Pop Culture

How to Win at Slots

Casino games are making the owners richer by paying less than the true odds of winning a bet would suggest, meaning that the house odds always give players a losing proposition. For instance, the roulette wheel with its numbers ranging from 1 to 36 plus 0 (00 in the American version) provide the players with odds of 37–1. Well, the same goes for casino slot machines, except for one crucial difference — there are many more possibilities on the slot machines since there are thousands and sometimes even millions of reel combinations!

Regardless of the type of machine you pick to be your winning slot machine, bear in mind that they all function the same. Once you place your bet and trigger a spin, an internal computer chip is going to determine whether you’ll be winning this particular slot machine or not. So is it all sheer luck?

Well, this is all related to that classic error so many people have found themselves falling into: the classic gambler’s fallacy. You will hear from many players that they have one lucky machine that pays out after a specific number of spins. Well, this is precisely what the casino owners want you to believe. This usually leads to spending hours on reels, waiting for that perfect moment; and more often than not, wasting your entire bankroll.

Before we go into a further explanation on how to win at slots and the way they work from the inside out, it is essential that you understand no amount of luck or perceived hot or cold streaks will be able to affect your slot machine success. Every time you choose your bet and spin the reels, it is a unique event, meaning that your “lucky streaks” and payout at the machine is a matter of sheer chance. It is important to understand that there is no simple formula that will teach you how to win at slots, but there are still methods that can boost your chances.

So once you finally stop worry and accept these facts, and begin to understand the way these machines operate, you will be able to boost your winnings and be one step closer to learning how to win at slots.

Without further ado, let’s move on to explaining how these captivating machines work — the right way — and maybe help you pick a winning slot or at least narrow your choice the next time you walk into the casino.

Random Number Generator (RNG)

A random number generator (RNG) is known as the crusher of hopes and dreams and the breaker of all gamblers’ fallacies. In a nutshell, this is the underlying computer mechanism that is used not only in slots, but also in most of the games you can find at the casino. The whole idea behind this mechanism is to make sure that every single spin brings an utterly random result. And as previously mentioned, each spin on the machine is a unique and impartial event; so every time you spin the reels, it will work independently of other spins on the device.

Also, it is essential to note that the RNG chips have no memory, so you can be sure it’s no going to keep track of your wins or loses. So no matter who sat at the machine before you and no matter what their record, you both have the same chances for each spin. It will be much easier if you think of RNG as an impartial judge, rather than about your amount of luck overall  — unfortunately, it is not relevant to this particular situation.

So are you interested to know how this mechanism works? Well, it is a straightforward principle. The generator continuously goes through a set of numbers with no particular order. When you decide to spin the reels, the mechanism will stop on a specific combination of numbers. This particular combination will determine the position of symbols you see on the reels, and once they fall in place, you are able to know whether you hit the winning combination or not.

Also, it is important to note one more thing that can help you boost your chances in spite of these genuinely random results — pay attention to scatters. As you most probably know, in order to get a winning combination, you need the symbols on the reels to align with an active payline to ensure your win. Well, this doesn’t apply to the scatter symbols. They do not follow the rules about aligning in a simple order. You only need to get a certain number of them; precisely how many, is going to vary from one game to another.

These symbols have proven to be the biggest booster of your odds. However, even this depends on the slot machine complexity. But you can count on them to grant you more free spins and many other fantastic rounds. Even though they are also affected by the randomness of the Random Number Generator, they offer you better chances since you don’t have to align them in a certain order. But the rule is — the more, the merrier! So take our advice here and look for those games offering you some really good scatter symbols and other fantastic rewards.

Return to Player (RTP)

Here is another acronym that many people don’t really understand; this usually results in people ending up at the machine that actually offered them lower chances right from the start. It is crucially important that you understand what RTP means when you’re deciding which casino slot machine you’re planning to spend your money and your time on. This will help you determine your odds of winning. This number is expressed in percentages, and it tells you how much money a slot will pay back to you over a certain number of spins. Consider it to be the opposite of the house edge, in a way! So if you are presented with an RTP of 95%, you certainly can count on the house edge being 5%.

Just to be clear, this number doesn’t guarantee how often you will win in a single session, or how much money you can expect in return. Bear in mind that RTP is measured over an extended number of sessions and games, and the number will come into effect after millions of spins. So unless you plan on leaving the game after you’ve been spinning the reels for a million times, you cannot count on the statistics and your return of funds. This number will help you choose the right slot machine, as a higher RTP gives you a better chance of winning.

These numbers do vary, of course. You will be able to find an RTP of 85% to 98%, but this usually depends on the venue you choose. Ever since the incredible growth of the online gambling industry, online sites have been more interested in offering the highest RTP possible, in order to keep their clientele. So far, this practice has shown us that online venues tend to offer a more favorable RTP than land-based venues; so the smart option is to play slot machines online instead! However, some players prefer playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, so they can savor the uniquely lavish atmosphere of those places; and for those players, the RTP does not play an important role when they’re choosing their next exciting game.

However, if you like to spin the reels from the comfort of your living room, we would suggest visiting online casino venues, where the RTP usually ranges between 92–97%. Also, if you do your research, you might stumble on an online slot machine with the RTP of 98% or even higher.

Volatility — High or Low?

Now, this is the most natural part of deciding which slot machine game is the right choice for you. As you know, gambling implies taking risks; so it’s obviously of vital importance to have a think about how much of a risk you are willing to take in the beginning.

Well, this is precisely what we mean by the volatility of slots. When you stumble on a high-volatility slot, like Cash Bandits 2 slot by RealTime Gaming with RTP of 95%, you ought to be aware that the machine you’ve just found has been built for “risk-takers.” In other words, this machine requires you to take some more significant risks than you would on any other machine. The payouts with this kind of slot machines are rare, and you could be sitting at one machine for hours before hitting a winning combination. However, when you do, it will most definitely come with a blast! Great things are usually worth the wait; so if you’re ever packed with a nice bankroll, we suggest going for these machines, since even though you might wait for that win for quite some time, the reward will be a sizeable one!

Long story short: all you need to do is to decide your pace and then gamble according to your means, or in other words, the size of your bankroll.

This is the easier part of the process. The harder one is that, in our own practice, we’ve  stumbled on a whole stack of casino businesses which do not give out the following information that we’re about to discuss; and this could get you in trouble if you are not aware of the risks you are taking. So take another piece of advice — before committing to a game, use the free play mode that is usually offered with many operators, and just test the waters yourself. This way, you can be sure about the type of machine you are dealing with, and then act accordingly.

Make Higher Bets and Go Big

On most slot machines, the jackpot is a fixed amount; but when it comes to progressive slot machines, the jackpot rises as the players put the coins in and spin the reels. Every time a coin is played, a tiny percentage is used to “feed” the jackpot; so if you choose this type of machine, you could be looking forward to some real sky-high rewards.

Truth be told, you shouldn’t expect the highest reward if your bet was $0.10. If you go for a regular machine and make smaller bets and a jackpot hits you, the wagering requirements are sure to crush your hopes. This is why we advise players to make higher bets, since the payouts are proportional to the amount you wager. Even though this strategy will make you burn through your bankroll really quickly, you should keep in mind that this risk will be well worth the time and money you put into it!

However, there are different views on this strategy. Some argue that progressives are better since they offer you the chance to walk into the premises as a pauper and leave as a millionaire, which is more than tempting for a lot of eager gamblers out there! However, others would say “temptation” is something best avoided when you’re gambling.

Progressive machines are founded upon the anticipation they excite among gamblers; and yes, this really could turn out to be a lucrative venture for you, when you finally strike it lucky. But one thing is obvious — these slots pay out more! So if you’ve brought a sizeable bankroll with you, you should most certainly opt for these machines.

If however you go for the more random type of machines, you can look forward to smaller winnings, while you will be still losing a nice chunk of your bankroll. This can become rather frustrating, especially when the wagering requirements themselves are making your winnings smaller. On the other hand, a progressive jackpot doesn’t depend on the combination of symbols, as you might expect; on the contrary, it’s completely random! So if you do decide to go big and win big, it will be more than worth the wait, if you’re finally able to join the millionaire’s club after a few short hours on the reels.

Go Bonus Hunting

So we’ve finally made it to the very final part of the road; and this is the most interesting segment of all! But you should be very careful when choosing your designated operator and the promotional scheme they offer. We like to call this part of the research “bonus hunting” since you do need to act like a real hunter in search of the most favorable bonus offers.

The promotional scheme varies from one casino to another, but most of them have the basic package — welcome, deposit, and match bonuses. Also, many operators tend to offer no deposit bonuses since many players just want to test the waters before they decide to invest. And this is the strategy you should follow too!

The first thing you need to pay close attention to is the size of the welcome bonus, as well as the wagering requirements that follow. So make sure you thoroughly read the Terms and Conditions page before joining any online gambling venue.

A reputable operator will offer weekly and monthly promotional offers to keep their players coming back. You should set your standards before going bonus hunting — find a site that provides no deposit bonus codes with some excellent matching bonus packages. Also, look for venues that update their promotional offers regularly, so you can set the days when you are investing big and then take advantage of generous promotional offers, and the days when you’re laying low.

Also, make sure to find a venue that looks after their most loyal players and proposes a quality membership scheme. Once you join the loyalty club, you will be showered with all sorts of rewards, such as matching bonuses and favorable wagering requirements. There are even some extra big rewards, such as discounts or holiday trips.

Once you know the slot machines inside out, then between your many hours of practice and the generous promotional offers you’re receiving, you simply cannot go wrong. Just make sure you do proper research about the operator before committing to them.

Make Your Luck!

So is there a magical formula to help you understand how to win at slots? There isn’t, but with the proper knowledge about the way these machines operate and with the help of some favorable promotional offers from a trusted operator, your odds will be tilted rather more in your favor.

So before choosing a game, remember to decide the pace of your gameplay, set your weekly bankroll, select a reputable operator; then you’re good to go!

The tips we’ve listed for you above are sure to help you to have more fun and more frequent winnings than you used to; while also taking a bit of the randomness out of the random statistics surrounding every slot machine. Good luck!