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Slot Machines For Boulderites: One Armed Bandits or Simply A Fun Game? It’s Up To YOU!

When I travel from Boulder to our our local mountain casinos or to ones in distant destinations,  I like slot machines. I’m prefer the mechanical ones over of the electronic video ones. On my recent visit to the Miami Hard Rock Casino I encountered slot machines which were  video on the side as an option. I liked it. While not an older style “wheel” machine with a large lever and mechanical movements, it still offered the tactile feel which I had missed.

The innards of a purely mechanical old style slot machine


arcade machine with lights turned on inside room

The rows and rows of slot machines create an interesting atmosphere. You’ll find yourself surrounded by bells, clicks, whistles, and more. The cacophony of slot sounds surrounds and creates an atmosphere that screams “we’re winning, we’re winning.” Of course the sounds are often misleading. The casinos have an incredible amount of control over the percentages paid out by their machines. Strategies for the player are limited. The slots can be “loose” or not, depending upon how the casino sets the machines.  I suspect that while the casinos have always had control over the payback percentages, with the electronic video version, even more so. The variations which are inevitable with mechanical devices are all controlable in the video versions.

Is there a strategy for improving your chances of winning or of losing less when playing the slots? Here are some concrete suggestions.

Remember that on the machines, you can bet one line, two lines, or more, up to all of the lines available on the machine. You can pick the amount you’re playing on the lines played. So you could play for say $0.25 a “line.” If there are three across on three “wheels,” and two diagonals, you could play $0.25 x 5 lines. Or increase that to $0.50 per line or more for the 5 lines. Here are some specific suggestions for guidance in playing this game! Always remember that you are playing slots for pleasure and not for profit. Although profit is certainly always a possibility!

Strategies to Manage Winnings and Lossings

  1. Understand the Paytable: Each slot machine has a unique paytable that explains its symbols, paylines, and payouts. Understanding the paytable can help you know the game better and set realistic expectations.
  2. Set a Budget: Decide on a budget before you start playing and stick to it. This helps prevent significant losses.
  3. Choose Slots With Higher RTP: The Return to Player (RTP) percentage is a measure of the percentage of stakes a game returns to players over time. Choosing games with a higher RTP can potentially increase your chances of winning in the long run.las vegas, slots, casino
  4. Manage Your Bet Size: Adjust your bet size according to your budget to extend your playing time. Betting too much on each spin can deplete your bankroll quickly. Personally, and this is NOT advice but merely sharing, I like to play all of the possible lines with the minimum bet per line. That gives me the most possible pay offs and bonuses only available if the lines are all played, while costing the least per “pull.” Even at $0.25 per line with 5 lines, a $20 bill can vanish as fast as a magician’s rabbit!
  5. Play for Fun: Remember that slots are designed for entertainment. Focus on enjoying the game instead of winning money.
  6. Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions: Many casinos offer bonuses, free spins, and promotions. These can provide additional playing time without extra cost, but be aware of the terms and conditions.gold luxury car
  7. Casinos frequently have “player’s club cards” to insert into the machines to track your play. This can carry benefits which increase the more you play. Caution! It is EASY to move to a different machine while leaving your card in the machine you were playing. Not that I’ve ever done that…  too often anyway!

Playing All Lines: Does It Make Sense?

Playing all of the possible lines on a slot machine can increase your chances of hitting a winning combination on any given spin. This strategy can also activate potential bonuses, free spins, and jackpots that are often only accessible when playing a certain number of lines or maximum bet.

However, playing all lines comes at a cost, as your bet is spread across more lines. This means that while you may win more often, the payouts on each win can be lower, unless you hit a large jackpot or bonus. The decision to play all lines should be balanced with your budget and goals:

  • For Maximum Coverage: If you want to maximize your chances of hitting a win on any spin, playing all lines is beneficial.
  • Budget Considerations: If your budget is limited, you might want to find a balance between playing all lines and the bet per line to ensure your bankroll lasts longer.

Ultimately, whether or not it makes sense to play all possible lines depends on your personal preference, budget, and playing style. Remember, the key to enjoying slots is to play responsibly and for entertainment purposes only.

If your goal is to maximize your chances of winning, slots are simply not for you. On the other hand if you like PLAYING the slots, you also might win some money. Or a car. Machines with “progressive” payouts have a bonus win which constantly grows based upon the play on a number of machines. While the chances of winning as you play may be lower, the possible payoff might actually be a car if you do hit a jackpot. It’s a long shot at a new car.


Shared Knowledge Is Power

GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY! You cannot play at gaming if you cannot afford to lose. Everyone can afford to win. Help is available for those who find themselves over-involved, addicted, or merely who are gambling out of control.

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
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