Slot Odds

The Skinny on Slots Odds.

The odds at a slot machine can sometimes be misleading. But it was during a trip to Vegas with my wife many years ago that I realized the best way to understand and make use of the odds at a slot machine.

While myself and I were playing a few rounds of lucky sevens, another couple happened to start playing the slot machine next to us. We greeted one another but didn't really start talking until a little while later when Larry, a member of a slots club, hit a hundred dollars. He won this hundred dollars fairly quickly, probably after only an hour of play. But it was great. It really got everyone excited about the slots. At that point we started talking, and Larry and I started to discuss our various different approaches to slots playing. Larry started telling me that when he wins a small amount of money like that he feels that he should savor it and try to make it last all night or move to another machine, because the machine that just paid out is unlikely to payout again. But what I realized as I was talking to Larry, is that Larry's strategy was the exact opposite of the way that he should be playing. For instance, if Larry was betting much more money initially he would have won much more money. And he would not be stuck trying to trickle money into the slots for the rest of the night.

The problem that Larry was facing is that because he would bet tiny about every time he spun the wheels, the amount that he was winning when he actually hit something was a very tiny amount. Larry was actually trying to eliminate the "RISK" of gabling on the slot machines.

After that night we all sat down and had dinner together. Larry was telling me all about the various slots comps and tournaments that he gets through his slots club, when and I decided to let Larry know what I thought about his strategy. I explained to him that the odds of him actually winning after hitting that initial spin did not actually change, and that because of this he was much better off just betting regular amounts. That way if he did actually hit another win, he would actually win a substantial amount.

The next day, Larry actually took my advise, and what do you know it actually worked! Larry started off betting his regular amount, and after making a couple small wins, instead of cutting his bet amounts way down he bet even bigger amounts. Well as it turned out, he actually hit a large win later on in the night and actually ended up with money left over for tomorrow, something that he had almost never experienced when he used to bet his little amounts here and there.

Since that trip to play Vegas slots and talking to Larry, I've always ignored the idea that the odds at different slot machines vary, even if it's at an online casino, playing antique slots, or at a live casino. Now, when I win money at a casino I treat that money just like money that I had all along, which means it's money that I can use to make bigger bets. I've been able to increase my overall wins consistently and predictably.