Is There an Advantage to Playing Two Machines at Once?

 Is There an Advantage to Playing Two Machines at Once?

When I first started to play in casinos, I used to see many slot players taking two or more machines at a time. I even saw a woman playing an entire row, starting the reels spinning on each machine, not waiting to see the results until she returned to each machine in her rotation.

I don’t see that as much on floors now dominated by video slots. Nonetheless, a reader asked me if there was any advantage to playing two machines at once.

“I don’t just mean slots,” she said. ‘I mean video poker and video keno, too. My game is keno. I have a set of numbers I like, and it seems to me they come up more often if I’m playing two machines.”

I told her she’ll certainly see her numbers more often if she plays two games, but that doesn’t really help.

If you’re playing two keno machines, you’re giving your numbers twice as many chances to come up, and they will come up about twice as often.

However, you also are betting twice as much money. The house edge remains the same, and since it’s working against you on bets twice the size of those on one machine, your average losses will be twice as large when you play two machines instead of one.

Playing two slots at a time works the same way. You can’t change the house edge by betting more money and spinning two sets of reels. Taking on bigger risk brings the potential for losing a lot more money.

Most video poker games for most players bring the same problem – doubling the risk just doubles you average losses. However, there are situations in which an expert player with sufficient bankroll gains by playing two video poker games at a time.

On a tiny proportion of games, rare even in Nevada and almost non-existent elsewhere, expert players have an edge. On those games, given expert play, increased wagers bring increased average wins instead of losses.

However, for the vast majority of players on the vast majority of games, there is no advantage to playing two machines at once.

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