I like playing slots at casinos.
The main reason I like to play is the same reason most people do: I like to win.
If you have never been much of a casino person I do have one piece of advice for you: Sign up for the "club" that every casino has. Most will give you a card to shove into the machines and more importantly you'll be put onto a mailing list to receive offers for free stuff.
The Tucson area has two Indian tribes that operate two casinos each. I do a live broadcast at the nightclub inside one of them every other Friday for Mega (Desert Diamond Casino / Hotel). I like to go to Cosmic Bingo at one of the other tribe's casinos (Casino Del Sol).
I get mailings offering "free play" for both. They give me free money to play at the casino. I'm sure its a calculated risk on their part. They assume most people will keep spending more since they made the trip there. Its an enticement to go.
I decided to try just using the free play at Casino Del Sol on Sunday. They sent me a mailer saying there would be $20 on my card for the day. I figured there must be a smart way to use it to try and win as much as possible. As you can imagine, $20 in any casino isn't much. Everything there is pretty expensive (for a radio dj's salary anyway).
I decided to try the quarter slots. I also decided to just play one credit (quarter) at a time to get the most spins out of the $20. That meant I had 80 spins to win. My theory was if there were more spins it would have to increase my chances of hitting something that would win. And, I wouldn't lose anything since even if I went through the $20 with no wins I hadn't spent anything besides gas money and time. I'd also get material for a blog post for your reading enjoyment (cough, cough).
I've noticed in my visits to casinos that most people don't just play one credit at a time. The way the machine lists the payouts the casinos make every attempt to discourage you from being cheap. I suppose that's how they pay for the fancy buildings and the salaries for their employees and have a bunch leftover to give to the people of their tribes.
It took me 30 minutes to play through the $20 one credit at a time. I won $11.25.
I had only won $6 until the last two spins. I had started thinking toward the end that I was barely covering my gas expense for the drive out there. But I did hit a double bar pay toward the end that helped.
I got another $15 in free play yesterday thanks to a Memorial Day promotion. I returned to Casino Del Sol to see if I could do better. Instead I did worse. Same machine, this time I only won $1. The woman next to me playing max credits on a similar quarter machine won $300 twice in five minutes.
What did I learn? If I wanted to score big money at the casino I should have mugged the woman who won $600 while she was on her way to her car in the parking lot.