Tips for small-timers or high rollers at the slots. Hint: Max bet

Video poker, when played with the right strategy, yields the best payouts.
Video poker, when played with the right strategy, yields the best payouts.

Whether you’re a small-time gambler or a high roller, the goal is the same: Leave with more loot than you came with. Lady Luck plays a major role in that, but you can have some influence.

Here are a few tips for casino patrons:

Join the players’ club: Most casinos offer you an incentive to join. For example, Miccosukee Resort & Casino gives you $30 in free slot play just for signing up. Others offer continuing benefits, such as $2 off at the Big Mouth Café at Magic City Casino and $2 off at Luxe Café at the Casino Dania Beach. But inserting your card into the slots each time you play accrues points, which can build up into perks, such as more free play or discounts on casino restaurants.

Always max bet: For example, if you play the minimum at a 25-cent video poker machine and hit a royal flush, you’ll get $62.50. But make the max bet of $1.25 and the jackpot is not five times as large, it’s 16 times larger: $1,000. So follow this rule: Play the machine with the denomination that you’re comfortable max-betting.

sortal mug
Nick Sortal AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

For the best math, play video poker or roulette: Slot machines pay back on average 92 percent on the dollar, over time. Video poker, played with correct strategy, is more like a 97 percent game, as is video roulette. You can practice your video poker strategy at WizardofOdds.com.

You can tailor your gambling to your objective: If you want to win life-changing money, slot machines with a rolling dollar amount at the top are called “progressives.” But they pull a couple of pennies from each spin to create a large jackpot, so your everyday return is going to be lower. If you want to win “just” a couple of thousand dollars, the odds are better if you play machines that aren’t progressives.

$472K win at Hard Rock

A Wheel of Fortune slot machine hit for $472,795.77 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood on Friday. The game required a $1 minimum bet, but to win the big jackpot the patron had to place the machine’s maximum bet, which in this case was $10.

The guest was visiting from North Carolina and, as you can imagine, requested to remain anonymous.

A Wheel of Fortune slot machine hit for more than $472,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood. Nick Sortal

Gente de Zona

Cuban reggaeton mega stars Gente De Zona will perform an all-ages concert in Hialeah Park’s 32nd Street Stage at 9 p.m. Saturday.

General admission tickets ranging from $25 to $40 are available online at http://www.gentedezona.miami. Children 11 and under are admitted free.

Founded in the Havana suburb of Alamar by Alexander Delgado in 2000, the group is wildly popular in its home country thanks to three full-length releases issued between 2000 and 2010. GDZ scored crossover international fame with their 2014 collaboration with Enrique Iglesias, titled “Bailando.” They are currently on tour in support of their latest album “Visualizate,” which was released in April 2016.

Food trucks will be curated by the Cuban Boys, who will also have their mobile unit present.

Coming up

▪ Calder Casino marks the first Friday of every month with Ladies night, which runs from 6-9 p.m. There will be live music with the Fusion Band and drawings for Grey Goose gift sets and shopping spree gift cards.

▪ Seminole Classic Casino gives away a Chevrolet Silverado on Friday night. Qualifiers will be selected every 30 minutes from 7:30 to 10 p.m. At 11 p.m., one qualifier will win the Silverado and the other qualifiers will win $500 Free Play each. Then, at 11:30 p.m., one player will win $5,000 free play in the Last Chance drawing.

▪ Players who earn 10 comp dollars playing slots from midnight to 7 p.m. at the Seminole Hard Rock on Sunday will be eligible to receive a bottle of Belvedere Vodka. The gift may be picked up between 2 and 8 p.m. in the ballroom.

▪ The Isle Poker Classic, which consists of 20 events, begins Friday at the Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach and runs through Dec. 20. The first event is the largest, guaranteeing $300,000 in prize money. Players can enter for $1,500 at 11 a.m. Friday or Saturday. After that, the tournaments range from $60 to $1,100, with most of them on the lower end. Go to IsleCasinoPoker.Blogspot.com.