The World’s Oldest Winning Slots Strategy

Rules are an important place to start [Oldest]

Introduction to Oldest Strategy

Whatever your gambling goal is, you want to win at playing slot machines. I thought you’d appreciate knowing how to win at slots at the oldest casinos. I’ve done it as perhaps you have, too?

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Initial Gambling Rules

After my very first casino gambling experiences starting in 2003, I spent more and more time thinking about them without much progress on learning how to win. But I wasn’t yet thinking about how to win. Rather, I was mostly thinking about the potential dangers of what I was getting into.

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Eventually, I decided to figure out slots gambling. I wasn’t expecting to win any significant amount of money. Rather, I was hoping not to lose a significant amount of money.

My primary motivation was to develop better control over my emotions while gambling at a casino. I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t like feeling as though I was being ruled by them, at times almost controlled by my emotions.

If my reaction to these strong emotions was a personal weakness, I knew I wouldn’t just find myself exposing this behavior at a casino. I could potentially be surprised by it at other times, either while simply living my life or when working professionally. I felt, if possible, it needed to be addressed.

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With this reasoning in mind for proceeding with gaining additional slot machine gambling experiences, I took a long look around where I lived for any nearby casinos within driving distance. As it happened, there was a nice casino relatively nearby. In fact, its size and facilities far exceeded what I’d even heard about casinos being like at that point in my life. The local casino had table games, floors of slot machines, a high limit slot room, and horse racing.

And oh, the splendor of the buffet! To all my senses, it was simply delightful. So, with that limited assessment of a gambling establishment, about every month or more I’d take about $25 from my monthly graduate student stipend to go there and fully expected to gamble it all away on slot machines. But would I?

Rules are an important place to start [Oldest]Rules are an important place to start [Oldest]

A 25-Cent, 3-Credit Slot Machine

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino outside of Des Moines, Iowa in the small city of Altoona was MY casino. I started going there in 2004 and last visited it in early 2006 when I’d graduated from Iowa State and moved away to the east coast. I had what I still consider to be a wild and crazy time.

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I learned so much about playing slot machines during those visits, both what worked and what didn’t. Although, my visits started out tamely enough. Every few weeks or so I’d take $25 and spend it on slots.

After looking around for a while at the various slot machines available, I settled on one machine that I liked. It was a $0.25 denomination, 3-credit slot machine. I liked it for two reasons, specifically because:

The payout table was easy to read.
The reel symbols were relatively simple.

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I had no special requirements other than I didn’t want to have to keep figuring out the “pay table” every time I moved to a different slot machine. A pay table, just to be clear, is a description of what symbols or combination of symbols results in a win as well as the cash amount of that win. Nowadays, video slots have hidden these displays under digital page of page of game rules.

For twenty visits over a six-month period, I sat and played with a bankroll of $25 at this specific quarter-dollar, 3-credit slot machine. If I won any small amount, I’d either take it home to use it as my bankroll on the next visit or put it back in immediately to spend it right then on that machine. For the most part, I enjoyed it.

My first, real dissatisfaction wasn’t until six months had passed, which is when I won my first “big” jackpot. It wasn’t a hand pay or W-2G jackpot, meaning $1,200 or more. But it happened to be the maximum jackpot that that slot machine had to offer: 4,000 credits or $1,000.

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According to my gambling records after six months of effort, I’d spent $500 to win that $1,000 jackpot. Imagine! I was staring at a jackpot equal to 10% of my annual gross income and, I naively thought, tax-free to boot.

Why the feeling of dissatisfaction? Yes, I’d made a $500 profit. But I had only $500 to show for six months of effort.

Had I even exceeded minimum wage based on all the hours I’d spend gambling? No. Not even close.

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I appreciated the win and all, I truly did, but I kept thinking that there must be a better way of winning than this! My response, my decision, my deliberate approach was, as usual, to DO MORE RESEARCH! To do more thinking!

So, I did just that.

The front face of the U.S. quarter dollar coin [Oldest]The front face of the U.S. quarter dollar coin [Oldest]

Internet Advice

In 2004, we had this new thing called the World-Wide-Web, what we of course now call the internet. Not everyone had it, but as an engineering graduate student at a top-rated university, we did. I proceeded to search online using this remarkable new research tool.

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What I read online then about slot machine gambling seemed fascinating. I don’t remember the specific keywords I used during my internet search, and certainly don’t remember the URL addresses I ended up linking to, but the advice I found went something like this:

To win big, bet big.
Pick a machine that has multipliers, a second spin, or both.
Find a machine at or near the end of a row of machines that is near an area where people naturally group together that has both items 1) and 2).

The first suggestion made a certain fine logical sense to me. The second suggestion was a bit of an eye-opener but certainly seemed like an excellent idea. The third suggestion struck me as bizarre.

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Could it be true, that a casino would actively try to engage, to entice, to effectively manipulate its patrons into gambling from within its own property? WWHHAATT?? But how completely fascinating!

I resolved to try out the suggestions during my next casino visit. This is when my gambling started to get interesting, at least to my fellow engineering professors and departmental staff. These friends and co-workers were my first audience.

Graduate students using the internet to research what’s been done [Oldest]Graduate students using the internet to research what’s been done [Oldest]

A $1, 5-Credit Slot Machine

I went back to the casino with my $500 in prior winnings. And hunted for a high credit, high dollar amount machines out on the casino floor. At that time, I never noticed the high limit slot room where I’d years later would spend so much time and win so many hand pay jackpots.

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I examined slot machines on the casino floor for good candidates until I found a nice $1 denomination, 5-credit slot machine with multipliers. Except it was located over in a quiet corner of the casino floor. It was a Five Times Play machine.

It fit at least the first 2 criteria above. But it wasn’t located in a busy area. I kept up my search.

Eventually, I found the same model slot machine elsewhere in the casino. This time, it was ideally located, meeting the third piece of internet advice as the second to last slo machine in a row near the casino’s main bar region. I remember being struck by how odd it was that all three criteria could be met with such relatively little effort.

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I’m much less surprised these days because I understand casino’s better. They wanted me to find it. Even if they had to lay out a path of breadcrumbs for me to find it.

Now, a wild and crazy time of my life was about to commence. There I was. It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. at the best candidate I’d yet found. I had $500 in my hand and was ready to go.

I think most people would have put $20 in, hit max bet twice, then taken their winnings and left. But not me! I pressed on with my plan: I proceeded to put the whole $500 into it and pressed the max bet button until it was gone.

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Nothing went according to plan. See, my bankroll didn’t go away. I found myself winning small nontaxable jackpots, lots of small jackpots each worth less than $1,200.

There were so many of these jackpots that I tried for a little while to use my pen to write hash marks on my palm for each $25, $75, $100, $200, $500, $750, and $1,000 hits. But I couldn’t keep up with how many of these small jackpots I was winning. I simply ran out of room on my palm to mark down all the hash marks.

So, I switched to marking down how many $1,000 hits And I got. I ran out of space on my palm once I got to sixty or so.

The backside of the U.S. one dollar bill [Oldest]The backside of the U.S. one dollar bill [Oldest]

My First & Second Hand Pays

I might have tried harder to keep track, but other interesting things were happening. I won my w-2G hand pay jackpot. It was for $1,250.

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I was overjoyed! These days, I know more than a few gamblers who’ve never won a hand pay jackpot. They wonder how it feels.

And ask what it’s like. I’ve seen the look on their faces when other gamblers describe it. I’ve also happened to be sitting next to several gamblers when they’ve won their first taxable jackpot, with a couple of different responses.

Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling. But can also be a big mystery as to what happens next. You notice the reels have landed on an interesting combination of symbols.

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They seem familiar somehow. Maybe something I’d seen on the pay table? And the slot machine is suddenly broken because its stopped working.

I can still remember that first time. It was also my first experience with how helpful slot attendants are, which I still appreciate. Nevertheless, it was a completely new experience.

Slot attendants and other casino staff certainly deserve to be praised for how professional, supportive, informative, patient, and generally helpful they are to everyone. But this is especially true when they’re working with first-time taxable jackpot winners. At first, I was mystified as to why the machine wouldn’t allow another bet.

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It had been working just fine a moment before! I’d been winning a lot of small, nontaxable jackpots and, when doing so, always stopped the machine’s roll-up sequence. Without that roll-up’s sound effects, it took a moment to notice the actual amount of the win.

At that time, I was not at all aware of the $1,200 lower limit for taxable jackpots. However, I’d most certainly realized it was the largest jackpot I’d yet gotten. My records show that this first taxable jackpot of $1,250 occurred at 10:05 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, 2004.

After the hand pay was serviced, I kept playing. Within an hour, I won another taxable jackpot. This second time, it was for an amazing $3,750.

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Let’s think about this timing for a moment. Two jackpots occurring 51 minutes apart. But, not 51 minutes of betting occurring between them. About 15-20 minutes was taken up with the casino servicing that first jackpot.

There were only about 30 minutes of betting taking place between those two jackpots. It wouldn’t be the last time this happened. Not at all.

First, second, and third place volleyball medals [Oldest]First, second, and third place volleyball medals [Oldest]

Six Days of Winning

Despite all the assistance and professional services being provided by the casino staff for these two taxable jackpots, I’d begun to feel slightly emotionally overwhelmed as well as hungry and far too caffeinated to continue in a clear-thinking manner. I went home, ate a late lunch, and tried to get some much-needed sleep. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I really needed to be back at the casino playing that slot machine.

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Thinking is all well and good, I told myself, but sometimes it’s time for action. So, there I was back at the casino at 10 p.m. that Saturday on April of 2004. I was betting on the same machine as before.

Within fifteen minutes of arriving, I won a taxable jackpot for $1,500. A few minutes before midnight, with lot of “little” $1,000 jackpots in-between, I won my biggest jackpot yet.

This jackpot was an astonishing $6,250. That did it for me. I was done with my first day of winning taxable jackpots, having won 4 of them totaling $12,750.

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To put this into perspective, it’s necessary to understand that, as a lowly graduate student at that time living on a university’s engineering research stipend, that last taxable jackpot was half my annual gross salary. In addition, all four taxable jackpots equaled my annual gross salary. So, yes, I collected my winnings at the end of that first day, went home, and stayed there … for a while.

After 4 hours of sleep, I was back at the casino. That Sunday, I stayed from about 6 a.m. until around Noon, winning three more taxable jackpots for a total of $6,500 that day, not including the usual uncounted number of small, nontaxable jackpots.

By the end of six days, sometimes visiting the casino twice a day, I’d won thirteen W-2G hand pay jackpots totaling $28,500. About one-third went to income taxes which I’d get back because I was keeping gambling records. And about one-third went back into that slot machine.

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But one-third, just under $10,000, went into my bank account. My best estimate for non-hand pay jackpots was about $60,000. In hindsight, using what I know now, it was more likely twice that, around $120,000.

Six [Oldest]Six [Oldest]

And Abrupt End. But Far Too Abrupt!!

My first, amazing slot machine gambling experiences ended abruptly on Saturday one week after I started. As usual, with $500 cash in hand, I returned to the casino that morning. I went to the slot machine I’d been winning at, inserted five hundred-dollar bills, and lost it all in ten minutes.

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I do recall winning a single nontaxable jackpot for $25. But that was the sum of my winnings. To say that I was stunned is an understatement. What was going on?

Before visiting this casino, I had a lot of common misunderstandings about how casinos operate their slot machines. Then I had these hundreds of jackpots, thirteen of them W-2G hand pays, and my preconceptions were bent like willow trees in a strong wind. But going it and losing $500 in ten minutes BROKE my preconceptions.

Winning was unusual, yes. But maybe that sometimes happens? But abruptly losing after over 16 hours of winning meant someone had done something to change the odds on that slot machine.

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Which meant someone could do that. And that someone was the casino with assistance from slot machine manufacturers. And the casino had a reason for doing it.

A sign that the game is over [Oldest]A sign that the game is over [Oldest]

Ten Years of Thoughtful Reflection

A year later, I entered the aerospace industry as a working engineering professional making multiple times more than my prior graduate student salary. I twice spent $2,000 playing slot machines. The first $2,000 was again spent at the same casino on the same slot machine, from which I won another $1,250 jackpot and took home about $1,000.

The second $2,000 bankroll was spent at Mohegan Sun, a casino located near to where I worked and how lived in Connecticut. The slot machine was the same model as I’d won on previously. And the only one of its kind that I found within the casino.

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I lost the whole bankroll within a few minutes. I set aside slot machine gambling for a long time after that. It would be years before I’d return to it. Which was fine, as I had a lot of thinking to do.

Which I did, with gusto. I developed my ideas for a decade. While I waited for my next opportunity to apply them which happened, eventually.

A bicycle chain of ten years [Oldest]A bicycle chain of ten years [Oldest]

Winning Means Having a Plan

The story about my first gambling experiences from more than a decade ago can be examined closely in a way helpful to beginners on how to best approach slots gambling.

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From my early slot machine gambling experience prior to central computer servers, slot machines had constant odds of winning until a casino slot technician physically opened the slot machine and manually changed the odds of winning and perhaps other settings. And that’s a secret to winning.

A slot machine is deliberately set up to win by the casino. I found one. Now that you know they exist, you can find them too.

But what exactly is the plan? When I won thirteen hand pay jackpots over six days using this strategy more than a decade ago, my performance was not optimal. Nor did I maximize profits.

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Why? Put simply, I was not prepared to win. I played that slot machine set to win for only a few hours at a time.

I even didn’t gamble at all on two of the six days that slot machine was set up to win. After you’ve found a winning slots machine, to truly optimize performance and maximize profits when using this strategy, you’ll need to stay and play. at least one trusted partner is necessary. The basic plan should be to never stop playing that winning slot machine.

How do you plan on doing that? Before central servers, you could discourage slot technicians from serving the slot machines. But now the odds can be changed remotely while you are playing.

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Discouraging slot techs from changing the odds was possible but preventing remote updates of the odds cannot be stopped. So, embrace it. Get good at noticing when the odds have changed.

All this might sound hard to accomplish. But it isn’t. The hard part is getting rid of your misconceptions, so you know what to look for and win.

Take your time and figure out your plan to win [Oldest]Take your time and figure out your plan to win [Oldest]

Summary of Oldest

The story described here is an old way to successfully win at slots gambling. You just needed to take advantage of your casino. And it still works today.

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How Do Slot Machines Pay Out W-2G Hand Pays?
How Slot Machines Work from a Player’s Perspective
Highly Visible Locations: The Other Advantage Play

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Author: Paul Campbell