Slot Machines, Slot Playing Tips
Slot machines or fruit machines are colloquially referred to by older Australians as one armed bandits. In the days of illegal casinos, the real difference between the slot machines and Ned Kelly (an infamous bushranger) was that Ned carried a gun. Times have changed immensely.
Today slot machines are computer controlled and electronically monitored by the gaming authorities from the comfort of their air conditioned offices. In Queensland, (the state where I live) it is still an offence for a private citizen to have a slot machine without a license. Believe me, they won't give you a license no matter how good your story is.
Today most pubs and clubs have banks of them. Casinos have huge rooms full of them. Depending on where you play, you can feed them, coins, chips or tokens. The computer controlled slots can be easily reprogrammed to comply with local gaming laws. They are in reality just a networked computer with a big monitor housed in a fancy box with flashing lights, bells and whistles. The old spinning reels have been replaced (in most places) by computer graphics and the handle has been replaced by a few buttons. If it still remains, it is connected to the same switch you access by pressing a button.
It is very important to check out the return to players before commencing to play. Casinos that depend on slot machines will return around 98 percent of the money fed into them to the players. Places with only a few opportunistically placed slot machines, often pay out as little as 80 percent to the players.
When you win a serious prize in the physical casino, the machine only pays a small part of it in coins. If you have pressed the 'cash-out' and the machine has not paid out the full amount you must wait with your machine and guard it until the attendant comes over to settle. You would be surprised to see just how much money is lost and how many players (especially new and casual players) walk away from their machine without collecting the major part of their prize.
If you are new to slot machines, start with the one or five cent ones (if your casino still has some of these cheapies). (Lasseters still has one cent bets on slot machines and the Zodiac Casino has recently introduced them.) As far as I am aware every other casino has cut them out as casinos loose money on such low bets.) You are better off playing five coins on a lower denomination eg. 1c, 5c, 25c than playing a single coin on a dollar per coin or more expensive machine because of the way prize payouts are structured.
On a bad night it does not take long for even a 5c slot machine to consume five dollars and on a fair night, you could play all night and get change, a few beers, a meal and maybe a few extra dollars to take home. Your small winnings are automatically credited to the slot machine. You can choose to continue playing in the hope of winning a worthwhile prize or elect to take the cash. Just remember, that because of the way these things are configured and the inherent casino advantage, the longer you play, the more likely the casino will be the winner.
If you want to be a regular winner, stop playing once you loose a predetermined limit, and on the occassions when you double your initial stake, cashout. Have a few quiet drinks if you choose and go home. If you are playing on line, withdraw 50% of your winnings on these occassions. If you are greedy and keep on playing, the odds are that the casino will be the winner!
Many players start with a limit of say $50 to $100. Once that has been through the machine once, they cash out. They do not continue playing with the credits (small prizes picked up along the way). This way, even if you loose your initial stake, you can still end up a winner when you add up all your small wins!
You can always move up to the more complicated machines after you feel you have mastered the cheapies. These machines are usually a better bet for the experienced player as the novice is likely to loose more on them. (Our free games page has three very good slot machine games that you can play for free.)
The player options vary according to the game on the slot machine. Whilst traditional slots only paid out on the horizontal alignment of the symbols, many modern slot machines also pay prizes on diagonal alignment. Read the instructions on how to use the control buttons. Yes! I know we all know how to press a button! The important bit is knowing what each button does when we press it and when to press it.
Some slots players claim that the online casinos have an advantage over the player compared to the physical casino. This might have been true in the days of the electromechanical slot machines when you could get away with the occasional discrete thump, bump, shake and off balance trick. Today where both versions are strictly controlled, licensed and regulated, there is little or no scope for variance other than in the percentage payouts for the various casinos. Generally online casinos have higher slot machine pay out percentages than their land based counterparts as their over heads are lower.
Most regular slots players have their own pet theories on how, what and when to play. Serious slot machine players choose to play only on machines offering high jackpots as they believe that the higher the available jackpot, the closer they are to a big payday. (This is a very good strategy). Many believe that there is a pattern to frequency of prize payouts and start off playing with minimum bets until they identify what they believe to be a pattern in the prize payouts. When they think that a prize is due, they increase their bets accordingly.
This can be fraught with danger. If you take notice of those decals and the combinations on which the machine pays out and the amount of the payout for each combination relative to the number of coins bet, you can get a pretty dam good idea of the odds for each combination coming up. You will also see that there is normally a huge difference between the value of the top prize relative to the number of coins bet, that the prize does not progress evenly by the number of coins wagered. In Video poker the difference can be as much as 800 times! So check out our slots playing strategies ind increase your chances of ending up a winer.
This is indicitative of the scenario with all slot machines.
Slot machins should pay at least a baby prize on average of about 1 in four spins. This does not mean that you will win something every fourth spin. If you add up your total number of spins and divide that number by your total number of prizes, you should end up with a number close to four. If your number is five or more, you should most definitely find somewhere else to play. The house has an inherant advantage of about ten percent when you play slots. The less frequent the prizes, the greater the advantage becomes. Be wary of machines boldly advertising 98.5% return in physical caninos, hotels, clubs and similar establishments. That statement is usually followed by fine print saying "on selected machines" and nothing to identify those "selected" machines.
Check out our jackpot tickers page for the slot games that currently have the biggest jackpots! There is a link to them on the main index on the right of this page. The current version comes from the Casino Rewards Group of casinos and does not spawn popups so it is now quite safe to check them out!
Make sure you fully understand how your chosen game works and the rules of the game. Failure to do so is a recipe for a loss.
It may surprise you but slot machines now pay out about the same amount of money as blackjack, baccarat, craps and roulette combined and they represent about 40% of the casino industry's revenue.
If you are a big jackpot hunter, the progressive slot machines are the way to fly! Zodiac Casino and Lasseters accept both the lowest and some of the highest wagers. There you can play five coins for a grand total of five cents per spin!
All of our listed casinos offer a broad selection of slot games.
May lady luck always ride upon your shoulder when you choose to play your favourite slot games!