The most played games in the gambling industry these days are none other than slot machines. Despite what you may have read before, there is no edge in playing slots. Unlike in blackjack and video poker games, no slot player has an advantage over another. It all boils down to mathematical codes and Lady Luck. However, there are some elements which you can add to your game to give you a better chance of winning. In our guide on how to win at slots, we break down these tips and tricks to give you your best chance of winning big on certain slot machines and beating the house. Have a read through and prepare yourself for the ultimate slot machine experience.
What are slot machines?
In order to know how to win at slots, you’re going to want to know what a slot machine is. Slots are the most popular casino games in both the real world and at online gambling sites. Perhaps the biggest attraction for playing such games is that every single player has the same chance of winning as the next. Ultimately, there is very little strategy involved here, it all falls upon how lucky you are.
The basic gameplay puts you in front of a set of reels, which typically means a 5×3 grid. Every single game offers a certain amount of paylines – certain combinations which will result in a win. Obviously, the more paylines the slot offers, the more chance you’ve got of winning from a single spin. You press the spin button and watch the reels go around until they eventually stop. In order to record a win, you’ll need to match the same symbols on a payline. Usually, that means starting from the 1st reel – the one on the leftist side of your screen – and landing 3 matching symbols on the second and third reels.
Indeed, different slot machines will give you different criteria of what you need to look for in order to form a winning combination. Sometimes they need to be sitting on a horizontal line, sometimes it’s enough if they’re merely based on adjacent reels and sometimes, they don’t even need to be next to each other. It may be a good idea to try out a free demo of the game before playing with any real money just to get a feel for the individual slot machine.
How to win at slots: An Introduction
Ultimately, whilst playing video slots, you’ve got a good chance of making a profit. However, there is no way to guarantee this based on any acquired skills or strategies you can put into action. Slots are developed to hit completely at random and can see your bankroll slowly deplete or increase based on how fortunate you are. Nowadays, video slots use a Random Number Generator which basically means that all spins are completely and utterly random and the outcome is never known until it is complete.
In order to win at slots, you are going to need to keep a few tips and tricks in mind. Now, whilst you may believe we are contradicting ourselves; you will certainly boost your chances of winning slots by following a few key steps. By keeping to our short and sweet guide, you will certainly come out of it with a greater grasp of how slot machines work and what you can do to improve your slot winning chances.
According to our expertise, there are 5 basic elements which you can add to your game to improve your slot winning chances. Although they don’t give you a mathematical edge over the house, you will still profit from knowing which games are more likely to bring you a cash prize. You’ve got to ask yourself the question, are you playing online slots for the fun of it or to actually make some money? Well, if it is the latter of the two, you’re going to want to keep reading on.
We take on a two-tier approach to improving your slot machine experience starting off with the 5 basic tips to playing slots. By all means, these are the basics which will ultimately change your way of playing.
The second part of our strategy is in the analysis section after completion of the basics. Once you move on from the basics, we take a look at some quick-fire tips and tricks to help improve you in specified situations whilst playing slots. Make sure you read up the basic tips before you use the quick-fire pointers.
5 Basic Tips to help you win at slot machines
When playing at various online casino sites, you’ll notice that there’s typically a surplus of video slots to choose from. The reason behind this is that it is the most popular form of online gambling. Slots have an appeal to players because of the flashy lights, simple gameplay and good chances to win big. With no external skills or mathematical edge applied, all players have an equal chance of winning. Moreover, a single spin can win you a profit completely at random. But we all know that already. Thus, to start off with, we take an overview approach and look at 5 basic steps you can follow which will certainly give you a better shot of winning certain slot machines.
1. Choosing the right slot
First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that the game which you’re playing is worth your time and money. Nowadays, with all the razzle-dazzle which software providers can come up with, bright lights and flashy animations may look attractive from the outside. But it’s the inside what matters. Forget about the neat animations, the classy soundtrack and the flamboyant display as its only the decoration – or wrapping paper – of a game. What we really want to know is what’s underneath the cover and inside the mechanics of the slot.
You’re going to want to keep an eye out for the RTP, betting values and variance ratings. The RTP stands for Return to Player which is given as a percentage. It gives the player an indication of how much they stand to win whilst playing the slot. Thus, the higher RTP percentage the slot has, the better for you!
As for the betting stakes and variance, these are important as they will influence your gameplay. If you’re a high roller or super low roller, you’re going to want to find slots with betting levels of at least €/£100 or as little as €/£0.10. The variance, which is also known as volatility, determines how frequent the slot gives you a win. Ultimately, the more frequent wins you land, the less you stand to win. However, if wins don’t occur to frequently, they are likely to pay out more handsomely. This is known as low and high volatility respectively for very frequent and not so often win combinations forming. But more on that later.
2. Don’t sleep on the demos
Our second piece of advice would be to spend some time playing video slots for free before you wager any real money. By taking this precautionary step, you can side-step video slots which don’t do it for you.
On top of that, when you do eventually find a game which tickles your fancy, you will get to know all the secret little quirks to it as well! This is a great way to get adjusted to the different payline combinations, the bonus rounds and a way to mold your skills for the slot. Plus, it’s fun to try out a bunch of different games beforehand before eventually choosing one to play with real money.
Land-based casino slots do not offer such options for playing slots which is a real downer. Whilst is livens up the game because it’s completely new and you’re playing with cash, the demo free games are truly recommended to try out before doing so. However, this option is only given when playing at online casino sites. We would back-up our point by telling you that the best jackpot game provider platforms out there, the likes of Yggdrasil Gaming, Microgaming and NetEnt, all offer a free play mode at the respective casino sites. If the free play mode is there, make the most of it and truly get to know the slot before playing for real money. It will enhance your gameplay knowledge and you’ll certainly know what to look for once the reels get spinning. Which brings us onto our next point, analyze the pay table.
3. Learning the symbol values
Once you’ve got to grips with the slot via the free play mode, you’re going to want to look at the pay table of the slot. This is accessible for every slot machine and gives you a clear indication of which symbols are more rewarding and which ones are the lower paying bunch. You’ll also find the scatter symbols and wilds in the pay table which will help you along the way to trigger bonus games and more wins. It also informs you what special features the slot uses. Typically, this can vary between free spin rounds and multipliers boosters. You’re going to want to know as much as you can about the slot.
Now, the alternative to this would be to scroll through our jackpot games and read the reviews individually. We inform you about the bonus features, the themes and, of course, what each symbol pays out and represents along with how the wilds and scatters are represented.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which method you choose, so long as you have an idea of what symbols you’re going to want to land on. If you are spinning reels without a clue of which icons are going to take you to a profit, it’s almost non-sensible. Do your homework and put the time forward to really study the slot to a tee. This will lead to more excitement when spinning the reels and also a better understanding of the game itself.
4. Set a budget and stick to it
The next step on our list is rather simple. Before you start playing or even log-in to your online account, set a budget of how much you’re prepared to lose. Do not think about it as money which you will win but money which you are prepared to pay for to enjoy a session of online gambling. Consider the budget to be an amount which you can afford to lose without going into any savings or overboard. One tip to help you overcome this difficulty is setting a budget and expecting to lose.
Once the budget is set, it’s important to stick to that budget by all means. If you make a profit, that’s brilliant. On the other hand, if things don’t go your way, be prepared to swallow that pill and accept that you have lost the cash you put aside for playing with. Losing is always tough but respecting the budget set before playing and keeping to it is even tougher.
By setting up a budget and keeping to it before you go online or into a casino, you will lose only what will be on the budget to be lost. Chasing losses never works and will only result in a headache or unnecessary losses later on. Stick to the budget.
5. Look for jackpot slots
Last but not least, you’re going to want to be on the prowl for jackpot slots. Such titles come along with big rewards and for a good price as well. However, there are many different types of jackpot games available on the net. It is up to you to choose the right game to really give you a stronger chance of winning at slots.
There are many different jackpot games which come with either fixed or progressive jackpot prizes. The former means that some of them have got a jackpot prize which is always the same. As for the latter, progressive jackpots are prizes which keep on increasing until they are eventually won. When this happens, the jackpot amount resets and then the whole process starts all over again. That is to say, the jackpot amount increases spin-by-spin until a lucky son of a gun wins the jackpot.
One tip which may work in your favor would be to avoid big progressive jackpots and try to stick to smaller ones. By doing so, you may give yourself an edge as these smaller ones tend to hit more frequently. Although the amount will not be as life changing as winning one of the bigger progressive jackpots, you will still make a smooth profit should fortune smile upon you. There are many different picks available for you if you browse through our latest jackpot ratings.
How to win at slots: An Analysis
Our 5 tips on improving your slot winning strategy is the basics to enjoy a better gameplay and train yourself to win at slots. It goes without saying, by applying these elements to your game, you will be able to master various slot machines and make a nice profit as well. However, the 5 basic tips for slot machines are the steppingstone for an improved strategy. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, tune in to the second portion of this guide in which we look at some quick-fire pointers to get you shooting in the right direction. We take a look at specified hints which will give you some extra indications on how to win at slots.
The Return to Player value is a percentage which gives you an idea of how much you stand to win for a specific slot. It indicates the house edge which is present in every single casino game. If a slot has an RTP of 97%, that means that after playing one-hundred $1 spins, you will earn around $97. In this case, the house edge is an easy 3%. To calculate the house edge, simply take away the RTP from 100% and you’ll see the remaining value as the edge.
We advise you to stick to games around 96% and higher. Anything below that and you’re going into the sub-average levels of slot machines. Please remember that this doesn’t guarantee that you will be making $97 whilst playing with $100. It simply gives you an idea of how high the house edge is for each and every single slot.
Try your luck with penny slots
The caveman way of playing slots is through the thought process that by playing with big stakes, you will win big money. Ultimately, that is the case for most players. However, it would be foolish to dismiss penny slots.
For those of you who don’t know, penny slots are games in which the amount of money which you are playing with is very low. However, to complement this, you will be playing games with a maximum number of paylines and credits, meaning they’re rewarding should you claim a maximum win. The risk is minimal as you play with small stakes whilst the reward could be in the hundreds of dollars range. Indeed, penny slots are the way to go for players on a smaller budget.
Take note of jackpot eligibility
Progressive jackpots are so darn popular because the risk is minimal, and the reward is astronomical. The simple fact that progressive jackpot prizes are known to climb to the 7-8-digit category is certainly food for thought. However, they reach such enormous heights because a percentage of each wager is added to the jackpot. You can find many of the best progressive jackpot slot machines at just a click away. But always remember the following sentence.
You don’t want to miss out on jackpot prizes because you didn’t take the right precautions. Check up about how you can play for a jackpot because not all bets are going to put you in contention for the prize. It depends on the slot and layout.
For instance, 3-reel slots require you to play with a maximum bet to be eligible for the progressive jackpot. However, on other slots, such as Mega Moolah, instead of one jackpot, you’ve got four layers to the jackpot. These are known as the Mini, Minor, Major and Mega jackpot prizes. The latter one is the progressive and all jackpots can be won regardless of how much is wagered.
Find slots which suit your style of play
Going back to the basics, remember what we mentioned about volatility and betting ranges? Well, here’s where they all come into play. You’re going to want to find a slot which is appealing to you and got a good RTP percentage. That means, if you prefer bagging wins on every other spin, you’ll want to go for low variance slots. These ones pay you out rather frequently, but the amount is nothing to write home about. In order to make a profit, you’ll be playing low variance slots for a longer period of time.
At the other end of the spectrum is the high volatility slots. These ones pay you out far more sporadically but are certainly worth the wait. High variance slots pay out rather handsomely in comparison to low variance ones and are preferred to players who want to go for money over fun.
You’ll also have to decide what kind of player you are. If you’re in the mood to play with high stakes, stick to games with at least over €/£100 to try and make a big profit from high risks. However, if you’re the opposite and just want to play with lower stakes, you could also try out penny slots – as mentioned before. When all is said and done, you’ll want to adopt the playing style which balances out with a slot that suits your style and a comfortable stake.
Put to use your bankroll management skills
By now, you should know that slot machines are primarily based on sheer luck. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop some skills and a certain savvy to enjoy and enhance your strategy. Whilst you cannot choose how much money you win; you can select how much money you play with and the amount of time you’d like to play. This is all done with the use of your bankroll management skills.
Think of it as such. It may be tempting to blow your full bankroll in one go but that is not recommended among the pros. Whilst placing smaller bets will not win you the same amount of money as a large stake, you will be playing for a longer period of time.
The bet size you choose will depend on your bankroll and how fast you like to play. You can calculate your bet size by using this simple equation. Find an amount in which you feel comfortable to bet with whilst, at the same time, feeling comfortable to lose. This is a good way to stay on track with bankroll management.
If you’ve got a bankroll of $100 to play with on a single payline, then placing $0.50 bets will give you 200 spins. The mathematics are quite simple: 100 USD ÷ 0.50-coin value = 200 spins.
However, if you are playing multiple paylines, you have to divide the amount of spins by the number of paylines. Thus, for instance, playing with 200 spins ÷ 5 paylines = 40 spins.
Lastly, playing multiple sessions also has its own system in place. The amount of spins is divided by the number of sessions to give you a final amount of spins with multi-sessions. To paint you a picture, 40 spins ÷ 4 sessions = 10 spins.
Don’t trust branded slots
Although they’re fun and share some sort of resemblance to a movie or series, we advise you to keep your distance with branded slots. If you’re unaware of the concept, these are the games with popular characters in fiction or real life which you’re probably seen before somewhere. The likes of Jurassic World and Terminator 2 spring to mind when talking about popular branded slots.
Nevertheless, heed our warning that although the theme and design may be interesting to the eye, these slots are usually not all that great. Typically, branded slots have got high bets and low payouts. Thus, the risk is high, and the reward is not all that worth it. Sure, the gameplay is fun, and they’re usually jam-packed with special features but, regardless, if you’re playing to make a profit, you’re going to want to stay away.
Branded slots are ideal for an enjoyable gameplay but to know how to win at slots and make a smooth profit, you will have to ignore those pop fiction characters. Stick to slots with the right values in their mechanics and features which are attractive to you. We’re talking about the likes of the RTP, volatility, betting ranges and the special features.
Trust the experts and your peers
Last but not least, we advise you to take our tips and put them to good use. There is plenty of information on the internet regarding slot reviews, player reviews and things to look out for. In our very own list of jackpot slots, we take a look at various gaming platforms developed by different providers. This is our own assessment after trying and testing the games.
Regardless, you will also find other sites with their own reviews and players who have commented and shared their own experiences with such slot games. Instead of going in completely blind, we advise you to do your own research about the slot you’re playing and see what ratings it has been given by others. If you are given a positive tone, you know you’ve got nothing to worry about with the said slot. Take advantage of our very own jackpot analysis page in which we look at and review many slots online. Once you’ve got all the info needed, you’ll know if it’s a slot worth trying out or not.
The Bottom Line
Thus, this brings to an end our tips on how to win at slots. The two-tier approach we went for consists of the 5 basic fundamental ground rules for improving your overall game. As for the second part of our assessment, we gave you some indications on how you can use additional tips and tricks to your advantage.
Essentially, playing video slots online boils down to luck and the use of certain behavioural patterns. If you put in the homework beforehand and look for a suitable slot whilst trying it out for free, you will certainly feel the rewards afterwards. One of the best things about online slots is that there are so many different options to choose from. It is the most popular casino game on the internet and in the world. Thus, you’ve got a surplus of choice.
Once you’ve followed the basic 5 steps, you can move onto the second portion in which you try and apply different tactics in play. Although, the bottom line for how to win at slots is ultimately to play as many of them as you can. Skimming through the free play mode is a sure-fire way of getting past a lot of slots which don’t do it for you until you eventually find the one that does. The best way to win at slots is to choose the right game. Once you’ve don’t that first step, the rest should all fall into place and follow.