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Slot machine tips

Slot machines contain a "random number generator" (RNG), which is simply a computer chip that constantly spits out numbers - even while the machine is not being used. These random numbers correspond to positions on the reels in the slot machine. When you pull the handle (or push the "Spin" button), what you are really doing is telling the computer to select one of the numbers. Then the slot machine moves the reels to correspond to the number you picked.

The facts correct some long-held inaccurate assumptions about how slot machines operate. Like roulette, where every spin of the wheel is completely random and independent, one pull of a slot handle is completely random and independent of the previous and next pull. It all depends on the precise moment that you pull the handle or push the "Spin" button and which set of random numbers you select. Pulling the handle a 100th of a second later would yield a totally different result.

Here are some important facts to consider when playing slot machines:

• If someone hits a big payout at a machine that you just left, don't think that you "missed" a payout. You would not have gotten that payout if you had been playing because you wouldn't have pulled the slot machine at the exact fraction of a second that the other person did.

• Because each pull on the machine is independent, a machine is never "due to hit".

• A machine can go for days without a decent payout but there is no reason it can't have several large payouts in a short period of time.

• Playing faster will not increase the chances of winning.

• The number of coins you play won't influence the numbers that are picked.

• It makes no difference if you pull the handle or press the "Spin" button.
Lets look at an example. If a machine has 10 symbols on each reel, and there are two "blank" positions between each symbol, that's 30 positions on each reel. This three-reel machine gives 27,000 (30 X 30 X 30) possible results that you can get each time that you play. Some of these combinations will give smaller payouts, but there's only a 1 in 27,000 chance that you wil choose the combination of numbers that will hit the jackpot.

One important point with slot machines is that they are set up with different payback percentages and hit frequencies. (The odds at table games are pretty much the same wherever you play because the rules are consistent from one casino to the next.) Machines that pay off frequently are referred to as being "loose". But loose isn't always a good thing if you're looking for a big jackpot. If a machine is has a high payback percentage (like 98%), but also has a high hit frequency, you'll end up with many small payouts but few big ones. If you are looking for a big jackpot, then the best machines are those with a high payback percentage and a lower hit frequency.

Everyone has their own preferences for which slot machines to play but here is a list of factors to pay attention to when playing slot machines. Slot machines are the most popular form of gaming in casinos.

Tip #1 - Only play the slot machines with the best payouts - Look for machines that payout between 95 and 99 percent and only play those. These are mostly \$1 and higher machines. Research indicates that \$5 or higher machines have the highest range of percentage payouts The payouts then decline as the machines become less expensive - from \$1 machines followed by 50-cent machines, 25-cent machines, and 5-cent machines. You will often see signs that say "Up to 98% payback" indicating that they have loose machines. This means that over the long term the slot will pay out 98 cents of every dollar that is played. The "up to" phrase is important here. It means that a casino could have only one machine out of a bank of machines that is set to pay back at 98% in order to comply with the sign. If you find an area of slots with a sign without the "up to" you may want to give it a try.

Tip #2 - Play non-progressive machines - Because the progressive jackpot machines are programmed to produce a higher number of reels and symbols, slot players are better off playing the flat rate machines found in good locations.

Tip #3 - Bribe a casino employee - Ask an employee in the slots area which machines are the best. Offer them a cut of the jackpot if you win it.

Tip #4 - Physical placement - When picking a machine, location is very important. The placement of the machine is usually an indicator of how loose or tight the machine is. Here is some more information on how to find tight and loose slots.

Finding loose slots

Because loose slots attract more slots action, the casino spends a lot of effort placing these machines in areas where they will be seen the most. If you understand what strategies they use, you can use them to your advantage.

• Near the change booths - casinos want other players who are waiting in line to get change to hear the sounds and sights of slots players winning money. This will motivate other players to get more change and play more.

• On elevated carousels - the reason why these slots are usually loose is a simple one - because the machines are visible from nearly any angle on the gaming floor.

• Near the coffee shop/cafe/snack bar - casinos often place their best machines in these locations to motivate players to eat quickly and get back to the gaming floor as soon as possible. When a player takes a time out for drinks or food it's time spent not playing. No play means no revenue for the casino.

• Slot aisles known as "crosswalks" - crosswalks are areas that players must walk through to get to other slot aisles. The casinos want slot players to witness frequent jackpot payouts. People passing by using these pathways are more likely to be drawn into the main slot aisles, where the medium and tight machines are waiting to fleece them.

• The older places near the north end of the Strip may set their machines looser to try and draw players away from the newer, fancier resorts.

AVOIDING TIGHT SLOTS

Similar to the loose slots placement strategy, there is also one for tight slots. These, on the other hand, are always located in secluded areas where there aren't many people passing by and few other slot players. One thing to remember is that every casino is different and that each moves their slot machines around to challenge those who seek the loose ones.

• Near casino entrances - In the past, casinos placed some of their highest-paying slots here in an attempt to lure players in off the street and into the main casino, where the tighter slots were located. This plan backfired as customers who began playing at the entrances stayed at the entrances. They never ventured any further into the casino becuase they were doing just fine where they were. The casinos have now moved medium and tight machines into the entrance areas.

• Around or near the sportsbook/racing areas - Casinos do not want their sportsbook customers to be distracted by the noise from the slot machines. Sportsbook players spend tons of money betting on sports but are less likely to play slot machines themselves - so putting a high-payout machine there would be waste, and may even cause the sportsbook players to leave the area.

• Near the ticket/show lines - People waiting in line to see a show or to buy tickets to a show are tied up and don't have time to gamble.

• Surrounding the gaming table areas - Slot machines that are near the gaming tables are almost always tight with a few medium-range machines thrown in for good measure. Table players aren't usually regular slot players.

Tip #5 - Play the maximum number of coins - The only way you can hit the jackpot on a machine is by playing the maximum number of coins. You will notice this when you look at the payout table on the slot machine.

Tip #6 - Don't play multiple-payline slots - Although it seems like you have better odds when playing these machines, the payout rates aren't as good as single-payline slots.

Tip #7 - Always use your slots card - Don't forget to use your players card to take advantage of any comps (and don't forget to take it with you when you leave). The reason why most people don't do this is because they simply don't bother to take the five minutes to register.

Tip #8 - Play with coins rather than bills - Using coins takes longer and will slow down the pace of the game, allowing you to play longer.

Tip #9 - Know when to stop - Discipline is necessary when gambling, regardless of which game you are playing. Decide how you will handle your winnings and losses ahead of time. I you get ahead, you may decide to pocket the winnings and just play with the original bankroll.

Tip #10 - Play the highest denomination machines that fit into your bankroll - The higher the denomination, the higher the percentage of payout on slot machines. Typically, dollar machines return on average 95% with quarter machines returning 93% and nickel machines 90%.

Tip #11 - Try the machine next to you if yours is not paying off - According to industry insiders, the casinos never place two loose machines next to each other.

Tip #12 - A slow machine's payout rate can change - All reel-type slot machines contain variant programming. This means the machine can pay out several percentage points above and below its standard payout percentage. For example, if a machine is programmed to pay out 96%, there will be times when it pays at 93% and other times when it pays at 98%. This may explain why the same machine can treat you good sometimes and badly other times.

Tip #13 - Test every machine you play. Play a certain number of pulls or spins and gauge how the machine is responding. After you have played for a while, stop and tally what the machine has paid out. If you are at least breaking even - then stay and keep going (and keep monitoring). If you are not breaking even, change machines.

Tip #14 - All slot machines "dump" every now and then. - "Dumping" means that a machine has been paying out below its standard payout percentage for an extended period of time so it has to pay out money in order to returning to its average payout.

Tip #15 - Determine yourself whether a mchine is "loose" - The term "loose" is relative when it comes to slot machines. It varies from among casinos. Just because a casino says their machines are loose doesn't mean they are a good bet. Notice the payout percentages among slot machines in difference casinos and in different cities. Then decide for yourself whether a certain machine has an attractive payout or not.

Tip #16 - For the most part, the main slot banks contain mostly medium and tight machines.

Tip #17 - Contrary to popular belief, the casinos do not hide or move their best machines simply because they think people will find them. - The casinos want people to find them - so they will be played. The more they are played, the more money a casino makes.

Tip #18 - Develop a 6th sense when it comes to slot machines. - You need to get a feel for the machines before you decide which one to play.

Tip #19. Do not pick a favorite machine - Many players play the same machine each time they go to a casino - especially if the machine has treated them well. This can be bad because if a machine is treating you badly then you will have a harder time switching to another.

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