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One and Done

By Frank Scoblete


The general rule of thumb for slot games and video poker hands is that the best method for a player is to play full coin (or total credit per decision) because this allows the player to get the most if he or she hits the big jackpot.

[Please note: Sometimes it is very hard for casino-play writers such as yours truly to go against the norm of advice given by brilliant writers over the years. Idiot writers can say anything they want because, well, they are idiots. But now me. I’m on the precipice. Oh, no, I am stepping off a ledge in this article and the fall might be very, very far down indeed. Yikes!]

When it comes to video poker, five coins (or full coin or credit) is the best advice as the jackpot is usually a very big number and adds to the possible positive percentage of the game. That means it is in the player’s favor. That’s a good thing, right? Right. So, continue to follow that advice. It has stood the test of time.

But what about slots, those former one-armed bandits that now account for the overwhelming majority of the money casinos around the world consume? Is full coin/credit the best way for players to go? Does the extra money really help slot players so much that you’d want to play full coin/credit on your trips to Lady Luck’s palaces?

I think not. (Here goes my stepping off the ledge, my friends. I’m taking the dive right now.)

Now, don’t throw any rotten tomatoes at me or other rotten fruit. We’re not in vaudeville now. Just hear me out because I think I am right in what I am about to write.

Today there are so many different types of slot machines that it is hard to categorize all of them in an article but let me give you my general method of thought in this situation. I’ll stick to the machines just about all slot players have played or know about.


Traditional Slot Machines

Let’s take a three-wheeler, meaning you can bet one line, two lines or three lines, meaning one coin, two coins or three coins. Three lines is the full bet that allows the player to get an extra amount if he or she hits the big jackpot.

Is it wise to go for those three coiners? Is the big jackpot so much better than the jackpot at one coin or two coins?

You will make more money if it hits. That’s true. But you are now playing three times the minimum bet to get what kind of higher percentage yield? Do you think your total winning expectation will be three times as much on the higher return? Seriously?

Okay, that would be doubtful.

No one really knows the true return percentage of these machines except those who program them and the slot experts working for the casinos. But it certainly can’t be very much. Usually, the casinos will make something look really good comparatively but they rarely give up any real edge to the player.

So, here is where our everyday logic comes in. You are playing three times more money but getting much, much, much less than three times the reward if the big jackpot hits. Is there a big benefit to this? Come on, you know the answer.


Time is Money

Let’s pretend that you like to play four hours a day betting the full coin/credit option. You are on a dollar machine and every bet is three dollars. Play one minute and you are betting $36 per minute.

That’s a significant amount of money for many players.

If you play one coin/credit, you are risking two-thirds less money overall. In a minute you’ll play $12. That’s a lot, lot less money coming out of your pocket or purse.

Your four hours of play will mean a much lower risk even though you do not benefit from the enhanced jackpot. Your four hours is not costing you so much as your full coin/credit play. Not at all.

Yes, you can even play more hours with less risk. Instead of going for four hours, go for five. Is that a worthy exchange? I think so.

In this case, less means more. The extra amount for the big jackpot is really not an overwhelming amount because the jackpots do not hit that often. If you play the slots, you can certainly answer that question.


Extension over playing time 

By going one coin/credit you can probably go to the casinos far more often than you do now. Or just enjoy the fact that your money is better off in your possession than in the casinos’ underground golden vaults.

[Please note: I do not know if the casinos have underground gold vaults. In Ocean’s 11, the bunker with the vault was underground. What the heck. It sounds better this way.]

I now throw it to you. Is one coin/credit the way to go? I think so.


Other machines

Less is more when it comes to the other slot machines on the casino floor. Keep your exposure low. It’s as simple as that!

All the best in and out of the casinos! (Ouch, I just got hit in the head with a tomato!)


Frank Scoblete’s website is His books are available at, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.






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