Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

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miamivice
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Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by miamivice »

I'm posting this in the Personal Consumer Issues (how we spend our money) because I consider playing the slot machine to be consumptive entertainment, not a practical way to make your assets grow. I'm curious for suggestions on how to get the most bang for my slot machine buck.

Basically, I have found that as I play the slot machine, I consistently walk away with less money than I started with. Now, I haven't played for days and days and days; just a couple hours here and there while on vacation in Vegas. Yet, I have lost money every time.

I usually play the penny slots (1 line at a time, 1 bet per line), and find I can make $1.00 last about 30 minutes or so. Every now and then I will play 30 bets at a time, but that simply seems like a way to lose more money faster (that'd be losing $30/30 minutes instead of $1/30 minutes). So, if a person loses money to the casino, is there any purpose in playing higher amounts?

I get that there is a "chance" I might win the jackpot. If I am playing $0.01 per spin, and win the jackpot, the jackpot might be small; while if I bet $1.00 per spin, then the jackpot might be worthwhile large. However, it seems like I would have to lose a lot of money before winning the jackpot.

Any comments on playing the slots for entertainment, and how to maximize the entertainment value?
lazydavid
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by lazydavid »

You might have to up your budget. A buck isn't really going to take you very far in a casino. :twisted:

Despite having spent a cumulative total of at least 6 months out of the past 10 years in Vegas, I'm not a gambler, at all. That said, what I've seen is that the entertainment value of slots goes up if you win at least some of the time, and therefore can play a little longer. Many of the machines are set so the payouts are non-linear, so you win more when you play the max bet. There's a reason for this, of course :moneybag . My other family members who DO like to gamble some gravitate towards the two-credit machines. That lets them play a "max bet" that's just double of the minimum. They'll occasionally play a 3 credit, but walk right by the 30/50 coin machines. You definitely won't find 2/3 credit machines that take pennies, and probably not nickels or dimes either. You'd have to do quarter or dollar machines.

If you DO win, play a couple more pulls to see if the machine keeps hitting, and then cash out and go find another one if it doesn't. This makes you feel like you're quitting while you're ahead, even though you're bound to lose all your winnings at that next machine. :)

Do yourself a favor and steer clear of the high limit slots room. Don't even look through the window, else you might have a heart attack. The first time I was in Vegas, these rooms were stocked mostly with $5 machines, with the occasional $10 or $25. Last month in the MGM, just walking buy I spotted a $50 x 5 lines, and a $100 x 3 lines. That means each and every time you push the button, it costs $300. Hmm, play the slots for 2 minutes, or have a 3 hour dinner at a Joel Rubouchon, one of a very few US restaurants (and the only one in LV) with 3 Michelin stars? Not a difficult decision.
runner3081
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by runner3081 »

I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.

Though, you can also make Pai Gow last a while at a cheap table downtown.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by Doom&Gloom »

At best you can expect slots to clip you ~2.5% per transaction (ie, per spin) on average. Even worse at the lower denominations. How is that for a high expense ratio? How much entertainment do you get watching wheels spin, etc? LV has gotten progressively worse at trying to extract every cent they can from casino visitors.

I would guess you can find better value for your entertainment dollar--even in Las Vegas--but only you can make that decision.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by LarryAllen »

I don't keep up on things but in the old days the dollar slots had significantly better odds than the low money slots. I think penny slots are the worst as they are perceived as so little money. I would go "big" and try the quarter slots next time and maybe, and I stress maybe, the time after that drop $50 in the dollar slots. I know it's wild and crazy but once in a while it's worth it to go totally crazy! Good luck to you!
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by miamivice »

runner3081 wrote:I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.
Actually, video poker are slot machines in disguise. I can't really explain but it's what I've read.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by qwertyjazz »

The goal is lowering the rate you can complete a bet because the house almost always has an advantage. So if you wear glasses, leave them at home. Break a couple of bones so that you concentrate more on the pain. Drinking alchohol is mixed results as it lowers inhibitions (n.b.; the free drinks given by the casinos). But if you are so drunk that you cannot easily put money in the machine, you might do better.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by Doom&Gloom »

miamivice wrote:
runner3081 wrote:I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.
Actually, video poker are slot machines in disguise. I can't really explain but it's what I've read.
Not in most states, but in a few locales they are actually video lottery terminals.

The bean-counters have targeted video poker as well as other games in recent years. Video poker pay tables (and thus their returns) have been decimated in most places. These days it generally is not worth the time to learn an optimal strategy for video poker. After doing so, you may have to play error-free simply to achieve the same expected return as a drunk banging buttons on a nearby slot machine.
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Watty
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by Watty »

Not that I was that good at it but I had way too much math in college to really enjoy gambling even though I have done it a few times.

You would have to be in the right mood(or maybe a bit tipsy) but Circus Circus does have a separate set of Midway games that kids can get into but adults can play too. It has been a while since I was there but I can remember have a good time trying to catapult a rubber frog across the room and I don't remember it being terribly expensive.

If you like putting coins in machines and getting flashing lights and bells then try out the Pinball Hall of fame instead of gambling.

http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

I have not been to that one but I have been to similar places and pinball machines are a lot more fun than slot machines.
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JoMoney
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by JoMoney »

A casino will be trying to maximize their take on each machine / amount of floor space. A machine that allows you to play @ 1 cent a spin, will likely have lower odds / payout percentage than one with a higher minimum spin cost.
i.e. A machine that allows 10cents per spin may payout 8cents on average spin, where as a machine that min. cost is $1 a spin may payout .98 cents on average. The casino is still averaging 2 cents per spin, but one is paying out 80% and the other 98% of the money played through it.
...problem though, is the odds are stacked against you no matter what, and casinos rarely advertise the payout ratios of specific machines so it can be very difficult to find out which ones are offering the best odds (which are still negative expected value, and you shouldn't play).

DO NOT INCREASE YOUR WAGER ON A LOSING STREAK. People have different strategies, and perhaps it's a matter of preference, and not a big deal as long as you have a budget and a limit you stop at... but it's my opinion that raising your stakes when losing is a horrible strategy. Losses hurt more than winning feels good, and this strategy is more apt to cause larger losses, and put you in a position of just trying to 'get even' with larger and larger amounts at risk.
Budget your time, and budget your money. Know what time you want to quit and stick to it, or leave early on a big win. You'll enjoy it more if sometimes you leave a happy winner - of course this also is conditioning you to want this 'happy/winning' experience and can lead to some very bad habits.
Figure out how long it takes you to spend a given amount if you lost every spin, budget that amount over the amount of time you want to spend. As the time to stop nears, if your bankroll/budget is up relative to time remaining consider increasing the amount you wager. You'll still be sticking to your time and lost money budget, but if you happen to catch a rare winning streak you'll have an opportunity to turn it into a potentially really big meaningful win... you'll also get the heightened sensation/dopamine rush from the larger stakes (...also addictive and dangerous).

Whatever you do, do what will allow you to have fun. It's entertainment. If you're trying to play the odds, you'll always be doing it wrong because the odds say not to play at all.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by oldcomputerguy »

If you frequent the Caesars chain of casinos (Caesars, Ballys, Rio, Flamingo, etc), be sure to sign up for and use their Total Rewards card. Using that card in the slot machine while you play racks up points that can result in comp rooms later. DW and I have one that we used on our last stay, and checking the Ballys web site for a possible fall visit we find many, many opportunities for comp rooms based on our past play. (The card also can be tendered in connection with some restaurant visits and show ticket purchases, which also rack up points.)

The other major player (MGM) also has a rewards program and card, but I'm not that familiar with its perks.
tim1999
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by tim1999 »

Playing a multi-line slot machine for one penny and one line per bet has to rank up there with the most boring things to do in a casino, right behind sitting in your room and staring at the wall. I mean, even if you hit the biggest possible payout for that bet (many machines require playing max bet for a shot at the real jackpots), what are you going to win, like a dollar?

You might consider upping your bet to a couple bucks and playing one of those electronic baccarat machines where multiple terminals are linked to a single virtual hand of cards, the house edge is generally in the low single digits on those vs. around 10% on average for slots, sometimes higher on penny slots.

It always seemed to me like penny slots are designed to keep you "in the game" longer, but with much lower variance (I. e. much lower chance at a big payout, instead more frequent small hits) than single-reel higher denomination machines.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by jbolden1517 »

Casinos are charging you for floorspace. The lower you play the less often you can win. They do this by dropping the payout ratio the lower you pay. I have no idea what it is for a penny but expect something like nickels at 92.5%, quarters at 94.1%, dollars at 95.9%, and 5 dollar machines at 98.4%. You are better off playing fewer lines and higher denominations than smaller machines and more lines as far as your odds of making money.

You have to decide what your objective is.
a) Pay as little as possible on average for a fixed amount of entertainment.
b) Increase your chance of a winning session
c) Minimize the risk for a fixed amount of entertainment.

For (c) the best strategy is a low denomination machine playing more lines. You are better off keeping the denomination low as your loses are predictable even at the expense of virtually guaranteeing a losing session.
For (b) the best strategy is a higher denomination machine, probably at a number you find a bit scary and playing one line.
For (a) the best strategy might be to step up to nickels or quarters which allows you to play less lines.

Now for the editorial. Craps is way more fun and has better payouts. Give it a try.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by BHUser27 »

miamivice wrote:I'm curious for suggestions on how to get the most bang for my slot machine buck.
^^^this is a very personal question. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
What gives one person thrill or satisfaction when gambling might bore the heck out of another, or scare the heck out of a third.
Some people don't/won't gamble at all under any circumstances regardless of "strategy".

I rarely gamble. Hardly ever. When I do, I usually limit myself to about $200 at the craps table or $100 for slots.
When I do play slot machines, I always play max-lines and max-bet with bonus. Anything else seems pointless.

+1 for "craps is way more fun"
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by midareff »

miamivice wrote:I'm posting this in the Personal Consumer Issues (how we spend our money) because I consider playing the slot machine to be consumptive entertainment, not a practical way to make your assets grow. I'm curious for suggestions on how to get the most bang for my slot machine buck.

Basically, I have found that as I play the slot machine, I consistently walk away with less money than I started with. Now, I haven't played for days and days and days; just a couple hours here and there while on vacation in Vegas. Yet, I have lost money every time.

I usually play the penny slots (1 line at a time, 1 bet per line), and find I can make $1.00 last about 30 minutes or so. Every now and then I will play 30 bets at a time, but that simply seems like a way to lose more money faster (that'd be losing $30/30 minutes instead of $1/30 minutes). So, if a person loses money to the casino, is there any purpose in playing higher amounts?

I get that there is a "chance" I might win the jackpot. If I am playing $0.01 per spin, and win the jackpot, the jackpot might be small; while if I bet $1.00 per spin, then the jackpot might be worthwhile large. However, it seems like I would have to lose a lot of money before winning the jackpot.

Any comments on playing the slots for entertainment, and how to maximize the entertainment value?
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maximize entertainment value

Post by FraggleRock »

I am a nickel slot guy. When the $2 roll is one, I am done.
And, I will only play machines with a real handle you have to pull.
lightheir
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by lightheir »

Man, maybe I'm just too young to realize it, but aside from the addictive nature of gambling and the false dreams of a promising reward, I have no idea why one would choose to play a slot machine for hours on end. I seriously would do anything else than sit in a dark room with lots of noisy dinging, repeatedly pulling a lever for hours on end. My BH advice would be to try literally anything else - it'll also have higher ROI on money for sure!
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by DanMahowny »

Perhaps you should consider Video Poker . . .

I go to Vegas about 8 times each year. I get free rooms, some free food, and free-play for my video poker play. My flights are also free (credit card rewards).

Although comps and video poker pay tables are deteriorating, full-pay games still exist.

I play 9/6 JoB, and 10/7 DB. These games return 99.54% and 100.17% for perfect play (correct strategy not that hard to earn, just takes some practice).

Additionally, these games earn cash back. As much as 1%. Combined with the comps mentioned above, I have a small advantage over the casino.

My longterm winnings are small but they easily cover any additional expenses. And I enjoy playing the games. Eight "free" vacations each year is pretty sweet, I think.

The only negative is these "premium" games only exist downtown and at off-strip casinos. The video poker offerings on the Las Vegas strip absolutely suck, and should be avoided.

Good luck, or as I prefer "good variance".
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by investingdad »

lightheir wrote:Man, maybe I'm just too young to realize it, but aside from the addictive nature of gambling and the false dreams of a promising reward, I have no idea why one would choose to play a slot machine for hours on end. I seriously would do anything else than sit in a dark room with lots of noisy dinging, repeatedly pulling a lever for hours on end. My BH advice would be to try literally anything else - it'll also have higher ROI on money for sure!
Having been on enough cruises to walk through the casinos...I will admit that they look very tempting to play. I'm sure plenty of research has gone into making them look as desirable as possible.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by mr_breen »

JoMoney wrote: but if you happen to catch a rare winning streak you'll have an opportunity to turn it into a potentially really big meaningful win... you'll also get the heightened sensation/dopamine rush from the larger stakes (...also addictive and dangerous).

I couldn't agree with this more. Probably the worse thing that happened to me at a casino was winning a decent size jackpot on a $5 slot machine. I was in Bally's, Atlantic City a few years ago playing quarter slots. I had some decent winnings, so I switched to $5 machine. I think I tried playing max credits ($15 a spin) and quickly won $1195 (that payout was cleverly set to be right under the tax reporting threshold.) The rush I got from that winning changed the way my brain reacts to gambling.

Now it is not fun for me to play quarter (or nickel or penny) slots. I can only get excited for $1 slots or higher. But, I also have an extreme aversion to loss from gambling. If you are going to play $5 slots consistently, you are going to have to be expect to be down fairly large amounts of money at time (probably > $1000 at times.) Being down $1000 hurts too much for me to even begin to let it happen.

So, essentially slot gambling is ruined for me. I just go the casino much less frequently now and really don't enjoy it.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by scotthew »

I fully agree, that when in Vegas, idea is to lose as a little money to the the casino as possible while taking advantage of free drinks (to the point where you can still play a nonlosing strategy coherently)! That immediately rules out the tables with the big minimum bets and high pressure from superstitious players that may lead you to deviate from optimum strategies.

For that reason, I stick with video poker or video blackjack. I know it's anti-social, but again, I hate the pressure of playing at the tables. For playing video blackjack, it's useful to take along a basic strategy card to the casino. The casinos don't have a problem with you using them (they hope to get you a little alcohol buzz so you deviate from basic strategy and lose more money). Video poker optimum strategy is even simpler than blackjack strategy, and you can find plenty of websites that give you that optimal strategy strategy (for not losing much money).

Another piece of advice
When you sit down, set the play speed to slow!!! Slow down that inevitable money loss!!!

Yet another -
If you like to get free drinks at a faster pace, go sit at the bar and play a little video poker. You may have to play higher $1 or more hands, but if you play it slow, it's still going to only lose you a dollar or so on average, while you get a free drink, which is way less than $10+ to pay on your own dime at the casino bar.

Biggest overall piece of advice:
Bet on on the high probability, small payout than vice versa. Generally, the casinos have wired that other bets to have higher odds in the casino favor.


That being said, I'm older and wiser now, and would rather find something to do besides sitting around the casino slavishly dropping coins in machines. I would take a walk outside, even if it's hot and people watch or eat at one of the great (albeit overpriced) restaurants that Vegas has.
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Re: maximize entertainment value

Post by HomerJ »

FraggleRock wrote:I am a nickel slot guy. When the $2 roll is one, I am done.
And, I will only play machines with a real handle you have to pull.
I almost never play slots, but when I do, it HAS to have a real handle to pull. :)
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by Atilla »

Maximizing entertainment value with slots to me means playing with a group of strangers.

There is a Deal or No Deal machine at MGM. Along the right wall and toward the back if you enter from the strip. Just like the TV show with Howie and the girls with briefcases on the stage. You play with 3 other people. Lots of fun for a slot machine.

There is an ancient Wheel of Fortune machine at Casino Royale; huge round thing that seats 16 people at 8 different screens with a giant wheel in the middle - again just like the TV show. People get hootin and hollerin playing that one when there's a crowd all playing at once.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by 41Fin »

runner3081 wrote:I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.
.
Best thing is, the video poker machines are usually at the bar. Making it easier to get free drinks(assuming your casino offers them).
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by bigred77 »

In Vegas I love the sports books. I don't gamble on sports at home, but while there I can place some bets for 50 bucks a pop and then watch the games and get 3-4 hours of entertainment.

The next best thing is blackjack when your with a group of your own friends at the tables and play for an hour or 2. I look for the $5 min tables but in Vegas it can be hard enough just finding a $10 min table nowadays. If I get up 50% or more at any given time I'll take my original dollars off the table and put them in my pocket. Then i know I'm just playing with house money. The longer you can stay playing the more free drinks you can take down :mrgreen: I'll never be a high roller I guess.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by denismurf »

With video poker, you have at least a modicum of control over the odds for that machine and the speed at which new hands are dealt.

Most of my pleasure in casinos comes from just hanging out and chatting with other players in downtown Las Vegas. Video poker players tend to be grownups: Boglehead types with no illusions about what they are getting from the casino experience and how much it costs. Of course, the experience is greatly enhanced by the occasional "big" win, which is not that hard to come by if you play intelligently.

The casinos probably don't make a lot of money off of video poker machines, so such machines will probably be extinct sooner rather than later. When that happens, I will probably stop going to casinos. I already don't play at local casinos. They either have no video poker machines at all, or their payouts are so puny that you might as well throw your money into that fountain that decorates the entrance. Same goes for casinos on cruise boats.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by wfrobinette »

runner3081 wrote:I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.

Though, you can also make Pai Gow last a while at a cheap table downtown.
Video poker has the highest payout ratio.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by wfrobinette »

miamivice wrote:
runner3081 wrote:I know they aren't slots, but I greatly prefer video poker to slots. Money seems to go on longer and it takes more time with some thought involved.
Actually, video poker are slot machines in disguise. I can't really explain but it's what I've read.
Yes but they do have a much lower hold % and if one plays "perfect" poker they can be the best bang for your buck.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by Doom&Gloom »

There is lots of misinformation regarding video poker in this thread.

VP can have a higher expected return than slots. It all depends upon the specific pay schedule for various poker hands and whether the player uses the optimal strategy for that exact pay schedule top-to-bottom. Each pay table has its own optimal strategy, and they are never completely intuitive. Each playing error is costly--some are more expensive than others. There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds of pay tables. The average vp player is not proficient with any one strategy--let alone several.

VP is still profitable for casinos or they would remove the machines. All casinos have downgraded pay tables from years past to increase their profits. With the accompanying tightening of comps, video poker play has dropped significantly. In the absence of a royal flush, any lengthy playing session on a vp machine is likely to be a loser. The odds of a RF is generally 1 in 40,000-45,000. Due to the top-heavy nature of vp, the variance is quite high compared to other games. Playing less than "full coin" (usually 5 coins of the denomination of the machine) significantly reduces the payoff for a RF, thus increasing the house edge by ~2%.

But as far as "entertainment," vp does give a player some control rather than simply banging buttons like a slot machine. As someone mentioned, video blackjack can also provide similar "control." But I will strongly disagree with the poster who stated that vbj strategy is harder to learn than vp strategy. It is far simpler. The primary thing to avoid with vbj is the "even money" payoff on blackjack or "naturals." If a natural pays only even money that adds 2.7% to the house edge. The machines/casino often disguise this in their rules by stating that blackjack pays "2 for 1." The "2" includes the return of the player's initial bet, so that is even money or "1 to 1." The pay schedule to look for with vbj is 3:2 for naturals. Those machines are increasingly rare.

With all casino games, speed kills. If you do not have an advantage, the faster you play, the more you are expected to lose. Machines are designed to be played fast, but a disciplined player can control the speed. An often recommended casino entertainment alternative is to find a slow (few decisions per hour) table game with a not-terrible house edge and a table full of players. As someone already pointed out, craps can be a decent alternative. A full craps table can be quite slow, very entertaining, and offers a few bets where the house edge isn't too bad (1.4 to 2.7%).
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by jdb »

lightheir wrote:Man, maybe I'm just too young to realize it, but aside from the addictive nature of gambling and the false dreams of a promising reward, I have no idea why one would choose to play a slot machine for hours on end. I seriously would do anything else than sit in a dark room with lots of noisy dinging, repeatedly pulling a lever for hours on end. My BH advice would be to try literally anything else - it'll also have higher ROI on money for sure!
+1. Never could figure out the entertainment value of losing money. Stopped going on cruises since too often had to walk through the casinos to get from one end of ship to the other. And not to be snarky but the slot machines seem to attract the passengers who take advantage of the all you can eat buffets on board. But I do not begrudge others their pleasures, long as I don't have to participate or visit the casinos. Good luck.
Last edited by jdb on Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by wfrobinette »

jbolden1517 wrote:Casinos are charging you for floorspace. The lower you play the less often you can win. They do this by dropping the payout ratio the lower you pay. I have no idea what it is for a penny but expect something like nickels at 92.5%, quarters at 94.1%, dollars at 95.9%, and 5 dollar machines at 98.4%. You are better off playing fewer lines and higher denominations than smaller machines and more lines as far as your odds of making money.

You have to decide what your objective is.
a) Pay as little as possible on average for a fixed amount of entertainment.
b) Increase your chance of a winning session
c) Minimize the risk for a fixed amount of entertainment.

For (c) the best strategy is a low denomination machine playing more lines. You are better off keeping the denomination low as your loses are predictable even at the expense of virtually guaranteeing a losing session.
For (b) the best strategy is a higher denomination machine, probably at a number you find a bit scary and playing one line.
For (a) the best strategy might be to step up to nickels or quarters which allows you to play less lines.

Now for the editorial. Craps is way more fun and has better payouts. Give it a try.
Ok so I spent almost 5 years in the casino industry in analytics and marketing. He's right on the money with the payouts and best denominations to play. Now let me go on to explain in a little more detail about all of this.

Comps/Rewrds points etc - Are all based on theoretical win(That's the house win not yours). Lets assume the machine hold is set at 10% (90% pay out). That means every $1 you put in you get credited for $0.10 of theo win. Every $100 is $10 of theo. Most rewards programs are going to pay 3 to 10% of your theo back max. Start doing the math and you'll soon find that your comps are not really comps. You've bought and paid for that free buffet or room a several times over. At most regional casino's if you don't generate at least $25 in theo per day you don't get free stuff. Top players are over $200 in theo win a day. Same goes for Vegas, you're not getting much until you shove $250 or more into a machine(s) per day.

Now let's talk payouts. Refer back to that 10% hold or 90% payout scenario above. Theoretically, you put $100 in you should walk away with $90. But that's not how it works in reality. The hold % is designed to be a long term proposition over the life of the machine. THink of it like your investment returns. Some time your up other times your down. Remember the machine will pay a jackpot at some point. For simplicity sake let's say the life of the machine is one day. Let's say that jackpot is $900. Remember, to pay that jackpot and payout 90% $1000 had to be put into the machine.

Now let's even throw more into the mix. Machines of the same denomination do not all have the same payout scheme. The whole entire floor is optimized to achieve the casino's desired payout % (Most's states have a minimum % and casino's complete on higher payouts). They may place higher payout machines near the aisle to attract people inward.

Now let's talk about spins. These machines are no longer mechanical in nature. Sure some have spinning reels and levers but it's all a facade. Each machine has a RNG partly based on the clock down to the milliseconds. The thought of If I get up and walk away and the next player sits down and hits the jackpot keeps people in the seat. In reality, unless you hit that button and the exact millisecond your spin would have not produced the same result.

There are literally dozens of schemes players use to maximize their winnings(really minimize losses).

1. Playing single lines on a multi line machine is certainly a terrible strategy.
2. Upping denomination is better but still have to play max lines to maximize payout. (most 0.25 machine may only be a 0.75 max bet while pennies max bet can easily be over $1
3. Video Poker has the highest payout in the slot machines. If you play perfect poker payout can be up to 98% or more. But expect your comps to be less)
4. Take enough money with you. A few hundred at a 0.25 machine(s) should last quite a while.
5. Move around if the machine doesn't pay out in a few spins
6. In the end you have to see this as entertainment and there is absolutely no way you'll be a long term winner unless you get extremely lucky and hit a jackpot and then never put another dime in a machine.

Best odds in the casino - Craps but don't get caught up in any of the sucker bets(center of the table). Plus there is nothing like the excitement around a full table when someone gets hot. It's not that hard to learn and the casinos usually have lessons in the mornings. Playing the pass (or no pass) line only can be a load of fun and $100 on a $5 table can last for a few hours.

Blackjack and baccarat are pretty decent as well but as with craps you have to play right.

Worst odds - That stupid money wheel usually right off the elevators

All tables games have sucker bets learn what they are before you play.
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Re: Las Vegas Slot Machine Strategy (maximize entertainment value)

Post by LadyGeek »

Sorry, but gambling is not an acceptable consumer issue. See: Subject: Consumer Forum Reopened
Alex Frakt wrote:The former Consumer and Recreation subforum has been reopened as the Personal Consumer Issues forum. The forum guidelines (shown below) have been changed only slightly, but the name was changed to clarify that the forum has a specific focus, it is not a general comment forum. All topics must be both personal and actionable, i.e., readers should be able to use the information provided to make better informed decisions on how to spend their money or their time. Threads that are either offensive or deviate from that focus will be removed, so please don't post them. Examples of recent topics that won't make the cut include: philosophical questions, memorials to dead celebrities, lucky gambling streaks, pleas to stop using deodorant, comments on other people's income requirements, and relationship questions. We are also going to have to cut out the joke threads and sports fan threads.
Also see: Personal Consumer Issues
This subforum is focused on making informed decisions about consumer goods and services (other than investing or financial).

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"Entertainment value" is not relevant to the point of the discussion. (Thread locked.)
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