Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pahrump vs Las Vegas Casino Slots

One thing I've noticed that's different in Pahrump from Las Vegas are how the slot machines are set to pay. While some table games offer far better odds for players the fact is most people who gamble love spending time sitting at their favorite slot game.

At the major casinos on the strip (Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM, Bellagio, Mirage, etc) I've discovered that certain slot machines are set to pay more frequently than others. That's not to say they pay more, however, just more frequently.

I wouldn't expect to hit any jackpots anymore than normal but knowing a few key points could mean the difference between leaving a casino with more than you came in with versus leaving broke. Of course, big jackpots are nice but if you play with the goal of hitting a jackpot you'll more likely end up spending all your money.

Casinos like when players get excited, shout and scream when they win something and it doesn't have to be much of a win. They want you to get the attention of those that are not spending money and get them thinking that they should and could win, also.

Obviously, if everyone were winning, the casino would be the one going broke so they turn up the frequency of payouts on certain machines while turning down the frequency on others. While the machines all have to pay back a certain percentage based on local gambling establishment laws, there is some flexibility the casinos have to work with and they use it. High traffic days tend to be better, also.

Here are some tips based on my own observations from playing slots at some of the large, strip casinos:

  1. Slots at the ends of the row are generally set to pay more frequently. People are walking by and tend to notice when a slot is making noise by adding credits.
  2. At some casinos, the slot machines close to a change/cash cage are set to pay better.
  3. Ideally, slot machines closest to entrances will also pay more frequently because lots of people walk into a casino and try to feel the "presence of winning" and will walk back out if they don't see winners within just a minute or two. The perception is that if the machines they see as they come in the door are paying then all the machines in the casino must be paying and so it's worth sticking around and dropping cash. 
  4. Always play max-bet. I know it's not easy to commit to spending $4.00-$6.00 per round on a penny-slot especially if you've only dropped twenty bucks into the machine but the slots are set to pay more frequently if you play max. Of course, another advantage here is that when you do win something back it's going to be proportional to your bet so maximizes the return.
  5.  If you've at least doubled your money (you put in $20 and your credits=$40) it's time to cash out and move to another machine. The ultimate goal of every slot machine is to take your money so the old saying "quit while you're ahead" is prudent to pay attention too. You might also consider cashing out and moving on if you notice the machine starts taking back what you've won without giving you anymore tidbits.
  6. Bonus games aren't always the way to make the bucks. Many players will continue to play a machine because it gives them bonus games frequently but if the payouts from the bonuses aren't that great then it's no better than a worm on a hook trying to entice a fish. Pay close attention to every payout and look for frequent returns that quickly double or triple your balance.
  7. If the machine doesn't pay something by the 4th time you've hit the bet button, cash out and find another machine. 
  8. Get and use a member's club slot card. Many casinos will offer incentives and bonuses for slot card members and this could increase your chances.
Things are quite different in Pahrump casinos, however. I'm not really sure why they don't follow the same, secret rules as the casinos on the strip in Vegas. I've practiced my theory in several casinos in Vegas and at least half the time walk out with $50 to $100 more than I walked in with after starting with only $20 or $40. In Pahrump, I've not been able to discover any pattern at all other than some days of the week seem to be better than others.

This might change soon, however, since the gambling company Golden Gaming, which already owns The Pahrump Nugget Casino, has recently purchased/traded for their biggest competitors here, The Terrible's Town Casino and the Terrible's Lakeside Resort & Casino. Now that they own three of the four major casinos here we might start seeing some of the Vegas style frequency of payouts. =:^)