Slot machines have been around for a long time. They’re popular in brick-and-mortar gambling venues and they’re popular in online casinos. You might think that over the years gamblers have come up with loads of effective slot strategies that can help them win. It’s logical to think that gamblers with decades of observations could find clues as to when and how to get a big jackpot.
In this comprehensive, fact-packed guide, we’ll uncover the truth about whether there are any strategies that can really help you win on slot machines. Want to know whether there are any times of the day when your odds of winning are higher, or whether there are any other secrets to winning on slot machines? You’ve come to the right place.
But before we get down to the finer details, let’s take a closer look at how slot machines work.
How Do Slot Machines Work?
All gambling games depend on probability, chance, and luck. What sets slots apart from many other gambling games is that you, as a player, have no impact whatsoever on the result of your bet. The mathematical probability of winning any given game is completely beyond your influence.
Consider video poker as a counter-example. If you know the game well enough, you can calculate your odds of winning any particular hand based on your own cards and what’s included in the flop. You can use that information to decide whether you want to sit, raise, or fold.
However, when it comes to slot games, there are no such gambling strategies – slots are what they are. Each game has its own return-to-player percentage, and there’s nothing you can do to change it.
Jackpot: How to Win at Slots
We hope by now we’ve ripped the Band-Aid off – there’s no silver bullet to winning at slots. But even though slot games run entirely on chance, there are still some factors you should consider when deciding how much money to bet and where to bet it.
Let’s take a look at some online slots strategies to help you get more out of your hobby.
Consider Higher-Denomination Slots
To increase your chances of scoring a big win, you can try playing higher-denomination games. A game that costs five pence per spin offers larger jackpots than a one-penny game.
There’s an obvious drawback to such a strategy: You’re spending five times as much. It’s particularly important that, if you play an expensive game, you keep track of what you’re spending and don’t exceed your budget.
Identify Winner Slots Through RTP
When you gamble online, the first and most important decision you need to make is which game to play. Most beginners assume that all slot games are the same, only with different graphics. However, slots differ much more significantly in return-to-player percentages.
The RTP is a simple measure of how much of the wagered money collected by a game is returned to players, on average. In the United Kingdom, there are no laws dictating the minimum RTP percentage. This means that, theoretically, it’s not illegal for slot machines to have a 0% RTP – which would mean they don’t ever pay out. Offsetting this possibility is the UK’s legal requirement that slots display their RTP percentage within the game so players know what to expect.
Most slot machines have an RTP of 92% to 96%, though that doesn’t mean there are no slot machines with lower or higher RTPs. The best payout slots are those with the highest RTP, as you’ll have a greater chance of winning – or at least minimising your losses – in the long run.
Remember that no matter the game’s RTP, there’s never a guarantee you’ll win anything at all. It’s important to understand that slot machines are run by random number generators, which means there’s always a significant element of luck involved when you play even the best online slot games to win.
Work Out the Volatility of Slots
Another way to pick the winning slots is to learn each game’s volatility. Many casino sites refer to this as “variance,” but you should probably think of it as the game’s risk level. The volatility of a game plays a large part in determining how you win at slots.
High-volatility slots: These games are harder to win, but when you do get lucky, the payout is significantly greater. Online slot tips, strategies, and superstitions won’t help you here, but hitting the jackpot on a high-volatility slot can be very lucrative.
Just remember that to play high-volatility slots, you need to have enough money to invest in a longer gaming session – and plenty of patience, to boot. If you have a big win early during your session on a high-volatility slot game, it’s best to quit while you’re ahead, as your next win is probably a long way off.
Low-volatility slots: These games give you a higher chance of winning on any given spin. But like all low-risk games, low-volatility slots also have smaller payouts.
Both of these types of slots are very popular, and every online casino gives you plenty of options so you can find the best slots to play based on your gambling preferences. New players also get welcome bonuses, some of which allow them to try out games for free to see if they’d like to continue playing and invest real money.
However, unlike RTP, which should always be visible, most casinos don’t make their games’ variances known. That’s because they don’t want players getting too strategic and winning too much money. The only way you can really work out a game’s volatility is to play over an extended period of time and take note of your results.
If you have to play a game for a long time before you win, but then get a large payout when you do, you’re playing a high-volatility game. If the wins are regular but not worth much, it’s a low-volatility game.
Of course, you could also check out online slot reviews to identify high- and low-volatility games, then figure out which you want to play.
Make Higher Bets
A lot of new players ask, “Should you max bet on a slot machine?” It’s a good question, since many online slots allow big and small bets, often based on how many lines deliver payouts.
A slot with multiple lines requires larger bets, so it’s a good idea to bet the maximum possible to hit the jackpot. For example, a game with 30 pay lines may give out jackpots to only those players who bet one credit on each of the lines. If you’ve bet on a single pay line or just two or three pay lines, you could end up severely disappointed when the symbols for a big jackpot show up on a different line.
If you’re betting the maximum amount, you need to pick a game that you can afford to play for the entirety of your session if you want to follow winning slot strategies. Conventional wisdom dictates that your bets should be substantially larger than one penny, as low bets don’t unlock bonus rounds or progressive jackpot wins.
Keep in mind that pursuing progressive jackpots can be very expensive, which is why you need to employ only the best strategies to win. Risk is the defining factor of slots as well as all gambling, and only you can decide how much risk you want to take. So do not ever take more risk than you can handle, as slots can be addictive.
Avoid Complicated Games
If you don’t know how to play slot machines that are complex, don’t try it. The more complex your slot game is, the lower your odds are of winning. Complicated games have extra features, and although it can be very fun to play them, keeping track of multipliers, bonuses, and progressive jackpots can be pretty tricky.
It is a good idea to keep things simple, especially if you’re new to slots. In a complicated game, you have a lower chance of winning. Stick to simpler games that give you the best odds, even though the payout may not be too high.
Avoid Branded Slots
Branded slot machines seem like the best slot machines to play, as we can play with all our favourite movie and TV characters. Just consider how many people will rush to play a new “Game of Thrones” slot machine.
However, branded slots are not always the best choice for people who need to watch their budget. Although playing these slots can be fun, a lot of online casinos use these slots as bait to attract large crowds of newbie gamblers.
You don’t have to be a genius to understand that these slots are not easy to win. Developers who make these branded slots pay a lot of money to use the name, which means they won’t let the prize go to low bets.
However, if you do have the money and patience to play these games, you will find they are big win slots and can eventually give you a big payout.
Play New Slots
Throughout the year, a good online casino will launch several new slot games. It’s natural that casino owners would want the maximum number of players to play on brand new machines and play on them as many times as possible. This works both ways, as many slot players also love to play newer slot games.
These can be the best slots to play because casino owners may boost their popularity by increasing the payout rate for a few days. That incentivises gamblers to play the games more often. Management will lower the RTP once a large number of people become aware of the new slots and start playing on them regularly.
So if you want to increase your chances of winning, keep a lookout for brand-new slots.
Slot Tips: Do’s and Don’ts
Do Understand Jackpots
If you’re playing a progressive slot, a percentage of each bet will be added to the jackpots. Three-reel slot machines typically have one progressive jackpot on the top payoff, and if you want a chance of winning that, you must place a maximum bet. That means you can’t win if you wager only one or two coins.
Progressive jackpots are typically multi-tiered if you play online slots, and anywhere from two to 12 tiers are offered. One popular example is a four-tier progressive jackpot with mini, minor, major, and grand levels.
Some slots also have jackpots that are accessible to all players, regardless of the size of the wager. On others, you must make separate bets to get the jackpot.
Progressive jackpots are the best-paying slot games, since they offer the highest payout through jackpots. Aside from this, however, they pay out less than other games. To ensure you do not settle for a low-paying game, choose a non-progressive game if you can’t afford to aim for a progressive jackpot.
Do Understand Payouts
Are you looking to play a progressive jackpot with a maximum bet, or are you looking for frequent but small wins? Slots can give you big and small payouts and everything in between.
The main events in three-reel slots are the top jackpots, but you have a lower chance of hitting them. Although they are big-win slots, they can also burn through your money fast.
Slots with pick’em bonuses have a high hit frequency but low payouts, which allows you to play for an extended time. However, there is a much lower chance of hitting the jackpot.
Video slots that offer free spins generally have medium volatility, and your chance of winning big falls between three-reel games and pick ’em games.
If you’re new to the slots scene, you need to find out which type of game gives you the most value – both in terms of payouts and entertainment.
Don’t Play at Unlicensed Casino Sites
The best slot machines are always licensed. No matter how nice an online casino looks, you need to ensure the site is legitimate and is regulated by a legitimate government agency. Otherwise, you might end up falling for a gambling scam.
In the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission is always on the lookout for unscrupulous companies in the gambling industry. If you’re considering playing slots, you should only do so on a slot on legitimate gaming sites that use audited random number generators and actually give out winnings to players.
If you want to know how to win online slots, here’s an essential tip: Never play at an online casino that is not licensed. That doesn’t mean that all licensed games will make you a winner, but if they are licensed and they offer at least an average RTP, they’re safe.
Don’t Bother ‘Stopping’ a Slot
A slot machine on average takes 10 seconds to complete a spin. Depending on how fast the spin is, a 30-minute session can result in 180 to 600 spins.
Some superstitious people believe that stopping the “Auto Play” mode of the machine and using their own fingers to click the spin button can increase their chances of winning because it gives them a degree of control over when to stop the machine. They believe that if they stop the reel quickly enough, they have a higher chance of getting a winning combination.
However, that’s not entirely true. Even though this tactic may work if you want to know how to beat fruit machines — very old physical machines at brick-and-mortar casinos — this will not determine a winner. In fact, by punching the stop button ahead of time, you reduce the time of spin, which means your game will go by much faster and your chances of beating the odds get even lower. In online casinos, you can’t influence the results at all with when or how you click.
Don’t Look for Games on Winning Streaks
When people are considering which slot machines pay the best, they may believe that games giving out big payouts frequently will continue to yield frequent big payouts. Others believe that such games are due to go cold.
It’s tempting to believe that games on losing streaks are due to get hot, but losing and winning streaks are just coincidences that can and do stop without warning. In the longer scheme of things, these machines yield an average payback over hundreds or thousands of plays.
Do Test the Game
Before you start betting on slots you have never played, it’s a good idea to try out the free version. This way, you can test out how to play slots on that particular game and develop a strategy to increase your chances of winning. When you play with real money, you will know what to do.
Another thing you don’t want to do is waste your time playing slot games that don’t interest you. Find new games quickly and play demo versions until you find one you like. You often don’t even need to sign up to the site for that.
Don’t Exceed Your Budget
Sometimes you can win and win big on slot machines. Other times, you lose. It all depends on luck.
In your effort to hit the jackpot, do not bet money that you cannot afford to lose. It can be very easy to get addicted to the game, so it’s important to set up a time limit and budget to determine how much you’re willing to lose without regrets.
One Last Spin
There are a lot of myths around how to win on slot machines. Some people believe that slots that haven’t paid out in a while will soon pay out a big amount, and some believe a slot game that does not attract a crowd is bad.
That is simply not how slots work. They use random number generators, which means every person has an equal chance of winning at any given time.
Whether you’re on a losing or winning streak, the thing you should keep in mind is that slots are meant to be fun. So if you’re feeling lucky and have money to spare, there is nothing stopping you from playing slots.