We Get Lots of Slots Letters

With the beginning of a new year, it's time I caught up with e-mails received via the slots.casino.com site or from readers of the Slots Report. I have replied to these questions and comments, but, I wanted to share and educate other slot players. Hope you find these posts interesting and helpful.

Gayle: I have been reading your advice on playing the slots. I would like to know while playing a machine, should I cash out every time I win? Does that have any effect on the machine? Do you think that using your players card in the machine has any effect on winning? Cindy

Cindy: When you cash out every time, it does not effect the machine but it sure effects your bankroll and that's the reason you do it. After any win, I suggest you try 3-5 more max spins and make the decision whether to stay or move on. Also, set a stop-limit on when you cash out, (i.e. at 300 credits you cash out--or whatever amount you determine). A slot card does not change anything as far as payouts, however, the big plus is that you are gathering points towards freebies that you can add to your gambling bankroll. Gayle

Gayle: Heading for Sunny Vegas this Sunday, how are progressives determined to pay out? Is there a certain jackpot, or certain number of spins, and how is it determined what casino it hits in? Is it all random or does any of the above play into it. Thanks for any advice you can give. Jeanette.

Jeanette: Random is the key word here, therefore the payout, casino location, # of spins are not pre-determined nor could be. There is a superstition among evolution gaming live casinot kaikki uudet amp bonukset Vegas locals that Mega-jackpot progressives hit after new casinos open, but that has been disproved by the two giant wins at the Desert Inn and Palace Station--go figure?

I would suggest that you not begin your slots experience with progressives, but with basic slots to build your bankroll, as progressives require a larger bankroll and some payouts are as low as 80%. One more thing, have fun in sunny Vegas town. Gayle.

What is earning potential for a slot machines? How do you calculate? Is it similar to the one done for the tables games? Giorgio.

Giorgio: Earning potential is based on many factors--which slot version--basic, progressive or BVS? Where are you playing? Many casinos, particularly in Nevada, has higher payout %'s. What denomination? Payouts are better at the high end slots but then you spend more money. Also factor in the pc or percentage casino - could be 2-5% or more depending on machine hold.

I can help you out with cost/hr for slot play as follows:

Denomination 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins

nickel $ 30 $ 60 $ 90

quarter 150 300 450

dollars 600 1200 1800

From this chart, you can track your winnings/hour. If you are playing quarters - 2 coins max, single payline (a good starting bet) for one hour you can calculate your winnings based on amount bet. As you can see it's not as easy as calculating table games, such as blackjack, baccarat or even video poker. Hope this helps. Gayle

From Bob: I just finished reading your books on All Slots and Video Poker.

I have the following questions:

Bonus Video Slots, multiple coins--how many coins should you play, for example - Reel 'Em In, also when the bonus screens comes up, which of the five fisherman characters do you usually select?

Answer: Try 1-2 coins/line to activate all lines and build your jackpot, then occasional max coin bet is not so risky. As to the five fishers - random choice each bonus round from computer so therefore, random choice by you.

You recommend playing the three reel slots 3-5 times and if no payoff to move on.

If this machine pays off with these pulls how much of a payoff would warrant to continue?

Also you recommend three pulls after a payoff for a repeat win, how much of a win would warrant to stay with this machine?

Answer: If your money was returned, I would stay on longer, however you have to set a stop-win and loss depending on your bankroll. When you hit these limits, take a break or move on. After a repeat win - I try 3-5 max spins, if no return, I move on, but again, that's up to you and your bankroll.

Comps - Excellent idea about using same card with two players--this will work for us due to four will be going on this trip. The question I have is - Does the casino know that the same card #, name, is playing at the same date and time?

Answer: Probably, but they don't care because you are playing in their house and that's all they want. Gayle.

Hello Gayle, I just finished reading your article about coinless slots. It seems that you are very hesitant about the new systems. Different systems are targeted for different players. Young players like cashless systems because they are more familiar with it. The smart card system is actually a carry over from the large arcades like Gameworks. The games do not take coins or bills but a card that can be moved from machine to machine. It works really well. Slots, like anything in a free market system, are subject to economic rules such as supply and demand. If you enjoy playing coins then coins will not go away.

I think you mentioned that you live in Arizona. Have you been able to go over to the new Casino Arizona? They have a cashless system. What do you think of it? Thanks, David

Editor's note: Since receiving this post from David, I have indeed been to Casino Arizona and although the cashless system was easy to understand and the staff were helpful with an explanation, it still was 'not my cup of tea'. I could not bounce around from one machine to another with my bucket of coins, as I prefer and just as I predicted, I nearly walked out the door with a ticket worth $100. I do thank David, though, for a different slant on the coinless debate.

Hey, folks, while you're here, I invite you to check out the 'entire archive' for lots o' slots articles written to enhance your education. Also, sign up for the latest issue of the Slots Report and check out the back issues here. Casino.com has released the first issue of Casino Travel Showcase for travelin' gamblin' players and we would be happy to have you aboard the casino highway. Sign up for the latest information about North American casino travel here.

Wild X Bonus Slots - 101

As if the new types of bonus video slots are not confusing or plentiful enough, I am here to add another category -- Wild Multiplier Bonus Slots.

These slots look like basic slots with three reels, but with plus, plus major bonuses. Wild symbols, (usually in the name of the slot version), are scattered about; multipliers, (2x, 5x, 10x pay+) as an added bonus option; and free spins that result in additional payouts. These versions also offer frequent hits/payouts; often every second spin, unlike basic slots.

You won't find second screen games as with bonus video slots -- Monopoly, Reel 'Em In, Let's Make a Deal, etc, however, video graphics are still present usually in the top-box screen of the slot.

I shortened the category name of these slots to Wild X Bonus Slots and list below 10 versions to search out and add to your 'future profits' slots education list.

Generally the payout for wild symbols is activated by the third coin. Five and nine paylines and ample pay tables are available with multiple jackpots that you have come to expect from bonus video slots.

1) Smokin' 7's: three reels, total of five 7 combos. Double jackpot 7's work like the wild symbol in Double Diamond-style games, subbing for any other symbol thus doubling the jackpot when one lands in a winning combo or quad the jackpot when two land. Free play symbol on third reel activates the bonus game -- now we're talking some real money. The top box is similar to Treasure Tunnel game jackpot multiplier, but with free spin numbers in circles (e.g., 5, 10 ,15 and 25 ). Once amount of free spins is established, hit the spin button once, away you go, and -- extra bonus -- each spin is a winning spin. If you land 3 wild symbols on free spin, it's the top payoff. A Smokin' Deal!

2) Wild Patriot: extra bonus for matching red, white and blue colors and for single, double and triple bar in sequence. Five normal 7 combos similar to red, white and blue 7's. Also a wild 7 symbol that subs for all other symbols offering the top primary game jackpot for three wilds on payline. Free play symbol on third reel, max coins in triggers a top box wheel with 8 spots of multipliers (e.g. 5, 10, 15, 25.) All jackpots are doubled on these free spins upping the game's top award. Occurs approximately every 50 spins. A true patriot wouldn't pass up this game.

3) Elvis 2: new features, new songs and a new look. Three-reeler with extra wild symbol and multiplying jackpots of 2x and 4x--now easier to win a second jackpot. You can now choose the song you would like played and you get video. Move toward the bonus circle that stops on a random bonus amount. The sound effects are fun in the latest version and who wouldn't want more of Elvis? The King speaks to you at a hopper fill with: 'Don't worry, I'll be with you in a minute.' Want to cash out? You hear: 'You've gotta be crazy'.

4) Lock & Roll: Want to put your machine playing skills to work? Here's the game for you. Players get to re-spin any or all the reels once on the same bet, if not happy with initial results. Similar to video poker, but instead of a poker hand, the symbols are randomly generated to appear on the reel. Make a decision on your hold for one or all of symbols, then re-spin and any unheld symbols are replaced. Meanwhile, the RNG is busy selecting 3 numbers on original spin plus selecting any other number for each reel that is re-spun. You get two shots at hitting every winning combo. Skill is in knowing the pay table. Some games have clues; e.g., only hold symbols that match each other. Usually you will not hold a blank, unless it is a wild cherry where you would hold a blank if the next symbol up is a cherry paying in any position. The best education for a novice player is the help screen that lists the odds of each different symbol showing up on the pay line. Take the time to read it for this game is worth the extra effort in frequent payouts.

5) Five Times, Ten Times Pay: a multiplying wild symbol with mix and match possibilities for larger payouts. One 10X = 10 times, while Two = 100 times jackpot. Also One 5x and One 10x = 50 multiplier. Budget accordingly; even though the hit frequency may not be high on this version, it has been determined that every 50-60 spins will bring in the right multipliers for higher payouts to put your bankroll back on track. Hang in there for those big scores.

6) Safe Buster: eight winning combinations with standard bar symbols included. Money bag symbols sub for cherries and 'safe-buster' game symbol. Three of those symbols win the top jackpot. Top box shows a safe dial bearing eight combination numbers---turning left, right and /or left trying to crack the safe for a multiplied jackpot. When all three numbers light up, the safe is cracked--triggering the reels to spin until a winning combo lands. Multipliers then range from 4x to 10x top jackpot. Generally the safe is cracked every 40 spins. Generous and action-packed.

7) Triple Diamond Slot Bingo: you get two bingo cards--one red and green with 25 numbered squares. Third reel displays Green Bingo or Red Bingo symbols. This launches an animated bingo ball for each coin bet settling on the matching numbers for each bingo card. Play until one card is a bingo. Higher bonuses are paid out for fewer numbers required for bingo, so the first 24 numbered winner receives a 100-coin bonus. When one card is full, it starts over, so you will be playing two cards at all times. This game is not just for bingo players, slot players have discovered this 2 for 1 game.

8) K.G. Bird: Aristocrat steps up with with the popular 'caged' bird in prison dress. This character is a wild sub for all symbols and five in a row offers the top jackpot. Extra payout multipliers are based on the number of coins played, therefore 5 max = 25,000 coin payout. Watch for extra pays with the firecracker scatter pay. Start off by playing all five lines but one coin/line until that multiplier payout starts to kick in. Fun CONcept for all players.

9) Roaring 20's: three reels, 3-coin buy-a-pay with bonus spin features . Bar symbol wins are different from basic slots in that these symbols pay as to where they land on the payline, rather than for matching bars. So, bar pays range from 2 coins for single bar/two blanks up to 60 coins for single, double and triple bar left to right on payline. The 'wild bar' symbol subbing for any bar on the payline increases the paybacks along the way. Top jackpot is paid for three 7's on the payline. The name of the game is the 'Roaring 20's star symbol' activated by the third coin. Have a listen to the ragtime music while the reels spin until a cumulative bonus amount is paid after the reels stop. With a hit every 3 spins, the play action is fun and dizzying.

10) Top Cat: Williams Gaming is one of my favorite manufacturers and this game proves it. The 'wild' cat and mouse symbols replace the oft-seen cherries on the pay table. The third coin activates the bonus feature. The cat's face with seven spaces determines the 2x, 3x, or 5x jackpot multiplier. Line up two 7's with a wild cat 5x multiplier for the top jackpot. As with all other Williams products, the sound effects and light show accompany the frequent bonuses.

This is the first of a series of articles that I plan to write on these types of bonus slots.

Wager management tips: play all three reels, however make sure with 9 payline versions, you bet at least 1 coin/line to cover all possible bonus options coming your way.

All features are not available or could be different versions as casinos order their own configurations.

Until next time -- Slot Players: go out and multiply!

Wild X Bonus Slots - #2

We continue the search for more Wild Multiplier Bonus Slots. Following are ten versions as your next ‘casino assignment’, should you choose to take up the challenge. To recap, briefly: these slots look like basic three-reel slots with the added features of wild symbols, multipliers, free spins, plenty of eye-popping graphics and requent hits/payouts. Some versions hit every second spin, unlike basic slots.

Here we go:

1) Cherries ‘R’ Wild: This slot may look like a single line reel-spinner, however you can activate 9 paylines that will multiply jackpots by adding together hits on various lines. The wild symbol ups your credits and can be applied to two or three intersecting pay lines. It’s possible to rack up credits on a single spin without hitting the upper level jackpots. Also, factor in a high hit frequency of nearly every other spin if you activate all pay lines--the best strategy for this version. This slot comes in a slant-top version with payouts easily seen rather than craning your neck to look up. Why aren’t all games this comfortable?

2) Jackpot Stampede Deluxe: Free spins and double wild symbols. Join the stampede for this version. 3-reel single line with two separate wild symbols -- the wild horseshoe and on the center reel--a Double Wild symbol that doubles the jackpot. Approx. every 80 spins when you line up three jackpot stampede symbols, you’ve won a chance at the bonus round ushered in by a wild cattle round up presenting five free spins. ‘Cash cows’ during this round offer additional winnings on any reel, any position. Giddyup cowhand, head for the BBQ after you pocket your winnings.

3) Dazzling Diamonds: Three-reel slot with ‘Double Diamond’ style doubling wild symbol. Why fight success -- ‘diamond’ slots have always attracted slot players and now with more wild symbols, there’s more reason to choose this particular version. You will note that as this series of slots articles unfolds, many versions are ‘take-offs’ of original basic slots, however the big difference is the extra bonus opportunities. In my Casino Gambling Made Easier books and booklets, I warn casino players to be wary of ‘take-offs’ because they are not usually better paying versions of the original. These slots are the exception to the rule and you should be certain that you are seeking and locating these bonus versions as described--much better for your pocketbook.

4) Jungle Themes by IGT: Two bonus versions that feature leopards and elephants.Leopard Spots: Allow bets of up to five coins for each of the 15 paylines = total of 75 coins. You get outstanding music and animation for your money and after approx. 100 spins, the screen produces a resting, friendly leopard in a tree. The words SPOTS is highlighted--make your choice to determine the bonus number of free games/spins and a multiplier amount of 2x-5x for bonus payments. Just when you thought a leopard couldn’t change its SPOTS.

5) Elephant King: A 9-line, five reel game with wild elephant symbols. Three scattered elephant symbols starts the bonus options. Free re-spins of two outer reels guarantees plus winnings. You get huge fun when you head for the Jungle on your next casino visit.

6) Mint: 3-reel progressive slot with US Mint theme. Reels appear imbedded on steel rollers in currency-stamping equipment while ‘money in motion’ is pushed your way. Look out, here it comes, grab as much as you can.

7) Black & White 5 Times Pay: While the 5 times feature is tempting on the basic version; now there is a multiplying wild symbol added to jack-up the hit frequency to nearly every 6 spins. 5 Times symbol multiplies the jackpot by 5 and 25 if two line up on the pay line. The reel symbols are mixed--single bars, doubles and triples pay as before, however, the added multiplier makes this simply designed game much more appealing. Search out this ‘fiver’ slot type.

8) Fishin’ for Cash: Three-reel, 2x, 3x multiplier, double, quad wild symbols and animated fishing characters -- that’s just for starters. Double Diamond symbol is the key wild to double and quadruple the payoffs. While you are spinning away, the three fishers are casting for bonus fish to be added to the individual stalls--based on coins bet. These stalls pay a 10-coin bonus when 10 fish are collected. Playing maximum coins for maximum bonus in this game is casting your line in the right direction.

9) Lion Fish: Two versions: 5 or 9 payline offering wild symbols and scatter pays instead of free spins. Underwater creatures such as starfish and shells are dotted on the screen with two wild symbols--Lion Fish and Diver, that rack up those extra credits just for you. As in most bonus versions, 5 selected symbols lined up gets that jackpot payout and no, you don’t have to be underwater to get it. I tried this one recently for fun and profit.

10) Hot Reels: A little bit of skill speeds you across the finish line first in this game. Similar to Five Play Video Poker, you hold any or all of 3 symbols dealt and these same held symbols show up in all five hands in front of you. Wild spark plugs, 5’s, 7’s and blanks are among your initial offerings. The skill part comes with your decision as to what symbols (any matching ones, of course) you select. Amid the roar of sports cars racing, watch the credits add up in all 5 hands. How fast you can finish ahead of the casino?

The usual tips for these versions are: play all three reels, however make sure with 9 payline versions, you bet at least 1 coin/line to cover all possible bonus options coming your way. All features are not available or could be different versions as casinos order their own configurations. Until your next assignment when we track down some bonus video slots--let the treasure hunt begin!

Wild X Bonus Slots - #3

After scouring this country and Canada searching for the best casino selections, we are back to some Wild Multiplier Bonus Slot versions awaiting a review.

As you remember, these slots look like basic slots with three reels, but with plus, plus major bonuses. Wild symbols, (usually in the name of the slot version), are scattered about; multipliers, (2x, 5x, 10x pay+) as an added bonus option; and free spins that result in additional payouts. These versions also offer frequent hits/payouts; often every second spin, unlike basic slots.

Generally the payout for wild symbols is activated by the third coin. Five and nine paylines and ample pay tables are available with multiple jackpots that you have come to expect from bonus video slots.

1) Good Times: IGT offers 3 varied winning 7’s combos in this version and a ‘Good Times Pays’ wild symbol. The jackpot multiplier works in tiers from 1X/2X to the top level of 12X/144X. The real fun begins after a multiplied jackpot is paid, then the next Times Pay payout is selected randomly and not necessarily the lowest pay. While the dollar players require a larger bankroll for this one, the payout multipliers make for a ‘roller coaster ride of X Good Times Pays profits’.

2) Life of Luxury: Dawwwlings -- shall we move over to the slot that offers red sports cars, yachts, my favorite beverage--champagne, lobsters, gold coins and that, must-have gift of diamonds. All these ‘necessities’ have more bonus features of multipliers, free spins and nine lines of ‘rich’ graphics. Jazz sounds, champagne and diamonds sparkling--I deserve this slot.

3) Bonus Spin 5 Times Pay: This 5X pay version finds you searching for that 5 times pay wild or two of them for 25 times pay. At third coin, there is a bonus spin trigger that takes you to a huge reel beside a six-row grid with five jackpot symbols per row. While the bonus $$ add up, there are more bonus payouts for each row of like symbols completed. When all 30 blocks are filled a ‘collect’ symbol will count your winnings. This bonus feature occurs approx. every 80 coins. Add this to game credits and this version turns out to be a winner.

4) Something for Nothing: really! Standard fruit, and bell symbols dot this nine payline slot. Toss in some 7 combos, Jackpot Coin and Wild Fruit symbols and approx. every 60 spins on a losing bet, the player gets a chance at the ‘something for nothing’ bonus. Amounts randomly selected from 3-40X based of your bet appear on the credit meter. The hits just keep on coming in between bonus rounds and a generous pay table. The search is on for ‘losing’ combos -- you know what they look like -- right? Cash in on those losers with this fun Williams version

5) Bugsy: Aristocrat introduces some cops and robbers characters with a tommy gun, gangster moll, thug and poker symbols strewn about. Scatter pay symbols of Bugsy, the green gangster and Lou the detective add to the chase and free spin credits mount. This unique version presents the player with an animated story featuring the antics of the two main characters. And the quest for bucks is on.

Note: Be sure to read about Aussie gamblers and Aristocrat Gaming featured in the current issue of the Slots Report.

Go to:

Until next time when the Wild Bonus Chase continues.

Wild X Bonus Slots - #4

More Wild Multiplier Bonus Slot versions are up for review. The slot manufacturers steadily introduce new slot versions and I gladly present the latest choices for slot players. Since returning from the Gaming Expo in Las Vegas and viewing the new and future versions, there is much to keep us busy. Therefore I will continue to inform here, and via the Slots Report.

Wild X Bonus slots look like basic slots with three reels, but with plus, plus major bonuses usually activated by the third reel/coin.

Bang for a Buck: thus the wild symbol for the top box bonus game. These versions offer a wild color scheme with a bundle of dynamite sticks surrounding the bonus box. No chance of missing the location of this multiplier/wild slot. The lucky 7's will pay with certain alignments but even more with a wild symbol or two and a chance of 2X, 3X, 5X or 10X multiplier. A bit of skill is involved when the flashing stops at Lose ½ or Play Again where you choose to take the win or try again. Choose try again and your gamble can find you at 'busted' getting zilch or other choice-losing ½ the bonus jackpot. This version is for risk-taking players with a chance at the bonus round about every 26 spins. Will you take the gamble for a 20,000 coin top jackpot?

Bell Ringer: Ballys wants you to 'ring that bell' to the top jackpot. A horse symbol is wild among the 7's while three wilds up wins the top jackpot. The 'bell ringer' symbol on third reel activates the bonus game of a light shooting up to the top of tower for bonus bucks and maybe a double win when lit. A crink in your neck as you look up is payback for many bonus rounds. You can afford a massage after a winning session here.

Top Dog: with a payout every 2-3 spins, dog lovers have found their game.

Fire hydrant is 'wild' and three dog houses triggers the bonus round taking you to a familiar sight-poker playing dogs. Pick one and it's poker hand to reveal bonus credits up to 2500. Also line up five dog catchers for extra bonus. Top scatter award is 1250 coins. Come on Fido, be good to me.

Triple Diamond Baseball: 'tis the season for this game. Ball players move around the diamond activated by single, double, triple and home run symbols on the third reel. Baseball players are numbered on a baseball over their head based on your line bet and these points are banked upon hitting home plate. The Home Run symbol on the payline starts a new game and your total credits are calculated. The rest of us can play this game and dream about next season while New York battles it out for the top prize.

Arabian Riches: another Odyssey 'high-platform' version choice. This 3-reeler bonus round sends you flying high on a magic carpet ride while granting 3 of 14 premium wishes for bonus coins, free spins and multiplied jackpots.

I wonder if Steppenwolf envisioned this-'why don't you come with me little girl on a magic carpet ride...'.

Hmm...Gotta go spin some vinyl from yesteryear...bye.

Note: Be sure to read about slot playing-Canadian style featured in Issue #5 of the Slots Report. Go to: