Playing the slot machines is not complicated. The game is all about luck, with no strategy component to cause stress. Slot machines are entertaining, because they are a low impact casino diversion. That doesn’t mean you should avoid all suggestions or basic strategy tips. Below is what you should know about slot machines.

Don’t Buy Advice Books – Buying a book of tips for beating the slot machines is like buying a book of tips for how to cheat death. Most slot machines have a house edge between 5% and 15%. No strategy lowers that house edge. Gamblers put money in the machine. They hit the spin button. No matter what people say, you cannot calculate which fraction of the second to click the button, because the machine spits out thousands of reel combinations per second. The people selling books are just insulting your intelligence. Don’t let them.

Don’t Sweat Lost Wins – Imagine you walk away from the machine and see someone walk up to your machine immediately. You pause a second to see how they do, then (to your horror) see them hit spin once and win a big jackpot. If this happens, don’t step out on the ledge. The chances may be 5000:1 that you would have hit the button at the exact same time as the player who walked up. In other words, they didn’t steal your jackpot–it just kind of happened.

Use the Slots Cards – Always use your slots card. Most slot clubs save a player 1% to 2%. Players get free stuff for doing what they were going to do anyway: play. Slots clubs offer players free rooms, free meals, cashback, and other comps. Never turn down free stuff.

Understand the Law of Averages – The law of averages states that something which hasn’t happened in a while is more likely to happen soon. This is a fallacy in slots gambling. Every spin of the reels is completely separate from every other spin. If you hit a jackpot last spin, you have exactly the same chance of hitting it the next round. If you haven’t hit a bonus round in 100 spins, you have the same chance of hitting it on the 101st spin as you did on the other hundred. The law of averages is one of those common sense ways of looking at the world which is wrong.

Slow Down – Players like the play faster, as if it’s an advantage to do so. Don’t play faster; play slower. The casino gets a big advantage over you. When you speed up play, this only increases that advantage. Don’t play multiple games at once. Don’t use the auto-spin function. Do nothing that speeds up your session. Instead, take your time and savor your gambling experience. Not only can you appreciate the game more, you’ll save money.

Play Full Coin Progressives – When playing the progressives, always place the max bet. This is the only way you activate the progressive jackpot feature. Don’t make this mistake, only to find out later you could have had a progressive jackpot prize if you’d only followed instructions.

Don’t Play Multiple Line Machines – The multiple payline slot machines might seem like they pay out more often. They tend to have worse odds than the single payline machine. Many of those extra winning spins provide negligible paybacks. They might not even pay for the cost of the spin.

Keep a Gambling Log – Keep a log of your gambling wins and losses. You might think this is only to your disadvantage, but it’s not. Imagine you hit a jackpot worth $10,000. If you want to stay legal, you’ll have to pay taxes on those winnings. If you’ve kept a log of your gambling losses throughout the year, you’ll be able to offset the money you won by adding in the money you lost. In most players’ cases, this can save you a ton of money. Also, having a record of your monthly losses gives you an idea what you’re losing on trips to the casino, so you’ll be a little more discriminating about what you play.

Compare Payouts – Remember to compare the top payout on all the similar looking machines. Sometimes, one slot machine is going to have a much larger payout than a machine right next to it with the same theme. Of course, this applies for progressive jackpots. This is less common with the progressives, now that networked jackpots are becoming a norm.

Choose Your Max Bet Denomination – Don’t think I’m saying to find the biggest denomination and play it. Not everyone can place $10 or $25 bets on a slot spin. Once again, don’t bet one penny more than you can comfortably afford to lose. What I’m saying is you should find the biggest denomination in your range and play that machine. The higher the slot denomination, the better the payback percentage. Casinos want to cater to people who wager a lot of money.