My cousin just turned 21 years old. I’m not telling you this because I think you should get her a birthday present. I’m telling you this because turning 21 is a rite of passage. If you’re like me, the second you turn 21, you hightail it out of Dodge and park yourself in a Las Vegas casino.
When I turned 21, I actually took a late evening flight to Vegas the evening before my birthday. I arrived at 10:30pm, and by the time I checked into the hotel, it was close to midnight. As soon as the clock struck 12, I was parked at a baccarat table. It was awesome.
Anyway, back to my cousin. She’s turning 21 and super-stoked about heading to Sin City. She’s going with a few girlfriends and her primary goal is to hit the clubs, bars, and restaurants. But she’s also committing herself to about an hour or two per day of gambling.
The thing is she’s 21. She has a nice job, but she pays rent so her disposable income isn’t huge. Her game of choice? Slot machines. She likes the idea of being able to bet a quarter or even a nickel a pop, unlike table games where you’ll looking at $10 minimums if you’re lucky. But even with those nickel machines, she’s aware of how fast you can burn through your money. So she asked me, completely joking, if there’s any slot machine strategy she can use to win. She figured maybe I had the inside scoop, since I work for Prism Casino.
And you know what? I do. I’m not talking about surefire ways to win at slots. The games are random. Whether you win or lose is pretty much out of your hands. But you can bet smart based on the type of machine you’re playing.
There are two methods that I like to consider – the high variance, high payout method and the low variance, low payout method.
With the high method, you bet fewer lines at once, but you bet the maximum number of credits per line. So at a 50-line machine, you might only play two lines at $1 a pop. That’ll cost you 50 cents a spin.
With the low method, you play every line, but you decrease your bet. So you could play 50 lines and 1 cent a line.
The advantage of the high method is that while you’ll win less often, when you do win it could be large. With the low method, you’ll win frequently but when you do, you’ll take home a huge payday.
So which strategy did I recommend to my cousin? Neither. I told her to go have fun. There are far too many clubs worth checking out to waste your time on the casino floor. Jokes! I told her to mix up the strategy based on the type of machine. The high method is great, but if there’s a progressive jackpot in play, it might not be the smartest move. That’s because some slot machines require you to play the maximum number of lines to qualify for the jackpot. The same goes for some bonus rounds.
If your goal is to win big, the high method is great. If you prefer to have fun with frequent, smaller wins, choose low. But most of all, have fun. Playing slots isn’t about making money. It’s about having a blast. The payouts are just an extra incentive.