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HOME > > Mom and Daughter Penny Slots

Mom and Daughter Penny Slots

12 March 2023

By John Grochowski

QUESTION: My 80-year-old mom loves the slots and she's been giving broad hints that she'd love a mother-daughter day at the casino. I used to go with her on park district bus trips, but our parks don't do that anymore.

The result is that I haven't played in a few years, and I'm wondering what kind of budget I need if I'm going. I was never as big a player as she was, but I could get by on $40 or so to play plus something for lunch. Will that still do? Are there enough penny slots?

ANSWER: There are plenty of penny slots. They're the most common coin denominations in casinos. However, if you haven't played in a few years, be prepared for higher minimum bets.

It's been some time since anyone made games where you could choose your bet size, starting with a single penny for one payline. Even when you last played, most of those had cycled out of use. Nearly all modern penny slots require you to bet on all paylines.

Often, slots have 40 lines or more, making your minimum bet at least 40 cents. I've played in casinos that set machines to require bets of at least two coins per line, hiking the base bet up to 80 cents.

On a machine with a 40-cent minimum bet, a $20 bill guarantees only 50 spins of the reel, and 80-cent bets take that down to 25 spins. It's easy to breeze through 20 bucks without ever seeing what a game can do, without ever triggering a bonus event to pique your interest and replenish your credit meter.

There are a few things to do to extend play:

  • Look for games with lower minimum bets. These can be slots with fewer paylines or no payline, 243-ways-to-win games that have minimums set at low levels.

These are not likely to be the latest and greatest pop culture-themed slots, which almost always have higher minimums. But look before you play. Lower minimum bets give you more chances to find a bonus event before your money runs out.

  • Play slowly. You don't have to hit the button for the next play as soon as the reels stop. Take your time. Look around. If you're playing next to your mom, pause to watch her results, and cheer her on during any bonus round or free spins.

  • If your mom is amenable, consider playing together on the same machine. Each of you put in $20 and alternate spins, or have one spin until a loss before having the other take over.

  • Be prepared for $40 not getting you through the amount of time your mom wants to spin. If your budget will accommodate a bigger stake, great. If not, don't overbet and risk money you can't afford to lose, but be prepared to take breaks, walk around, get a drink and be a watcher rather than play the whole time.

Good luck, and have fun with your mom.

QUESTION: Do players get blackjacks more often or less often than dealers?

ANSWER: Blackjacks, or two-card 21s, occur with the same once per 21 hands frequency for players as for dealers. There's nothing in the rules or the way the game is dealt that would make any two-card combination come up more or less often for players vs. dealers.

Three or more card combos are different. Player and dealer hit/stand strategies are different. Players can turn a soft 18 into different totals, but dealers are required to stand so will always finish with 18. But two-card probabilities are the same for all.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

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