Slot Strategies & Choices

by Gayle Mitchell

This lesson explores Slot Strategies and the plentiful choices for casino players at Learn, Play Slots program.
To begin, let's take a look at the four major choices to include the entertaining multi-player concept versions.
There is a separate lesson with additional strategies when playing online slots that follows.
Slot machines have evolved into four major choices:
1) Basic or ‘classic’ machines -- those 3 reel wonders that display a single payline.
2) Progressives with ever-growing jackpots. 
3) Bonus Slots that provide additional features like multi-lines, scatter pays, multipliers, free spins, second-screen bonus events and hold/play.
4) Multi-player concept that offers group play excitement.
Further information and slot tips for these four choices are:
1) Basic Slot Strategies:
I strongly recommend that players begin their slot strategies with basic versions--cheaper to play and an excellent starting point, for as your credits mount and your bankroll increases, you can move on to bonus or progressive slot versions.
Straight slots or ‘flat tops’ as they are known, have a constant top jackpot payout. All require maximum coins to hit the major jackpot.
Look for these three features for optimum slot strategies:
Single Payline, Two Coin Maximum to make your bankroll last longer and Double and Triple Jackpot Pays: on certain payline combinations.
Look closely at payout schedules -- not all basics will double and quadruple all pays and not all will have double jackpot symbols.
Search out 98% or 100% ‘certified’ slots, usually dollars at your favorite casino.
Play ‘signature slots’ with a particular casino’s name on them. These are generally looser thus producing the desired casino PR.
Always play maximum coins.
Slot Strategies Online: explore the newer basics offered, checking for those 3 features mentioned above.
2) Progressive Slot Strategies:                                           
Progressives appeal to slot players searching for that ‘big hit’.
There are two levels of progressive jackpots -- primary and secondary at land-based casinos. Most versions require at least three coins max, sometimes more.
Primary jackpot is the top prize offered when a player hits a specific combination, i.e., three Megajackpot symbols.  Primary jackpot $$ amount is displayed with the largest sign and numbers above the carousel or bank of machines. This jackpot increases with each bet made by all players participating in the network.
Secondary jackpots are displayed on smaller screens mounted below the primary jackpot signage or on the machine itself.
These jackpots are hit more frequently and therefore do not always have a large sum of money on the progressive meter.
If both jackpots are high, the indication is that these machines have had a lot of play without hitting and could be ready for ‘the big hit’. Slot Strategies for progressives include checking out the primary and secondary jackpots, then compare with other surrounding progressive jackpots.
After a progressive jackpot is hit, the meter automatically resets to the base jackpot amount. Megabucks resets to 7 million. If you see any progressive close to its reset dollar amount, you know it’s been hit recently. Save your money.
Land-based progressive jackpots are paid out in annual installments; however, several progressive jackpots now pay ‘on the spot’.
Online casinos monitor and display progressive, primary jackpots amounts accompanied by the name of the slot making it easy to determine your playing decisions.
All winnings are paid immediately at online casinos.
In the end, the majority of large progressives are hit within the first 5-15 minutes of play with a small cash outlay.   

3) Bonus Video Slot Strategies:
This choice has evolved the most both online and off.
I like the name Bonus because it says it all. The main slot strategies for these games is to play the reels to win a ‘second chance’ bonus round where the real money is.
The Australian manufacturer, Aristocrat stepped forward first with multi-lines.  Aristocrat’s special features included roaming wilds, free spin-bonus play, repeat wins plus hold and spin. 

Most versions come in penny versions, but with maximums up to 225 coins for pennies, 45 coins for nickels, that’s $2.25/spin, folks.
The RNG (random number generator) is still very active even when the machine is idle and the number of possibilities with these graphic-rich bonus slots is staggering.
Payouts are much more frequent, usually every 2-3 spins.
Read all information posted. I know you have heard this before but with many more payout options, this is important.
Take a look at the help menu that explains game rules, winning combinations/payouts and pay lines criss-crossing the screen grid. 
There is usually an attractive sprinkling of wild and scatter pay symbols that increase your winnings.
You should definitely activate all paylines in order to gather the many wild and scatter symbol payout combinations.

Best strategy: try one or two coins per line; therefore, a spin of 9 to 18 nickels is not an expensive wager. As you build your winnings, take some risk with the occasional maximum spin.
Within this category is what I call Wild X Multiplier Bonus Reel machines that hold major bonus options.
Wild symbols, (usually in the name of the version) are scattered about, multipliers, (2x, 5x, 10x pay+) and free spins that result in additional payouts. These versions also offer frequent hits/payouts, often every second spin, unlike basics. 
Generally, the payout for wild symbols is activated by the third coin/reel. Five and nine paylines and ample pay tables are available with multiple jackpots that you have come to expect from bonus video slots.
Bonus round top points should be a contributing factor in selecting bonus types/versions. Bonus secondary jackpots can produce more than 10,000 coins and primary/top jackpots 100,000+ as printed on machine.
This is important as one Bonus version will pay more than others and will determine your choice and denomination that fits your wager management plan.
50 Lions: This is the first 50-payline introduced into the Slots Playground.
The innovative concept is that there are more than 2000 possible winning combinations for every spin, more symbols and two additional rows of symbols.
Each credit buys two paylines for this ‘kingly’ jungle themed slot and only two, rather than three, same neighboring symbols will pay.
Here are a couple of features from the long menu of winning combinations.
Three flower scatter pay symbols trigger 10 free games while a wild diamond symbol is added to each of the second through fifth reels. The wild symbol subs for all other symbols here.
If the three flower symbols appear during a free spin, another five free games are added to the free spin round equaling 15 spins.
Lastly, and certainly not least, the King’s Jackpot is 1 million pennies equally a ‘very regal’ $10,000.  

4) Multi-Player Concept 
Wheel of Fortune Special Edition Super Spin:
This new multi-player concept is causing a sensation and is a hit with players. You can’t miss this version as it takes up more space on the casino floor than any other and is set up to accommodate two people in front of each of the nine stations, each of which are linked to the wheel.
Each game station is either a 40-line, 400-coin penny version or a 10-line, 75-coin nickel version. In the bonus round, players select from tiles at the bottom of the screen and as letters are displayed, the game locates the letter in at least one of three puzzles.
Each time you find a letter, the bonus value tied to that puzzle increases.
Any player can start the wheel feature and gather bonus amounts to their station pick.
To qualify, players bet on all paylines and place a 40-cent side bet.
Individual terminals who hit bonus events have an arrow light up at their station around the big wheel. The big wheel spins once for all qualifying players and it is possible for multiple players to initiate the bonus and spin the wheel at the same time.
Slot Strategies for these games include participation and betting all paylines.
When all nine stations are in play, the wheel is in constant motion.
This Super Spin game offers super bonuses and super fun for all players.

Slot Strategies leads to playing online with winning strategies
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