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Stay in control and protect your money

By Frank Scoblete


Unless a slot player wins a monstrous million or multi-million-dollar slot jackpot, he or she is destined for long-term losses. The machines are not programmed to create long-term winners; if they did the casinos couldn’t survive. You know that and I know that.

Still, there are better and worse machines to play and better and worse ways to play them. The better the machine, the better the strategy, the less a player will probably lose in a lifetime of playing what used to be called the “one-armed bandits.”

The key idea might seem negative at first because you have to become a “penny pincher”; someone extremely careful with how he or she plays their money. You can’t let yourself hang-out for seemingly endless hours at the machines throwing barrels of your hard-earned money in the maw of those always hungry metal and plastic devices.


Right off the bat some of you will cringe at the machines I am suggesting you play. I know that slot habits will die hard and if you don’t like my suggestions you might quit reading right now and flee to another page. Don’t. Give me a hearing (or rather, a reading).

Skip playing all penny, nickel and dime machines; the house edges on these machines are quite high. So we are playing quarters or dollars or more.

Avoid all machines that allow you to make multiple bets such as ten-times machines (or more than ten times!) or machines that have more than one line for wagering. With these types of machines you are merely multiplying how much money the house edge eats.

Avoid the progressive machines. These machines almost always require full coin and they are usually the stingiest machines in the casinos. They have to be to generate such large jackpots.

If the above machines were people we would consider them obese.

You want to limit yourself to two types of machines of the more traditional variety. Older is better when it comes to penny-pinching slot play.

If you can find a machine that does not reward full-coin play with higher wins, you will play those types of machines. These are called “equal-distribution machines.” For example: 1-credit will equal $200 on the jackpot line; 2-credits will equal $400 on the jackpot line; while 3-credits will equal $600 on the jackpot line. You see that there is no reward for full-coin play. So why triple your betting and the house edge’s grind on your bankroll? Bet one coin/credit only.

The second type of machine is similar to the above but it does reward full-coin play. Here goes: You will still only bet one credit/coin on these machines. The increase in the jackpot amounts does not make up for betting three-times the amount you’d bet with one coin/credit. Think of playing for a given length of time each day you play and you will see that betting three-times for that play time can hurt you big time in the long run.

Yes, there are new machines that are stunningly fun to play but almost all of them can be dangerous as they tend to make you bet more and/or play more in order to go for jackpots or second chance plays. I am something of a troglodyte when it comes to slot machines.


This is a tough question because many slot players get into an “anaesthetical” mind-set when playing; in short, some players lose track of time, place and expense. The machines can be mesmerizing. That’s okay for short periods of time but prolonged periods of being out-of-it can be bad for bankrolls. You do not want to “go-away” for long periods of time – you will pay dearly for those times in money and emotion.

Make a point of having as much money to play as the number of decisions you wish to experience. If you want to have six decisions per minute then you will want 360 times your bet for one hour. On a quarter machine that is $90 per hour (0.25 X 6 = $1.50 x 60 = $90). If you want to play four hours that means you must have $360 as your session stake.

Why should you have that much money? Because you do not want to go home with no money in your pocket or purse from your casino visit. That is the worst feeling to have; believe me all slot players have probably experienced this. Being wiped out is the worst way to be whipped in slot play.


For some slot players the idea of penny pinching might seem a limit to their fun. I disagree. Being in control and knowing you have enough money to survive even bad streaks is a good mind set. After all, the better you play, the better the results will be. No one can beat the house by truly breaking those one-armed bandits but that doesn’t mean these bandits must break you.

I call you to join the penny-pinching brigade today.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s web site at Frank’s books are available on, Kindle, e-books, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.

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