Most people even if they haven’t visited a casino before understand what a slot machine is and how it works. It’s pretty simple: you put your money in the slot, pull on the handle, and then wait for the reels to spin and reveal if you have won or not.
It’s likely that its simplicity is why it is the most popular casino game, online and offline. With some casino games you need to have a deep knowledge of the rules before you can begin to play but this isn’t the case with slots.
You might be asking at this point if it’s so easy to play why do I need to read this ultimate guide to how to win at slots?
Good question! While slots are a simple game to play and there is no skill involved, having a deeper understanding will increase your chances of winning and maybe make your bankroll go a little further. Slots are a game of chance but with a little knowledge on your side, an understanding of money management, and some luck you can increase your odds of winning.
We feel certain once you have read this ultimate guide with all the best and latest slot tips to try out, you’ll get more out of your game than you ever did before.
Before you sit down and start playing slots you need to get familiar with the game and especially the paytable. If you don’t understand the rules in any way you should consult a casino attendant or if online use the live chat to have any questions you have answered.
But getting back to the payable, listed on it will be all the different slot machine symbols that will be used in the game and what the values are if you get lucky and they line up on the pay line. On the paytable, you’ll be able to discover if the slots game has multipliers, wild symbols, or scatter symbols. You’ll see how to win the largest jackpot and it will also let you know if there are bonus rounds available.
There are two common types of slots you can play, reel slots and video slots, The actions required to play them are largely the same for both. You place your bet and activate the paylines. You’ll then click or press a button or handle and let the random number generator go to work and randomly determine if you’ll win or not.
Play Free Slots Games
One of the biggest benefits of playing slots at an online casino is that you can play for free. The best way to gain knowledge on how to win at slots is to test your strategies with the free games before playing real money slots. This will give you the fantastic advantage of being able to study all the different game features and to decide if it’s a game you want to invest your bankroll in or to move on and try the next one. You can check out the pay tables, bonuses, wilds, and multipliers without it costing you a cent!
Understand Random Number Generator Software
Random generator software [RNG] is used by both slot machines in land-based casinos and for online slots. At online casinos, most of the computer-generated games use RNG software to determine the outcomes. If you play at a land-based casino there will be a computer microprocessor in the machines that will serve the same purpose.
So what does and RNG exactly do, you might be asking? A simple explanation is that it generates thousands of random number combinations as soon as you push the button to spin or pull the machine’s handle. The combination that it stops at will decide where the reels will come to rest. In fact, the outcome is decided at the exact time you hit the button but gives the impression that the outcome is still to be determined.
For those of you who like to play slots at online casinos, this is why you should only choose those that are trusted and licensed. They will be regularly audited by independent authorities to make sure that the RNGs have not been rigged in any way. If you play a slot game at any of the sites we recommend you’ll be safe knowing that the RNG’s are audited routinely and are from the most trusted developers.
The land-based casino slots also include an RNG that controls the payback percentages. A gaming commission will have inspected and authorized the chip before it is placed in the slot machine. These chips will determine the payback percentage for that particular machine; the low stakes machines will contain chips programmed to pay back a lower amount than the higher-stakes machines.
Understand What RTP Percentage Is
The Return to Player percentage is an indicator of how much money slot machines pay back over time. The higher the RTP percentage of a slot machine the more chance you have of winning.
The RTP percentage ranges from 1 to 100% most slots you’ll find online are usually somewhere between 92% and 97%. So for instance, if a slot has an RTP of 98% it will pay back $98 for every $100 paid into it. An RTP of a lower amount, say 92% would make the slot machine odds worse.
Being able to find out the RTP or volatility of slot games at a land-based casino is not so easy as they don’t make a habit of sharing this information. This is one of the many advantages when you play slot games at online casinos as you’ll always find the RTP somewhere. Usually, it will be in the game settings but if not just do a Google search and you’ll be sure to find it. If you want to know how to win at slots it’s certainly worth knowing what the RTP of the game is. It will give you a forewarning of whether it pays enough to be worth playing. A rule of thumb is that slots with an RTP of more than 96% will increase your chances of winning.
Below are some of our favourite slot games with the best RTP to play at online casinos
With an amazing 98% RTP you won’t be able to resist getting your teeth into this vampire-themed video slots game. Developed by NetEnt it has 5 reels and 25 paylines. If you like your graphics gruesome you’ll love this slot. It includes scatters, wilds, free spins, and a bonus game in which you can slay a vampire.
1429 Uncharted Seas
It doesn’t get much better than this with an awesome 98.6% RTP! This 5 reel and 25 payline slot game has a beautiful old-world style map of the sea. While this game isn’t groundbreaking it looks great and combined with the high RTP overall it’s a fun and potentially profitable slot to play.
Kings of Chicago
A slightly lower RTP for this Prohibition gangster-themed slot at 97.8% RTP but with its mix of 5 card draw style poker and classic slots play it’s certainly on our list of slots that have repeat value. If you want to bring out your inner mafia boss give it a spin!
Determine The Volatility of the Slots Game
An important consideration to factor in when you decide on which slots game to play is its volatility; sometimes you’ll see it also described as the ‘variance’ of a game. The volatility of a slot will determine how much risk there is in playing a particular game.
You can choose between low and high volatility slots it is down to your individual preference and how much risk you are willing to take. Low volatility slots have better winning odds but the winning will be fairly small. If you are happy to come away with smaller wins and don’t want to take to many risks they are a good choice. High volatility slots if you haven’t already guessed pay more but the odds of winning are much slimmer. You need to have a good-sized bankroll and plenty of patience if you want to play high volatility slots.
Trying to find high variance and low variance slots aren’t as easy as finding the RTP of a game but below are a few of our favourites.
This game has an epic 97.04% RTP and has a cool eighties vibe based on the classic TV show of that era Miami Vice. It has 5 reels and 30 paylines and would be described as a low to medium variance slot. If you like big hairdos and phones the size of bricks then travel back to Eighties Miami and have some fun.
Dead or Alive
Wild west themed slots are very popular but this is the big daddy of them all. The RTP isn’t bad at 96.82%. The slot is a high variance one so be prepared to wait it out as the wins don’t come often but when they pay out they are pretty substantial. This is one of our favourite slots for mood and atmosphere, with stunning graphics and a soundtrack you’d expect from a classic cowboy movie.
This high variance slot has stood the test of time and probably stands amongst the most popular ones. It has a gothic vampire love theme, for some reason slot enthusiasts also seem to like the undead! The RTP isn’t bad at between 96.01% and 96.86%. If you like your game full of dark desires and have the funds to last out then this is one of the best high variance slots to enjoy.
Choose the Best Slot Machine Casino
Unless you are playing casino slot machines in some dodgy back alley in a third world country when you play at a land-based casino you are pretty much assured fair play. When you play online it’s much easier to come upon a rogue casino so you will need to be careful. The legitimate casinos will be licensed by a regulated body and their random number generators will be regularly audited.
If you visit any of the casino sites that we recommend you can be assured that licenses are in play and that their RNGs are audited consistently. Our online casino experts also take a whole host of other factors into account from privacy and security to the best slot selections and the most generous player bonuses. You can search for a slots casino yourself but why risk it when our professional team has done all the work for you?
Don't Be Seduced By the Slot Games in the Lobby
When you land in the lobby of an online casino you’ll see all the newest and attractive games to play. Just like in a shop window all the attractive products they want to sell you are on show, But while they might be the newest games or the ones with the best looking seductive graphics they aren’t necessarily the games that will match your requirements, as we’ve discussed you’ll want to check the RTP percentages and the volatility of the slots game before playing with real money. Remember that most of the slots games can be played in free mode so give them a spin before digging into your bankroll.
Slots Bonuses and Promotions
All online casinos offer special welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions for slots players while land-based casinos have slots players clubs to join for exclusive offers. If you don’t take advantage of these great offers then you are leaving money on the table. This is one of the best ways to boost your slots bankroll for free.
When you sign up to an internet casino you are usually greeted by a generous welcome bonus. This gives you the opportunity to try out and enjoy some great games without putting too much of a dent in your bankroll. You might ask what’s the catch? Well, the reason why the online sites offer these bonuses is that it’s an extremely competitive market so they need to offer big incentives so that you choose their particular casino over any other. Of course, the caveat is that there are terms and conditions as well as wagering requirements to be met before you can withdraw your free winnings. We will discuss them in a while.
Usually, the welcome bonus is an amount that will match your deposit, so if you decide to deposit $100 the casino will usually offer you a sign-up bonus of the same amount. How much the maximum amount is will depend on the casino. Sometimes the bonus will be free spins and you’ll even see a combination of a matched bonus and free spins. While the free spins can be used on the slots, you can always use your welcome bonus to play other casino games such as Blackjack or Roulette.
No Deposit Bonuses
While many welcome bonuses require you to make a deposit of funds, some casinos offer a no deposit bonus. This is great for online casino novices who want to get their feet wet and play a no-risk game of slots with free credits from the casino. If you’ve never played at an internet casino before this will be a great way of getting to know how they work. You will need to meet certain wagering requirements though, the casinos aren’t going to give away free cash without some commitment on your part.
As we mentioned earlier the internet casinos offer these tasty welcome bonuses so you hook up with their casino rather than their competitors but they also want you to stick around. To make sure you carry on playing slots or other casino games at their site you’ll be offered loyalty bonuses and all sorts of promotions every week of the year. You’ll get free spins and special offers that coincide with special events such as the Super Bowl and the World Cup. This is a win-win for you and the casino, you’ll get a lot of great free slot play and they’ll keep you as a loyal customer. It’s always a good idea to set up a separate email account for the casinos you sign up with as it will be much easier to keep track of any email promotions that are sent to you that might get missed in your regular email account.
Each casino will have its own wagering requirements so you should read the terms and conditions to know where you stand when cashing out any winnings. Basically a wagering requirement is that you need to bet a certain amount of your own money before you can withdraw any money you have won with your free bonuses. So an example would be if you were given a $10 bonus with a 10 times wagering requirement you’d need to spend $100 before you could withdraw your winnings.
Land-based Casino Slot Clubs
Most of the major casinos have a players club that you can join and the first thing you should do before anything else is to join up. Don’t forget to insert your club card in the slots machine before you make your first spin.
Once you have signed up you’ll be able to earn complimentary freebies from the casino such as cash bonuses, tickets to shows, free drinks, buffets, hotel rooms and other giveaways.
Make sure that you are mindful of your gambling habits, just spend your usual budget on the slot machines and don’t play just to get some extra complimentary credits.
Bet The Maximum
The payout you get back from a slot machine is in proportion to how much you bet on the game. Different slot players will have their preferred strategies. You can ignore this strategy if you prefer to pay with small bets and are not looking for the huge wins that are possible when playing progressive slots.
The majority of slots only pay progressive jackpots and bonuses if you bet max credits. This is also the case with most non-progressive slots; you’ll get a higher payout when you bet the maximum.
The bottom line is that if you play with a minimum bet you won’t be able to win a progressive jackpot. Ultimately it will come down to how much you are willing to risk and a good bankroll management strategy. Playing with maximum bets will eat into your bankroll much faster but you’ll be in with a chance to become a multi-millionaire.
Avoid Progressive Jackpots
But hey! you might be saying, you just told me to play max bets to win the progressive jackpots!
Yes, it’s true we did! but we also mentioned that they are great to play if you have the bankroll and are willing to take the risk for that slim chance of winning that multi-million jackpot. We like to look at both sides of the coin and our strategies are inclusive to all types of slots players.
If you are playing to win the progressive jackpot you’ll need to go the whole hog and bet maximum credits all the time, this can soon get very expensive. If you like to have fun at slots and win smaller amounts that won’t necessarily be life-changing but will put a smile on your face then avoid the progressive slot machines.
If you want the best of both worlds the best strategy would be to put aside a percentage of your bankroll to spend on the progressive slots and use the rest for one’s with higher payback percentages. You could maybe risk 10% of your bankroll to come away with that big money jackpot.
Slots Money Management Strategies
Slots are a game that requires no skill to play so once you are playing there is nothing that you can do to change your chances of winning or losing. There are no strategies you can play to help you win as you have in video poker or blackjack.
To conserve your cash and avoid spending more than you can afford you should always set limits before playing. You should have a loss limit and a walk away win limit. This obviously requires a strong element of self-control on your part.
Using a prepaid credit card for your slots bankroll is a good way of keeping limiting and keeping track of your money. This is especially true in the land-based casinos that have lots of tempting ATM’s on hand.
So for a loss limit, you could give yourself a $50 bankroll and once it’s gone that’s it you’ll stop playing. The same with the walk-away win limit, you could play with the same $50 bankroll and set yourself a win limit of $80 so you’d walk away with $30. Obviously, this is not set in stone, it’s up to you how much you set it for but aim to be practical. Remember the longer you play the more chance you’ll have of losing.
Having self-discipline if you are on vacation at a casino resort two is even harder, you’ll be in a party mood and it’s very easy to get sucked in and spend a fortune especially when there is drinking involved! So before you even set foot in the casino, set yourself a budget, you’ll want to divide your bankroll for the whole trip by how many days you’ll be staying and then by the hours you are planning on playing slots each day.
One way of making your money go further is to slow down your rate of play; this applies to online and bricks and mortar casinos. It’s very easy to keep pulling that lever or clicking a button and not take the time to enjoy the game. With some of the great fun-filled themes for slots these days, make sure you take the time to appreciate how entertaining they are and actually enjoy the game. Play a few slots and walk away for a while, have a drink or get some fresh air.
Don’t use the auto-stop feature on the slots machine as this will result in a lot more spins per hour and you’ll miss out on that exciting feeling of apprehension as you wait for the reels to stop.
Don't Play Airport Slots
Though it might be tempting to play slot machines at the airport, you should be aware that they have probably the worst payout rates. Because of the high rents for placing slot machines at the airport, they have to pay out less to the players to maintain profits. So it’s not a good idea to try to make up your losses on your way home from the casino.
Try Video Poker
If you want to add an element of skill to your game then this is a good option, it’s a nice way of mixing things up a bit. The payouts are better for video poker than slots and it’s not difficult to learn, you’ll pick it up after a few spins. You can also try out the free version first at the internet casinos.
Slot Machine Myths
There are lots of crazy stories told that have no basis in facts and here we will debunk just a few of them.
The payback percentage is reduced when the casino is extra busy
To do this would be opening up the machines at the casino and replacing all the chips, not only would this be a huge task for the casino it would be breaking gaming regulations and end up with the casino being shut down, they just wouldn’t risk it.
Slot machine location
Some gamblers claim that at a land-based casino the loosest slot machines are located in the aisles to attract more players. This might have been something that occurred in the good old days at some casinos. The random number generators that decide the outcomes on modern slots have done away with any chance of this occurring.
The Jackpot is due
if the slots jackpot hasn’t paid out for a long time then it’s got to be due, right? Wrong! Once again this is a common fallacy with gamblers who don’t understand the role of an RNG they don’t payout to a schedule each spin is random and independent.
Nothing can improve your chances to win at slots
If you have read the rest of this article you’ll know this is untrue if you pick a slot game with a high RTP it will have a better payback percentage and increase your chances. If you make use of bonuses and promotions you’ll get more chances to win for free or by using a slots club card at a real-life casino.
Don't Try To Cheat The Casino Slots Machines!
We are sure that our visitors are all law-abiding and upstanding people who wouldn’t dream of committing any crimes at the casino! It would be very difficult to cheat at slots at an internet casino but with an actual physical machine at a land-based casino, it has been attempted over the years usually with the perpetrator ending up with a long prison sentence!
In the 1990s you would find ‘Big Berthas’ at the casinos as you can probably guess from the name; these were a lot bigger than your usual slot machines. They were actually big enough to fit a person inside and in Nevada, this was exactly what happened: a woman climbed into the machine and rigged the results while the rest of her team crowded around and blocked what she was doing from view. The casino security was on the ball and managed to stop them before they could cheat the slots machine.
Before the days of RNGs when the slot machines were mechanized, some cheaters would attach a coin to a string that would trip the mechanism to play the game and they would use the same coin repeatedly. Many were caught but the manufacturers soon changed the design to prevent this from happening.
These days the casinos have discovered and closed most of the loopholes open to cheating at slots.
We hope you have enjoyed this article on how to win at slots and have found it useful. Ultimately slots are a game of luck and you should play the slots that you enjoy the most. Modern slots with their amusing animations, storylines and sound effects are designed to entertain so while winning is the most important factor make sure you enjoy the fun elements as well. If you check the return to player percentages of the slots games and make sure to claim any bonuses you will give yourself a head start in boosting your slots bankroll. We wish you the best of luck!