Strategies and tactics for effective playing machines

Strategies and tactics for effective playing machines

There is no strategy that allows you to guarantee a win in any of the sessions, and at a distance. In other words, the expectation or percentage payouts in the slots player can not change! 

Tilt the scales in your favor may only luck, or the presence of phenomenal hacking abilities that allow you to break in and reprogram the real or online machine.

Comparison to other games

In such games as blackjack or poker where a player after making a bet makes decisions in the course of the game (to buy or not to buy a card, which cards to change, whether to continue the game) there is a concept of optimal or basic strategy which allows maximizing the expected payoff. 

But in slots the player doesn’t make decisions, so there is no basic strategy; the expected payoff is constant for any player. Someone may notice that the player makes decisions during bonus games. 

But in fact, when choosing one of several random items, the player is still part of the random process, his choice does not change the mathematical expectation. 

For example:

  •  if the bonus game requires choosing one of the boxes with 10, 20 and 30 coins, the player will choose each of them with 1/3 probability, and the expectation of the bonus game = 1/3*(10+20+30)=20 coins. 

That is, the expectation of the game is 20 coins, it is constant, does not depend on your decision, and is already taken into account in the payments of the slot.

Notwithstanding the above, let me give you a few actual tips concerning game strategy.

The correct tip is to play slots with the highest payout percentage! 

Unfortunately casinos almost never give any information on payout percentages in slots, and it’s not easy to calculate. Nevertheless, you can find information on the expectation of some slots online, we advise you to look. 

Second tip – study the paytable

In classic slots often the payout for the highest combination when playing the maximum number of coins (2-3 coins) more than when playing one coin. 

  • In this case, play with the maximum number of coins, the increased payout adds about 1% to the expectation.

Here I would also like to give some tips on managing the game capital. 

  • You must have a clear idea of how much money you have allocated for the game, and how long you want to play on them. 

For example, you have $100 and you would like to play for at least one hour. You will make 200 spins in an hour and you want to make sure you have enough money for that hour. Let’s assume that you play a slot with a payout of 95%, which means that each spin you will lose an average of 5% of your bet, which means $100 you will lose by betting $100/0.05=$2000. It turns out you can afford to bet $2000/200=$10 – pretty big. 

But that’s actually not quite right. 

Here, in addition to the expectation, we have to take into account variance and bankruptcy risk. After all, 95% is the payout including all combinations, even the rarest (and yet most generous) ones. In practice you will often not see many of the best combinations in your 200 spins, so you should expect a lower actual payout percentage over a short range. If the slot is low-dispersion, it could be, say, 90%, but for a high-dispersion slot it could be as low as 50%. Do similar calculations and you’ll get that for low-dispersion slots it’s advisable to reduce bets to $5, and for high-dispersion slots to $1.

In general, you should understand that variance is a nasty thing in places, on a short range you can have dozens of spins with no winnings at all or hundreds of spins where actual payouts will be only a few tens of percent. You must be prepared for this, reduce the bets, it will allow you to last longer.

  • Math

Despite the fact that you can’t beat the math, many players look for different betting strategies that they think give some kind of advantage. Do not rely on it, but if playing by strategy adds you positive emotions, increases your interest in the game – use it, the strategy itself does no harm in slots. The main thing is that you should understand that by varying your bets, for example, you increase not only the probability of ending the session in the black, but also the risk of bankruptcy, etc. For fans of strategies, I offer a few of their variants, which are used by some players:

  • Martingale

Martingale – this betting strategy came from roulette. There the player who bets on the odds (e.g. color) doubles his bet in case he loses. 

The original martingale with doubling is good where the probability of winning in a single game is about 50%. 

This is not the case in the slots, so bets are usually worth increasing not so fast. In general, martingale (or rather just a strategy to increase rates at a loss) in the slots might look like this: start with one coin per line, if nothing won two times in a row (or was a very small gain) – raise up to two coins per line. 

  • Won – rolled back to one coin, lost two more times – increase bet to three or four coins, etc. If you win, which covers the previous losses, you return to the initial bet in a coin, if you continue to lose – you increase the bet. 
  • The step and speed of increase will depend on the game dispersion – the higher it is, the slower we climb up.

Some players prefer to do the opposite of martingale – to raise stakes not when losing, but when winning. It is assumed that once you “got lucky”, the luck will last for some time, and it should be used as much as possible. The logic of increasing the bets again can come up with your own, depending on the dispersion of the slot, but the principle is clear: win one or two times in a row – increase the bet, lose – roll back to the original.

Some players use fixed betting strategies that do not depend on winning or losing. They simply do a series of spins (for example, five) on one coin, then the same number of two coins, then three, and then return to one coin. It is clear that such schemes can come up with an infinite number, here are a few examples: 

  • 1-2-3-3-3-2-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2-1-1-4-4-5-5-5-3-3-2-2-2, etc.
  • Some players set a stop-loss limit, i.e. leave the game as soon as they lose a predetermined amount (for example, play until they lose $10).
  • Others, on the contrary, set a stop-loss limit, leaving when they win a certain amount.
  • Some change slot machines after a certain number of spins.

It is clear that it is possible to mix different strategies, such as martingale with stop-loss, and in general strategies can come up with an infinite number. But once again I remind – they do not give any mathematical advantage to the player and do not help guarantee a win.

In general, if you want, play without strategy, who wants – on the strategy, you just need to understand what leads to the use of a particular strategy.  There is no harm in using strategies, however, and the benefit is mainly of a psychological order, so choose for yourself. You can try out strategies or take out your own here, all slots are available to play for free.

Gianluca Burke

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