Slot game enemies: Ignoring the odds

Slots tend to be the most magnetic games at a casino, online or live. As soon as you step onto the casino floor, you’ll notice banks and banks of slot machines. At most casinos, table games are isolated to one or two spots, but slot machines are placed all over the place.

But did you know that as far as odds go, slots tend to be more of a money-loser for players compared to other games? It’s true. Just check out these numbers, which highlight potential losses for 10 hours of play:

• $1 slots in a 2-coin game = $800
• $0.25 slots in a 3-coin game = $360
• $0.25 video poker in a 5-coin game = $125
• $5 per bet Roulette = $79
• $5 per hand Blackjack = $25

innerodds09252015These numbers show that slots tends to be a money loser. But if that’s the case, why are slots so popular? Why do people keep feeding these machines?

The truth? These numbers are a bit deceiving. That’s because slots tend to be faster than the other games, so the potential to chip away at your bankroll is bigger. But that means the potential to make more money is also bigger, especially with progressive jackpots waiting to be popped.

So how do you make sure you’re making more money and not losing it? Ignore the odds and play with these smart strategies:

1. Pick machines with the smallest jackpot
Big jackpots are like huge sale prices. Think about. $5,000 off a car at a dealership seems great, but when you dig right down into it, chances are they’re recouping their losses somehow, likely in the form of higher finance or lease rates that raise the monthly cost. The same goes for jackpots. Bigger jackpots seem great, but the odds of hitting a big one are lower than hitting a smaller one. So choose small jackpots for the potential to pop more cash.

inner2odds250920152. If you play progressive jackpots, play smart
If you’re attracted to big progressive jackpots, take a look at how much of the money is going to feed the jackpot. In some cases, it could be as high as 10% of whatever you play. If that’s the case, play a 2-coin machine instead of a 3-coin machine. Also, you’ll want to avoid the $1 machines and stick to nickels or quarters.

3. If you play progressive jackpots, play smart
This one doesn’t apply so much to the online world because things tend to be faster on the Internet. But if you’re playing live, avoid the video reel machines. Instead, choose the classic-reel games where there the reels actually move and there isn’t a lot of video. That’s because the video machines tend to be slower with breaks in between spins for video entertainment. Those wasted seconds can add up over time. And while they’re entertaining, the casino isn’t making money when people aren’t feeding the machine. As a result, they tend to take a bit more cash when you are actually playing.

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Colin Jones

Colin Jones is a born and raised Chicago writer specialized on topics related to the casino and gambling industry. Having years of experience on the field, Colin will keep you in touch with the latest news and advances on the casino industry.