If you are new to the Casinos or just a casual gamer chances are you are going to spend some time with the slot machines.  The noise, colors and someone bringing you an occasional drink can be fun. If you want to maximize you time there while not running through you money too quickly, there are a few things you can do.

First you can start with the penny slots and just not bet a lot. This is a nice start for learning how things work but you also need to be aware that Casinos will usually reward you for larger bets by giving you better odds. So what do you do?

The right answer really depends on you. If you have $100 to spend (its a round number), you are staticially better off making big bets than a lot of small bets. Unfortunately, most of the time you will leave after about 5 minutes. Penny slots might let play a very long time but you are giving a larger percentage to the Casino (although at a much smaller pace). So for my wife and I, we usually  bet based on how much money we want to spend and how long we want to be there.

There are a lot of myths about slot machines that you want know about. For example, there is no such thing as a hot machine. Your odds of winning in the next spin are the same if you just won the last spin or lost the last 20 spins. A really good article on Slot and how they work can be found at The Wizard of Odds. In particular, scroll down to the end for other tips especially if you are not interested in all the math at the beginning.

The only real skill to playing slot occurs before you even play. Once you find the machine and bet amount with the best odds everything is random from there. In the next post, I’ll take up electronic poker which is likely found right next to the slot machines. For these machines, some minimal skill can help you out.