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How to Play Penny Slots Games

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The Great Penny Slot Myth

What’s in a name? Believe it or not, penny slots – those slot machine games that supposedly cost a penny to play – don’t actually cost a penny to play. It would be fantastic if you could play a real-money penny slot for £0.01, wouldn’t it?

Truth be told, penny slots refer to the minimum coin size per spin, not the minimum bet size per spin. Penny slots games typically feature a required minimum number of lines, with a minimum coin value of £0.01.

Today’s penny slots games require you to play 50 – 100+ credits. That’s a minimum bet of £0.50 – £1.00+ on every spin. All things being equal, penny slots games are still really affordable, but they definitely don’t cost a penny.

Let’s assume you spin the reels 10 times a minute – that’s once every six seconds.  If you are betting 100 credits, that’s £6 per minute, and £360 per hour. If you play conservatively, you could spin once every 12 seconds, 5 times a minute for £180 per hour.

Of course, these figures simply represent your expected outlay, not your take. It’s entirely possible to find penny slots with high RTPs (Return to Player Percentages) which will certainly help. If you win penny slots jackpots, you can eliminate your cost per hour and cash out a winner.

How Do Penny Slots Games Work?

Any guide on how to play penny slots requires a basic understanding of how penny slots games work.  These online casino games have a built-in house edge like every other slot game, card game, table game, and instant win game. Over the long-term, the house edge ensures that the casino always wins. The RTP on penny slots ranges from 88% – 95%, depending on the casino, and the penny slot game you’re playing.

Compare that with the RTPs of the top-paying slot machine games such as Playtech’s Ugga Bugga (99.07%), NetEnt’s Mega Joker (99%), or Big Time Gaming’s White Rabbit Megaways (97.77%). Slight differences in RTPs have a huge impact on your bankroll over the long-term. That’s the trade-off for picking a low-cost slot to play; you get to wager less, but you can expect to forfeit more over time.

The betting requirements on penny slots are incredibly important. Recall that the minimum coin denomination is £0.01, but that’s not the minimum bet requirement in the game. Read through the rules before you pick a penny slot game to play. If your goal is to minimise your cost per spin, it’s really worthwhile knowing how many coins and lines you are required to spin in penny slots games.

For those who want to know how to play penny slots like a pro, here’s are 3 maximisation tips for you.

  • Pay close attention to RTPs. The higher the better. Low RTP games should be avoided at all costs. Luckily, you have full control over the penny slots games you play.
  • Maximise use of bonuses and promotional offers at your online casino. There are plenty of great deals out there, including free spin bonuses, no deposit bonuses, match deposit bonuses, re-deposit bonuses, and the like. Meet the (T&C) and cash out your winnings.
  • Always play the maximum bet on every penny slots spin. There is no other way to maximise your winnings if you don’t follow this rule.

How Much Can I Win Playing Penny Slots Games Online?

We all know that the biggest online slots jackpot ever paid was £13,209,300 on October 6, 2015 in Cardiff, UK. Of course, it wasn’t a penny slot game, it was a progressive jackpot slot named Mega Moolah by Microgaming. Penny slots are no slouches in the payout department. Consider the following penny slots payouts over the years:

  • In December 2010, Dorothy Reynolds of Fallbrook, California scooped up $2.9 million on a penny slot game at Planet Hollywood Casino.
  • In June 2017, 2 players at Caesars Casino were playing Willy Wonka slot and claimed a combined total of $944,337.
  • In September 2017, Janet Redwine, of Coppell, Texas claimed a $787,000 jackpot playing Willy Wonka penny slots at Harrah’s Casino.
  • Tyler Morris of Michigan travelled to Mississippi to attend his friend’s funeral. Along the way, he stopped at the Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi Mississippi and bet $3.50 to win $7,217,175.15. The name of the game: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
  • IGT announced that a Nevada resident became a millionaire several times over by playing Penny Megabucks® at the Pahrump Nugget Casino, and the payday was a whopping $18,799,414. This was the biggest ever penny slot jackpot won at the time.

While these incredible payouts will certainly leave you gasping in awe, they are the exception to the rule. Many folks are happy with payouts of £300 upwards on penny slots, given how affordably priced they are. Some penny slots have maximum payouts per machine, which can limit your winning potential.  If ever you are in doubt about a penny slots game, play free penny slots online before you play for real. That way you can preserve your bankroll for the games you really want to play.

Now that you know how to play penny slots games online, you can confidently set a budget and plan your sessions accordingly.  Truth be told, it’s all about crunching the numbers. Start with your bankroll. What is your gaming bankroll and how long would you like it to last?  Determine the number of spins per minute, and multiply that by 60. Factor in the costs per spin, and that’s your cost of playing penny slots per hour.

For info on how to find the best penny slots online, take a look at this post at our blog.


  • Penny slots referred to slot machine games with a minimum coin value of £0.01. The name says nothing about the cost per spin. That is determined by multiplying the minimum coin value by the required number of coins/paylines. Expect an average of 50 – 100+ coins per spin.
  • Penny slots RTPs are incredibly important. Expect an average RTP of 88% – 95% with penny slots games. Since the required minimum bet is so much lower than video slots, something’s got to give and it’s usually the RTP. Over the long-term, you can expect to lose £0.12 – £0.05 of every £1 wagered on penny slots games.
  • Always take full advantage of bonuses and promotional offers when you are learning how to play Penny slots online. 
  • Penny slots function like classic slots, fruit slots, and rudimentary video slots too. While they don’t always have the in-game bonus rounds, video animation, collapsing reels, expanding reels, wild and scatters, they work with reels, symbols, and payout combinations.
  • Like progressive jackpot slots and video slots, it’s always best to wager maximum coins and maximum paylines on penny slots. That way, when the right symbols land, you will be in the money.
  • Penny slots are not regarded as the biggest moneymakers for players, but there have been some incredible penny slots jackpots over the years. The biggest ever win was $18,799,414 on Penny Megabucks®, at Pahrump Nugget Casino.