The idea of learning slot machines, which are the ultimate game of chance, may seem counterintuitive to many readers.
And I’ll admit, there’s not much to learn when it comes to the old one-armed bandits.
But with that said, the slots of today have come a long way from the simple three reels, pull lever designs from the previous era.
Nowadays, slot machines feature, three, five, and even 10 reel layouts, with pay line, counts running from just one to 100 or more. Video slots offer “games within the game,” along with bonus features like free spins, wild symbols, and scatter pays.
When you throw in the sheer diversity of manufacturers, each of whom can set their various games to offer vastly different payback percentages, the world of slot machines has become quite complicated indeed.
And as the most popular gambling activity on the planet, the slots are always attracting new players to the arena.
Whether you’re an experienced casino gambler who would like to try slots for the first time or a casino rookie who simply wants to sit in the slow lane to start out, learning how to play slots the right way is vitally important.
The following tutorial was written to make learning slots as easy as can be. I also include some book recommendations that help get you started on the right foot.
Slot Machine Books
- Powerful Profits from Slots
Powerful Profits from Slots was written by Victor H. Royer and published in 2014. Royer’s book focuses on understanding modern day, high tech slot machines and both how they work and how they can work for you. Some topics covered include:
- Which machines to play
- Maximizing your win potential
- Setting loss and win amounts
- Three-reel machines
- Insider secrets
- Pay cycle
- Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines!
Slots Conquest was written by Frank Scoblete and published in 2010. Scoblete’s book focuses on straight forward slot machine strategies and covers a variety of topics including:
- Money management
- Myths and mistakes related to slot machines
- Recognizing slots with the best edge
- Mathematical edge
- True stories of slot adventures
- Psychic slot experiences
- And more
- Slot Smarts: Winning Strategies at the Slot Machine
Slot Smarts was written by Claude Halcombe and published in 2000. Halcombe’s strategy focuses on a fixed daily stake and not hitting jackpots but simply winning more and losing less.
He includes four work plans that include the green plan, silver plan, gold plan, and emerald plan. The green plan is a capital preservation strategy. The silver plan is a low to moderate loss and gain strategy. The gold plan is an elevated risk and high gain strategy. The emerald plan is a high risk and high gain strategy.
- The Slot Machine Answer Book: How They Work, How They’ve Changed, and How to Overcome the House Advantage
The Slot Machine Answer Book was written by John Grochowski and published in 1999. In Grochowski’s book he focuses on the many questions posed by beginner to expert slot machines players. The book is laid out in a Q&A format and provides a quiz after the questions to tune up your skills.
- Secrets of Winning Slots
The Secrets of Winning Slots was written by Avery Cardoza and published in 2003. Some topics covered in Cardoza’s book include:
- Getting comps
- Cash rebates
- Over 20 winning strategies
- Multi pay lines
- Mega pay lines
- Mega progressives
- Big Berthas
- Wild symbols
- Multiple progressives
- Money management
- History of slots
- Slot clubs
Do Your Research
Nobody likes book work, but trust me here: playing slots successfully in 2017 requires a bit of study.
And I’m not talking about strategies and systems purporting to unlock the secret to slot success. Those are snake oil, through and through. The real knowledge lies in the logic of how slot machines really work.
I advise running some targeted Google searches for slot machine mechanics, using terms like “payback percentage,” “probability,” and “random number generator.” If you can weed out the obvious scams and hone in on expertise published by reliable sources, you’ll be on the fast track to knowing what millions of slot players don’t.
The fact is, slots appeal to so many people worldwide because gamblers are a superstitious lot by nature. Most slot players believe they can use lucky trinkets, or search for patterns in the reel symbols, or even choose the right machine using date and location, to get over on the game.
And even for those who don’t subscribe to such pure superstition, the randomization factor inherent to slot machine gameplay escapes their grasp. These players tend to think in terms of “being due,” stating that a big jackpot must be coming soon because they’ve played the same machine for years now, or due to a previous player “juicing” the machine up.
Of course, logic dictates that none of these approaches to slot success holds water.
A special teddy bear won’t cause the reels to line up perfectly, “patterns” on the reels are really just coincidence, and the time or place exerts no influence on a machine’s odds. A single machine may go years without paying out its top jackpot, so nothing is ever “due,” and there are no predetermined thresholds for coin insertion before jackpots are released.
These are simply myths and misconceptions that hopeful people have invented to help mitigate the cold, hard reality of what a slot machine really is: a pure game of chance where luck reigns supreme.
If you find the right resources. and trust me, sites like The Wizard of Odds strive to teach readers the real facts about gambling games. you’ll ground your slot education in reality above all else. From there, approaching the game for what it is. a true gamble where players have no control over the outcome. will give you the best chance to play slots effectively.
Phone a Friend
You don’t really have to call them, but if you have a pal who already plays slots. one who is immune to the type of superstition described above. they can become an invaluable resource for your own slot education.
An experienced slot player who knows the score can help guide you on the path toward profitability.
The best advice they can give you is a full rundown on the local slot scene, paying attention to key factors like payback percentage by game type, venue, and region.
Another helpful lesson that a slot buddy can impart concerns to the casino’s Players Club or similar slot based promotions. If your friend has been playing the slots for any decent period of time, and they’re not broke by now, chances are good they take full advantage of slot clubs, player’s points, complimentary rooms and meals, and other perks afforded to regular players.
Even better, playing slots with a friend in tow is the best way to keep the game as a source of entertainment. You can swap stories, sweat one another’s big spins, celebrate jackpots, and commiserate when the credit counter reaches zero.
Conversely, playing along for extended periods can become quite a bore, even when you’re winning. And when the inevitable losing spell arrives, players who have nobody to rely on can easily succumb to addictive tendencies and problem gambling.
For these reasons, having a friend along for the ride while playing slots can provide a thorough education. both on the game itself, and how to avoid its common pitfalls.
Shop and Swap
As you continue along your slot machine progression, I recommend doing a tour of duty throughout your local casino scene.
Using the knowledge you’ve obtained, about manufacturer and venue based payback percentage configurations, swing through the slot parlor with a map in mind. Look for the best paying games first, and try each of them out for at least 30 minutes or so.
The goal here is twofold.
First, you’re learning the invaluable tool known as “game selection.” For a slot player, putting money into a poor paying machine is bankroll suicide. The objective should always be seeking out games with the highest possible payback percentage.
Second, and most importantly, you’re discovering which of the high paying games you actually enjoy playing. It’s one thing to decide that you’re only going to play high paying slots, but if those games don’t excite you, it can be easy to stray.
Once you’ve sampled the various high payback percentage slots in your area, this survey will give you a clear roadmap to use on subsequent sessions.
One of the best options for learning how to play slot machines is to sign up for a free account at one of the online casinos listed on this web site. Simply click on any casino and use your email to get a free account.
Once you sign in take a look at all of the slot machine options. You’ll be able to find old-fashioned three-reel slots, newer video slots, and progressive slot machines at most online casinos.
Try your hand at two or three of each kind to see which ones you like best. You’ll get a free money balance and can try every slot machine that you want.
Take a look at the pay tables to make sure you understand how the pay lines and pay out work and then play at a slow pace.
It’s often confusing trying to follow all of the pay lines, especially on the newer machines that have 50 or more pay lines. But don’t worry. The software that runs the slot machine will make sure to track all of the pay lines and issue the proper payouts.
The machines that I like best are the ones that have extra games and/or a storyline as you play. You can unlock special games and bonuses or more parts of the story as you play. Just watch your balance as you play because these types of machines can be addicting.
The best thing about playing slots online is you can’t walk into a land-based casino and play free slots. But almost every online casino offers the chance to play all of their games without risking any money.
You can even play for free on your phone or tablet at most online casinos.
And when you get ready to play for real money you can get a deposit bonus to stretch your slots bankroll even more. Just make sure you read all the terms and conditions before you make a deposit. You’ll have to meet play through requirements on the bonus and deposit before you can make a withdrawal.
Play through requirements aren’t a big deal, as long as you understand them before you make a deposit. But they can be a rude awakening if you want to cash out and haven’t met the requirements yet.
The easiest way to learn slot machines is to sit down and start playing. Most slot machines are simple and all you have to do is put money in and start pressing the button or pulling the handle. And if you want to learn without risking any money you can play for free online as well as on your phone or other mobile devices.