What have you personally done to win big on slot machines?

lots of slot machines

If you want a shot at winning anything on slot machines, you have to play. The Longshot win of someone putting a quarter in a machine and winning a million dollars is Hollywood, but it can happen. (and yes, I do put my few dollars in the giant slot machine when you enter the casino, you never know).

Alan pulling the handle on a giant one-arm bandit in Las Vegas.
Alan pulling the handle on a giant one-arm bandit in Las Vegas.

Apart from playing more equals more chances to win (or lose, if you look at it that way), I am a low-roller and a “session” gambler, extending play with lower wagers and $10 – $20 sessions. Winning “big” is a factor of the RNG, the “Random Number generator” that determines the outcome each time you spin. Each spin has an equal chance of winning, although larger progressive jackpots are only paid when the maximum is bet.

While I would be exuberantly happy and excited with a big jackpot, I have never won more than about $200 on any one machine. The real payout is the fun you have with a machine that has aliens, stampedes, hay-wires, super Heroes, or free spins.

So my answer is that I play, to increase the possibility of winning – but luck and the RNG have not granted the “big wins”. (YET).

You can always get books on “how to win big at slots” from Amazon.

I have touched on the subject before, so take a look at my shameless self promotion:

Alan Chenkin’s answer to What are the best tips for casino slot machines?

slot machine strategy | The Chenkin Report

Have fun at the casino, learn the strategy that is best for you, and (in Vegas), enjoy the sights! Vegas Baby! Silver strikes in the land of Bugsy and Elvis!

Do slot machines pay out less on the weekends?

I am

Slot machine payouts are at regulated percentages over the lifetime of the machine. The machines are regulated, the payouts are calculated over the lifetime of the machine, and – unless the machine is reprogrammed – the RNG (Random Number generator) chip determines the win or lose on each wager. so the machine does not care what day of the week it is, just the RNG.

Having said that, it is obvious that some casinos have increased numbers of PLAYERS on the weekends, and more people playing means that (overall) there is a potential for more winners (and losers), although statistically the odds are the same.

how to play slots without losing your a$$  https://amzn.to/31MmR7R
A good read on Amazon

There are machines that use “gaming psychology” to make you feel that winning 50 cents on a dollar bet is a “CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU WON FIFTY CENTS!!” event, when in fact you LOST fifty cents on that wager. Each wager is a random event, so gamble responsibly, understand the payout tables, and avoid superstitions like any machine is “overdue for a big win”.

Play games you enjoy, and have fun at, and walk away when you have invested an amount you are comfortable wagering. Personally, I am a “session gambler”, and will play a variety of machines when I am in a gambling mood.

I am
Great shirt from Amazon; click on it for more choices!

I have touched on the subject before, so take a look at my shameless self promotion:

Alan Chenkin’s answer to What are the best tips for casino slot machines?

slot machine strategy | The Chenkin Report

Have fun at the casino, learn the strategy that is best for you, and (in Vegas), enjoy the sights! Vegas Baby! Silver strikes in the land of Bugsy and Elvis!

Las Vegas Economist Believes fees are turning away Las Vegas visitors

I found this article spot on: https://www.casino.org/news/las-vegas-economist-believes-parking-resort-fees-turning-away-visitors/

The corporations that run the big hotels have no interest in dropping fees or increasing comps.

IMHO, Vegas always had an “upside surprise”

-Outrageous themes and events (pools, sky needle, corny casinos, lots of giveaways and freebies). Not to mention inexpensive food (to lure and keep you at the casino).

-Exciting free venues (show me something cool, give me a free/discounted drink, and I will gladly visit your casino)

-The possibility of winning some money (I used to see people holding up the big check with $100k, $50k, etc.)

-Comps just from talking to the pit boss (they could toss you a comped meal without checking your point balance or fear of being fired for being nice to low rollers)

When I went to Vegas 20 years ago, you felt you got more for your money than you do today. Vegas was a VALUE destination; not just gaming, not just canals and water-shows, but you knew people who had a good time and made a few bucks! They were living, breathing advertisements for going back. Often.

Look at Vegas today:

Big fluctuations on room rates, many non-refundable, and those !$#@!! Resort fees.

Winning “big” (more than a couple of hundred) is almost nil. slot psychology, progressives, and high-dollar tables take your money faster with no emotional payback, except for some flashing lights.

Expensive food ($40 breakfast buffets, Starbucks coffee is $4 at the Casino and $2 off strip) and coupons that don’t really give you a significant discount.

Comps based on loyalty cards, so you have to stay in one casino to boost your points or spread your gaming around and get minimal, non-usable points from the Casinos you just visit and spend an few bucks on.

The New Vegas has dropped the “little guy” from their radar – the price gouging (no matter how well justified) will keep them gambling at the local casinos (the ones near me have free parking and lots of giveaways), and a good cross-section of eateries that are there to keep the gamblers happy – not to be an additional profit center for the casino.

Vegas may be overdue for a big downturn in revenue (again) and will have to re-invent itself to keep the convention traffic and Vegas-loving regular folks a reason to visit. We need, first and foremost, to look at the Vegas “Value Proposition” – fun, outrageous hotels, inexpensive but good food, lots of comps and giveaways, and not going broke on your first day and having to put everything on your charge card (a monthly reminder that you spent way too much).

This crazy place in the desert holds an attraction that is being chipped away by profiteering and corporate greed.

If you are not sure that this can be done, look at the way Disney manages their guest experience.

The cumulative effect of this profit-taking makes it harder to return to Vegas – and not once a year like I used to.


Is Craftsman better off now that it is not owned by Sears Holdings?

Craftsman is now owned by Stanley Black and Decker. Many of the tools bearing the Craftsman name are made under license, and not all are the renowned lifetime tools I own from my youth. Sears, Lowes, and ACE Hardware (among others) sell the licensed Craftsman name on some of their tool sets.

“When Stanley Black & Decker bought the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings last year, the deal — valued at $900 million — let both companies continue making and selling products under the Craftsman label.” – from Competing Craftsman tool brands? Stanley, Sears aren’t concerned about confusion

While Craftsman has a fairly complete line of tools, Snap-on, Matco, Husky, Proto, Stanley, and others Have complete lines that are known for lifetime guarantees and Professional Quality. Top 10 Mechanic Tool Brands , What is the best brand of tools for mechanics?.

Being sold outside of Sears, The brand can be rebuilt and expanded -or just fade into obscurity. Time will tell. Hell, you can even get Craftsman on Amazon! Amazon.com: craftsman tools

My hope is that Tools manufactured for the Craftsman label will retain the quality of the Craftsman lineage, and “no questions asked” lifetime warranty.

Here’s what happened to all of the brands Sears used to own, from a car-insurance company to a hardware store

Thanks for the A2A. I use all kinds of tools when I build for my website, The Chenkin Workshop

Craftsman (tools) – Wikipedia

Can Electric cars Supercharge your Portfolio?

Investing always has some risk, and you need to pick your stocks carefully.

Almost every carmaker is converting from Fossil fuel powered cars to EV’s and Hybrids. This presents opportunity, as the existing manufacturers move their production into electrics, autonomous driving vehicles, and better batteries/software/design.

Tesla, in my opinion, is the leader in the field, but GM, FORD, VW, Nissan, and other manufacturers are starting to change their thinking and are developing their EV lineup.

I believe that the manufacturers who address battery life (driving range between charges), lack of charging stations, and self driving adaptability will be winners, and investing in them early may bring you some great returns. (No guarantee, just my belief).

I also believe a diversified approach, by investing in more than one company, – or a fund that is investing in multiple companies – should give you a good outcome. (Look at IDRV, QCLN, LIT)

further reading from the internet:

Investing in the electric vehicle ecosystem

The Best Way to Get Exposure to Electric Cars When Investing in the Automotive Sector

Here’s how to capitalize on the electric car revolution — without buying Tesla’s stock


Books on Electric cars from Amazon

Best of luck with your investments!

Disclaimer: I am not a stock market professional, just an observer and investor sharing my thoughts. Get a professional to advise you before sinking any money into any stocks. I own TSLA, ford, and ARCC technology stocks.


Greatest Pancake Recipe of all Time?

Alan’s Pancake recipe

One of the greatest recipes of ALL TIME!

(also good for waffles – use same recipe)


1–½ cups flour

1 tsp Salt

3 tbsp Sugar (brown sugar, honey, or molasses are acceptable substitutes)

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 Eggs (Beaten like they owe you money)

3 tblsp Oil (canola preferred, vegetable oil ok — Never use Olive oil)

1 tsp Vanilla (Mexican or Madagascar are the best)

1 ½ cups Milk

½ ¾ cups Water, if needed, to thin batter.


Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, and add to the dry ingredients while stirring. Lumps are ok; they will work out on their own.

Leave batter sit for 3–5 minutes to thicken.

Drop spoonfuls of batter on a hot griddle, flip when edges are dry and bubbles form on top. Note: Griddle is ready when water droplets “dance” on the griddle. You may want to use some butter or spray oil like Pam to keep the first batches from sticking.

Serve with Syrup, powdered sugar, honey, cinnamon sugar, chocolate syrup, raspberry syrup, Whipped cream, fresh fruit, butter. ENJOY!

(Syrup available on Amazon and your local grocery)


Apple: Mix applesauce into pancakes (1–2 tablespoons).

Banana: mix banana & milk in blender, add to pancakes. (Reduce sugar).

Granola, coconut flakes, cereal, nuts, jelly all make good additives to pancakes.

Trial and error is required to determine the best quantity and texture, use a small amount of batter to work it out — not everyone likes flavored pancakes; be kind to the purists.

This is an Iteration of Alan’s original recipe. Pancakes are considered dessert food (“crepes”) in certain countries, and exceptional breakfast fare here in the US. Your use/abuse and experimentation are welcomed, and no results are guaranteed or assured. Exercise caution when feeding pancakes to small children as they may become airborne, slimy, gooey, and an immense source of adolescent fun second only to pratfalls, breaking wind, and laughing hysterically as they smear you with a syrupy half-eaten pancake. Pancakes freeze well and should be enjoyed at every opportunity. The US armed forces, cowboys, and truck drivers eat pancakes as a regular part of their diet. Please keep the tradition going.

This recipe is offered to you for your exclusive use. Commercial efforts must recognize my original. Feel free to donate to my efforts if you like my pancakes. (I also accept bitcoin — Which would look like pancakes if they were in physical form).

If slot machines in casinos are rigged in general, why do they still exist?

Slot machines are REGULATED, not “rigged” (or programmed to cheat you for the owners benefit).

Regulated slot machines have payouts that are set by the gaming commission, based on the configuration of the machine. This guarantees the payout percentage of the machine, and also guarantees the percentage of profit that the casino can get from each machine.

Having said that, casinos don’t require a dealer to stand at the machine, and cost very little floor space in relation to the money they make for the casino. When you see a casino with 3,000 slot machines and only 50 gaming tables, it’s obvious that the slot machines make a handsome income for the casino.

Modern slot machines are also more complicated than the old 3-reel slot machines of old; you can wager on 10, 20, 50, or more lines at a time, and at different denominations. basic slot psychology says you have to bet more to win more and the flashing lights lure you in to one more spin…..

Even though the machines are regulated, Slot machines are still games of chance and you have the possibility of a large jackpot – but your winning is NOT guaranteed.

Rather than be upset you are not getting the jackpots you deserve, I strongly urge you to play only slots that are entertaining or fun – and play for the fun! Don’t anticipate winning, as jackpots are random and unpredictable events. limit your contribution to the slot machines, and take frequent breaks to enjoy the ambiance of the casino, and keep a little more of your bankroll out of the casino’s coffers.

Also use your players card! that is the casino’s measure for giving you back some of your wagers in exchange for food, prizes, or points. It isn’t much for me (I am a session gambler and a known “low-roller”).

Also look at the paytables, and bet accordingly. they are not all the same!

The secret to how I win at slots:

I own 2 antique slot machines. Hopefully all my houseguests bring spare change. And trust me, they are really loose! (I would never lie). It’s a great way to monetize my home. You can buy one of your own on eBay.

Thanks for the A2A!

Disclaimer: I own 2 slot machines, so technically I am a Casino owner, such as it is. I also enjoy writing about gaming on my blog, www.thechenkinreport.com.

Is Sears (once a staple of American retail) positioned for a comeback?

Amazon, Home Depot, and others have taken business away from them. They have sold many locations and brand names (craftsman, Kenmore) to raise capital, for the purpose of paying off debt. they are not investing in innovative products, and not improving their supply chain.

Featured image:  Sears Roebuck & Co. Consumer’s Guide for 1894 Paperback — Facsimile, Available on Amazon.

Many of the Sears (and Kmart) locations are looking old and tired, not fresh and exciting.

This is not an opinion that is exclusively mine:

how Sears seded catalog and the internet to amazon
Death of the Big Book: How Sears Ceded Catalog and the Internet to Amazon, available on (where else — Amazon Books)

100 years ago the sears catalog brought amazing promise to the American consumer, you could even buy a complete house kit from Sears! (Via Mail Order).

Houses by mail, book available on Amazon

The management seems to be milking Sears of all salable assets, and then will be auctioning off whatever is left. They are closing more locations, as their business is clearly not growing.

I wish I was wrong, but the writing seems to be on the wall. Unless the management is willing to take risks, invest in the business, compete with Amazon, and develop new and desirable brands, they will continue the slow decline they are on now.

The houses that sears built
This book is all about the Sears homes — people are still living in them today! (available on Amazon)

Disclaimer: I worked (briefly) for sears in their appliance department while in college. Most of my tools are Craftsman, and I blog about these topics on The Chenkin Report.

I will miss Sears, although Lowes is trying to make Craftsman products a viable name again.

Why does Microsoft pay dividends instead of reinvesting it back into the company?

IMHO, any publicly held company (like Microsoft) has a fiduciary responsibility to return profits to the shareholders. This is done with increased Valuation (increase in stock price), and distribution of dividends.

You can buy books on dividend investing on Amazon.

Watching a company reward the CEO and management team handsomely while ignoring the shareholders leaves me cold, and I avoid investing in these companies. I also avoid companies that don’t treat/compensate employees well, and companies that are not good citizens (ie: pharmaceuticals that raise prices to milk a captive group of customers dependent on their medicines).

Companies that distribute dividends regularly are know as dividend aristocrats. You can read about them here: S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats — Wikipedia

Microsoft does invest money in the company, in new product development, market strategy, manufacturing, etc., but that is budgeted with funds that are not marked for dividends. In fact, cutting a dividend is a policy that can get companies punished by the market place. GE cut their dividend to increase their insurance reserves, and got soundly trashed by the market.  see GE slashes dividend to a penny to fix debt-riddled balance sheet, and GE CEO admits regular investors have fled the stock since he cut the dividend to a penny.

I hope this gives you some insight, and you invest in stocks that give you ongoing (and increasing) dividends.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, but I do write about dividend investing in my blog. Make sure you consult with your investment, legal, and accounting advisers before you make investing decisions! — what works for me may not work for you.

You can buy books on dividend investing on Amazon, and ebay.

Thanks for the question, and thanks for reading my answer!— Alan

Can Ford compete against the other major auto manufacturers?

Alan Chenkin, Shade Tree Mechanic, Bicycles, Cars, Boats, and more…
Ford got hammered in the US with tariffs, ($1B +). In addition, they are shutting down some sedan manufacturing in favor of their successful trucks. They are also getting aggressive in the autonomous car business.

Trump’s tariffs have already cost Ford $1B; now it’s planning layoffs – NBC News

http://www.autonews.com/article/… – Auto News


The old model for the car business is slowly dying; Ford is smart to invest in autonomous and truck technology, and bring features to an old business that can make it new and (hopefully) profitable.

For many years the automobile business, and its partner “big oil” dictated what we drive, and what features are available. Companies like Tesla have turned that model on it’s ear, and proven people want transportation that is elegant and bundled with features that make it fun to use, without bartering safety features as an option. Even today, less expensive cars have fewer safety options like collision avoidance, blind spot mirrors, etc. etc.

Fords real competition is not the other car companies – they are, sadly, becoming dinosaurs, unless they can adapt. The real competition is disruptive technology that is coming at the market – making today’s cars less desirable, comfortable, and lacking features that integrate with our connected lifestyles.

Top 6 Digital Transformation Trends In The Automotive Industry – Forbes

Fords competition is the Future, not other car companies. The sooner they can shed their commitment to the dealership model, funding oil company profits with bad gas mileage, obsessive love of the internal combustion engine, and holding on to old technology models – THE SOONER THEY CAN MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE AND BECOME COMPETITIVE.

Disclaimer: I own some Ford stock, as well as Tesla. I drive a Nissan (their CEO just got charged with financial misconduct), and will most likely have an electric vehicle as my next car.

Consider reading my article: Can you trust car companies?

Thank you – Please like, upvote, and share!