How To Play Gas Station Slot Machines

She points to a gas station in nearby Narvon where she claims there are at least five of the machines in play. 'What kind of a fine is he going to get?' 'He doesn't have a liquor. Gas Station Slot Machines Cheat The games haven’t exactly gone mainstream just yet. In fact, PennLive suggest the state’s major convenience store and gas station chains have yet to.


Outside of Nevada, slot machines have largely been relegated to casinos. After all, most states don’t want slots in every nook and cranny.

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More recently, though, some states have seen slot machines pop up in gas stations and convenient stores. These slots allow you to enjoy gambling when you’re making a quick trip to get gas and/or buy snacks.

Of course, gas station slot machines (a.k.a. skill games) are still relatively new concepts. You may not be used to them if you strictly play casino slots.

If you’re interested in playing gas station slots, then you can read the following guide. It covers how these games work and if they’re ultimately worth trying.

Basics of Gas Station Slot Machines

Convenience store slots play like casino slot machines for the most part. They feature spinning reels and bonus rounds just like regular slots.

If you’ve played a casino slot before, then you won’t have any trouble getting started with these games. You insert your cash to get credits and push the spin button to play.

The reels will begin spinning after you hit the spin button. The goal is to line up matching symbols in paylines and win prizes.

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Gas station slots seem just like those in casinos so far, right? The twist, though, is that there’s a skill element involved.

Gas station slot machines require you to use skill in some capacity while playing. The skill-based factor differs based on the individual machine.

Some types of slots games merely require you to select a winning payline in order to collect the payout. Others offer in-depth bonuses, such as memory games.

In many jurisdictions, the slot machines need to contain skill to avoid being considered pure gambling. In this manner, they survive in a legal gray area.

How Gas Station Slots Differ from Casino Slot Machines

Convenience store slot machines may closely resemble casino slots, but they also have notable differences. Here’s a more in-depth look at how gas station slots are unique.

Skill Element

Skill is a defining characteristic of a gas station slot machine. It requires you to use some type of skillful action during the course of play.

The skill level varies based on the game.

In the most basic sense, you merely need to manually select winning paylines. After tapping the winning lines, you’ll collect the relevant payouts.

Best slot machines to play

Of course, these slots can also feature skill-based bonuses that are rather involved. You might, for instance, need to drive a race car. Your finish will determine how many credits you earn.

Found at Convenience Stores

You no longer have to visit casinos to play real money slot machines. Gas stations in certain states now feature slots.

The average state has a convenience store for approximately every 2,000 residents. This means that you likely live within 1-3 miles of the nearest gas station.

Assuming you’re also in a state with convenience store slot machines, then you’ll have easy access to these games. You might even be able to walk to play them.

Legal Grey Area

The legality surrounding convenience store slots varies depending upon the jurisdiction. Some states completely ban all forms of gambling (e.g. Utah) regardless of if the slots contain skill or not.

Others have loopholes that allow skill games to thrive. Gas station slot machines are normally available in these jurisdictions.

Of course, most convenient stores don’t have to obtain a gaming license to operate like casinos do. They license/purchase games that allow them to offer gambling through legal loopholes.

Little Info Available on the Games

You’re not going to see famous slot machines like International Game Technology’s (IGT) Megabucks or branded games like Game of Thrones in gas stations. Instead, you’ll find lots of generic slots in convenience stores.

These games aren’t well-known throughout the gaming world. That said, you won’t have a lot of information on these gambling machines.

You’re almost never going to find a payout percentage for them. Of course, very few casino slots offer return to player (RTP) in their help screens either.

No Established VIP Programs

Many convenience stores have loyalty programs that offer savings on gas and other items. Every purchase you make at these stores can result in points.

However, gas station slots aren’t subject to any defined a VIP program. You might get points for playing the slot machine too, but you won’t receive traditional casino comps like free drinks, meals, and limousine rides.

Contrast this to land based casinos, which boast elaborate loyalty programs. These VIP plans allow you to pick up everything from three-course meals to hotel stays.

Jackpots Aren’t As Large

Many convenience store slot machines offer jackpots. You might be able to win thousands of dollars through some of these games.

However, you’re not going to be chasing multimillion-dollar prizes. Such jackpots are reserved for land-based and online casinos.

Some progressive slot machines in casinos offer top prizes worth six or even seven figures. The online slot Aztec’s Millions, for example, features a $4.4 million jackpot at the time of this writing.

Are Gas Station Slot Machines as Clean as Casino Slot Machines?

This wasn’t as big of a concern before 2020 as it is now, but you always need to consider how clean the slot machines you’re playing are. While every business is supposed to be cleaning things on a regular basis, some businesses aren’t doing as much as others.

The few gas stations I’ve played slot machines in do a decent job of cleaning, but they’re not doing as good as the casinos. This can be a real issue, especially if you get sick from playing slots in a gas station.

This is a personal issue, but I’ve always disliked sitting down at a slot machine that was dirty. You don’t have any idea who played on the machine before you, and what kind of germs they left behind.

Of course, this isn’t just the case with gas station slot machines. Some smaller casinos don’t do a good job keeping their machines clean. I got in the habit of carrying a small container of cleaning wipes before 2020, and I won’t go to play slots anywhere without them now.

Should You Play Slots at a Casino or Gas Station?

If you had all the time in the world, then casinos would be your best option for playing slots. They feature of the largest game selections, biggest jackpots, and detailed loyalty programs. You can visit a casino and enjoy lavish comps while playing for jackpots worth up to seven figures.

However, you might still consider gas station slot machines due to the convenience factor. They’re readily available and may be located near your house.

Then again, not all states tolerate slots in convenience stores. If you live in one of these states, then you either need to visit land-based or online casinos to play.

Of course, you can always alternate your play between one setting and the other. Sometimes you might feel like a big trip to the casino. In such cases, you’ll be able to play countless slots and enjoy resort amenities.

Other times you may simply feel like playing a quick slots session without any hassles. Skill games are perfect for these purposes.

How To Beat Gas Station Slot Machines

You shouldn’t need to travel long to find convenient store slots if your state offers them. This option allows you to save on both time and travel costs.


Casinos have long been the most-popular spots to spin the reels. They’ll likely remain favorites among gamblers into the foreseeable future.

However, gas station slot machines make for suitable alternatives to land-based casino slots. They don’t require as much travel and still feature exciting games.

You might even appreciate the opportunity to try a different type of slots. Convenience store games require a skill element that’s rarely seen in casino slot machines.

Of course, not every state allows slot machines in its gas stations. They like keeping slots where they belong in online and land-based casinos. If your state does allow skill games, though, then you should consider giving them a try.

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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:

How to play gas station slot machines near me

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.

How To Play Gas Station Slot Machines Near Me

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:

  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia


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.