When to Walk Away From a Slot Machine

Two Rows of Slot Machines

It’s hard to know exactly when it’s time to quit playing a slot machine. The games are designed to keep us hooked, and modern slots do a great job of capturing and holding our attention. That’s what they’re designed to do.

Do you leave after a big win? Do you leave after a certain amount of time, regardless of wins and losses? These questions come down to personal preference. Some bettors set win and loss limits, leaving after they’ve taken in or put out a certain amount of cash.

I know players with complicated quitting systems involving the number of bonus rounds they see or even the size of the crowd on the casino floor around them.

There’s no straightforward way to answer the question of when to walk away from a slot.

Instead of trying to give explicit instructions about giving up on a machine, I’ll approach the question from a few different perspectives and share a variety of takes.

Personal Reasons for Walking Away From a Slot Machine

Maybe you’ve got to use the bathroom. Hunger may come calling. Whatever the reason, I can think of plenty of times I chose to walk away from a machine because of some personal need.

On a recent trip to New Orleans, I checked out Harrah’s new layout with my family. I was playing 50 Lions Cash Express at $0.50 a spin and hitting tons of bonus rounds. Even though I wanted to play for another half an hour, I cashed out and left to spend time with my family. That’s a great reason to walk away—when your family or friends are ready to do something else.

Feeling a strong urge to relieve yourself, feed yourself, or tackle an emotional situation will affect your ability to play the games anyway. Maybe your eyes get blurry, your attention span drops, or you get a headache. Either way, none of these conditions lend themselves to having fun in a casino.

When should you walk away from a slot game? When you have something personal to attend to.

Walking Away From a Slot to Protect Your Bankroll

This is a big one for me. I’m the type of slot player that likes to set win and loss limits, and I tend to stick to them really strictly. It helps me control the amount of time I spend in the casino, not just the amount of money.

It also helps me think about my time on the gaming floor as an entertainment expense, no different than buying a movie ticket or a round of golf.

Let’s take my recent trip to Harrah’s as an example. I had about $500 I could comfortably lose, and I knew I’d only have a couple of hours at the casino before we went off to tour the rest of New Orleans.

That set a total loss limit of $500. I wouldn’t put another penny into the machines. As for my win limit, I promised myself I’d walk away if I won another $500 (or more). In the end, I only got to play for about an hour and walked away with $25 in the green.

Harrah's Casino Slot Machines

That means my slots strategy worked. I didn’t waste hours at the casino or blow through a mortgage payment. In fact, I made almost exactly enough profit to buy my grumpy wife a late breakfast at Café du Monde.

Your win and loss limit will be different from mine. And my limits change depending on the trip. A week-long escapade to Vegas will require a lot more of a budget than $500, but a half-hour of airport slot play will probably require a lot less.

When should you walk away from a slot? When you’ve hit your win limit or lost all you want to lose.

Walking Away From a Slot for Emotional Relief

It’s been a few years since I had to force myself to walk away from a slot because my emotions were getting the better of me. But I have done it; most slot players have.

We don’t walk into the casino as a blank slate. We bring our troubles, our stresses, the words and actions of our bosses and superiors, not to mention physical symptoms. On good emotional days, the casino can be an enhancement to your already good mood.

The opposite is true for days when you don’t have control over your feelings. Playing “on tilt” can only lead to poor decisions and a negative outcome overall.

Sometimes, after I put in the work to research the best games in a casino I’m going to see, I get really upset when the games don’t play out the way I imagined. Why focus on the $0.50 denomination flat-top slots in Oklahoma if I keep losing? Why do all that work just to have the machine laugh in my face? Once those thoughts kick in, it’s probably time to walk away.

Taking a break is a great treatment for the slots blues. Sometimes, I’ll step out to the smoker’s patio just to try to catch some fresh air.

Other times, I’ve left the casino altogether, gone to a local museum or movie theater or something, just to clear my head. Usually, I don’t end up going back into the casino on days that I feel emotionally out of it. There’s always the next visit.

When should you walk away from slot machines? When your emotions are getting the better of you and you can tell that you need a break.

Other Reasons for Walking Away From Slots

I can come up with a few other reasons slots players might walk away from a game:

  • Mechanical Issues – As the casino industry tightens up on employment, you’ve probably noticed more and more games shut down or in need of repair. That trend isn’t changing anytime soon. Slots malfunction, it happens all the time. If the game you’re playing breaks down, you’re going to have to walk away and play something else.
  • Environmental Issues – It’s likely that you’ll find yourself walking away from a slot due to environmental issues at some point. I’m hyper-sensitive to cigarette smoke, so in casinos that allow smoking, I often find myself moving machines or switching areas to get away from an offensive smell. Let’s face it, there’s other offensive smells and hygiene issues in a lot of our casinos, too.
  • Promotional Issues – If you’re playing a particular slot because it’s tied to a promotional offer, it may be smart to walk away from that slot when that promotion ends. This makes sense. If you’ve chosen a game only because you get extra rewards or whatever, why continue to play it when you no longer earn that bonus? Unless you just happen to love the game the casino is promoting, it’s time to move on once the promotional spigot turns off.

When to Keep Playing a Slot Machine

Enough about when you should quit playing slots, when should you stick around?

Remember that slot machines are designed as pieces of entertainment. So long as you are enjoying your time, and you feel like the amount you’re spending is reasonable for the amount of fun you’re having, you don’t have any reason at all to give up on a game.

Players lucky enough to find that holy grail slot—one that’s fun, pays out enough to satisfy you, and doesn’t break your budget—are happy to occupy that chair for as long as they want. There’s no form of proper casino etiquette that allows a player to tap you on the shoulder and request that you get away from a machine. It’s just not going to happen.

Row of Slot Machines

When should you keep playing a slot machine? When you’re having fun, spending within your limits, and don’t have other pressing needs to attend to. So long as you’re enjoying your time, you are getting full value for your entertainment dollar.

At that point, winning is just icing on the cake.

In Summary

The advice in this post is designed to help people figure out their own personal walk-away point. Each slots player is likely to have their own personal algorithm for determining when they should walk away.

Learning when to stick with a machine and when to walk away from it becomes an instinct the longer a person plays slot machine games. You’ll eventually get your own feel for the games, the atmosphere, your mood and your physical needs. You’ll feel more confident in your decision to walk away from, or keep playing, a particular slot machine.

Posted in: Slots

Most Recent

See all recent
Play Space XY Game at Online Casinos & Win Real Money
BY Nick Pappas | October 5, 2023

Space XY isn’t your run-of-the-mill game that you can play at any online casino. It’s pretty unique in terms of the mechanics and how the gameplay works. Space XY also...

read more
DuckyLuck Online Casino Slots List on the Left and Wrath of Medusa Slots Game on the Right
DuckyLuck Wrath of Medusa No Deposit Bonus & Other Offers
BY Nick Pappas | October 3, 2023

The popular DuckyLuck no deposit bonus for Wrath of Medusa was only available when the site launched in 2020. The good news, however, is that you can claim similar bonuses...

read more
Online Slot Game son the Left and Person Playing Poker on a Laptop on the Right and the LuckyLand Logo in the Center
The Best Slots Like LuckyLand — Top iGaming Sister Sites
BY Nick Pappas | September 22, 2023

There are many online slots like LuckyLand that you can play. In fact, the best real money online casinos carry an extensive collection of slot titles that are equally fun...

read more