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HOME > > Which Game for You - Slots?

Which Game for You - Slots?

2 October 2021

By Jerry Stickman

This is the second article in a series that examines several aspects of popular casino games. Each article briefly explains how the game is played as well as highlighting some of the positive and negative features of that casino game.

This article explores slot machines.

Slot machines are wildly popular – by far the most popular of any casino game offering. There are some good reasons for this popularity. They are simple to play, and the bet size can be relatively small.

Slot machines also require almost no specific knowledge to play. On the most basic type of slot machine, the player needs only to feed some money into the machine, hit the spin button, watch the reels spin and wait to see if the spin was a winner. Then the process starts all over again.

Some slot machines have the option to play more than one line, so the player has to determine the number of lines he or she wants to play. Other slot machines allow more than one credit per line, so the player has to decide on the number of credits per line.

But those are basically the only things the player has to decide in order to play slot machines. Slot players don’t even have to know what combinations of symbols are winners. It is all determined by the machine and automatically paid out.

Another big factor for the popularity of slot machines is the size of the potential winnings. The jackpot from a quarter game can be in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. No other casino game offers this large a win for the money.

Also, unlike table games where several people can play the same game, only the player is involved in slots. This makes the game much less intimidating to play.

While there are several reasons to want to play slot machines, there are also some drawbacks.

The foremost among these is the house edge. Depending on the denomination and the type of game, the slot player can expect to lose an average of from five percent up to well more than 20 percent of the money played through the game.

When the casino has an edge of 20 percent, the player loses 20 cents of every dollar played – 20 dollars of every 100 dollars played.

Let’s look at what this means to a 25-cent slot machine player playing a machine that requires three credits per spin for maximum return. This player will invest 75-cents per spin. Assuming a fairly slow-paced six spins per minute, the player will play 360 spins per hour. At 75 cents per spin, the total run through this game is $270. If the house edge is 10 percent, the player will lose $27 per hour. With a house edge of 20 percent, the player loses $54 per hour. And this is from a “low cost” 25-cent machine.

The speed of play combined with a high house edge makes playing slot machines expensive.

There is one other problem with playing slot machines. There is no way for the player to determine the return for slot machine games. The game could have a house edge of five percent or 25 percent. There is no way to definitively determine exactly what it is.


• No knowledge is required to play.
• Can play with a small bet.
• Large jackpots are possible.
• Not intimidating like table games can be.

• High – sometimes very high – casino edge.
• Fast paced play – lots of bets per hour.
• Player does not know the house edge and cannot determine what it is.


Yes, there can be red-hot excitement playing a slot machine for a big jackpot, but the reality of the house edge and speed of play quickly extinguishes the fire.

The next article in this series looks at the game of roulette. Stay tuned.

As always, may all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small

Jerry “Stickman”

Note: Jerry Stickman’s email address has recently changed. See below
Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. He authored the video poker section of Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker! You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerryg@gmail.com

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.

Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

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