Stretch your bankroll and avoid the deadly days
By Frank Scoblete
I am sure most of our slot-playing readers have been there before. You come to the casino with your bankroll. You might be staying at the casino for an afternoon or an evening or even a few days. You start playing, get into a groove and… get killed.
You go from machine to machine, denomination to denomination; you wander throughout the casino. You see players (those rotten other players) happily winning (“Oh, this has been such a lucky day for me!” Aaarrrgggh!) You play stand-alone machines; you play giant progressives; you play massive multi-line machines—nothing works. The machines all do one thing: gobble, gobble, and gobble your credits. You might as well take whatever remains of your bankroll, go to the cage and donate it to the casino.
Those deadly days do happen. You can’t wish yourself around them. The more you play, the more you wager, the better the chance you will get clobbered at times.
You can also have the opposite of those days where luck is “my lady tonight.” Those nights slot players long for.
Still in the long run those machines are programmed to take your money. You can’t get around that and almost all slot players know you can’t get around that. Players face extremely large house edges on almost all machines and denominations.
So how do you give yourself a chance to make it harder to have such a deadly streak that might wipe out your bankroll? Are there ways to stretch your money so that your bad luck must be so prolonged over such a long period of time that you might just be able to avoid the deadly days altogether?
I do think you can structure your play in a perfect way to do just that. But you must lose what might be some of your prejudices about how to play the slot machines.
The Multiple Coin Myth
Is it always best to play multiple coin? No it isn’t. There are machines where you get no reward for using full coin. Everything is a multiple of the first coin. The jackpot could be 400, 800 and 1,200. There is no increase in return on multiple coins.
Solution A: Only play these types of stand-alone machines and only play them for one coin. I’ll assume these are three symbol machines. Now, you have reduced the hit on your bankroll by two-thirds. It would take a massive losing streak to bust your bankroll now.
Solution B: Even on stand-alone machines that do offer more of a reward for playing multiple coins, the loss per hour is still almost three times more. The rewards are such a small percentage that you are not getting any real benefit from full coin. So, again, one coin.
Higher Denomination Machines Offer Lower House Edges
Yes, this is generally true but it comes with a BIG caveat: The higher the denomination the more is lost because a lower percentage of a lot—a lot!—more money is a lot more in losses.
Solution: Again, look for stand-alone machines and only play one coin. You will be radically reducing your losses despite any small reward for playing full coin.
Full Coin is Best on Progressive Machines
This is true. In order to win on those massive jackpot machines such as Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune you must play full coin. Sadly, the house edges on these machines can be as high as 15 and 17 percent in order to generate those massive jackpots.
How hard is it to hit such massive jackpots? This high (hold your breath): Megabucks is an almost 50,000,000 to one shot. That is worse than some state lotteries. Keep in mind that playing a state lottery you only buy one or a few tickets. On a slot machine you play many decisions over a rather short period of time.
Solution A: Do not bother to play these machines. If you must, if you feel compelled to play them because you dream and fantasize of winning a life-changing amount of money, then give yourself a small percentage of your total bankroll—maybe 10 percent—to use on them.
Solution B: Do not play any progressive machines, even stand-alone machines, because the house edges are larger on these machines. They are not worth larger losses.
Multi-line Machines Are Best
No they aren’t. They just increase how much you can lose by adding more and more money into the casino’s edge.
Solution A: Forget them. Do not play multi-line machines.
Solution B: Also, do not play penny or nickel multi-line machines. You can wind up putting a lot of money in these machines as you try to cover so many lines. The house edges on these machines are quite high. Unless you can play a few pennies and a few nickels you are asking for trouble here by thinking you are getting a good deal.
Now, if you follow my advice you are truly stretching your time and reducing your risk of a deadly day or night in the world of Dame Fortune.
Frank Scoblete’s recent books are I Am a Dice Controller, Confessions of a Way-ward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter. Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at your local bookstore. Frank will happily send you a free, autographed copy of his book The Virgin Kiss. Just email him (firstname.lastname@example.org) your address.