Anyone who has ever been to a casino has probably hit the slot machines a time or two. On my 21st birthday, my dad took me out to the Gila River Casino in Gila River, Arizona. The very first thing we gambled on was the slots. Maybe Dad and I were always just lucky when it came to gambling, because we always came away with more money than we left with. Not a lot, but we were always at the casinos for fun rather than fortune. My husband however, is very unlucky in gambling as are so many other people who come to casinos. This leads to the question, are there slot machine secrets and how do you exploit it to your advantage?

Casinos are out to make money. Everyone knows this. I’ve been to various casinos in Arizona during all times of the day to know they’re always full of people. They will spend the entire day at the slots, hoping to hit that jackpot, even though it remains elusive to the hopeful gambler. So why do they keep playing? Do any of them know something the others don’t?

I have never personally won the jackpot (though that would be nice), but in my experience, the machines that have the better payout are the older ones with an actual reel. I have very poor luck with animated machines and they eat up too much money. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the higher the bet, the more likely I am to win a little extra to keep on playing. However it is important to remember not to play to the point where you incur a loss. I never leave the casino with a loss. I have a specific budget in mind when I play and if I begin to lose too much, I simply move onto something else or stop altogether. There is no sense in breaking your bank, especially when you can’t afford it.

Usually, I have very good instinct when it comes to gambling. If I have a bad feeling about something, I won’t touch it. However, if I have a sudden urge to play a machine I wouldn’t have normally touched, I’ll go with the feeling and play. This worked once while I was at a casino having dinner with my husband. We were on our way to leave when I took notice of a nickel machine. I had a feeling that I wanted to throw a nickel in, just for fun. I ended up winning two dollars. You might laugh and say that isn’t much, but for me, it was a soda I could buy the next day at work on break.

Some people will look for what is called a loose slot machine, a machine that has a higher chance to win. It is incredibly hard to find, but the payout is worth the effort. Tipping an employee for information never hurts either.

When all else fails, you can always go for the “lurker” approach. A lurker is someone who waits for other people to give up on the machines that haven’t paid out in a while. The lurker then sits at that machine and hopes for a payout. I’m not saying this works, but I’ve seen it practiced. The most important thing to remember is to have fun without breaking your budget. Good luck!