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Single-Shot Slots

23 February 2021

By Frank Scoblete

Over the decades we gambling writers have stressed that full coin in slot machines is the way to go. After all putting full coin in the machine gives you access to the bigger jackpot.

To me this no longer makes sense. Yes, there are some machines where full coin is warranted, for example those progressive machines such as Megabucks. In video poker full coin opens up the biggest win on royal flushes. Other than those? Full coin can be considered a waste of your hard-earned money.

Let’s take the traditional slot machine where you can play one, two or three coins. Usually with coin number one (let is say) the jackpot is $2,000; coin two, it is now $4,000. That $4,000 is merely double the first coin. You get no benefit for playing two coins, except over time you will lose twice as much money. Not much of a benefit.

The third coin now opens the player up to an increase in the jackpot to (let us say) $7,000. You’re getting three thousand dollars over a straight multiple (which would have been $6,000). Isn’t that great? Not really.

You are now risking three times more money in order to get that extra thousand for the jackpot. You are almost tripling your total losses over time to get a tiny fraction more in jackpot payouts. Keep in mind those jackpots don’t hit all that frequently. What superficially looks good really isn’t all that good. The casino is grabbing more of your money with the same number of hours of your play had you merely used one coin.

So to get no really significant benefit, you are paying heavy freight. How do you keep your losing expectation to some semblance of rationality? Just play one coin.

Now there still are three-coin machines where there isn’t any benefit to playing full coin. The jackpots would pay (let us say) $2,000 for one coin; $4,000 for two coins and $6,000 for three coins. These are called equal distribution machines. Everything is just a straight multiple of what came before. So, one coin on these machines is the absolute way to go.

Of course, we are in the wild and weird world of current slot machines where you can have many lines of wins which depend on how many coins you wager. These machines can be compared to the 1950’s horror film “The Blob.” They will eat your money in a hurry.

What should you do in this brave new slot world? If you were playing multiple coins then bite the bullet and reduce your play to the lowest possible amount of money the machine will take.

Slot players, like almost all casino gamblers, want action. But action in the casinos’ definition is someone willing to lose money. I’m careful about how much money I can lose. Why increase your losses by playing full or multiple coins? That no longer makes sense to me. And it shouldn’t to you.

So here is my advice:

• Stay away from those giant progressives where full coin can open you to millions of dollars in wins. The odds of winning a jackpot on such machines are remote – and I mean really, really remote, in the tens of millions to one. The house edge on those machines is amazingly high.

• Try to play equal distribution machines.

• If you can’t find these equal distribution machines then still play one coin in the traditional machines.

• On the multiple-coin machines of many lines and payouts – bite the bullet – and play only one line.

The bottom line in your slot play is to have a reasonable amount of fun for a limited amount of distress. Playing one-shot slots can be the way to do that.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

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.

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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