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How to Win on Slot Machines

Table of Contents

How Do Slot Machines Work?

First things first. Slot machines are games of chance. Once you click the spin button, you have no control over the outcomes. Slot machine game outcomes are determined by Random Number Generators (RNGs). These sophisticated computer algorithms randomise the outcomes of every spin. Neither the casino nor the player can force a winning result on slots. In the olden days, classic slots were governed by mechanical elements. Today, slots are largely governed by computers.

Each slot machine game features a number of symbols on every reel. Whether you pull a lever, or press a button, that action initiates a ‘spin sequence.’ The sequence that plays out is merely for entertainment purposes, since the RNG instantly determines the outcome. When symbols line up on active paylines, players will be paid out according to the paytable structure. The more valuable the symbols (the rarer they are), the bigger the payout when the requisite number land in combination. That’s a tip that will always serve you well when learning how to win at casino slots.

Many classic slots feature 3 spinning reels, with a limited number of active paylines. Today’s video slots games and jackpot slots games are typically adorned with 5 spinning reels or more, and many active paylines. With computerised slot machine games, outcomes are determined by ‘step motors’ and ‘digital pulses’. It’s the random number generators in these computers that guarantees complete randomness for each reel to land symbols on paylines. Casinos cannot change the RTP (Return to Player) of slots without changing the computer chip in the slot game.

RNGs generate millions of outcomes every minute. When you click the spin button, you lock in an RNG outcome at that precise point. These numbers are then fed through to the computer which tells the reels where to stop. If you’re playing a 3-reel slot, the second you depress the spin button, 3 results will be fed by the RNG into the computer. With a 5-reel slot, 5 results will be fed by the RNG to the computer. A series of rapid mathematical calculations is undertaken to determine the precise symbol that lines up on each reel.

What Can Players Do to Win at Slots?

Once you have picked a slot machine game, you cannot change the RTP (return to player percentage), nor can you influence the RNGs in any way. Most of the slots strategy takes place before you deposit and spin the reels.  With slots games, like blackjack games, baccarat games, roulette games, and craps games, it’s important to do your homework beforehand. Here are a few useful tips on how to win at slots, or at the very least to improve your chances of winning at slots:

  • Find a slot machine game that is interesting to you. There are many different themed slots available, including romance slots, adventure slots, action slots, superhero slots, mythical slots, ancient Egyptian slots, et al. If you play a slot game that is exciting, that already adds value to your gaming sessions. Pick the right slot machine games for your personality, your mood, and your budget.
  • Practice slots free before you play for real. This is an absolute must-do if you’re thinking of formulating a strategy on how to win at casino slots. When you play free slots, you get to understand the in-game features and functions, volatility, variance, RTP, and bonus rounds of play. Always play free slots before you play for real money.
  • Set a budget and adjust your bets accordingly. With progressive jackpot games, you must bet the maximum amount to have a chance of winning the jackpot. However, slots players must set a budget for all gaming sessions. Be prepared to play according to shifting expectations. In other words, if your budget is rapidly being depleted, change your bet size, switch to different machines, or take a breather in between slot sessions. Your goal is to minimise losses, maximise entertainment value, and the number of spins you get to enjoy. With slots, you want to give yourself the best shot of winning by having more spins for your bankroll. Just one lucky spin can make a big difference to your slots session.
  • Always assess slots according to their RTP. Recall that the RTP is the return to player percentage. The higher the RTP, the greater your payback for every £1 wagered on slots games. Given the choice between a slot machine game with a 90% RTP, and a slot machine game with a 98% RTP, always opt for the latter. With a 90% RTP, you can expect to win back £0.90 on every £1 over the long-term (millions of spins). With a 98% RTP, you can expect to win back £0.98 on every £1 over the long-term (millions of spins)*
  • Bet max on progressive jackpot slots. One of the most valuable tips on how to win at the casino slot machines is placing maximum bets on progressive jackpot slots games. Why? Because you can’t win the progressive jackpot if you don’t place the maximum bets. It would be a shame to land all the right symbols in combination, only to find that you don’t scoop up all those £s. Rather than risk this unfavourable outcome, place max bets on progressive jackpots. If you are going to play progressive jackpots, you should be prepared to place max bets on these slots games.
  • Don’t buy into the hype about when slots are supposed to pay out. Many folks who play slots are superstitious, and that’s okay. However, there is no truth to long-standing beliefs that the physical positioning of a slot machine game determines whether it pays out frequently or not. Always use the RTP guide as your benchmark when choosing slots games. You may be inclined to start playing penny slots before you play higher-denomination games like £1, £5, or £10 slots, etcetera. Remember, you’re just as likely to win on your first spins, as on any others. It’s all about Luck!
  • Pick more expensive slots since they have higher RTPs. This is an important tip, with a few caveats. Penny slots are notoriously poor ‘big money’ payers, sometimes. However, if the required total bet in a penny slot game is high (you may have to play hundreds of lines), you will find yourself betting substantial amounts of money even on a penny slot game with the low RTP. The truth about how to win at the casino slot machines is a little more complicated. You will invariably find expensive slots have better RTPs, since fewer players choose them. The RTP has to be higher in order to entice players into real money gaming sessions.

* Remember that RTPs are theoretical concepts. While the RTP numbers have been vertified by independent testing authorities such as TST (Technical Systems Test) Labs, or eCOGRA Safe and Fair, they are assessed over millions of game outcomes. Most players will only play hundreds, perhaps thousands of times in their lifetime – so anything can happen in the short-term with a slot machine game. You can lose your entire budget, or win a jackpot at any time. As a rule, a higher RTP is always more favourable for the player.

Maximise Your Promotional Offers for Slots Games

Online casinos routinely offer new players welcome bonuses, and promotional offers. It is incumbent upon players to carefully assess the quality of bonuses and promotions for maximum yield. As a newbie to the slots scene, it’s possible to benefit from a variety of welcome bonus packages including:

  • Free Spins Bonuses
  • No Deposit Bonuses
  • Match Deposit Bonuses

In all cases, players will be required to meet the playthrough requirements of the promotional offers. This can take several forms, including a set wagering requirement of the bonus + deposit before any winnings can be cashed out. Sometimes, players will need to wager their bonus alone, a set number of times before being able to cash out. Of course, there are other restrictions in place such as exclusions, percentage contributions of specific casino games, and validity dates.

It is important to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions (T&C) of promotional offers to benefit from the promos.

Summary on How to Win at Slots

Slot machine games are complex entertainment attractions. Rather than focusing on ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ when it comes to how to win at slots, there are myriad factors to consider. For instance, picking a slot machine with the highest RTP is always a wise decision. Slots with the best odds of winning are easily determined, since their RTPs are published for everyone to see.

While progressive jackpot slots are certainly enticing, they are less likely to pay out as frequently as non-progressive jackpot slots. If you are going to play jackpot slots, choose those with the highest RTP. An important consideration is slots volatility. If you play high volatility slots, you can expect big, but infrequent payouts. The odds of winning these games are lower, but big prizes are up for grabs. With low volatility slots, expect smaller wins more frequently. Think of penny slots as a case in point.

Your budget plays an important part in the slots games that you play. A smaller budget can be used for low volatility slots, but a bigger budget is needed for high volatility slots. Another technical term worth understanding is variance. This describes how often you generate winnings. On the topic of betting, it is true that bigger bets are better for larger winnings. It is also fair to say that your winnings are proportional to your bets in most slot machine games. That’s why it’s so important to set a budget for slots. Put these tips into practice, and you will be well on your way to winning at slots!