Ten Player “Mythtakes” About Slot Play
By Frank Scoblete
Put three quarters in a machine every five seconds, and you’re putting through $540 per hour. Play four hours, and you’ve gambled $2,160! The casinos will be more than happy to recognize such action with free or discounted rooms, meals or other perks.
Mythtake #1: I’m due to win on this machine because it has been cold for some while. If a slot machine is programmed to be random, the chances of a machine heating up or cooling down are always the same. If the odds of hitting a given pay line are 50 to one, they are always 50 to one. So don’t think that because you have dumped Little Lulu’s college fund into the machine that you eventually become “due” to win it all back, along with her graduate school tuition. And never think that because you’ve been winning, you’ll continue to win.
Mythtake #2: New machines just put on the floor are always loose to encourage people to play them. Probably not. Often new machines are so novel, so spellbinding, that people will play them whether they are loose or not. There is no evidence that new machines are any more or less loose, or tight, than the old machines. It is an individual decision made by individual casinos as to how loose or tight their new (and old) machines will be. It is highly doubtful that they make the new machines loose.
Mythtake #3: Winning at the machines is just plain dumb luck. Not true. If you include video poker in the mix, how you play your hands ultimately determines how much you win on full-pay and positive expectation machines, or how little you lose on machines that favor the house. But please read Mythtake #10 for more on machines that don’t require dumb luck for long term wins.
Mythtake #4: New slots are introduced to give the players more choices. Slot players are fickle and will become disenchanted with the current machines they are playing if they feel they are losing too much. Then they search for different machines. Casinos know this, which is why they’re constantly changing their inventory to keep these players interested.
Mythtake #5: When you get to the bonus round on a machine such as Wheel of Fortune, each stop is equally likely. It looks as if you’ve got an equal chance of the wheel landing on any of the stops, but this isn’t the reality. That wheel is not a mechanical device, but a computer controlled “entertainment feature” that selects the winning stop based on a Random Number Generator. Something that might look like a one in 22 chance could really be a one in 20,000 chance!
Mythtake #6: Casinos aren’t interested in low rollers. If you play the machines, even for quarters, you aren’t a low a roller. Put three quarters in a machine every five seconds, and you’re putting through $540 per hour. Play four hours, and you’ve gambled $2,160! The casinos will be more than happy to recognize such action with free or discounted rooms, meals or other perks. The bottom line is this: most casinos want all the players as they can get. Your job is to find the places that give you the best comps for your action…and then patronize them.
Mythtake #7: Intelligent people don’t play the slots. Nonsense! Slot players are a representative cross section of America, not the bottom of the U.S. barrel. So why do people play the one-armed bandits? The usual answer is that slots are relaxing and fun. Whatever the reason a person gives for playing the machines, one thing is certain across the country: slots rule! More players pull those handles and press those buttons than play all the table games combined.
Mythtake #8: Senior citizens are spending their social security money on gambling and not saving it. This is not so, but even if it were, so what? Aren’t you tired of the government and the press telling us what to do with our money? It’s our money. We now treat our senior citizens not as the generation that survived the Depression, not as the generation that defeated Hitler and Mussolini, not as the generation that faced down Communism, or fought in Vietnam…but as this mélange of drooling idiots who shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions for themselves. If they want to spend their money on slot machines, then so be it. It might diminish the size of Junior’s inheritance, but so what? Let him work.
Mythtake #9: Progressive jackpots are programmed to hit on weekends and not during midweek. This is a total fallacy. More people go to casinos during the weekends and more people in the casinos means more spins of those reels, so more spins equal more jackpot winners. Constantly changing the payback percentages of machines takes time and is an annoyance for the slot departments. Casinos win their money on volume, and the weekends are voluminous times. So with all those players, there are bound to be more winners on weekends–and more losers, too.
Mythtake #10: There are no slot machines where the player can get an edge over the casino. Not true. There are slots known as “advantage-play machines” where the smart player can actually get the edge, if he knows what to look for and how to properly play the machine. In my book Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines I go through those very slot machines where the players can actually get the edge over the house at certain times. I wrote about one of these machines in a past issue of Casino Player, too. These machines are not everywhere in the country (unfortunately) but they can be found in Vegas, Mississippi and the Midwest.
Frank Scoblete’s newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines, which features advantage-play slots; and Casino Craps: Shoot to Win, which comes with a DVD showing unedited controlled throws. He’s also the author of Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players and Beat Blackjack. They’re all available from Amazon.com, or at your favorite bookstore, or by mail order by calling 1-800-944-0406. You can also call that number for a free brochure.
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