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Slots 232: Winning At Slot Machines
First of all you should be aware of the fact that there's way to guarantee you'll consistently win when playing slot machines. The house edge for slots averages around ten percent (the casino ends up with 10% of all the money fed into slot machines). Having said this, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of winning at slot machines.
Every slot machine has a predetermined payback percentage. The machine pays out this percentage because a tiny computer chip known as a "random number generator" tells it to. This chip determines what symbol combinations come up for each spin and whether you're left cheering or cursing your fate. The payback percentage usually ranges between 80% and 98%, the higher the percent the better your chance of winning. A 97% payback doesn't mean the machine will pay you 97% of your money back each time you sit down. The payback percentage occurs over a very very long period of time.
To optimize your winnings you want to find the slot machines with the highest payback percentages, loose machines. These probably aren't going to have a nice label to tell you where they are but they most likely won't be hidden either. It's in a casino's best interest for people to see winners. Because of this the looser machines are often in high traffic areas, near aisles, change machines, restaurants, etc. Another way to track down high payback machines is to ask the locals. In general the higher denomination machines will have a higher payback percentage, $1 machines will payback at a higher percentage than a quarter machine. It's also a good idea to avoid progressive slots. Casinos lure players to progressive machines with dreams of the big payout but they usually have lower payback percentages than non-progressive slot machines.
Make sure you understand the slot machine rules before beginning to play. This may sound obvious but a lot of players don't read the rules before spinning. Some machines will only pay a bonus on certain combinations if you play the maximum number of coins. Not playing the maximum on these slots can severely hurt you chances of winning. If you do decide to play a progressive machine always play the maximum coins, otherwise you won't win the jackpot and you'll be kicking yourself for weeks possibly years.
Even if you lose you can still win. Casinos love to give away comps, free meals, shows, gifts, rooms, and all sorts of other goodies. Whether you're winning or losing at your slot machine you can be earning credit towards free comps. Don't forget to use your comp card and get your share.
Don't waste you time at a tight machine. It's a good idea to set a spin limit up before you start playing, say three or four spins. If the slot machine doesn't hit a payoff an average of at least every three or four spins then move on. Remember, the longer you sit and play, the greater the odds against. Casinos thrive because the house always wins over the long term.
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