Slots 101

With their bright lights, colorful displays and merry music, slots are among the most popular attractions at any casino. They’re easy to play, and you can choose to pop in any amount of money from pennies to mega bucks. Today’s slots are controlled by computers, with winning percentages and odds set by the manufacturer. Although luck plays a big role in success at the slots, there are a few strategies that can increase your chances of winning at one of Isle of Capri’s exciting Colorado casinos.

Mind Your Manners

Follow the general casino slots etiquette. A jacket on a chair or a chair pushed against a machine means it’s taken and the player is likely just taking a bathroom break. Only play one machine at a time if the casino is crowded and no more than two if it’s not. Don’t get mad if you see someone hit a jackpot that “should have been” yours. With all the computerized gyrations involved, it’s unlikely you would have hit just the right lucky combination the same way the next player did.

Know Your Limits

Although quarter slots usually have a bigger payout, you can get in over your head pretty quickly. Know your limits, how long you want to play and how much you want to bet. If you don’t have a lot to bet, choose a machine with a nickel machine and your gaming fun can last for longer. Decide ahead how many coins you’ll play and stick with it. As with any gaming evening, only walk into the casino with the amount of money you’ll be playing.

On a Budget? Pick a Small Jackpot

Try picking a machine with a small jackpot. The bigger a slot’s jackpot, the harder it is to win, so you may be luckier trying for the smaller jackpots. Always double check the machine’s actual maximum jackpot since even machines that look the same can have dramatically different jackpots.

Reel Slots

Reel spinning slots are the machines with 22 symbols/blanks on each reel, with certain combinations leading to a win. Symbols are just like those on old-time slots with vibrant lemons cherries, diamonds, hearts and bells. For better odds, try to pick a machine of three rather than four or five slots to increase your odds of lining up the symbols.

Video Slots

Video slots feature any number of virtual stops from 32 to into the hundreds, with images tending to be characters from television shows, movies or cartoons. Most video slots have five lines rather than three. Both video and reel slots are controlled by a random number generator (RNG), making it impossible to predetermine future spins. Today’s themed video slots are a lot of fun, with favorites including Tiki Treasure, Queen of Atlantis and Monster Money.

Progressive Slots

While they can be either reel or video slots, progressives differ from tradition slots in that they’re hooked up to a network of machines, either throughout the casino or even among a group of casinos. The jackpot is awarded to the player lining up a predetermined combination of symbols on a traditional or nine-reel machine. In some cases, the winnings are actually awarded by the manufacturer.

Figuring Out the Probabilities

Before you pick a machine, be sure you know the machine’s rules, the probability of winning and how much you could walk away with. For some slots, the game’s methodology is detailed on the glass above the screen. This will let you know the type of game, what each spin pays and overall details on the machine.

Now that you know a bit about the different type of slots, it's time to sample the variety offered at Black Hawk casinos and find out which ones are your favorites.