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Small goals can add up to big profits

By Frank Scoblete


Mankind is the pursuing of dreams animal; even when we are wide awake our dreams can drive us forward. Indeed, much of man’s accomplishments on this planet come from such pursuits of dreams. Our books and movies reflect our pursuits—often ending in loss of some kind.

Indiana Jones feverishly pursued the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He found it too, only to lose it in the end. Tarzan pursued Jane in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ brilliant book Tarzan of the Apes. He found her too, only to lose her in the end. Perhaps the greatest of our literary dream pursuers was Odysseus from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.

After fighting in the Trojan War for 10 long years, Odysseus created the strategy of the “gift horse” in order to fool the Trojans into accepting a giant horse as a gift to end the war. The Trojans foolishly believed their 10-year dream of seeing this bloody war finally end had now come true.

It certainly did come true, just not the way they wanted, as the Greek soldiers hidden in the horse came out at night and opened the gates to Troy. The war ended as the Trojans dreamed, but it ended with them losing and being destroyed.

But it didn’t end there.

After the seemingly endless war, Odysseus wandered the seas, trying to accomplish his personal dream—to find his way home to his beautiful wife, Penelope. After many wild adventures he did finally get home to Ithaca and his beloved wife. His dream ultimately ended well as he retired far from the sea. Thankfully, not all of our dreams end badly. Some actually end well.

Slot players have dreams of various kinds. Some dream of winning the big life-changing jackpots; those in the multi-millions of dollars. A rare few see their dream realized. The overwhelming majority of the big dreamers end up never coming close to a victory. They are—sadly—the Trojans in the war of chance, a long battle with defeat at the end.

Other slot players are more modest in their dreams. They eschew those life-changing machines. These players just want a victory, be it small, medium or somewhat large, and they want it today. Many of these players end up losing, true, but plenty of these players actually win today and go home with such a victory. Regardless of size, a victory makes them rejoice.

I think of a winner, even a small winner, as the Odysseus of slot play. Keep in mind, most slot players are long-term warriors. You’ll find some new ones on any given day but most players? They are in the long-run war versus Dame Fortune. Even small victories in a long war are welcomed.

I can’t give you any advice on how to win the life-changing jackpots other than you must play full credits on each decision and (maybe) say your prayers to the Olympian gods for a lightning stroke of luck. You’ll need the lightning of luck, you certainly will, to overcome odds of about 50 million to one on some of these machines.

But the possibility of winning today? That can be accomplished. It will take some static electricity to do so as opposed to a huge bolt from the top of the mountain. A small win takes some luck but not quite the type of luck that the huge jackpot machines demand.

So how should you maneuver yourself to allow for a modicum of luck to get you to the winning finish line?

You have to pick machines with the best payback for the denomination you play. Avoid those tiny denomination machines that can jack your bet into the quarter and dollar ranges. These machines usually have much smaller paybacks then straight quarter or dollar machines.

Avoid progressive slot machines. Do not choose any machines that are linked with any other machines in order to offer a large jackpot. These machines usually have higher house edges than machines that are not interlinked. These are just smaller versions of the change-my-life machines. I do not think they are worth the bigger house edge players will face playing them.

Play stand-alone machines; that is, machines that do not share anything with any other machine. Each of these stand-alone machines is its own little casino, offering the best chance of winning today.

My radical slot-play strategy is quite simple: Play only one credit on such stand-alone machines. Playing full coin even on machines that offer a greater jackpot amount is not great enough to warrant playing three or more times the money on every decision. Remember, the more decisions you experience the better the chance the casino’s house edges can wear you down.

And if you find that you do have a win in today’s play, consider putting some of that aside so that you can actually go home (or to your room tonight) a winner.

Yes, indeed, slot players have their dreams. Some dreams are such longshots that they will probably never come true, but others can be more easily realized if one plays intelligently.

Visit Frank’s website at Frank’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and at bookstores.


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