Regular readers of the site know that I like to suggest ways to slow play down, as slots are a difficult game to overcome and win on given the high house edge and fast pace (hundreds of wagers per hour).
On my latest collaboration with The Jackpot Gents, Steve Bourie and I talk through some of our tips on how to lose less on slot machines. You can watch the video below, and keep reading for those crucial tips!
1. Set Limits
Setting limits can be one of the healthiest way to lose less on slots, because you’re sandboxing the trip in various ways. Limits can take a variety of forms.
The longer you’re in the casino, the more likely you’ll make more wagers. Setting a time limit ensures that you don’t overstay your welcome, and if you have money or are ahead, you know you’re going home with some cash.
Similarly, going to the casino with a budgetary limit ensures that you don’t spend more than you can afford, or plan on spending. Unplanned trips to the ATM can create questions about how much was actually spent, or make keeping track that much harder.
So setting a limit, and even walking into the casino with that amount and nothing more as far as c ash is concerned, can help ensure that losses stay within a range that’s comfortable.
Some players I know set machine limits as well, which can be another way of ensuring regular evaluation of how things are going. If you put $20 in, and you double it to $40, do you stop? Do you allow yourself to play $20 again and see what happens?
Knowing what your limits are ahead of time encourages you to take stock of things. Also, by putting smaller amounts in, instead of a $100 bill or a big ticket, it can reduce the risk of falling into the slot’s rhythm, losing track of your balance and suddenly finding it all spent.
2. Pick Lower Volatility Games
I’ve evangelized the benefits of lower volatility games here in the past, but as a reminder for those who don’t know, they’re games that tend to pay smaller amounts more often. You’re not chasing big wins as heavily, because the game gives you more to work with than those that pay out bigger wins but less frequently, where droughts can be more expensive and punishing.
Older games tend to be less volatile for a number of reasons, and some modern games like Quick Spin carry that tradition forward today.
3. Bring Only Cash to the Casino
Returning to a note from earlier, if you bring only cash to the casino that you’re willing to spend, it makes it easier to stay within your limits. I’ve seen scenarios where people keep making trips to the ATM and each on is a bit harder to watch, because you know the player’s spiraling and on tilt.
Gambling can be emotional, and various decisions and limits can help keep that in check, and one of those is making sure your budget is well defined.
4. Break Up Big Bills and Tickets
Connected to the machine-level limits, breaking $100s into $20s and big tickets into smaller bills can yield results by encouraging more frequent decision points. Neily 777‘s Cash Me Out series focuses on playing machines with $20 and cashing out when you reach $25 or higher.
The goal is to lock in gains, and make fresh decisions when you’re losing, so you don’t get caught up in a game and lose a lot at once.
5. Play the Highest Denomination for Your Bankroll
If you bet $1 a spin, did you know there’s quarter machines out there that can accommodate your bet level? Many modern players are so focused on penny machines, they sometimes miss higher denomination options that fit their bankroll out there.
Why does higher denominations matter? Because generally speaking payback improves as your denomination grows. And so over time, playing those higher denomination games will yield a better outcome for you, including lower losses for the same amount of wagers.
6. Don’t Overbet Your Bankroll
At the same time, you don’t want to select a bet or denomination that’s too high for your bankroll. If you go to the casino with $100, and start doing $5 spins, you could be broke in 20 spins. So a balance is recommended.
If you want your money to have a good chance of lasting four hours, make sure your bankroll can cover 400-500 bets. You can of course opt to do less, but that increases the risk you’ll run out of money before you run out of time.
7. Ahead? Set Aside Some Winnings
If you manage to get ahead, you’re already a winner – why not make sure some of that comes home with you? I once got a royal flush on my free play. Winning $1,000 when my budget was only a few hundred is one of those moments where you know you should lock profits in.
So I made the decision to give myself an extra hundred, but otherwise I was limited to my original bankroll. This ensured I came home with most of the royal flush winnings, and definitely a profit.
Winners Banks and Other Devices
If you’re one of those players that struggle to keep track of the cash and tickets, or just want to be doubly sure that money’s coming home, you can always invest in a Winners Bank or other device that’s similar. The idea is you have this mini safe, with the key left at home, and any money deposited can’t be accessed until you get home.
It’s not designed to be foolproof, but for those who need a bit of extra support in avoiding spending those winnings, it’s a great option.
8. Play Slower – Speed Kills!
Did you know an average slot spin takes less time than it did in the past? Slot makers have made the average spin faster because it means you can get more wagers in per hour, putting more money up against that house edge.
But that doesn’t mean you have to hit the button as fast as it will let you. And you definitely don’t have to speed stop the reels, which has no impact on your chances of winning anyway. You can spin as fast or as slow as you want to, and spinning a bit slower just means less wagers where you could lose some money.
9. Play With Partners, As a Team
Instead of two people playing two different machines making wagers, why not pool your money and play together? Sharing a machine offers the same enjoyment as you’re both enjoying the game, but with only one bet happening at a time.
Group pulls are like this but on steroids, because you have a larger group pooling money. And you’re also likely playing on a higher denomination machine, which will pay back better over time.
Even better, because you’re socializing with others, it’s likely that socializing will further slow the play down. And if you’re having fun, that’s really what counts!
Do you have any other things you do to reduce your losses? Share in the comments!