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Gaming Guru

 

Lost in the Casino

30 April 2010

One of the quickest ways to lose money at the casino is to sit down and play a game you don't understand. This used to apply only to table games, however some of the new slot games can be just as confusing to the player as the table games and you can make some costly mistakes if you don't understand the machine you are playing.

Avoid the Maximum Bet Button

The majority of the old reel slot machines had one play line that allowed you to wager one to three coins per spin. The newer video slots have multiple pay lines that can range from five to a hundred. You also have the option to wager multiple credits on each of these pay lines. Even the new video poker machines now have a maximum bet of 30 credits instead of five for the single game machines and a lot more on the multi-play machines.

On numerous occasions I have watched a player sit down at a slot or video poker machine and hit the maximum bet button only to discover that they just bet 50 or more credits when they thought they were betting three or five. These players were "lost" because they were not sure how many coins they were betting on a single spin. What can be equally confusing on the newer machines is how a winning spin is determined. On the old slot machines it was easy to figure out winning combinations because all you had to do was line up the same symbol on each reel straight across. The payouts were listed on the front of the machine telling you how much each symbol paid.

The way the winning symbols line up on the new machines can be vertical, horizontal, diagonal or zigzag. There can be scatter pay or bonus pay symbols on each the reels as well. This can be confusing to some players. Sometimes you almost need a manual to help you understand how to play.

Read the Help Screen

Although the new slots don't come with a manual, they do offer the next best thing in the way of a "Help Screen" that will explain how the game is played. If you are playing a game for the first time, it is a good idea to spend a minute looking at the help screen so you understand how the game is played.

The help menu usually has several screens that you can advance through using the "next" button. The first screen of the help menu will usually show you the pay lines for the game. This screen will also explain how the symbols must line up for a winning spin.

Many of the new video slots require that the winning symbols must start on the left reel and go to the right. You may line up three or four symbols in a row but if they don't start in the first reel on the left it is not a winning spin. You need to know this so you won't be confused as to why you did not win even though you had multiple symbols.

The next screen is the pay table that shows how much each symbol pays. Slot makers try to make the hierarchy of winning symbols easy to understand. For instance, a silver coin on the reel would be worth more than a bronze coin and a gold coin would be worth more than the silver one. Some of the games have themes that make the value of the symbols easy to understand, however some can really be confusing so it is always best to check the pay table, before you start.

If the machine has a bonus round the help screen will explain what symbols activate the bonus portion of the game. The game may also have a special symbol that acts as a wild card for a scatter pay bonus. This will be explained as well.

Take a few minutes to read the help screen of any new slot game you decide to play. It is better than trying to figure out the winning combinations as you play. You can access the screen at any time, so if you encounter something about the game you don't understand while you are playing you can go to the screen and get your answer. It will make your casino visit a much more enjoyable experience if you fully understand the games that you play.

Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge Stays Forever."

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

> More Books By Bill Burton

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets

> More Books By Bill Burton