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Which slots should you play?

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

It’s true, you probably can’t go into a casino right now, but when it’s safe for them to re-open, what’s the first thing you’ll see when you walk inside? Slot machines. You turn left? Slot machines. Right? Slot machines. Step backward? Bump into a slot machine. Looking for the bathroom? Whoops, tripped over a slot machine. The point is, there are a lot of slot machines out there - literally hundreds (if not thousands) of them. From your classic three reel machines, to multiple payline machines, to machines based on TV shows and movies, to big brand names that exist only in the slot world, you’ll be bombarded by choices the moment you enter a casino.

So, which slots should you play?

It really comes down to three things: budget, enjoyment, and yes, machine volume (which you probably know all about if you’ve already subscribed to my YouTube channel). It’s really that simple.

Let’s talk about budget first, since that’s the most important thing for many people. Personally, I like to show up to a machine with enough money to do 100 spins at the bet level I’m playing at (and for me, that’s usually the max bet – your bets may differ). Most machines will hit a bonus within 100 spins, so that will give you a bit of staying power to ride out the ups and downs. But any fewer than 100 spins, and things can be over way too quickly, no matter who you are, or what you’re betting. So, if you reverse-engineer your budgeting, that will either open or close the machine options available to you. For example, because my bets are so high, most machines aren’t an option for me, since I don’t play penny or quarter machines. For lower spenders, it’s the other way around: If you’re budgeting to play only penny or quarter machines, you immediately eliminate dollar machines or higher from the running, and that’s fine too. I say this only to let you know that if you start with budget, you can narrow down your choices right away.

Next, we should talk about enjoyment, since that’s the most important thing for me personally. Once I’ve identified which machines are in my price range, I rarely consider things like payout percentage, or if it’s a progressive machine. I’m at the casino to have a good time, and I’m probably going to lose money no matter what. So instead, I base my decision on which machines are the most fun to play. Again, this is really a personal preference thing. I frequently hear all about fan favorites like Mighty Cash, Double Top Dollar, and Rising Fortunes, and I’ve got nothing against those games at all – I play them often, too. But the games I most enjoy are Black Widow (because of its killer web feature – so much fun) and Golden Goddess (the bonus rounds are just awesome). Plus, if you’ve watched my channel much, then you probably know I’m a big fan of all the ‘link’ games, like Dragon Link, Lightning Link, Lock It Link, etc. – all good fun, those ones.

Finally, let’s discuss machine volume, since this is where scientific research comes into play extensively. Most people think slot machines are all luck, and most of the time, this is correct. However, if you’ve watched me long enough, you’ll hear me talk about how to increase your win odds by 8.2% simply by maxing out the volume on any machine you’re playing. Since many of the older slot machines don’t have volume controls, this science can’t be applied on those machines, and so you can immediately remove those ones from your list of options. Instead, you should follow the science: A 2007 University of Alabama double-blind study showed that there is a direct correlation between machine volume increases and jackpots being triggered. In 2012, a study led by the American Institute of Science was able to quantify this number to 8.2%. And most recently, just about six months ago, a Caltech paper was able to replicate this study, while simultaneously proving that older machines without volume controls have lower win odds. The science is clear, so take that for what it’s worth.

The bottom line is this: There are many, many, many slot machines out there, and ultimately, it’s up to you – and only you – to control how you spend your money on them. Whether budget is your primary concern, or whether you’re more concerned with just having fun, or whether or not you’re going to trust hard, proven science on this topic, ultimately, like Black Sheep said, the choice is yours…

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