Slot machines have actually been around since the late 1800’s. However, the popularity of these one-armed bandits skyrocketed when they became part of the Vegas scene at the Flamingo Hilton. Years ago, slot machines consisted of only three reels. Now they are up to twenty or more. Sometimes a reel can contain hundreds of symbols.

This is a game that is easy and fun to play, and requires no knowledge like the game black jack. No special skills are required. Take your time, relax and enjoy. That is why Slot machines appeal to so many. The fewer reels and symbols there are, then the greater chance a player has of hitting the jackpot. For example, if a 3-reel machine has 10 symbols, multiply 10x10x10 = 1,000. Therefore, the odds of hitting the jackpot on that particular machine are 999 to 1.

A slot machine payout occurs when a specific combination of symbols appears on the screen. It could be vertical, horizontal by line or diagonal. As an example, if three lemon symbols appear on all the reels on the same pay line, then a payout of the player wins a certain amount.

How to Play

Don’t put any money in the slot machine until you have read the payout table on the front of the machine. Set a spending and time limit for yourself. Do not exceed it. Know which denomination machines that you want to play. Experts recommend that it is best to insert the maximum number of coins in order to get the best payout. Stop playing when you are winning. If you have a credit accumulating on the slot machine, CASH OUT while you are ahead. If you are doing well on a low paying machine, take a chance on a higher paying machine.

Strategists at The Gambler’s Edge suggest the following figures in order to determine how much cash is needed in order to play various machines. It is based on a three coin maximum bet with ten spins per minute. It has 90 per cent pay out rate.

Nickel Machine: $9.00 per hour
Quarter Machine: $45.00 per hour
One Dollar Machine: $180.00 per hour
Five Dollar Machine: $ 900.00 per hour


Remember that every machine is different. Microchip processors that are able to conceive of every possible combination of symbols run them. Most of these machines are programmed to pay out between 83 and 99 per cent of the coins that are deposited into them. Seek out a high paying machine – 99 per cent, if possible. Experts recommend that a player never select a machine at random. In order to do this, spend some time observing players at the machines. The loose ones seem to be planted in strategic locations. If you talk to players and personnel on the floor, they might divulge which machines are more generous than others. It is known that loser machines seem to be located in the following areas: near change booths; snack shops; “crosswalks (main traffic areas); free-standing or elevated kiosks.

Skilled players suggest that there is a greater chance of winning when the bettor selects a mid-paying machine as opposed to one with a large jackpot. It is also recommended that no coins/tokens be replayed that have already been won. If you have already deposited and run your allotted funds for the game into the machine, it is best to quit. The only exception to this would be if the machine were pumping out a lot of coins. Quit when you have lost half or more of your initial stake or when no coins have been released during the last ten pulls.

Above all, look before you play. A few minutes of observation may be worth a few dollars in the pocket.