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How to Win Big on Slot Machines and Slot Machine Patterns: A Strategy for Casino Slots

Updated on March 11, 2018

Disclaimer: This article discusses only techniques and strategies. This article does not promote, suggest or contain any internet gambling links or business names. I do not control what ads are placed on this page.

The mechanics of a slot machine

Winning on a slot machine first requires knowledge of how they work. Most people know that a slot machine works on randomly generated patterns. Although this is true for both mechanical slots as well as video slots, we need to take a serious look at how "random" they really are.

If slot machines were truly 100% random, the casino itself would be gambling themselves wondering if their business is going to make money or have to pay out everything and shut down. There is a reason that "The House Always Wins".....State Laws.

A slot machine in a casino under state law, (all legal gambling states have laws), are required to pay out a certain percentage. Usually at least 85%. Some casinos in Vegas I have seen advertise a 95% payout to draw people in. Think about this for a minute. The casino will make between 5 and 15 cents of every dollar spent.....No matter what.

Understand now that a slot needs to be programmed to pay out at least 85% of what is put into it. So is it really totally random? I think not.

Mechanical Verses Video Slots

"Mechanical slots" are being outnumbered these days by video slots. But people still like the mechanical slots so the casinos still have many mechanical slot machines. Mechanical slots are not any "less smart" than the video slots. These aren't "old" machines. The modern mechanical slot reels are still governed by a computer. In other words both types of machines still have equal payout rules. Most video slots give you a broader choice as far as betting. More line options, different ways of betting and they are much more entertaining. I like both, but I have been leaning more toward the video slots over last few years.

The Myth about "loose" machines

People often hear about "loose" slot machines. Do they exist? Not really. It's a term often misinterpreted as a broken machine. First things first here. The casino will not pay you if a machine malfunctions.

A "loose" machine in reality applies to a slot machine that is on a higher pay cycle. Remember that they have to pay a certain percentage. If the RNG (random number generator) has lacked the percentage payout over a period of time, it may start paying higher win amounts in order to reach a percentage threshold. There is not really any way to tell if a machine is on a higher payout cycle unless you watch people play and see what the machine is doing (that may creep out some people though, so be polite) Or by playing a machine and betting a few small amounts and determining the reaction of the pattern. I recommend the latter.

You Bet

There are a ridiculous number of ways to bet on a slot machine these days. Anywhere from a few cents to hundreds of dollars per a single pull of the one armed bandit. We will discuss betting strategies and go over the betting example table in a moment. First lets take a look at a few things you must know before even walking through those doors.

Things you MUST know... The "Rules"

    • Never walk into the casino thinking you are going to "Hit the Jackpot" Your mindset should be such that your goal is to walk out with more money than you came in with. Even if it is a dollar more, I assure you, you are doing better than 98% of the people in there.
    • Know when to stop. People easily make the mistake of spending their winnings right away. This leads from being ahead to being broke.
    • Never spend money you don't have. I am talking about bill money, the rent or mortgage etc... If you lose it, it will surely lead to depression and drain you not only financially but emotionally as well.
    • Have a "Bankroll" (Disposable or saved money you can risk losing without ruining your personal finances). You cannot win huge money on slots if you go in with only 40 or 50 dollars. I'm not saying it's never been done, but you should have at least a few hundred dollars to start.
    • Don't be discouraged. Be patient and don't let greed overtake you.

Betting Examples

(click column header to sort results)
Lines per bet?  
Equals (per spin)  
1 cent slot
bet 20 credits
100 lines
2 cent slot
bet 20 credits
50 lines
$4.00 (bet 100 lines)
5 cent slot
bet 20 credits
5 lines
$10.00 (bet 10 lines)
25 cent slot
bet 5 credits
4 lines
$20.00 (bet 16 lines)
$1.00 slot
bet 1 credit
3 lines
$3.00 (bet 3 lines)

Betting Strategies

The whole key here is to bet the "Max" or maximum bet. Do not do this immediately! You want to test your machine first. For example, I would seek out a 2 or 5 cent machine. Don't bet the smallest amount, but maybe somewhere in the middle to start. If, say, a 2 or 5 cent machine gives you the option of betting 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 credits, I would select either 40 or 60 credits for 8 or 10 spins and watch the reaction of the machine. If after 10 spins, you have won nothing, or extremely small amounts, move on. Chances are that this machine is not on a higher payout cycle. Remember that these machines MUST payout a certain minimum. If the guy next to you just won a $10,000 dollar jackpot, don't play his machine when he leaves. The machine will reset itself to normal random generation patterns.

Not the Maximum bet

You can see that only six lines were bet for $1.50 total bet. This is not the maximum bet. If the "Max lines" were selected, this would have been a maximum $2.00 bet
You can see that only six lines were bet for $1.50 total bet. This is not the maximum bet. If the "Max lines" were selected, this would have been a maximum $2.00 bet

So why bet the maximum?

Casinos make most of their money from people who are there simply for fun and expect to lose everything. They bet tiny amounts, or the minimum bet and will win a little here and there to keep them there longer. Eventually they lose. If you read almost any slot machine it will say right on it, whether it is a progressive or a set jackpot, that this amount can only be won betting all lines and maximum bet. Also, most video slots have "bonus rounds". If you are betting the maximum amount, the amount you win on the bonus round will usually be huge. If betting the minimum, you will almost always receive very small bonuses.

Remember, you can never win the "progressive" or advertised maximum win without betting "max bet" Unless the machine advertises otherwise, but is very rare. Most people do not even realize this on the machines and continue to be hopeful that they will win the "jackpot" while betting minimum amounts. Unfortunately for them, it will never happen.

Will I always win if I bet the maximum amount?

Simple answer is of course not. You will have a far greater chance of winning much higher amounts by betting the maximum as well as large bonus payouts and a shot at progressive and advertised jackpots. Play big, win big.

So what does some pool guy know about slots?

In a nutshell, Years and years of experience and research. Lots of lost money as well. That's what it took to finally start understanding how it all works. It has paid off, literally. I have hit $10,000 dollar jackpots, and several 2 - 5 thousand dollar jackpots with only a few hundred dollars on me. I never walk out of a casino broke.


Submit a Comment

  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 8 months ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    @ Kenneth Claude.. Ya, you got it! These things are programmed to pay a certain percentage of what's put into it. So although supposedly "random" ehhh, not really.

  • jericho911 profile image

    Kenneth Claude 8 months ago from Parts Unknown

    There is some truth to this article. I've worked in casinos as well as being a patron, along with knowing someone many years ago who helped develop new slots. There really is a cycle where a slot completely only throws out losses for a certain period of time. The slot attendants refer to it as "dead spins". Slots are said to be completely "random", but there are definitely patterns and certain slots do seem to pay better than others. If you play the same type of machine, you will see subtle differences in the same slot at different locations in the casino. At my local casino, i have one certain machine, 'Tiger Khan", that will always give me a quick hit when the machine has not been played for a while. Each time i go there, if the machine is open, i spend a few minutes playing until I hit a quick 20 bucks, then cash out. I call it my "program money", since I am a horse handicapper.

  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 3 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    Don, sounds like you've had some bad experiences at the casino. Sorry about your "luck" lol

  • profile image

    Don 3 years ago

    No , there is no way to beat slots ! I have seen all kinds of techniques used. ALL YOU CAN DO IS CONTROL YOUR LOSES !


  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 3 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    I agree. There is no way to "beat" the slots, but there are a number of strategies to give someone an edge at a higher win.

  • profile image

    Horton 3 years ago

    Silly posts these are, there is no way to beat the slots.

  • profile image

    Bella 4 years ago

    I love playing Lucky Loot Casino. It's a free slot game app, you earn rewards while you play and can redeem them for gift cards. It's a lot of fun and passes the time. I have it on my Android phone but it's available on Apple and Kindle also. Enter code AFFIPM on your first log in and get extra free coins, that's what I did. Enjoy!

  • profile image

    John s. 4 years ago

    I think you are using the term "random" pretty loosely. The machines themselves are random. The odds factor comes in when you consider the fact that there are more losing combinations than winning on the "wheels"

  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    That is pretty much why I said to bet the msx bet. I don't believe slots are truly random.

  • profile image

    ron 4 years ago

    Very good pointers . I have something to add though , I have walked around casinos betting 40 to 60 cents and lost a hundred dollars very quickly, but pull out another hundred walk back threw the same machines this time and end up with eighteen hundred dollars in hand. If random why did they give me no pay back on min bet and pay a couple hundred a peace on max bet?

  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    DavidS, I like the idea. Excellent advice!

  • profile image

    DavidS 4 years ago

    All good points. But what I practice is a thing called "Half the Double." Basically play the max at penny and nickle slots, when you double your money which happens more frequently then most think betting max, pocket the half, continue gambling the rest.

    Example: Go in with $300, when you have reached $600 in winnings pocket $300 of it....continue gambling the other $300. Every time you double your money practice this logic. Works wonders.

  • Souther29 profile image

    Olly 4 years ago from London, UK

    Really interesting thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am in Vegas next year but didn't know a lot about slots really so this is really useful. Voted up and Useful.

  • profile image

    wow 5 years ago

    This is simply amazing! With this technique, you could book a trip with and get more bang for my buck!!!!

  • profile image

    Tunara 5 years ago

    I will be using these tips on my next trip to Atlantic City! lol thanks

  • robhampton profile image

    Rob Hampton 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

    Congrats on your win! I'll be expecting my cut in the, j/k.

  • profile image

    Lolol 5 years ago

    I literally just won $30,000! I can't believe this worked !!!!!

  • Rfordin profile image

    Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

    Interesting post. I've explained this to a few friends before as there is a "hidden" counter inside the machine that as the number roll they eventually "line up" and pay on that number combination.... I find it very interesting how it all works. Thanks for sharing this info!