Stretching Slots

Building and Streeeeeeetching your Slots Bankroll

Money, coinage, wealth, riches, jackpots, slots and a fun casino experience--now there's the ticket!

Before you enter the slots competition and win this ticket; you must qualify with some wager management basics.

Let's explore these qualifications that will build and stretch your slots bankroll. A pre-determined dollar amount to fit your slots budget is the best start. Does your favorite casino advertise slots with at least a 98% payback-- the better, looser slots? You will notice that the key words are "up to 98% payback." Most of the casino's slots do not pay back that much.

Also, this will never mean that for each $1 you put in, you will get back 98 cents. A lot of first time players make this mistake. What this really means is that over the fiscal year life cycle of that particular slot machine, it will average payoffs equal to 98% of all monies put through. Some casinos now offer "Certified" slots that are guaranteed to payback 100%. Usually dollars, these are a good play if all machines are 100%.

Did you know that even the loosest slots-those 98-plus-percenters-still average only an 80% payout to the players? That's because players don't play maximum coins or they don't make sure all their coins register before they spin. Slots make up to 70% of a casino's revenues. Let's stop giving the casinos what we can rightfully claim for ourselves!

Avoid the tight (low-paying) slots in restaurants, bars, airports and supermarkets.

After you have done your research and located a loose machine, read all the posted information before you play. Take your time; there is no need to hurry. Don't rush while you play, either so you can make sure you have received all the money due you when you win. Check for unused credits, money in the holder and cash-outs before you leave the machine.

Remember, too, that one of the principles of wager management is knowing when to quit. Never, never stay too long at a machine. The casino advantage kicks in if you overstay your welcome. After three, four or five pulls with no return, get out of there. Be a hit-and-run winner.

If you are tempted to stay at a machine, keep this in mind: most jackpot wins happen in the first five to ten minutes of play with a small cash outlay. So, if a slot doesn't produce for you in fairly short order, get upward and onward, looking for another slot.

Table game players will argue loud and long at me for this, but I submit that you can make just as much money or more on an hourly basis playing slots.

Cost per hour to play slots:

Denomination   1 coin    2 coins  3 coins

Nickel    $30         $60         $90

Quarter 150         300         450

Dollar    600         1200       1800

I rest my case for playing 2-coin basic slots. With quarter machines (the most played slots), I would have an extra $150 to play with; 300 extra spins at 2-coin machines-stretching those slot bucks. Of all the basic slots offered in casinos today, these specific machines will provide you with the most play, the best pays, and the best odds of hitting a top jackpot.

You should always test a slot machine before you commit yourself to continued play. (Testing applies to basic slot machines, not to progressives, where your aim is to hit the top jackpot with less concern for smaller wins along the way.)

Here is a method for testing straight quarter slots:

With a buy-in of $10-40 quarters-in hand, play through all $10 and leave all winnings in the tray (or allow the credits to accumulate).

If your winnings total less than 65% of your test amount ($6.50 in this example), get up and find yourself another slot machine. If your winnings total at least 65%, the slot may be in or near an "up" cycle. Try three more coins and, based on any payouts from that, decide if you want to stay. Of course, if you get back more than your original $10, you have found a sizzling slot! As you continue to play it, stash half your winnings. This is now your money-not the casino's!

Of course, all good things must end, and you know that even a sizzling slot in an up cycle will eventually have a down cycle. The informed gambler knows the signs of an impending down cycle.

One sign is that the machine just hit the top jackpot. Another sign is when the machine starts hitting a lot of near-misses-symbol combinations that are almost winners but not quite.

Don't be deceived. In both of these cases, the slot is turning from sizzling to sputtering. So find yourself another slot pronto, and repeat your test.

Practicing sound wager management not only stretches your gambling dollars but places you in the finals to win the BIG TICKET.