Gambling Advice

September 11th, 2021 by

It has been a while since I have written more than a couple of sentences on this blog. My recent trip to Las Vegas was extremely fun. Most people think I am a gambler, but I am not what would be considered a gambler. I do not spend hours on a machine or at a table. I am very casual when it comes to gambling. Having been to Las Vegas 16 or 17 times over 30 years, which is not a lot, I know people whom go yearly or twice a year, I have some experience with gambling.

One of the things I have done somewhat is to track my gambling. Wins and loses at certain casinos, etc. in order to figure out if there is a quantitative element to luck. There really is none. Luck happens, it is when a myriad of unknown events come together and you win. So my advice, gamble where ever you want in Las Vegas, if you want to move on to another casino, because maybe you will have better luck, that is your choice. The machines are all random, and so you may be “lucky” to get a machine that is now hitting the right random numbers to pay off. If you play table games, it is more about skills than luck. You master black jack basics, and your chances of losing less are better. There is always a house edge, that edge is enough to make millions. A million people lose one dollar in a casino, that casino has a million dollars.

Over my years and stays in Las Vegas, I have fine tuned how I gambled. I have gamble timidly, logically, and aggressively. Aggressively is the best way to go.

Modern slot machines are multi-lined, multi-game and tiered. The more you play, the more the odds will be in your favor of winning. Multi-lined means the machine has more than just two lines that a typical slot machine will have. The highest number of lines I have seen is 49. Multi-gamed means there is the basic slot machine game, then bonus games you can win to make more money. Tiered means you can play one penny or whatever the one line bet would be, you just will not win a lot of money nor receive bonus games. As previously mentioned, the highest number of lines I have seen is 49, which means you will have to bet 49¢ to receive bonus play. The reason for 49 is psychology and math. 49¢ is less than 50, so you feel like you are not betting a lot of money. 50¢ is predictable and mathmatically easy to figure out how many plays someone will get if a person put $20 into a machine. Then there is the maximum tier. If you look on the machine it will tell you what the max bet will be. I have seen as high as 880 credits or $8.80 a spin. Average is 450-480 or $4.50-$4.80 per spin. The max bet is where you should play. I will explain why further down.

Timidly is playing the minimum the machine requires to play a game. If it is a penny machine, nickle machine or quarter machine, that is all I played. The idea was make my money last. This is for people whom only allow themselves a very low amount to gamble. One person I talked to only allowed themselves $20 a day to gamble, and they would spend hours on a penny machine, betting one penny at a time. Occassionally they might win a dollar or two. That was what made them happy, that was the way they played. I have done this and wondered why I never won. The reason being, the machines might be 99% pay out, but that does not mean for every dollar in, 99 cents is payed out immediately. Over the overall lifetime of the machine, the money put into the machine and the money paid out has to equal 99¢ for every dollar put in. The machine could take in a million dollars over it’s lifetime. As long as $990,000 is paid out once the machine is taken offline, the Nevada Gaming Commission is happy. That means over five years the machine could take in a million dollars, then at 4 years and 364 days someone wins $990,000. The 99% pay out is satisfied.

Gambling Timidly means you will lose. You have guaranteed a losse on your part. It might take the casino all day to get your money, but the casino will get your money. The machines are tiered for low end to high end gamblers. High end gamblers are people whom bet max. I will explain on the aggressive part. The odds are worse for minimalist timid gamblers whom only bet a penny or nickel. You are better off playing a straight slot machine instead of the multi-game, multi-lined, tiered slot machines of today.

Logical playing is another form I have done. I looked at the number of lines, 49 as an example, understood that 49¢ is the minimum amount I needed to play to get bonus games, and I have played this. I would work down the $20 amount to a point where I only had pennies left to cash out. Sometimes I won a bonus game and made money, most of the time, I lost. I even refined my play to a point where I would only play ten times on a machine, then walk away. The faulty logic was taken from the black jack concept of you can tell if a table is going to be good or bad within a few hands. That is why professional black jack players will walk up to a $25 hand table, put down $100, and in four hands, if they lose that money, a black jack player will walk away. The table is bad. If the same player began winning and losing, and maintaining the money initially bet, the table is good.

My logical play was the same way the previous time I went to Las Vegas, and stayed at the Cosmopolitan. I walked up and down the strip playing only $20 as long as I could make it last. I would go into one casino, play 10 times on a machine, if nothing happened, I moved on to another machine or another casino. Once the $20 was gone, I just tried with another $20 until I decided I was not having any luck, and decided to sight see or relax. I lost more money this way, and gained very little. One event made me decide to change my entire strategy and way of play to agressive.

While waiting for my room at the Cosmopolitan, I sat at a Willy Wonka themed machine. I put $100 in, and bet max for the hell of it. If I lost $50, I would quit. Within a few spins, I had won three bonus games back to back to back, and won all the money I had intended to gamble over my trip. I could have put that money away, and come home even. Instead I went to my faulty logical way of playing, lost my original money, and the money I had won. The trip to Cosmopolitan and talking to an aquaintence got me thinking. The aquaintence was someone whom had been to Las Vegas many times, and their advice was to bet max, and be agressive. The few times I have done this were when I won a lot of money. The largest amount of money I ever won was at Mandalay Bay when I went to a dollar slot machine, bet max on every spin, and won back all the money I had lost and then some. My experience at Cosmopolitan also made me really rethink how I gambled.

My current former trip to Las Vegas, and my stay at the Venetian reenforced my concept of being agressive. Granted you will lose money quickly, but your overall gain will be better. After eating brunch, I decided to put $20 into a machine, hit bet max, and see what happened. The machine took my $20 very quickly, but I was undeterred. I won some, lost some on the agressive concept. The final day was when I did hit big enough payouts to minimize my losses. I wound up winning on several different machines when I bet max. I won $10-$100 dollars on the machines I played. Eventually when I was back at the Venetian, I played a Willy Wonka themed machine, putting in $100 and betting max, determined to ride out any down turns, that was when I won multiple bonus games and won $300 more than my initial bet. That is when I quit. That is the important part no matter which way you gamble. Know when to quit.

If I won on a machine, depending on how much I won, I would set a quit point. Example, if I won $20 above my intial bet, I would lose half of that or $10 before I quit. Most of the time, I would win more before I quit and I would adjust the quit amount. That is how you can make money, you win a certain amount over your initial bet, then quit when you lose a certain amount. Too many people will play back the amount one, then lose the initial wager. That is how casinos win.

One thing I noticed on my trip is how ticket in and ticket out is now being abused. At least at MGM properties, and Caesar properties. When slot machines were paying out actual money instead of tickets, you recieved actual coins. This is why traditional slot machines were being used. With the new multi-lined slot machines, ticket out is the only way to go. When I won $51.22 from a machine, I would go to the machine to cash out. I would get the $51, but not the 22¢. Either I would have to go to the cashier cage to get the change or I had an option to donate that change to a charity. Since I did not want to walk all over the casino to find a cashier cage to get a small amount of change back, I donated the money to charity. I use the term abuse, because it does force people to go out of their way to collect their winnings. The Venetian and Palazzo did not do this. If I won $51.22 and collected at a machine, it would pay out that amount. At MGM and Caesars properties, once I knew the change would require more effort than it was worth to get, I either left the change amount in a machine or tore up the ticket sometimes. Leaving the change amount in the machine gave the next player some extra money or hassle. Tearing up the ticket and tossing it into the garbage means the casino will have to pay tax on the uncollected amount. That tax is 50%. So the 22¢ that is not donated will be taxed an 11¢ will go to the state of Nevada. The donations are a tax benefit to the casino. You can decide how you want to do things. I only cashed out when there was enough for me to get bills from the pay machines. Otherwise I just left anything less than 20¢ in the machine. Anything over 20¢ and less than 50¢ I cashed out and tore up the ticket. If it was over 50¢, I cashed out, put the ticket into the payout machine, and donated it to a charity. There were options, like an overall charity run by the casino group, a local homeless shelter or some other global charity. Go for the local homeless shelter. The donation stays locally, and helps people.

Thanks for stopping by.