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New slots equal new betting strategies2 October 2014
But the rise of video slots has broken old conventions, and new conventions require new conventional wisdom. Let’s try a few adaptations:
Old conventional wisdom: To get the maximum payback percentage, slot players should always bet maximum coins.
New conventional wisdom: Check the pay tables. Many video slots are pure multipliers, paying the same percentage regardless of coins wagered.
On most three-reel games, the reason the highest payback percentage comes on max-coin bets was that there is a jump in the top jackpot when the final coin is wagered. Lining up three jackpot symbols on one version of IGT’s Double Diamond Deluxe -- to use a popular game as an example -- returns 800 coins if you bet one coin, 1,600 if you bet two, but jumps to 2,500 for a three-coin bet. To break it down on a per-coin basis, you get 800 for the first coin bet, 800 for the second coin bet, but 900 for the third.
Most video slots don’t have that disproportionate leap in the top jackpot, and therefore yield the same payback percentage regardless of whether you bet one coin per payline or multiple coins per line. Check the pay tables before you play. If all payoffs are proportional to coins wagered, single coin per line wagers will do to get what the game has to offer.
Old wisdom: If you don’t want to bet the max, don’t play progressives.
New wisdom: If you play progressives, bet enough to be eligible for the jackpots.
Three-reel slots with a single progressive jackpot take the disproportionate jump scenario to the extreme. With fewer coins wagered, you’ll get a fixed take for three jackpot symbols. Bet the max, and you get a progressive pot that builds and builds, adding a portion if wagers to the meter until someone finally wins.
The result is a game that puts a larger percentage of its overall payback into top jackpot than non-progressive games do.
It remains true on video slots, including those with multi-tiered progressives, that returns are lower if you don’t bet enough to make yourself eligible for the progressive jackpot. But it usually doesn’t take a max-coin bet to be eligible. Some require an extra bet to be jackpot-eligible, but if you make the jackpot bet, the rest of your bet size doesn’t matter.
Read the machine glass and the help menu. If you’re going to play a progressive machine, you want to bet enough to be eligible for any jackpot rounds.
Old wisdom: Read the machine glass before you play.
New wisdom: Read the help menu before you play.
Smart slot players always have read the machine glass before betting. Are there symbols that need to be unlocked with higher bets? Are there paylines to be activated with each coin wagered?
That’s all still true today, and there are additional considerations with more game options. Are the symbols that trigger bonus rounds scatter pays, or do they have to land on an active payline to take you to the big event? Does it take an extra bet to be eligible for game features? If you wait too long between bets, will you become ineligible for a community bonus event?
The info you need is on the help menu. Take a glance before you play, and eliminate the potential for costly surprises.
Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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 email@example.com.
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