Slot Machines 101:  Turning a nickel bet into a hundred bucks

It wasn’t until recently that the casino lords started to take slot players seriously.  All the attention used to go the table players, who were showered with free rooms and show tickets.  That all changed once these lords realized that slots are bringing in over 70% of the casino's earnings with a lot less fuss than a Blackjack table.

The reason for the change is simple.  Every year over the last 10 has seen more and more newcomers choosing the strip as their vacation destination. Newbies are often intimidated by the floor action.  Everyone at the tables seems to know exactly what is going on but them. Instead of acting like a fish, they just take their bankroll to the slot machines where they can hide their naiveness and take advantage of the high return almost all slot machines offer.

Be an Alan, play like no tomorrow!

Be an Alan, play like no tomorrow!

By far the two most popular slot machines are Magnificent 7’s and Video Poker.  Both allow you to play just about any denomination you want, but most will flock to the quarter or dollar Magnificent 7’s and the penny or nickel Video Game.  Winning big at slots is all about luck and patience, so there is no need to place big bets.

Magnificent 7’s is one of the first one armed bandits to ever be used in a casino.  This reel-spinning slot has an astonishing payback of 97.4%. You can thank its 3 payout lines for that. To play is simple.  Deposit the amount of money that you want to play and watch as it is displayed as credits on the screen. You control how many credits you want to risk with each spin by pressing the button.  Once you reach the mark, hit the spin reels button and watch the three reels spin.  Once it stops your winnings, if any, are calculated by the number of winning combinations on the paylines and added to your credits.

Vegaster Tip: Playing MAX gives you the highest payout possible.

Vegaster Tip: Playing MAX gives you the highest payout possible.

Video Games take the reel slot idea to a whole other level.  Paylines are not just straight across, they can be zig zags, V’s and upside V’s for the five reels in play.  You control the action by pushing a button to activate the number of paylines you want times the number of credits.  There are some machines where you can play up to 50 different paylines with a wager of 25 coins per line.  Your odds of winning are further increased by bonus rounds and scatter pays, where a certain symbol will trigger a payout regardless of whether or not it is in a payline.  The popularity of bonus rounds is what has helped make video slots the fastest growing casino game.

The Walking Dead is 1 of the newest video slots to hit the strip.

The Walking Dead is 1 of the newest video slots to hit the strip.

With both types of machines, your winnings are added to your credits.  When you are finished, you simply cash out and grab your ticket that can be redeemed at the cashier.

We have all seen the cliché little old lady stalking the slot machines on TV and in movies.  This isn’t as far-fetched as you think.  What they are doing is trying to increase their odds of winning big by jumping on a machine that hasn’t had a high payout in a while.  A less stalkerish way to do this would be choosing machines where players just stop by for a short period of time. These are usually the rows directly behind the popular aisles or near food areas. The reasoning behind this theory is that jackpots have been building up for a long period of time and are due for a payout anyday.

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Another way to increase your odds of winning a big jackpot is to look for a slot machine with a multiplier.  While smaller payouts multiply proportionate to the number of coins you play, the top jackpot will jump dramatically if you play the maximum amount of coins.  So while one coin may get you winning a big jackpot is to look for a slot machine with a multiplier.  While smaller payouts multiply proportionate to the number of coins you play, the top jackpot will jump dramatically if you play the maximum amount of coins.  So while one coin may get you 500 for 3 sevens and 1,000 for two, 3 coins will jump to 10,000.  With a multiplier you always want to bet the max, which is easy for anyone, since it can be found on machines that range from a nickel to a dollar.

If you are really looking to strike it rich at slots then go for the progressive machines.  Again, in order to take advantage you have to play the max amount of coins, but when you do line up the jackpot symbols a percentage of every coin played is paid out.  These are linked to the other progressive machines on the floor so your winnings are determined by the action on those as well.  To date, the highest jackpot on a progressive slot machine was just under 40 million big ones.

Slot machines are a great way for a Vegas Virgin to learn the ropes.  With no real skill involved, you still have the chance to hit the jackpot and go home a winner.

Welcome to the sea of riches.

Welcome to the sea of riches.

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