I recently covered how to win at online casinos every time, so I thought a post about how to win on slot machines in gas stations would make for a nice follow-up. (And I just wrote a post about the best gas station cigars at one of my other sites, so the topic is on my mind.)
Here’s the truth about how to win on slot machines in gas stations:
The ONLY way to win on slot machines in gas stations is to get lucky and then quit while you’re ahead. ALL slot machines, including the ones you find in gas stations, are designed with a mathematical edge for the game. They do this by programming the payouts to have lower odds than the odds of winning that payout. If you play long enough, that house edge will ensure that you lose your money.
Much of my advice from my previous post stands — keep your expectations low, treat gas station slot machines as entertainment, and never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
Most of the Advice about How to Win on Slot Machines in Gas Stations Is Nonsense
Most of the advice about how to win on slot machines in gas stations is the same advice you’ll see about any other gambling machine. Here are some tips that you can safely ignore:
Wait to play the game until someone’s been playing for a while without a win. The idea behind this advice is that if a game hasn’t paid out in a while, your odds of winning go up. That’s not how a slot machine works, though, whether it’s in a casino or a convenience store.
Every spin of the reels on a slot machine is an independent event. This means that what happened on the previous spin have no effect on the probability of the next spin.
If the probability of winning the jackpot is 1000 to 1, it remains 1000 to 1 even if the previous 1000 spins were losing spins. The game doesn’t eliminate combinations just because they’ve already been hit.
Push the buttons in a specific pattern. No, this doesn’t work. Slot machine games are random even when they appear to have a skill element. It really doesn’t matter when or how you spin the reels.
The probability of winning remains the same.
All the advice about slot machines on Michael Bluejay’s Easy Vegas site applies to gas station slots.
More Nonsensical Advice about Winning on Convenience Store Slot Machine Games
Sometimes you’ll find “winning” advice from people who start by saying that there’s no strategy to win.
But they follow up with their advice for how to be luckier than you would otherwise.
I saw one poster on a popular question and answer site who claims she always has better luck playing slots at gas stations than she does at real casinos or airport slot machines.
I’m not sure what her agenda is or if that’s even her real experience, but I doubt that most convenience stores offer slot machines with better odds than a competitive casino.
Some of her other advice was practical, though — like sneaking her vodka in and drinking from a Slurpee cup while she played. That won’t help you win, but it might make you FEEL like a winner.
She says to watch for gas stations where lots of people are playing the machines. She also suggests that if the gas station seems to have regular players, their slots might pay out more.
That’s not the worst advice I’ve ever seen, but I doubt it holds much water.
Avoiding the slot machine by the door or by the checkout counter almost certainly doesn’t matter. Betting the max doesn’t make much difference, either — it just depends on the pay table for the game.
Even if you get bigger payouts when betting the max, the game still has a mathematical edge, though.
You can’t win in the long run.
Not Every Gas Station with Slot Machines Is Operating Legally, Either
I’m from Texas, and we have gas stations offering slot machine here called 8-liners. These games are legal if they meet certain restrictions about the sizes of the prizes.
But guess what?
Almost all the gas stations offering such games here are ignoring the law.
And the state doesn’t do much to enforce the law.
Sure, you’ll see the state crack down on these so-called “game rooms” that pop up from time to time, but a gas station with 3 or 4 games in it doesn’t seem to constitute much of a threat.
I’ve been to bars which offer these games, too.
As with any slot machine, these illicit games have no strategy for winning.
They’re completely random with no patter.
You put your money in and hope you get lucky. That’s all there is to it.
Where Can You Find Slot Machines in Gas Stations?
Most states don’t have gas stations with slot machines, but more offer slot machine gambling in convenience stores than you might expect.
Here’s a list of states offering gas station slot machines:
- New York
- South Dakota
The best way to beat slot machines in gas stations is to refuse to play. You can find better ways to gamble your money without much trouble at all. Heck, find a home poker game to participate in.
Life’s too short to spend a lot of money and time trying to beat a mathematically unbeatable game. You’d almost be better off playing the lottery. After all, if you’re hanging out in a gas station to gamble, that’s the most traditional way to do it.