Slot Pulls

A Slot Pull is a fun activity for a group on a cruise – usually people who met through the online roll call or people who meet in person at the Meet & Greet. In a Slot Pull, a team of people invest equal amounts of money into a single slot machine, and each take an equal number of pulls. At the end, the money remaining in the machine is divided among the players.
In our last Slot Pull, 11 players each turned $15 into $14. So, we basically each spent a dollar to hang out with each other for an hour and play slots. This is not a bad investment, in my mind. In the Slot Pull before that, we each made $5. So, you probably will not become wealthy, but the most you can lose is $15.
It’s a good diversion for those who are not serious gamblers, but want to try playing a slot machine, and want to see the people they’ve met onboard again. Because it’s limited, you can only lose your entry fee, which is usually minimal. Much like co-ed softball, everybody can blame someone else if the team does not become millionaires!
Make sure the casino knows you’re organizing a Slot Pull. Because you will be dividing up the winnings, you may need a lot of small bills, and cashiers are often “discouraged” from providing people with too much change. So, a warning ahead of time will save time when you’re trying to cash out. Also, the casino staff can provide advice on what types of machines to use (you may choose to ignore this), and which machines will provide the proper number of spins for the entry fee.
My House Rules

  • The organizer announces the Slot Pull location (I know, in the casino, I meant the specific machine) and time at the Meet & Greet.
    • On Norwegian, you have to meet with the casino manager on the ship to set up the Slot Pull time and date, and that can’t be done until you’re on board. Remember, the casino usually doesn’t open until you’re in international waters. Also, it’s one more chance for people to decide to join in.
    • The casino manager may provide prizes. Don’t count on it. This is a good way to dispose of your Latitudes “champagne”.
  • My standard entry fee in $15 cash per player.
    • On many $1 machines, this will give a player five pulls at maximum bet. The organizer will collect money at the start of the Slot Pull.
  • The organizer deposits all collected money in the machine before the Slot Pull begins.
  • Once the money is in, the roster of players is frozen. No late entries.
  • Each player takes five Max Bet spins.
    • It’s easier to just take Max Bet than to have players play random amounts. This way, all bets are equal, and you know how many pulls each player can take.
    • Players take turns in the order of registration, or as determined by the organizer. Organizers generally go last.
    • Keep track of each player’s total, if you have a prize for biggest win. (I have a spreadsheet on my iPad, which can be cumbersome. We had one slot pull where the organizers didn’t play, but I’m not that dedicated.)
  • After all players have taken their turn, the organizer cashes out the machine and head for the border splits up the booty!
  • No player cards in the machine. This is a friendly game!
  • Payouts are in round dollar amounts – the player with the largest win gets the change(*)

(*) For example, in our last slot pull, 11 players won $158. 10 players got $14, largest win got $18.