Slot machines don’t give systems players as many possibilities as roulette or craps. There are no combination bets such as hedging a pass bet with any 7 in craps or betting 0 and 00 along with red or black in roulette.

Opportunities for variation in wager size also are limited. You can increase or decrease bets a little, but you can’t really play a Martingale, where you keep doubling your bets until you win. That’s just as well. The Martingale is a dangerous system that can lead to disastrously large losses.

That doesn’t stop a small subgroup of slot players from trying with systems such as prime the pump, with minimum bets to start a session to warm up machines for bigger wagers, or the step method, which starts with five spins at one coin per line, then stepping up to five spins at two per line and so on. After five spins at a maximum bet — either the game’s max or a smaller wager set by the player — the system drops back to the smallest bet and starts stepping up again.

In early April, a reader named Marie contacted me with a system I’d never heard being applied to slot play. She called it “fool the random number generator.”

“The theory is that casinos want to reward their big customers,” she wrote. “So you want them to think you might be a big player. You do that in your first few bets by betting the max. Then, after you let them know you might be a player they want to reward, you bet your normal level.

“My husband and I were playing pennies at a couple of those games with 40 lines where you have to bet in increments of 40 cents. You could bet 40 cents, 80 cents, \$1.20, \$1.60 or \$2. We both bet \$2 for about 10 spins, then we dropped down to 80 cents, kind of our comfort zone. We did pretty good too. I had a couple of big winners and he had a lot of bonuses, and we won a couple of hundred dollars between us.”

I wrote back and asked if this was the first time she’d tried the system. If not, I wondered, has it worked well before?

She replied, “We have tried it before, and it doesn’t always work. We do lose sometimes. But when it works, it’s really nice.”

That’s something that could be said about any method of play. It doesn’t always work, but it’s nice when it does.

Truth be told, Marie’s winning session had nothing to do with fooling the random number generator and everything to do with the RNG working normally and yielding random results.

You can’t fool the RNG because the RNG doesn’t know how much you’ve bet. All it does is generate random numbers. Different programs then take those numbers and map them onto reels or reel images to show you the outcome. Other programming then takes the result, compares it to your bet size and pays you the appropriate amount.

Any outcome can come at any time, and it’s futile trying to time bigger bets for payoff times as in prime the pump or the step method.

Play in your comfort zone, don’t overbet your bankroll and have fun playing the games, but understand that no betting method can affect results or change the house edge on the games.