Beating the Slots at MotorCity Casino . November 2000

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Beating the Slots at MotorCity Casino

by Howard Berenbon

When you visit a casino, it's always a good idea to have a game plan.  First, decide what games you'll play, how much money you'll wager per game and your loss limit.  And it's also wise to take some expert advice with you for a winning edge.   And so, on a recent visit to MotorCity Casino, I had a plan.  I was going to play the slots; no table games this time.  I had a modest $20 dollar limit and an expert with me.

Actually, I really didn't have an expert with me, but some notes taken last month while reading Gayle Mitchell's book, "More Casino Gambling Made Easier."  She's a well known gambling expert who contributes to Casino Detroit Magazine.  I studied her book and was ready to play those slots that Gayle recommends.   It was a Friday morning (after I drove my two girls to school) when I headed downtown to MotorCity Casino for a morning of slot machine fun.

I was in search of a few good machines.  First of all, Gayle recommends playing only single pay line machines in various formats.  They offer a better pay off than those that pay on several lines.  So, if you're lucky enough to hit on a machine, and people do, you'll make more money for your investment.  Among the machines Gayle recommends are ones with 2 or 3 double symbols on the wheels.  She also says to play those machines near high traffic areas (near the buffet line, near the cashier and etc.).  And I've heard that recommendation from other experts.  Those machines could be set to pay off more frequently to help encourage those not playing to play.   It certainly adds to the casino excitement if someone hits a jackpot while you're waiting in line for seating at the lunch or dinner buffet.  One more recommendation, which also makes sense, is to play the two coin machines maximum bet slots.  You'll get at least one third more playing time.

Since I had a twenty dollar limit on my losses, I limited my play to quarter slots.  That would give me more playing time for my money.  So, I headed into the casino searching for a couple different single pay line machines with some of Gayle's criteria.  I found a Triple Diamond machine that looked good and popped in three quarters.  Then I hit the spin button, but nothing.  I then moved over to a Wild Cherry machine to my left and hit three times in a row.  Okay, that's the way to do it.  It wasn't a jackpot, but it gave me some playing money.   Then I found a Red, White and Blue quarter slot with double pay symbols, and won a few more handful of coins, but then gave it back.  These machines required three coins for the maximum bet.  Unfortunately, after searching all three floor of MotorCity, I couldn't find any two coin quarter slots.  All the two coin machines I found were $0.50 and $1.00 wagers.

I continued trying a few more quarter slots here and there until I lost my very small winnings plus $10 more.   So, I gave up and started looking for the nickel slots I won on last time.  I know I broke a few of Gayle's rules by playing the nickel machines, which are multi-lined and more than three reels.   But, I found a few that were fun.  I started with a "Filthy Rich" nickel slot on the first floor, near the escalator, and won about $10 on the first four spins.  Then I continued toward the front exit to see if I could get a spot on one of the very popular Monopoly machines.  I was in luck.

It wasn't that crowded at 11:30 a.m., and two Monopoly machines were open.  On a previous visit, I watched them payoff, so I was happy to get a chance to play.  In fact, I hit on the first 5 spins, and was about $20 ahead.  Then my luck wavered and gave it all back plus some.  But, I did have about a half hour of steady play with a chance to hit a jackpot.  So, in my two hour visit to MotorCity Casino, I had lots of playing time (about an hour), added more points to my club card, with a chance at becoming an instant MotorCity Millionaire (a current club card promotion) and only lost $12.  Actually, if you can leave a casino with only a $12 loss, you're way ahead in my book.

Next time, I'll play some of the poker machines Gayle recommends, and maybe try a few $0.50 two-coin slots.  And then I'll head off to the buffet for lunch.  I couldn't stay for the buffet this time, but next visit I'll take my winnings to lunch.