The expected question we must ask is "Can you win at slots? "
In my judgment, the answer is " YES ".
Of all the hundreds of people playing inside a casino, there will be a few winners and many losers. Even though the probability is small that you will hit a jackpot whenever you insert a coin in the machine, the thing to remember about slot machines is that the random number inside the machine controls your outcome. If you happen to hit a winning combination, it is the random number that predetermined your win, and no matter how small your chances are, there is still a finite probability that it can happen to you. Again, it is the game of chance and taking risks that controls the situation.
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To test this concept, I took a trip to Las Vegas, NV. at the beginning of 2022 and spend two days and nights at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino. The first night, while playing a five coins quarter IGT Double Diamond machine, I hit a jackpot worth 3200 coins or $800.00. This luck was primarily due to playing this machine at the right time and place. This occurred about 11:00 PM near the main lobby of the MGM where traffic is high and the machine was at the end of an aisle. Again, the theory that so-called "loose slots" are located near high traffic and at the end of the aisles has some validity to it, but, through observations, I noticed that "loose slots" are placed randomly and pay frequent but small payoffs. I also believe that the random number selection process may have more to do with it than mere location. The cycle of pay for that machine was higher than usual and for this reason, I continued to play and the jackpot was hit. The next day, I played again at the MGM and won several small wins consisting of 40 to 100 dollars, all with quarters. Outside the hotel, the weather was beautiful, a clear blue sky and a nice temperature, so I decided to check the other casinos and try my luck. I walked to the New York, New York casino, just across the MGM, and played there for an hour. Unfortunately, after losing a hundred fifty dollars, I decided to move on to other hotels and casinos. Each time, I moved from place to placer, my losses increased with each move. Eventually, I sought refuge back to the MGM and took a lunch break.
Lesson learned #1: If you are going to play slot machines, refrain from hopping casinos to casinos, looking for that big hit. All slot machines function on the same principle even though payoff probabilities differ from one machine to another, I recommend that you find your favorite casino and play there. It will save you a lot of walking and frustration. On the next day, I continued to play and just as the mathematics have predicted, the longer you play, the quicker you will deplete your earnings.
Lesson learned #2: Put away your winnings and play only with your initial bankroll. The best way to keep from spending your money is to know, at all times, where you stand. Limit the number of play per machine without a win. I have experienced slot machines spin 30 times before a win came up and usually, it was a small payoff. On the other hand, if the machine is paying off more than usual, stay with it until it stops paying after ten spins. In the two days of playing slots feverishly, I found myself winning and losing. The temptations were high and disciplining yourself to stop playing was even harder.
Lesson learned #3: If you are on a losing streak, STOP, and take time out. This is the only way you can gain control of yourself and the 'One Armed Bandit'. Do not try to justify you're playing to regain your losses. Remember, the longer you play, the more you will lose.
Lesson learned #4: Play the right slots. Whatever denomination you choose to play, stick to the 2 coins, 3 reel non-progressive, single-pay line slot with the lowest top jackpot (1000 to 5000 coins). The lower the top jackpot, the more frequency the smaller the paybacks and the better the odds.
Lesson learned #5: Don't play with the jackpot in mind. To win the jackpot, you must always bet the maximum coins, which will run you out of money very fast. Your goal should be to find a slot that gives you the longest playing time and smaller but more frequent paybacks. The longer you can make your bankroll and playing time last, the better chance you have of finding the right slot machine at the right time. Learn to be satisfied with any win you can get.
Lesson learned #6: Know which slot locations to try. Every casino wants players to see other players winning. It's good advertising and enhances the client to play even more often. The better-paying machines are often put in heavy traffic, highly visible locations with room for crowds to gather and cheer winners on. Such locations include crosswalks, elevated carousels, and banks of slots near the casino bar, lounges, change booth, and coffee shops. It works most of the time.
Lesson learned #7: Luck. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to bet on a slot machine. If like most people, you go to a casino to get away from everyday stress, it doesn't matter how you bet: maximum, minimum, or a combination of both. Ignore any "expert" or casino know-it-all who says to always bet maximum coins. It's your money and you are in control of how that money is being waged. Remember the law of large numbers. The longer you play the more likely you will lose your winning.
Finally, my experience in playing slots was gratifying and exciting. I started out with one thousand dollars and was able to pay off all my expenses and still keep two hundred dollars. All this playing, approximately twenty hours, accumulated 1700 points on the MGM Grand Directors Card. This was a lot of playing and a great experience that will last for a while. To summarize, playing slot machines is exciting and fun but the game is costly and should be done only when the means for playing are there and for most of us, this translates into a few casinos trips a year.