💰 How to Play Slot Machines: Tips and Guidelines | HowStuffWorks

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We'll start at square one, with a primer on how playing slot machines works. Las Vegas casinos usually offer the highest average payouts of all -- better than 95 percent. So, is there a way to ensure that you hit it big on a slot machine?


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We'll start at square one, with a primer on how playing slot machines works. Las Vegas casinos usually offer the highest average payouts of all -- better than 95 percent. So, is there a way to ensure that you hit it big on a slot machine?


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Las Vegas casinos usually offer the highest average payouts of all -- better than 95 percent. In fact, the odds against the same jackpot hitting on the next pull are the same as they were the first time. Then hit the "spin reels" button, or pull the handle on those few slots that still have handles, or hit a button marked "play max credits," which will play the maximum coins allowed on that machine. It's not that easy to change a machine's programming. Related Casino Pictures.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} First, if you leave a machine, then see someone else hit a jackpot shortly thereafter, don't fret. Second, because the combinations are random, or as close to random as is possible to set the program, the odds of hitting any particular combination are the same on every pull. A common set of symbols might be cherries, bars, double bars two bars stacked atop one another , triple bars, and sevens. In most of the country, slot players can figure on about a 93 percent payout percentage, though payouts in Nevada run higher. When you hit a winning combination, winnings will be added to the credit meter. Here's a look at some of the more pervasive slot myths:. And on video slots, reel strips can be programmed to be as long as needed to make the odds of the game hit at a desired percentage. Not really, but despite the overriding elements of chance, there are some strategies you can employ. On video slots, push one button for the number of paylines you want to activate, and a second button for the number of credits wagered per line. But in the long run, the programmed percentages will hold up. If we fitted that old three-reel, ten-stop machine with a microprocessor, we could put ten jackpot symbols on the first reel, ten on the second, and nine on the third, and still program the random-number generator so that three jackpot symbols lined up only once every 1, times, or 10, times. Payout percentages have risen since the casinos figured out it's more profitable to hold 5 percent of a dollar than 8 percent of a quarter or 10 percent of a nickel. Video slots typically have representations of five reels spinning on a video screen. To hit the same jackpot, you would have needed the same split-second timing as the winner. The microprocessors driving today's machines are programmed with random-number generators that govern winning combinations. The payback percentage is lowered when the crowds are bigger and demand is greater. Keep in mind that these are long-term averages that will hold up over a sample of , to , pulls. From a money-management standpoint, it makes sense to lock up the profits from a big hit and move on. A nasty confrontation could follow if you play a machine that has already been thus staked out. Casinos place "hot" machines on the aisles. We'll cover these in the next section. On systems that electronically link machines in several casinos, progressive jackpots reach millions of dollars. Nearly all have at least five paylines, and most have more -- up to 50 lines by the mids. Casino Pictures. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}In the not-too-distant past, slot-machine players were the second-class citizens of casino customers. The symbols that stop on a payout line determine whether a player wins. The odds are overwhelming that if you had stayed at the machine, you would not have hit the same combination. A single cherry on the payout line, for example, might pay back two coins; the player might get 10 coins for three of any bars a mixture of bars, double bars, and triple bars , 30 for three single bars, 60 for three double bars, for three triple bars, and the jackpot for three sevens. In the short term, anything can happen. Play a machine that has gone a long time without paying off -- it is due to hit. In the short term, the machine could go , pulls without letting loose of the big one, or it could pay it out twice in a row. In a few older machines, coins still drop into a tray. Paylines not only run straight across the reels but also run in V's, upside down V's, and zigs and zags across the screen. Little truth is in any of them. The change in slots has come in the computer age, with the development of the microprocessor. So, is there a way to ensure that you hit it big on a slot machine? Many slot players pump money into two or more adjacent machines at a time, but if the casino is crowded and others are having difficulty finding places to play, limit yourself to one machine. Many reel-spinning machines have a single payout line painted across the center of the glass in front of the reels. This has two practical effects for slot players. The following article will tell you everything you need to know about slots, from the basics to various strategies. But the machine is not "due" to turn cold. But slot placement is more complex than just placing the hot ones at the ends of aisles. Others have three payout lines, even five payout lines, each corresponding to a coin played. However, many of the stops on each reel will be blanks, and a combination that includes blanks pays nothing. Jackpots were small, payout percentages were horrendous, and slot players just weren't eligible for the kind of complimentary bonuses -- free rooms, shows, meals -- commonly given to table players. It's not unusual to go 20 or 50 or more pulls without a single payout on a reel-spinning slot, though payouts are more frequent on video slots. This belief is so widespread that end machines get a good deal of play regardless of how they pay. It is true that not all machines in the same casino are programmed with the same payback percentage. In addition, video slots usually feature bonus rounds and "scatter pays. Similarly, special symbols will trigger a bonus event. They are not constrained by a physical reel. When the random-number generator receives a signal -- anything from a coin being dropped in to the handle being pulled -- it sets a number, and the reels stop on the corresponding combination. Each possible combination is assigned a number, or numbers. Newcomers can find the personal interaction with dealers or other players at the tables intimidating -- slot players avoid that. On reel-spinning slots, push a button marked "play one credit" until you've reached the number of coins you wish to play. Nowadays more than 70 percent of casino revenues comes from slot machines, and in many jurisdictions, that figure tops 80 percent. Because most players do not understand how slot machines work, whole sets of beliefs have grown over when to play a machine and when to avoid it. We'll start at square one, with a primer on how playing slot machines works. About 80 percent of first-time visitors to casinos head for the slots. If a machine had three reels, each with ten stops, and one symbol on each reel was for the jackpot, then three jackpot symbols would line up, on the average, once every pulls, or 1, pulls. The bonus may take the form of a number of free spins, or the player may be presented with a "second screen" bonus. How to Play Craps. Slot machines are never "due. Take heed of these signs. Nor is it unusual for a machine to pay back percent or more for several dozen pulls. He or she may keep touching packages for more bonuses until one package finally reveals a "pooper," which ends the round. If you wish to collect the coins showing on the meter, hit the button marked "Cash Out," and on most machines, a bar-coded ticket will be printed out that can be redeemed for cash. One common configuration has nine paylines on which you can bet 1 to 5 credits. It no longer matters how many stops are on each reel. But in the last few decades the face of the casino industry has changed. And it's true that casinos want other customers to see winners. Change machines after a big jackpot -- the machine won't be due to hit again for some time. Nearly all slot machines are fitted with currency acceptors -- slide a bill into the slot, and the equivalent amount of credits is displayed on a meter. If you've been standing there for days and have played 10, times, the odds on the next pull will still be one in 10, Those odds are long-term averages. The popularity of such bonus rounds is why video slots have become the fastest growing casino game of the last decade. Likewise, a seven is not any bar, so a combination such as bar-seven-double bar pays nothing. That's not something to do cavalierly. Earlier slot machines were mechanical, and if you knew the number of stops -- symbols or blank spaces that could stop on the payout line--on each reel, you could calculate the odds on hitting the top jackpot. The player touches the screen to open a package and collects a bonus payout. And besides, the biggest, most lifestyle-changing jackpots in the casino are offered on the slots. Sometimes players taking a break for the rest room will tip a chair against the machine, leave a coat on the chair, or leave some other sign that they'll be back. As a practical matter, even in a light crowd, it's wise not to play more machines than you can watch over easily. Changing the programmed payback percentage requires opening the machine and replacing a computer chip. Most reel spinners take up to two or three coins at a time while video slots can take 45, 90, and even credits at a time. Play too many and you could find yourself in the situation faced by the woman who was working up and down a row of six slots. Between signals, the random-number generator operates continuously, running through dozens of numbers per second. How to Play Blackjack. Video slots are also available with 5, 15, 20, 25, even 50 paylines, accepting up to 25 coins per line. It's easy -- just drop coins into the slot and push the button or pull the handle. If a machine is programmed to pay out its top jackpot, on the average, once every 10, pulls, your chances of hitting it are one in 10, on any given pull. She was dropping coins into machine number six while number one, on the aisle, was paying a jackpot. There was nothing she could do as a passerby scooped a handful of coins out of the first tray.