May 16
by Don

Had dinner with a couple this past weekend and we got to talking about Vegas.  Now the wife has been to Vegas 3 times in her life and loves it, the husband has never been.  They were fascinated to learn that we have been so many times and over so many years and are not living out of a cardboard box!  I started explaining the why and how of it all and it reminded me how much fun it is to share with folks who are new to it all.  It also reminds me that I have neglected this space for entirely too long.

So, in an effort to resurrect this blog (like for the 3rd time it seems) I am going to start anew with new little tidbits and stories that have been piling up like junk mail during a vacation.  Now back to the dinner.

We covered the basics with them, but even the basics are a lot when you are starting from scratch.  So it made the most sense to talk about slot play, why it’s important, how to actually do it, and what to expect from it.  Now how I play slots is not sexy, can be infuriating at times, and seems odd to most, but it’s incredibly effect considering the total and complete randomness of slots in general.

I am not even sure that I have covered slots in the blog, honestly, it’s been years since I have thought about writing about anything really, but it’s worth a visit.  Here is how I approach slots:

  • Understand the basics.  This is to mean that you always play for max bet at the domination you are playing to trigger any and all bonus play, jackpots, or other bennies that the machine might pay out on.  If you don’t and hit something, oh man… I can’t even think about that possibility. Use your player’s card every time you sit down.  Don’t have your card on you? Don’t play.  You just need to always do this.
  • Play at least $1.  I know that’s not really an option for some folks, but I find that it’s at $1 denomination that everything happens in terms of getting truly rated by the casinos.  Which brings me to….
  • Redeem your comps.  Seems pretty straight forward, but honestly people forget to do this all the time.  Depending on where you are playing and staying you will be afforded different comps.  Slot play is the most rewarded kind of play that the casino will offer (mainly because it’s the most accurate accounting of your play) and especially on the day you check out, check with the hotel marketing (Red Card, Total Rewards, Grazie, etc.) to see what your play has earned you.  Many times they will take $$ off of your final bill and send you on your way.  If you have charged any food to your room or have had dinners on the property, those are the easiest charges to give back.  That’s always nice.
  • Find machines that give bonus play.  A crowd favorite has always been The Wheel of Fortune machines.  These are great because they offer a game within a game.  If you play max bet (see #1) and you hit the bonus wheel, you will get an additional spin for extra cash.  Plus a lot of them have different multipliers that make the normal play that much more lucrative.  I personally like any game where you are playing 5 lines at a time ($5 a pull) as the additional play for the value is better than playing a one payline max bet $3 machine (like MegaBucks).  For $2 more dollars you are getting 4 additional chances to hit something.  It’s a no brainer.A Big Win
  • Strict Money Management.  Here is where I lose people all the time.  I take any and all winnings the minute that they happen.  That means often I will spin one or two times and win a small amount.  I immediately cash out and go to a new machine.  There are several reasons for this, but the biggest reason is the dirty secret behind what runs Vegas.  It’s the willingness of people to push that button or pull that handle until they have no more money left.  Understanding this very base fact is paramount to safe guarding your bank roll and experiencing a positive outcome.  I look at it this way, if you saw a $20 bill on the ground, would you pick it up?  Of course, you would.  So why wouldn’t you do that same thing at a casino? The $20 is sitting in the slot machine that you just nestled into and on the first pull you won.  Cash out and go to the next machine.  There are thousands of slots in Vegas, you will have your fill of pushing that button or pulling that lever.
  • A Strap of $100's

Essentially, I look at slots as a means to incrementally build my bankroll as Lori is off playing Blackjack or vice versa.  You can certainly lose some or all of bankroll playing the slots, or any game in the casino for that matter, but this is a way to assure that you capture the winnings that are afforded to you and on occasion you are going to hit a jackpot like the one here. 😉