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Team play at slots

16 October 2014

A few years ago, I spoke with a Wisconsin man who for more than a decade had been treating playing slots as a team sport. He and a group of friends traveled to Reno every year for the world’s largest cribbage tournament, and while they were there, they took a group plunge at an IGT Megabucks machine.

It was a well-organized effort to catch lightning in a bottle, with 150 people each putting up $100 a year in advance. The money was put in a certificate of deposit, and a drawing awarded the interest to one group member. The principal was for playing. Group members who attended took turns playing the machine.

I’ve never been in a casino-oriented group quite so large or organized. Still, the notion of a team effort to marshal forces at the games does resonate. My dad, brother and I have spent many an hour on Las Vegas trips pooling our money and taking turns on video poker games – each keeps playing after winning spins, then the next player takes over after losers. On one memorable night of 8-5 Bonus Poker on a Five Play machine, I had four Aces dealt to me, meaning a 400-coin jackpot five times, we played for five hours, won a few bucks apiece, padded our comp accounts and had a great time together.

I’ve heard from readers who like to play together, too. Here are a couple of their stories.

Betty: There are five of us who get together for coffee a couple of times to week, and we go out to the riverboats together a couple of times a year. Twice, maybe three times. On our own, we play the penny slots -- aren’t those fun? But we love the dollar Blazing 7s machines (made by Bally Technologies). By ourselves, none of us can really afford to play dollars, but we put in $40 apiece and we have $200 to play.

The Blazing 7s really come up pretty often, you know. They have the different 7s with fire on the symbols, the single 7s, the double 7s and the triples. We hit the single 7s the most, of course, but we’ve hit the doubles quite a lot and even the triples a few times.

When those triple 7s come up, that’s really exciting because that’s a progressive jackpot. It’s not millions of dollars like that Megabucks, it just starts at a thousand dollars and builds from there. Last year we got the triple 7s on one of our trips, and we split up $1,137. We all went out for a really nice dinner together that time.


Jan: I’d always read that the $5 slot machines pay more than the quarters or dollars, and I wanted to give them a try. My sisters Nancy and Jeannette were with me, and I twisted their arms into giving it a try. We each put $50 into a machine, I don’t even remember what it was anymore. That’s not really very much money in a $5 machine.

Guess what happened to us? We got nothing. We didn’t even get a cherry to get a couple of coins back. My sisters thought I was crazy, I think. If figured that was the end of it, and I’d probably never play a $5 game again.

On the drive home, Jeannette said she’d talked with one of the slot attendants later on, to ask if the $5 games really paid more than others. He told her that yes, their $5 games were good payers.

It was a couple of months later before the three of us went back to the casino. We put up $150 apiece this time. This time, I know what game we were playing. It was Double Diamond. We took turns pushing the button -- we all wanted to play, you know. It was Jeannette who got us our first winner, with a double bar, a single bar and another single bar. That was only 10 credits, but then Linda got the three triple bars, and that was 80.

We actually had a profit at that point of a little over $100. We were still a little nervous about the money, so we decided to stop when we were down to our original $450 or we hit another nice pay. We didn’t really get anything else, but we got our money back, and had kind a nervous good time.

We decided to keep doing it at that $450 level. We have a girls night out at the casino once every couple of months, and we always have our little $5 fling. Our biggest win was once we had the double diamond, then a triple bar, then another double diamond. Instead of 80 credits, that was multiplied by four, so it was 320. On a $5 machine, that’s $1,600, so there were taxes involved but it was exciting.


Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski