John Patrick’s Slots – a Book Review

I knew I was going to have problems with this book as soon as I saw the cover. It has a picture of an older man with a 1970’s style haircut and outfit looking smug and holding some casino chips in his hands. The title of the book is on the cover too, but what’s disturbing is the tagline for the book: “A Pro’s Guide to Beating the One Armed Bandits”. If there’s one thing I understand about slot machines, it’s this: there are no professional slot machine players.


The back cover indicates that John Patrick is a professional gambler. After reading John Patrick’s Slots, I have serious doubts that he’s a professional gambler. Professional gamblers understand math and probability, and they also play positive expectation games to the exclusion of all other games. Since he seems to think that money management techniques can beat the slot machines, I immediately assume he’s a huckster.

And while he might make a living writing books about gambling, his prose is so bad that I don’t really feel comfortable calling him a professional gambling writer either.

More from the back cover: “Patrick’s key to victory over the one-armed bandits is the same as his strategy for winning at other games: money management.” I can’t even imagine whether Mason Malmuth or David Sklansky (both of whom are really professional gamblers and writers) would vomit over that, laugh at it, or just roll their eyes and sigh.

Can you tell already that I didn’t like this book?

Some Excerpts

The entire tone of this book is condescending. It would be one thing if the information in the book were accurate and presented in a condescending manner, but since almost all of the information in the book is total BS, it’s not okay. It’s insulting.

Here are some examples of this books’ prose:

(From the first page) “In case you picked up this book without realizing what the subject is, let me fill you in. The book is about Slot Machines.” (Yes, he actually capitalizes the words “slot machines”.)

(From the first page of Chapter 2):

“Should I Play Slots?

I get asked the same question about a hundred times a day and my answer is always the same:

‘I don’t give a rat’s tail if you play them or not. The key is how you play them!’

Then I always shoot back my own question in return:

‘Do you use Money Management when you play Slots?’”

Ugh. Dreadful prose. Awful attitude. And since “money management” is a flawed concept as it relates to gambling, especially when applied to slot machine gambling, it’s a gruesome foreshadowing of what kind of purple prose you can expect during the rest of the book. And who are all these people asking him about whether or not they should play slots? 100 a day? That’s over 36,500 people a year. That’s a person every 10 minutes walking up to him asking, “Should I play slots?” Where is he finding these people?

Money Management Systems

John Patrick manages to fill 200 pages of John Patrick’s Slots with systems related to stop losses and win losses that vary in terms of complexity. What he doesn’t admit is that since casino slots are a negative expectation game, none of these money management systems mean a damn thing related to how much you win or how much you lose. Patrick is actually derisive of gambling writers who talk about the mathematic realities of the game.


Don’t buy John Patrick’s Slots. Don’t read it. And for God’s sakes, please don’t believe any of the nonsense in this awful piece of crap book, and certainly don’t waste your time trying to learn and use any of his “slot strategies”. You’ll just be disappointed when you lose your money. Instead, join the slot club, play for fun, and maybe consider learning to play video poker if you want to play a slot machine game that involves strategic thinking.

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