jackpot for 3 Double Diamonds with max bet of 2 coins is 1600 coins. That means theoretically that it’ll hit about 8 times more often than a machine with a top jackpot of 10,000 coins. At least in this theory you have mathematics somewhat on your side. Once you win 1 or 2 of these lower jackpots take your winnings and play for the bigger ones.
If you are playing and it gets to the point where you’re bored or you think you just have to win, it’s time to take a break and go back to your room and watch a little TV or take in a show or have a few drinks, after all they’re on the house, or you can always enjoy a meal in the buffet, naps are optional, or one of the other restaurants in the casino. Be sure to ask for a comp.
Always join the players club and get one of those cards that you’ll lose about 35 times a day. You earn comps for rooms, food, show tickets, cash back and mail offers for free cash, food and hotel stays.
Know What You’re Playing
Always know the money amount of the machine you’re playing. The cost per credit on the machine is usually in the middle of the reel window at the bottom, near the buttons. Otherwise they’re located either on the top pay out glass or near the coin acceptor.
If you’ve got a good memory you can also look at the candles on top of the machines. Candles are lingo for the lights on top of the machine, white at the top which comes on when you press the CHANGE button, and a different color at the bottom. The bottom color tells how much the machine costs for 1 credit.
Types of machines
There are stand alone machines, in-house progressives, and wide area progressives. Stand alone machines are most likely what you’ll play. They’re also called flat-tops, which means when max coins are bet the jackpot is listed on the pay table.
In-house progressive machines are a bank, or group, of machines all linked together so a portion of each bet is put into a larger than flat top machine jackpot, usually 1% of each bet. And this jackpot is usually shown on a large screen just above these machines. Depending on the coin size of these machines the jackpot can start at anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000. In-house progressives can also be for one machine and accumulate huge jackpots until someone eventually hits them.
Wide area progressives are machines that are available for play at other casinos in that state and a portion of each bet at on that game at every casino goes into one massive jackpot. Some wide area progressives are Wheel Of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Megabucks. These games produce massive winners but do not hit the big one very often.
From left to right
The CHANGE button. Pushing this button triggers a white light on top of the machine and an attendant or host should come around and give you some change or help you.
The CASH/CREDIT button. Pushing this button cashes your machine out, if you’re ready to get away from a cold machine hit it and it’ll pay you what it owes you in coin or a ticket.
BET 1 CREDIT. This button bets 1 credit at a time, for those times when you don’t want to play maximum.
SPIN REELS. This is pretty self explanatory, it spins the reels. You can also activate the game by pressing the bet 1 credit button and pulling the handle of the side of the machine
PLAY 3 CREDITS (also some say BET MAX or PLAY MAX) This bets the maximum amount of credits on the machine and activates the game.
The Pay Table
Always make sure you know how to play what you’re playing. There’s nothing like the feeling of lining up the 3 symbols only to find out that you didn’t have enough coins in for the top prize. Always play maximum coins. The reason to play max coins is if you hit the jackpot it’s usually 2 to 10 times what it would be on a 1 coin play.
As you can see from this pay table from a Diamond Fives machines the 1 coin played jackpot is 2000 credits, 2 coins is 5000 credits and 3 coins is 15,000 credits. Three times what it would be with 2 coins played. The other pays on the machine multiply with the number of coins bet also. A Triple Bar win playing 1 coin would only pay 30 credits as opposed to 90 credits playing 3 coins.
That’s just about all the explaining necessary for playing 3 reel slot machines. In the coming weeks I’ll be explaining in depth how to play video machines titles with a new game every week.