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Optimal Play

What is ‘Optimal Play’?

‘Optimal play’ is a gambling term which refers to the best run of form or the best strategy. It appears in slots gaming to describe the play strategy applied to a game, or to a game with a low house edge compared with a high payout. It also describes the payback amount achieved by the player when optimal conditions are applied to gaming.

‘Optimal Play’ Explained

In the casino, players refer to ‘optimal play’, which essentially means achieving the best possible outcome through the best possible conditions. The phrase can refer to a successful strategy being applied, to a situation where the house edge is disproportionately low, and also to the payback percentage achieved by the player under these ‘optimal’ conditions. The term appears in all gambling games, including poker, blackjack, roulette and slots.

In slots gaming, a player who is using a wagering strategy to maximise their payout could be said to adopt ‘optimal play’ – especially if they look for games where the advantage to the casino is lower. Slots games typically have a high house edge, because they offer a chance for high wins off small bets. Players are likely to lose over the long term play, although they could pick up some sizable wins in the short time. Using an optimal play strategy can assist in reducing that house edge and spotting when a win is likely.

For example, a player who tracks progressive jackpot wins and plays the game when the prize reaches the average is using optimal play tactics. Similarly, a player who spots a low house edge might adopt higher bet sizes to capitalise on potential gains. There is no set way to use an optimal play technique – any form of advantage play in this sense is optimising the chances of winning.