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Jerry Stickman

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 or or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at

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Having fun with slots

22 Sep 2018

By Jerry Stickman
Ah, slot machines with their lights flashing and melodies playing – row after row of these ubiquitous machines crammed in every imaginable space on the casino floor. They are by far the most popular game in casinos today. And why not? At what other casino game can a gambler simply drop in a few coins and have the possibility of winning thousands – or even millions – of dollars?

Today’s wide selection of slot machines is a far cry from the machines of a few decades ago. What began as a relatively simple and purely mechanical machine has been transformed over time into a highly sophisticated device. With the new technologies come new variations. With the dizzying array of new variations come decisions for the slot-playing gambler.

They range from single-line slots that take from one to three quarters up to $100 tokens to multi-line, multi-coin machines in penny to quarter denominations. Some machines are linked to others in the casino and offer a progressive jackpot that climbs until someone hits it. But the ultimate in a jumbo jackpot are slots that are linked to others throughout the area offering some lucky player a multi-million dollar windfall should the right symbols appear.

Choices, choices, choices.

To help the novice – and not-so-novice – slot player, some advice in choosing and methods of playing slot machines follows. If you are like the average gambler, you head for the casino with a certain stake that you hope will offer you the means to become rich. At minimum you would like your bankroll to provide you with a few hours of play each day you are at the casino.

Money management and slot machine selection are the keys to enjoyable slot playing sessions. Of the two, money management is by far the most important.

For an enjoyable slot playing experience, you must only play with money you can afford to lose. All slot machines have a house edge built in, so don’t dump money you need for the mortgage payment or a heart operation into the game hoping for a windfall.

This requires discipline. Here is a good method for keeping within your bankroll and maximizing your chances of coming home with a profit.

First and foremost, do not use the cash machine at the casino as your bankroll. The money you use for gambling should be totally separate from any other money you may have. It is far too easy to lose track of your financial situation if you take your gambling session money from an ATM.

Instead, before you leave for the casino, divide your available gambling money into session stakes. If you are going to be at the casino for two days and you plan on playing one session in the morning, one in the late afternoon and one after dinner, divide your trip bankroll into six even amounts and put each in a separate envelope. For example, if you have $1,200 available to gamble on a trip, put $200 into each of six envelopes. Label each envelope with the information about the session you are planning to play with the money in it.

When you arrive in your room, put all these envelopes in the room safe. When you are ready to play the slots, take only the envelope for the session you are about to play and leave the rest of the envelopes in the safe. That way you will not be tempted to dip into it should the current session not go as well as you would like.

While playing the slot machine, it is important to pace yourself. Though you are not necessarily putting a lot of money into the slot for each spin, it is easy to accumulate a lot of spins – and therefore money invested – in a short period of time. Assume you are playing a 25¢ machine with three coins played per spin. By playing at a fairly leisurely pace of one spin every 5 seconds, you will run $9 through the machine every minute. This translates to $540 per hour. That is a lot of money for a 25¢ machine. Pacing your play will help your money last longer through the inevitable losing streaks.

In order to have a fun time playing the slots and increase your chances of hitting a jackpot, you want to be able to play for a decent length of time each session. This can only be done by playing a machine with a proper denomination.

If you only have a $200 session bankroll and would like to play for a couple of hours, you should probably play a quarter or smaller denomination machine. As shown in the calculations above, you can easily run over $500 through a 25¢ three-coin machine in an hour. Playing a three-coin dollar machine moves the figure to over $2,000 per hour. The chances of having a losing streak that will quickly wipe out your session bankroll are dramatically increased on the dollar machine. The jackpot amounts are higher, but the chances of a quick wipe-out are much greater. Play within your bankroll.

Finally, make sure you select the proper type of slot for your style of play and bankroll. If you really want to have fun by playing a couple of hours per session, you will want to avoid the “Mega” jackpot machines. The gigantic jackpots have to be paid for somehow. That somehow is a much lower payback on the non-jackpot spins. Your money will simply not last near as long on these machines as on lower jackpot machines.

Does that mean you should not play the Mega Jackpot machines? Definitely not, just keep in mind that your session stake will be eaten up much quicker that on lesser jackpot machines. Just remember to play maximum coin-in if you are going to play these machines. Nothing would be for sad than to hit the jackpot-winning combination of symbols and not have the required coins played to win it.

If you are going to play a machine that adds winning combinations with more coins played, always play maximum coins.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

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

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

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