How to Win on Slots
Playing slots is easy, but winning slots games requires a little knowledge and technique, not to mention luck. From choosing the right slot machine to finding the games with the biggest payouts, our experts are here to help you win. Get closer to understanding how to win on slot machines with our practical tips and recommendations.
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- 1 Don't Fall for Bogus Tricks
- 2 Understand How Slot Machines Work
- 3 Practice Slots with Free Play
- 4 Read Slot Machine Reviews
- 5 Learn about Variance
- 6 Understand Payout Percentages
- 7 Look Out for New Slots
- 8 Look Out for Bonuses
- 9 Study the Pay Table
- 10 Look for Low Wagering Requirements
- 11 Manage your Bankroll
- 12 Know When to Move On
- 13 Choose Between Regular or Progressive Slots
1. Don't Fall for Bogus Tricks
Some slot players claim its possible to control when jackpots land by studying the spinning reels and identifying the right time to land a payline. Others recommend studying 'near misses' to find when a slot machine is more likely to pay out. Anyone who knows how modern slot machine work understands these tricks are wrong.
Electronic and online slots use software to determine which symbols will land on the reels. The system chooses these the second a player clicks the spin button. The spinning reels and near misses players see on their screen are all animations, there to entertain and entice players to keep the reels spinning.
Even the spinning reels can be controlled. In Britain and Northern Ireland, the UK Gambling Commission limits the amount players can lose on a slot game by adjusting the animation of the spins in a slot game to three seconds per spin.
The aforementioned tips give players the illusion they can control the game, but lack the expertise that will actually influence the slot's outcome.
2. Understand How Slot Machines Work
To unlock the secrets to winning slots, players need to know how slot machines work. Many of the tricks to winning on slot machines shared online are based on old-fashioned models that casinos don't use anymore.
Modern slot machine games and online slot games use random number generator (RNG) software. The complex system generates millions of potential results a second for the slot game, even when no one is playing on it. This makes slot games truly random and secure, which is why most casinos use RNG slots today. Even when reels appear to be spinning on the slot game screen, the game is choosing one of the numerous results offered by the RNG software.
3. Practice Slots with Free Play
Free slot games are essential to winning at slots. Instead of wasting precious bankroll understanding how a slot machine works, players can use free games to learn the title and understand how to trigger any bonus features.
New slot players make the mistake of wasting casino bonuses or their own funds on real money slot games when they have no idea what they're doing. Usually, they make avoidable errors, such as betting below the minimum required to trigger progressive jackpots, and then miss opportunities to land big slot machine jackpots. By using free games to learn, slot players have a bigger bankroll to use for landing big slot wins.
Players will find free-play slot games on online casinos. The gameplay is the same as the real money version, but players can't withdraw any winnings they earn from the free game. Alternatively, our free slots games offer players thousands of titles, with no registration or download needed.
4. Read Slot Machine Reviews
If players want to find tricks to winning on slot machines, or the games with the best odds, then read slot reviews. These will tell you how to trigger bonus games, the most lucrative features to land, and whether a game is even worth your bankroll. As they're usually written by casino experts and other players, you can trust the information they provide.
In addition to reading slot reviews, don't forget to research casinos too. Online casino reviews should inspect a site's game selection, banking processes, and its randomness so players can decide if it is the best site to play slots for them.
5. Learn about Variance
A game's variance can affect players' gameplay style and bankroll. When someone mentions variance, volatility or payout frequency, they are referring to how frequently a slot game pays out, and the amount it pays. Low variance slots land wins frequently but the payouts are usually small. High volatility games offer the huge jackpots, but the wins are few and far between.
Players should use variance to find a game that matches their bankroll and gameplay needs. Too often players will waste their small bankroll chasing a huge jackpot, when they could potentially have a better chance landing a sizeable cash prize on a low or medium variance slot game.
Pay tables don't list variance, but players can find this information online in slot game reviews. Alternatively, they can find this information themselves by giving a game 30 spins. If no wins have landed on the reels by that point, it's likely to be a high variance game. A quick look at the symbols on the pay table will indicate a game's variance, too. If the biggest payout for five symbols is less than 3x or 4x the payout for four symbols, the slot game has low variance.
6. Understand Payout Percentages
Every slot game has a return-to-player percentage (RTP), payout percentage, or house edge. Despite the various terms, they all mean the same thing: the amount of advantage a casino has against a player winning. In slots, the RTP is calculated over millions of reel spins to produce an average percentage of money the machine returns to players. So, if a game has an RTP of 96%, that means for every $100 entered in the slot machine, a player will receive $96 back. Of course, this is calculated over a long time period, so players should use this percentage as a guideline.
RTP is one of the most important tools players can use to help them win on slot machines. It tells them which slots have the best odds of hitting a payout, and which to avoid. While slots have an average RTP of 93-94%, players should search for games in the mid to high nineties to give themselves the best chance of winning a payout.
Top RTP Slots
Top RTP Slots
Top RTP Slots
Top RTP Slots
Top RTP Slots
7. Look Out for New Slots
Slot machines aren't cheap. One brand-new machine alone can set a casino back between $15,000 and $25,000. Now imagine trying to fill a casino floor with slots – it's an eye-wateringly expensive amount.
It doesn't get cheaper with online casinos, either. While casino sites buy games in bulk packages, they're expected to pay anything from 10-40% in royalty fees a month from profits on these titles.
Obviously, casinos are careful to choose slot games with longevity, but they also want to make their money back quickly. Players can use this to their advantage.
Casinos may sometimes increase the payback percentage of new slot machines or offer special bonuses to use on them. This helps the casino promote the new games and gives them a chance to recoup their money. For players, it's a chance to potentially increase their payout odds on a new slot title or try it for free without risking any of their own bankroll.
New slot games are usually placed in a specific area in a land-based casino. To avoid wasting time searching through random slots, just ask a casino staff member. When looking for new slot games online, check out our list of the latest slot title releases below.
8. Look Out for Bonuses
Bonus games or features in slots give players more chances to win money. The most common reward is free spins, but prizes including wager multipliers and even huge jackpots can be found in slot game bonuses. With any slot machine strategy, bonus features can potentially improve a player's odds of landing a big jackpot by extending gameplay or topping up funds.
Keep in mind to check the pay table first, which will state whether the slot machine has any bonuses, and any wagering requirements to trigger them too.
Slot Games with the Best Bonus Features
The other bonus players should find to help them win at slots are casino bonuses. Online casinos offer big welcome bonuses to new players, and other special offers like free spins or reload bonuses to their regular bettors too. Before signing up to an online casino, find the site that offers the best bonus for your gameplay.
Players can find more bonuses to help them win at slots by following their favorite casinos and casino game influencers on YouTube and Twitch. Online casinos will post special promotions on these channels to help boost their following, which players can use to give themselves more gameplay on the slot machines. Influencers often collaborate with casinos to give their newsletter or Patreon followers exclusive bonuses. This gives the casino and influencer a bigger audience, and it gives players free money to play on slots.
Top Games Chosen by Player Popularity
9. Study the Pay Table
Contemporary slot machines can have dozens of different symbols, hundreds of different ways to win, and bonus games as well as special features. All this information is conveniently housed in the slot machine pay table.
The most important data contained in the pay table are all the winning symbol combinations. For example, you might discover that you can win 10,000 coins by landing five cherries. More importantly, it will also display bonus symbols and how much each one is worth. This tells players the symbols that will win them the most money or help improve their odds of landing a payout. Here are the five most lucrative symbols in slots:
Wilds - This symbol acts as a substitute for other symbols of the reels, making it easier to land a winning payline.
Scatters - When a certain number of these symbols land across the reels, it triggers features including bonus games or free spins.
Multipliers - Land a multiplier and players will see their original bet increase to a specified amount.
Sticky - Once this symbol appears it will remain on the reels for a certain number of spins, making it easier to land a lucky payline.
Stacked - These symbols stack themselves on the rows across the screen, triggering a bonus game or other slot bonus.
Online slot pay tables will also include any special instructions or mention if there are any minimum bet requirements to trigger bonus features.
10. Look for Low Wagering Requirements
When playing slots online, check a casino's fine print before depositing any funds. Some online casinos have high wagering requirements, which means players must bet a certain amount of money with the site before they can withdraw any winnings. Imagine winning a huge jackpot on a slot game, only to discover you can't withdraw it until after you've bet more money! For low stakes players, this means they may never reach the wagering requirement to withdraw, especially if they used a casino bonus.
Play slots worry-free with one of the trusted casino sites below, which have some of the lowest wagering requirements in online gambling:
11. Manage your Bankroll
Players that win the most at slots know how to manage their bankroll. Like other casino games, slot machines are available to play for a wide range of bets. Smart players know they're unlikely to win a payout by betting all their money on a single spin. That's why they manage their bankroll and place bets in line with their budget. Not only that, they choose slot games that give them the longest gameplay too. So even if they don't win any payouts, they haven't lost more money than they anticipated and still had fun.
Struggling to figure out how long your bankroll will last? Here's a simple solution. Before entering money in a slot game, decide how many paylines you want to bet on and how much you want to bet on each one. Take that total amount and divide it by your bankroll. So, if you had a bankroll of $100 and you wanted to bet on 10 paylines at $1 per line, your bankroll would last for 10 spins.
When playing slots in a land-based casino, use cash instead of ticket vouchers. With tickets, it is easy to lose track of how much of your bankroll you've spent and go over your limit. Instead, use cash in small denominations.
12. Know When to Move On
Too many players think a slot game is due to pay out if they enter a certain amount of money in the machine. As mentioned before, modern electronic slot machines are based entirely on chance. Besides minimum bet requirements, no amount of money spent will improve a player's chances of winning a jackpot.
Slot machines are designed to keep players entertained and excited for long periods. Even when a player loses money, the slot will play triumphant music similar to when it lands a win on the reels. Recognize when this is happening and walk away. Instead of wasting their bankroll chasing a losing streak, players should save their money for another session.
13. Choose Between Regular or Progressive Slots
Some slot players avoid progressive games because of their high volatility. Regular slots have a set jackpot amount players can win, whereas progressive slots can reach any value. Progressive slots can still offer decent payouts though, even if it's not the record-breaking jackpots of Mega Moolah or Megabucks games.
When considering slot games, players should decide whether they prioritise entertainment or winning money. If they want to win money from their session no matter how small the amount, regular slot games may be best. But if a player just wants to have fun, then the volatility of a progressive slot won't stop them enjoying their gaming session.
That's not to say it's impossible to win progressive slot jackpots. Thousands of people have won them playing the same slot games as you. Here's five of the biggest progressive jackpots won by regular slot players:
Progressive Slot Games with the Biggest Jackpots
In 2015 British man Jon Heywood won the biggest online progressive jackpot ever recorded – over €17.87 million (or $15 million in today's money)! His winnings entered the Guinness Book of World Records and is yet to be beaten.
The jackpot wins on this luxury lifestyle-themed slot are as flashy as the game's symbols. In 2013 a man in Helsinki, Finland, won over €17.86 million playing Mega Fortune progressive slots online.
Vegas casino players have landed all the biggest wins on the MegaBucks slot. The biggest jackpot ever recorded on the game was by an LA software engineer in 2003. His $100 wager earned him over $39 million!
This game consistently pays out jackpots, but the biggest one at €8.6 million went to another Finnish player in 2015.
While this game hasn't broken any records yet, it has hit life-changing jackpots for some players in the past. In April 2015, a Swedish player won €7.78 million playing this Norse god-themed slot.
Is there a trick to slot machines?
With older slot machines swindlers used to deploy a variety of cheats to trick the games into paying out jackpots. Slot developers have caught on to these techniques though, and with the advent of electronic slot machines, many of these tricks are now outdated. Today it's next to impossible to trick or cheat slot machines into paying out winnings on demand.
What is the loosest slot machine?
When players refer to a 'loose' slot machine, they mean one that pays out large amounts of money frequently. For many players this is the holy grail of slot machines. To find a loose slot machine, find a low variance game with the highest return-to-player percentage. It may not pay huge wins every time, but players can receive small payouts often with these slot machines.
Is there a way to tell if a slot machine is going to hit?
Given that modern slot machines operate on random number generators, it is impossible to tell when a slot machine is going to hit. If the machine is going to deliver a win though, it will display this at the top of the screen, along with the amount.
Do slots pay more at night?
Casinos do pay out more winnings on slot machines at night. This is less a strategic ploy by the casino though, and more that a greater number of players are active on slot machines in the evening.
What slot machines payout the most often?
Slot machines with low variance, such as Starburst, pay out winnings frequently. However the amounts are usually much smaller compared to games with high volatility, such as Mega Moolah, which will occasionally pay out big jackpots.
Should you max bet on a slot machine?
Players should max bet on a slot machine, but only if they can afford to do so Slot machines pay disproportionately higher winnings on max bets, both at online casinos and land-based casinos. Not only that, but many progressive jackpots can only be triggered with max bets on slot machines.
Should you stay at the same slot machine?
Stay on a slot machine if it is increasing your bankroll. However, slot players should remember that the return-to-player percentage means a slot game is programmed to eventually keep more of the money it receives than pay out winnings.
What is the best time of day to play slots?
Casinos on average pay out more slot jackpots at night. However, this is because there are more people playing on the slot machines, which means more money is being played. As slot machines run on random number generators, players have the same chance of winning money on slots any time of day or night.
What is the best day to play slots at a casino?
As most slot machine games operate on random number generators, players will have the same chances of winning at slots any day of the week. This software system recreates the randomness of casino games, meaning players have the same chance landing a win on slots at any time.
Do cell phones affect slot machines?
This depends on the slot machine. Older models used to operate on simple pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs). This software is established entirely on an initial value, which means it is not truly random. Mathematicians could study the PRNG of an older slot machine to determine its number cycle and consequently the algorithm. By placing a cell phone near the older model, it could interfere with the PRNG's signals and influence it to land on the winning combination. Slot developers have now resolved this weakness by installing complex random number generators and software into modern slot machines.