Invented in 1891, slot machines are classic casino games. With their flashing lights, sound effects, and varied themes, slot machines create a casino’s atmosphere, almost exuding an aura of excitement and possibility.
The allure of slot machines is undeniable – stepping up to a machine you instantly want to pull the lever or push the button to see if you can win big. Take a breath and step back for a moment. Here are four tips to keep in mind as a novice slot player.
1. Examine the Pay Tables
When choosing your machine, look for a card on or near the machine. This “pay table” will show you the combinations that will pay out on that machine. Some slot machines pay small amounts frequently; on other machines, you’ll almost never win, but when you do, it’ll be big. Decide what kind of game you’d like to play, then use the pay table to find the right machine for you.
2. Always Pay “Full Coin” in Progressive Machines
A progressive slot machine is where a small percentage of all the money entered into the machine is added to the jackpot until someone wins it. If no one wins for a while these jackpots can get outrageously big – making them exhilarating to try to get. However, if this is the game you want to play, make sure you play “full coin” – meaning, you make the largest bet possible on the machine each time – because that’s the only way to win the jackpot.
3. Secure Any Profit
If you win a substantial amount of money, set aside the amount you started with, plus some profit, before continuing to play. Although this might seem obvious, this rule is one of the hardest to follow when you’re actually in the casino (which is actually why some people prefer online casino gaming – less pressure).
It’s incredibly tempting to chase the high of a big win with more slots, but try to resist. There are few worse feelings in this world than going from a large profit to deep in the hole. Instead, take a short breather. Do a victory lap, and then continue to play with a small part of your profits.
4. Keep Track of Your Wins and Losses
Keeping a journal of your wins and losses will help you in several ways. First, if you win more than $1,200 the casino will give you a W2-G form to declare your winnings to the IRS come tax time. If you have a record, you can write off your losses, potentially saving you a lot of money. Second, keeping a log will help you manage your money. Being able to see exactly how much you’ve spent and how much you’ve won during each session of play will help you plan for the future.
Finally: make sure you have fun. If you win money, that’s great. If you lose, think of it as paying for entertainment. The most important thing is enjoying the game.