I can think of few things that will get the casino gambling talking heads huffing and puffing like the penny slot machines. These machines go against nearly every fiber of what advantage gamblers are looking for in a casino game.
So, it shocked a few of my colleagues when I revealed my plan to play nothing but penny slots for an entire five-day casino trip. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, I was forced to move my reservation to Monday through Friday, and I’d spend the whole week on the “cheapest” of all casino games.
The task ahead of me was undoubtedly going to be challenging. Still, the ride was full of surprising high points, and I even found myself having fun on more than one occasion.
Here’s what I learned by playing penny slots for a week. If I can have fun on the devilish little machines, there’s no reason you can’t do the same.
The Penny Slot Phenomena
Real money slot machines are a significant part of the casino’s massive profits. Penny slots are speculated to generate more revenue than any other game in the casino.
From the west coast to the east coast and in casinos around the globe, penny slots line back walls of gaming halls and vast chunks of luxurious casino slots banks. Casino gamblers can’t seem to get their fill of the exciting and relatively inexpensive games.
Penny slots are often associated with first-time and novice gamblers. There are several reasons others are drawn to this conclusion.
First, the games offer shallow risk for the players given ideal conditions. After all, a penny isn’t much when you see others playing blackjack or roulette for $10 or more per hand.
You merely need to spin the reels and allow the random number generators contained within to produce the result. It’s hard to find a more basic game from the player’s perspective.
Finally, the return to player on the penny slots is nothing short of terrible. Slot machines are notorious for having poor odds for the player.
Penny slots take that to another level. Most RTP for slot machines is between 91% to 94% in land-based casinos. Unfortunately, many penny slots come in below 89%. That’s a significantly more difficult game to break even on, let alone win any money.
However, that doesn’t stop casino gamblers new and old from flooding the penny slots in casinos around the world. I had to discover what the fuss was all about.
Expect the Worst, Hope for the Best
When playing penny slot machines, it’s beneficial to expect the worst while hoping for the best. Many players head into the casino expecting to only lose a few dollars.
They hear “penny” slots and imagine playing for hours while only taking a minor hit to their slots bankroll. The facts are incredibly different.
In order to take advantage of every fantastic bonus feature and payline, you’ll be forced to play for well above $0.01 per spin. It’s not uncommon to find penny slots where you’re continually wagering over $1 per spin.
Still, a single dollar or two isn’t nearly as frightening in the mind of a gambler as many of the minimums on the table games. Well, most players don’t account for the tremendous number of spins you’ll have per hour.
If all you do is hover over your precious bank like a mother hen, you’re going to miss out on a lot of the entertainment you’re paying for in the games.
A lot of penny slots offer substantial jackpots. So, I chose to take an approach much as I would with the lottery.
When I play the lotto, I fully expect to lose. Obviously, I hope I win. That’s where 100% of the entertainment comes from with the lottery.
Imagining how it would be if I won is the sole purpose of buying a lottery ticket. You’re not likely to hit the jackpot on the penny slots, but you’ll always have that hope before you.
Don’t Get Suckered in by False Wins
I suffered some early confusion in my time on the penny slots. I kept winning, yet my bank continued slipping closer and closer to $0. I thought I was winning because bells were ringing, lights were flashing, and the counter was going north accordingly. However, these small victories were nothing more than losses.
I was getting clowned by false wins. These losses disguised as wins exist for the sole purpose of tricking you into believing you’re not losing as much as you think.
However, you may face difficulty avoiding the urge to begin chasing wins. When that happens, players may follow the streak all the way to bankruptcy.
Do your best to not get sucked in by the cleverly disguised false wins, and you’ll have far more productive sessions. It’s hard to walk away from a game when you’re winning, but make sure you’re actually winning.
The More Lines, the Better
Look, we find ourselves in the casino primarily because of our desire to win. Many penny slot machines offer players dozens of potential chances to win.
Of the games I found myself playing most often, each one had over 30 paylines. One game had a mind-boggling 50 paylines.
This meant that on any given spin, I had 50 opportunities to be a winner. More often than not, if I hit one payline, I’d hit several others.
It’s not only the wins that drew me towards the games with the most paylines. The more you’re winning or the more opportunities you have, the more entertaining a game is for the player.
Everywhere I look, I see ads trying to convince me that more is better. I wholly disagree in most instances.
But when it comes to the world of penny slots, I must admit that the more paylines, the better.
The Sights and Sounds Keep You Spinning
Earlier, I eluded to the false wins or losses disguised as wins. Unfortunately, that’s not the only danger the exciting machines pose for casino gamblers.
All of the hustle and bustle created by the spinning reels, flashing lights, and intriguing sounds can also put you in a trance.
Players in the slots trance will be far less likely to stick to their time and bankroll limits. That can spell disaster for casino gamblers.
Try to Learn the Game Before You Play
The casinos are full of different varieties of penny slots games. That can make learning the games ahead of time difficult.
Each time you find a game you think you’ll enjoy, it may be slightly different from the similar game you’re familiar with.
It’s imperative that you know and understand the game’s rules before you start playing the game for real money. Otherwise, you’ll be burning money by not capitalizing on opportunities that lie in your favor.
The learning curve in the casino is steep, and each misstep will cost you precious pieces of your bankroll. On the penny slots, your losses are considerably less than they may be in other games.
However, because the RTP is so low, each time you miss a win of any size, it only increases the massive house edge.
Do your homework before you head for the casino. Don’t be afraid to loiter in the slots bank watching other players navigate the game.
Investing time in understanding the game will place you in the best possible position to hit significant wins.
How to Find the Right Games
When it comes to penny slots, it’s all about finding and sticking to the right games. This task isn’t without significant hurdles.
You’ll need to practice patience and determination as you navigate the casino floor in search of the perfect penny slot machine.
I see many gamblers stroll into the casino and grab a seat at the first slot machine they come across. Their belief is that the highest RTP games are located near the entrances and exits. The prevailing logic is that casinos want winners out in the open because it gets other players gambling from sheer excitement.
That’s not always the case; you shouldn’t be basing your slot selections on location. One often overlooked aspect of the penny slots is the thousands of themes available to players.
I was fortunate to find a fishing-themed game and spent hours chasing the next lunker. Ultimately, I lost far more than I won.
When you’re playing a game with a house edge of over 10%, the expectation of long-term wins is preposterous. Having a blast should be your goal, and that’s easily attainable.
So Give Those Penny Slots a Try
Most gambling pundits will tell you to never play penny slots under any circumstance. They’ll cite the lousy RTP of the games as enough reason to stay away.
However, the games are surprisingly fun and a ton of fun if you don’t mind the lack of strategy. Using what I learned by playing penny slots for a week, you can head to the slot bank with confidence and have a relatively refreshing casino adventure of your own.