One of the unfortunate quirks of the Mlife Rewards program is the concept of the specialty slot. In each casino, certain slots are designated as specialty slots, in which your tier credit and point earnings are done at a much slower rate.
One of the challenges is that the list of slots that fall into this are not consistent from one property to the next. Worse, it’s not always immediately obvious when looking around the casinos as to which slots will be specialty slots.
Generally speaking, specialty slots will be the one that are most popular and highest in demand on the casino floor, or are licensed games, but even this isn’t always a guarantee.
So here are three ways you can spot a specialty slot, so you know that you’re going to have to work harder for those rewards.
Look for a Sticker
One of the simplest possibilities is to look for a sticker that warns that a given machine is a specialty slot. These are most common in Vegas, but aren’t always a guarantee. And outside of Vegas I haven’t seen them with the same regularity.
I haven’t encountered a scenario where a sticker was on a machine that wasn’t a specialty slot, but presumably if games are swapped out and stickers not, that could happen. So that’s certainly a warning sign, but the next two options will give you a much more precise answer.
Watch the Countdown
In many of the regional markets, and in certain Vegas casinos (Aria and Park MGM are the ones I saw it at last visit to Las Vegas), the slot will tell you how many dollars and cents are left before reaching the next point. That gives you an immediate clue as to whether it’s $3 a point or $10 a point, since the countdown will show how much it takes as you play.
MGM Springfield certainly has this as well, and although I haven’t visited since the changeover, I’d be highly surprised if Borgata didn’t have this now.
This is the clearest indicator of the three, since it’s right in front of you on every game.
Count Your Bets
There are still many properties in the Mlife group in Vegas that use a much older, single color readout screen that scrolls text by as to how you’re progressing. It will refresh when you earn a point, but doesn’t show a countdown to the next point like the old Caesars Rewards displays in Las Vegas do.
But, if you’re betting something easily counted, like $1 a spin, you can see if it takes you three spins or 10 spins to increment the counter. While it’s annoying to have to do this, it at least within a moment will tell you whether you’re earning at the faster or slower rate.
And of course, regardless of method, once you have an understanding of what’s what, you can decide when/whether it matters, and make your slot machine choices accordingly.