Author: Stephen Garcia

Understanding Slot Machines

If you haven’t played a slot machine in a few years, be prepared for a surprise. They are not the one-armed bandit of even ten years ago. Many modern day slot machines don’t have a handle, nor do they take coins. Instead, you insert a bill or a voucher, pick the number of lines, the number of credits and push a button. Slot machines can no longer be described as “one size fits all.” They are fun, but sophisticated machines, and are available in several combinations of components. To play slot machines today, it is helpful to understand them.

Types of slot machine reels

Generally, slot machines have one of two types of reels: Mechanical-reel slots and video slots, which display virtual reels. The traditional slot machine had three mechanical reels. Three reels is still the standard for a mechanical-reel machine, but there can be up to five reels. Video slots typically display five virtual reels.

Denominations

Slot machine plays come in all denominations, from ½ cent per line (you get to play two lines per penny) to $25 or more per line. Typically, the denominations will be between 1 cent and $5 dollars. Some of the newer machines allow you to choose the denomination you wish to play. These are called multi-denomination machines.

Paylines

The old fashioned slot machine had one payline, that of the middle display. Current machines can have 50 lines, and some machines determine winners if winning symbols match on the first three reels. And some five-reel machines enable you to win if winning symbols “wrap-around, ” i.e., a winning combo on reels 5,1 and 2. A three-reel mechanical machine will typically have between one and five paylines. Video slots, however, will typically have between nine and thirty paylines.

Cost of a spin

Denominations and paylines determine how much money you will pay for a spin. This is why some players will state that a penny machine costs as much as a dollar machine. Generally, dollar machines come in the traditional, three-reel, one payline machine, which you can play up to two or three credits for that line. Penny machines, however, contain twenty or thirty lines and many allow you to play ten-cents per line. If you put in the maximum amount of money allowed, both denominations will cost you $2 – $3.

You do not have to play max credits on a penny machine. If you play one credit per line, and play all lines, you could spin the reels for twenty-cents. Or, you could play ten credits on just the first line and spend ten-cents. The lower denomination machine does give you more flexibility on how much money to spend.

The amount of money you spend, however, affects the amount of money you win should you spin a winning combination. If you don’t play all lines, and a winning combination appears on a line you did not play, you will not win anything on that spin. If you win on a line on a penny machine, the winning is based on that line only, so it is still possible to lose money on the spin (you just don’t lose all your money). You can win something on twenty paylines, and come out barely ahead, or win one one payline and enjoy a significant win. The possibilities are numerous. When thinking about money management, consider how much a spin will cost, and how much you can potentially win on a spin. Even at twenty-cents at a time, a hundred dollars can go by within minutes.

Bonus plays

Many slot machines incorporate bonus games. These are wins outside of lining up winning combinations. Sometimes the wins are exciting, sometimes you will only get your money back. However, for many people, triggering a bonus creates joy. There are three types of bonus games: The top box bonus game, the pick-em bonus, and the free spin bonus.

The top box bonus is generally a free spin on a wheel located on top of the slot machine. The player wins the amount of money the pointer lands on. Another variation is on machines which a winning number of credits lights up on the top display of the machine, which the player is awarded. Pick-em bonus games present the player a number of symbols to choose from. When the player picks a symbol, the winning credit displayed behind the symbol is awarded to the player. Free spin bonuses are just that, a selected number of free spins is awarded to the player. Sometimes wins during the free spin plays are multiplied.

Different machines employ different ways of triggering the bonus. On three-reel machines, it is usually triggered by either three bonus symbols on a payline, or a bonus symbol on the last wheel. Video slots usually trigger a bonus game when three bonus symbols appear on the screen. Depending on the game, these symbols can appear anywhere on the screen, on any three consecutive reels, anywhere on the first three reels, or as a winning combination on the first three reels. If you are not sure, read the instructions on the slot machine.

The progressive

Many slot machines also employ progressive jackpots. The word, “progressive” excites many players. However, there are many types of progressive jackpots, some of which are modest amounts. Simply, a progressive jackpot is a jackpot that grows over time until someone hits it. They can range to less than $100 on some penny machines, to over a million dollars.

Progressives also come in many varieties. Progressive jackpots can be for a single machine, a bank (i.e., row) of machines, casino-wide, or jurisdiction-wide (i.e., all of the state of Nevada, or all Native American casinos across the country). There can be one huge jackpot, or different levels of progressive jackpots. Progressives can be won with a winning combination, or they can be “mystery” progressives.

The progressive jackpot amount on single-machine progressives apply to that particular machine only. These are usually the slowest growing progressives and also the smallest amount. Sometimes, they are less than the amount that can be won on a top spin. Some progressive jackpots apply to a certain bank of machines, or to certain types of machines throughout the casino. The most anticipated progressive jackpots by players are the ones that grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars and into the millions. These machines are linked to machines across the state or even the country. Sometimes there are levels of progressives. On these types, the top progressive may reach an impressive, but not mind-boggling, and the smaller progressives may be less than what you would win on a regular spin.

Winning a progressive jackpot is just as varied as there are variations of progressives. Progressives can be won by lining up progressive symbols on a payline, through a bonus game, or be random. The life-changing progressives are usually won when the progressive symbol lines up in a winning combination on a payline. Multi-line slot machines do not provide an advantage here, as usually only one line is usually designated as eligible for the progressive jackpot. Multi-level progressives usually employ either a bonus game strategy or are mysteries. When winning is through bonus games, you accumulate bonus points and your “score” will determine the jackpot level. On mystery progressives, the machine will lock up without warning and display a message which level of progressive you have won. You do not have to have a winning spin to be awarded a mystery progressive.

In addition to the way to win a progressive, most progressive jackpots contain monetary conditions. Some progressives can only be won when the player plays max credits. On a dollar machine, this usually means $3.00, and on a penny machine, this usually means between $1.50 – $3.00. Some progressives, however, have a separate “ante,” if played, qualifies the player for the progressive jackpot(s).

The symbols

Symbols on a slot machine can fit into four categories: straight symbols, multipliers, wild symbols, and scatter symbols. Multipliers are symbols that multiply a winning combination. They can double, triple or even pay ten times a normal amount. They are also wild, substituting for other symbols. Scatter symbols are symbols that do not need to appear on a winning payline to trigger a win.

The RNG

RNG stands for Random Number Generator. All slot machines contain this. It is the program which determines if the spin will win, and how much. It is constantly running, even when the slot machine is not being played. The spin result is determined by the combination it generated when the spin button was pressed. Therefore, a difference of a second will determine a different outcome. Note that there are significantly more losing combinations programmed into the RNG, so it’s likely that you will lose on any given line on any given spin.

The Help button

The modern slot machine can be complicated to understand. Several of the video slot machines may look alike, but the way to play them can be significantly different. Most slot machines, especially the video slots, contain a “Help” button, which explains the symbols, the pays, the paylines, the bonus games, and the requirements to trigger bonus games, instructions to play the bonus games, and the requirements to win the progressive jackpot(s). Before playing any game you’ve never played before, press the “Help” button and read the instructions.

Slot machines are a form of entertainment, and playing slot machines can be a very expensive hobby. Control your play, don’t let the play control you. Knowing how the games work help make playing slot machines more enjoyable. Knowing how much each game costs and the rewards each game offers help you manage your money.

Tips on How to Win on a Slot Machine

When you go to the casino, you probably play the slot machines. There's nothing more exciting than winning on a slot machine. When all of the lights flash and it starts making loud noises, it adds to the excitement you're already feeling from the win. Slot machines are very simple to play and lots of fun. If you know the correct strategies, you can win a lot of money playing slot machines.

Everyone has their own strategy when it comes to playing slot machines. Each person has their own technique that they use to try and win. I've found that the best way to have a good chance at winning is to go to the right location. When you first arrive at the casino, you need to figure out which machines are paying the best to its winners.

Most people think that slot machines all have the same odds of winning; however, that is a myth. Most casinos place machines with better chances of winning in strategic locations. However, it's up to you to figure out where the casino has placed these machines. I have spent some time developing my own strategies for winning on a slot machine, here they are:

When talking about slot machines, it's important to understand a couple of things. The machines that you have a good chance of winning on are called "hot slots" and the machines where you have less of a chance at winning are called "cold slots." Usually, casinos will place the cold slots near the entrance of the casino. By placing them near the entrance, they're hoping people will start playing on them right away and spend a lot of money trying to win. Other cold slots are typically placed near blackjack, poker, and roulette tables.

When you're trying to located the hot slots, you should play small amounts of money in the slot machines that are located near the winning claims booth. Casinos will sometimes place the hot slots in this area because people will hear the excitement of people winning and want to play more. Some people also believe that some hot slots are located near the area where the food is sold, although I've never figured out what the reason would be for this location.

Another thing to remember is that casinos will never place two hot slots right next to each other. Next time you visit the casino and play the slot machines, remember the things I mentioned in this article and hopefully you'll be the next big winner!

Luck at Slot Machines

There is "luck" and there is "calculated luck". The person who walks into a casino and sits at the first machine available and wins big on the first pull is extremely lucky indeed. It happens. I've seen it happen. But, it doesn't happen very often.

First, you need to go with a substantial "stake". By substantial I mean at least $300 – the more the better.
Second, you have to know the machines. If you don't know them then ask around. Most people are friendly enough to share the information. Third, you have to be patient. It takes time to prime the machine. Fourth, stay away from the penny and nickel machines. They rarely win and each spin costs a lot of pennies. Better to go to a quarter machine and start with one credit. Fifth, choose a machine of multiple denominations and start with the least amount to prime the machine. Play .25 on one credit at least thirty spins. Then play .25 on two credits for thirty spins. Then .25 on three credits for thirty spins. You will win some along the way. Just keep counting to thirty before you switch the credit. The only time you should switch credits before the thirty spins is if you win "double, double" anything or "triple, triple" anything or any combination of double/triple. If this happens switch to a different credit. Rarely does a machine "hit" more than once on the same credit. If you happen to hit a good jackpot – either a "printed ticket" payout or an "attendent pay" payout switch machines almost immediatly. Only twice in all of my hours in casinos have I seen a machine hit a jackpot twice in a row.

Stay tuned to the "SLOT QUEEN" for more useful tips.

A History of Slot Machines

Slot machines are informally known as One Armed Bandits to many people. I do not know who originally coined the phrase but it is appropriate since pulling the lever (arm) on these machines can and do rob a person penniless. Even so, they are the most popular form of gambling in casinos and they make up about 70% of a casino's income, according to most of the articles that I have read.

The slot machine industry started on the West Coast and according to a book written by Avery Cardoza, a best-selling author of gambling books and strategy guides, the person credited for inventing the first slot machine to payoff in cash was Charles Fey in San Francisco in 1887. I think it is interesting to note that before Fey's machines, pay outs were made in the form of cigars, free drinks, gum or candy. Slot machines that dispensed gum as a payout displayed symbols representative of various flavors of gum; lemon, orange, cherry and plum for example. Today's slot machines still use these fruit symbols and the original picture of a stick of gum on the reel has evolved into the familiar "bar" symbol that we see on machines today. It is said that the lemon symbols on slot machines is actually how people started to refer to a junk car as being a "lemon"!

While some of the original symbols and components of slot machines can still be seen on the machines of today, they have come a long way from Fey's days. The slots of today have flashing lights, music, ringing bells, promises of possible enormous payouts and other attention-getting gadgets to entice you. They now have buttons (in addition to the handle) for a more rapid way to play. I still prefer using the slower old fashioned method of pulling the handle. It makes me feel like I held onto my money for a second or two longer even though I know it makes no difference if you pull the handle or push the button, your chances of winning or losing remain the same either way. No matter how you play the slots and no matter what expert's strategy you think might improve your chances, the odds are still going to be against you in the end. And the longer you stay at a casino, dropping your money or giving back the poultry winnings that the casino gave you, the larger the probability of losing becomes. I think this is why you will not see a clock in a casino. They don't want you to realize how long you have been there trying to beat the odds.

Even knowing that the odds are in the casino's favor, I still enjoy playing the slots tremendously and I will continue to go as long as I can still keep it in the perspective that I have always had,and that's viewing it as a form of fun and entertainment only. If I ever spend more than I can afford to or start getting anxiety attacks over losing, I will STOP – and you can make bet on that!

Play Smart and Make More Money with Smart Slot Moves

When it comes to casinos, one of the main things here is the slot. Slot machines are something every casino player identifies with. These days, there are multiple options as far as casinos are concerned. However, one should be aware of a few crucial factors before venturing into it. Even mobile casino games require you to be aware of these aspects.
Slot machines are not much complicated essentially. This is effectively why the maximum number of players flocks to it. The idea, however, remains to make the most of it so that you can eventually play online slots better.

The 6-step strategy you can adopt

Here is a lowdown on a 6-step strategy that you can adopt to make the most of slots –

  • It's as simple as that: The very basic trick of playing slots successfully is to accept facts for what they are. There is no secret about it though you must've come across quite a few pamphlets and eBooks that promise to decode the secret. But really there are no secrets. Instead there are scams. All slots are simply controlled by random number generators. So you can't really beat the system .
  • It's slow and steady: Remember that speed-playing is not always a great idea for slots. Yes, the online slots make it rather easy to play. This is applicable if played quickly. However, that's not a good idea at all times. You must not always opt for the maximum number of spins; slow down a tad. Keep it steady and enjoy the game.
  • Stick it out: Another crucial step is to stake a certain amount and then stick to it. You should actually decide on a maximum amount that you can spend. Depending on a base denomination of all the lines, go for 50 or 100 spins. This can be a good start.
  • Make the most: When you're playing progressive online slot, the idea is to ensure that you're playing with the right amount of coins. This should help you qualify for the maximum amount of profit. Usually the number played matters much more than the denomination of the coins.
  • Don't stop: You shouldn't stop even if you hit a jackpot. But make sure you keep track of the amount you've won and the amount lost.
  • Enjoy bonuses and clubs: You can actually enjoy those games you love for a longer period of time with the help of bonuses. Most online casino games have bonuses on offer and this gives you greater player support.

There are myriad factors you've got to keep in mind when playing online casino games. It takes a little bit of patience, some good research and of course observation. All this would help you get the best of playing slots. And you will be able to make the maximum amount of profit from what you play. These steps only help you do better.

Why Are Slot Machines so Loud?

When entering a casino, one of the first senses that will spark is your sense of hearing. Chances are very good that the first sounds that you will hear are the sounds of the slot machines. As a regular writer of gambling articles, I am sometimes asked, "Why are slot machines so loud?"

The goal of the casino is to make sure that you are constantly bombarded by the temptation to gamble. One of the best ways to do this is to tempt your senses with the sounds of the slot machines. Remember, the slot machines are one of the biggest money-makers for casinos. By drawing as much of your attention to the slots as possible, the casinos know that there will be a lot of fish that will take the bait. This is perhaps the main reason why slot machines are so loud.

Another reason why slot machines are so loud becomes apparent when you get up to your room, into your car, or anywhere else where you are removed from the casino and in a quiet environment. What do you hear going through your head? Chances are good that behind the dull buzzing, you still can hear the slot machines. By making the slot machines so loud, casinos have learned that you end up taking this temptation away with you.

Now, how can this benefit the casino if you are away from the casino? There are many people that stay in their room and think about the slot machines because of the sounds that are locked in their ears. In my early days of being a regular traveler to Las Vegas, I found that I would hang out in my room for about a half an hour, and then head back to the casino. If found that I was drawn back to those darned slot machines. The temptation had broken me.

If you find that you are still hearing the slot machines in your ears, there are very simple ways to counteract this. First, if you head outside, your ears will become relaxed by the reduction of sound. While you might still have the ringing slightly, it will last less than if you went into dead silence.

Another thing that you could do is to expose your ears to another series of loud sounds. I know a lot of people that travel to Las Vegas that will play their MP3 player loud in their ears to get rid of the sound of the slot machines. I do not suggest this as you are still exposing your ears to loud sounds, and could damage your eardrums.

The next time that you are in a casino, pay attention to how loud the slot machines actually are. Granted, the noise might still follow you back to your room, or outside, but at least you know how to deal with it, and why you have to deal with it.

How to Find the Best Online Casinos

The reputation earned by online casinos in recent days have raised much attention in gambling field by making the gambling easily accessible to experienced as well as newbie to earn a huge amount through a click only. For earning a good amount of buck players should go through best online casinos and check out the facilities they are providing, the funding strategies and options during the game which would be suitable according to the player’s necessity. In the swarm of thousands of sites that host online games, it’s really very difficult to choose a good and reliable one. Here are some easy ways to guide you for choosing the best online casinos available.
Step # 1: Getting the Complete Knowhow: Incomplete knowledge is always harmful. Know the game well before you want to put our hands in that. A sure way to know the mechanism behind the game and how to play it is to read the guiding manuals and how to guides provided is sites such as tipdeck.com, etc.
Step # 2: The Rules: Check out whether the casino is providing all nitty gritty about the rules and regulation for each individual game. Be sure that you know all about the rules because sometimes it is the deciding factor whether you will or lose. Check for all the hidden clauses and the extra hidden terms and conditions for the game. You can also read reviews about the various online casino sites. Based on others experience of an online site you can prepare yourself for the same.
Step # 3: Authenticity Related Issues: Always check for the authenticity of the online casino service provider. This may be also helpful in understanding the game and forming a mind set before you play.
Step # 4: Practice More and More: It is a well-known fact that “practice makes a man perfect”. Therefore it may be advantageous for you if the casino is helping you by providing some practice sessions and demo on the game before you participate.
Step # 5: Boost your Calculative Speed: Enhance your calculative speed and gaming skills before entering into the battlefield. Developed skills will help you out to avoid miss calculations during the game.
Step # 6: Take Advantage of the Bonus: Some casinos also give bonus sign up which you can use as later during the game to keep yourself in. You can cleverly use that bonus amount in the game to avoid silly loss made due to the component of human error. This bonus can sometimes be a starting amount for you and you can make a fortune starting from nothing.
Step # 7: Enrich your Analytical Reasoning: Although there is great deal of luck involved, still there is always room for improvement by applying your analytical and mathematical skills. The perfect knowledge of permutation and combination and the probability theorems shall help you to deduce the most winning pairs.
So choose well, play wisely and have fun.

DVD Movie Review of "Casino Jack"

Casino Jack is a tale of greed and hubris unsurpassed in the annals political debauchery, and if you are made nauseous by the crooks who roam Washington , you will be ready to throw up after watching this.

Kevin Spacey gives an outstanding performance depicting sleazy super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Spacey seems to thrive in the role of sleaze (i.e. American Beauty), and he pulls off the Abramoff personality to the tee. The moral fiber of Abramoff and his right hand man Mike Scanlon (Barry Pepper) could fit comfortably in a thimble. They are shown extorting money from a textile plant, which is a nice moniker for a sweat shop in the Marriana islands, in order to put a stop on minimum wage; bilking an American Indian tribe out of twenty million dollars under the pretense of putting the competition out of business; and criminal involvement in the taking over of cruise line that specializes in the casino business and desperately needs some help from Congress.

In order to pull off these acts of extortion, which Washington calls lobbying, Abramoff and his boys bring their favorite Congressmen on golfing trips to Scotland , take exotic vacations to the islands, and indulge in posh dining wherever they happen to be. These perks, along with envelopes full of money are passed to the likes of Tom Delay (Republican Majority Whip) and Bob Ley (Congressman from Ohio) in order to make sure favorable legislation is passed to their clients. (Both received jail time.)

Abramoff and Scanlon take their booty and buy mansions, cars, restaurants, and God knows what else. The greed turns into an insatiable animal that cannot be contained. And speaking of God, these hypocrites use religion to somehow justify their avarice. They seem to have forgotten what the Bible says about worshipping false idols (money).

This film is not exactly a ringing endorsement for the Republican Party, so if you are a die-hard party member, get ready to get spanked. This is sickening.

My rating: four out of five bribes.

Movie Review: Casino Jack ***

Kevin Spacey's one man show as lobbyist Jack Abramoff makes Casino Jack a vivid if depressing leap into pay-to-play politics and governance in the United States. Spacey earned a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination for the role.

Spacey's megalomaniac Abramoff is so larger than life that every character around him fades, save for Barry Pepper as his sidekick Michael Scanlon. Even their partners (Kelly Preston as Jack's conscience-ridden wife and Rachelle Lefevre as Scanlon's revenge-driven fiancee) seem little more than greedy hangers-on. Who could blame them?

The perks and woes of wealth are many for Abramoff and Scanlon. Jack buys a new school for his kids (he's dissatisfied with the quality of their private schools). He splurges on mansions, private jets, and a political junket to the Marianas even as his home mortgage payments go delinquent. To support their lifestyles, the pair begin to bend laws and ethical guidelines, charging exorbitant fees to their Indian casino clients.

The structure of the film reflects Abramoff's world view. He's the star, surrounded by a society of mediocre drones who work 40 hours a week and just scrape by. Not him. He's a smart visionary whose job is to influence politicians. "I will not allow my family to be slaves!" he shouts at the mirror during his daily pep talk.

Despite a plot that gets bogged down in complex dealings, Spacey soars as a superlobbyist who thinks he's a vital cog in Washington's machinery. Lobbyists research, inform and guide elected officials, he says. They make sure pols vote "correctly" (according to the wishes of mega-bucks corporations and conglomerates).

When Abramoff opens the only kosher restaurant in D.C., it seems more a ruse to hook new clients and get his picture on the front page of the business section rather than a reflection of goodwill. Jack does have a few redeeming virtues. He's a family man (for brief snatches of time) and an observant Jew. He loves movies. Spacey delivers dead-on impersonations of Ronald Reagan and Al Pacino.

Abramoff's grilling before John McCain's Indian Affairs Committee becomes a montage of factual retelling and the scene that could have been. Senators behind the microphones are cast as compromised buffoons who wheedle on the same level as the man they're scapegoating. Several members of the House (including Tom DeLay) were convicted in the wake of the investigations.

When Scanlon sells him out for a lighter sentence, Abramoff tells his partner in sleaze he'll miss him over a final game of racquet. It's predictable that prisoner Abramoff expounds on political affairs, typing frenzied letters to U.S. presidents. He lectures fellow inmates on the Torah as illustrated in movie themes.

Jon Lovitz delivers a comedic take on Abramoff's frontman Adam Kidan afloat on a rollicking casino ship. Graham Greene plays a determined Saginaw Chippewa tribal council leader.

Director George Hickenlooper died several months after Casino Jack's filming. Abramoff recently completed his four year sentence for fraud, corruption and conspiracy.

Casino Jack 2010 / R / 1 hour, 48 min

Cast Overview: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz, Graham Greene, Rachelle Lefevre, Kelly Preston, Hannah Endicott-Douglas, John Robinson, Spencer Garrett, Jeffrey R. Smith, Christian Campbell

Director: George Hickenlooper

Genres: Biopic, Docudrama, Drama

Movie Review: "Casino" Starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci

Casino was released in 1995 and left it's viewers stunned. The movie is based upon money, power, greediness, lies, and murder all over a casino empire. These young men come up in the Vegas business and the lifestyle immediately takes over.

Some say that Casino is one of the most underrated films in criminal movie history. The entire script of this movie is great and the acting is better than great. Joe Pesci is the ruthless but nonetheless humorous "sidekick" of Robert DeNiro's, and I must say, these two have always made the dynamic duo. Their chemistry in the movie is absolutely superb.

Sharon Stone in this movie plays DeNiro's greedy girlfriend, who then becomes his wife. DeNiro must be able to trust this woman with his life, but unfortunately, they face many trials and tribulations throughout their marriage that turns into something more than what DeNiro would have liked it to have been.

The movie is narrated by Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci which definitely makes it much easier to follow. This movie is absolutely, positively well worth a watch. It's a mesmerizing movie.

However, on the other hand (and in someone else's opinion, not my own), some say that the movie ends up seeming like it's dragging on, becoming somewhat boring and predictable. They say that because it likes action in some scenes that this is what makes it one notch below the movie "Good Fellas".

I must disagree. I'd say that Casino is going to be a classic, despite what anyone else thinks.