Looking to play slots for a chance to win big at the best slot sites? Read this full guide on how to increase your chances to win at slots. Written by our team of slot experts at Casinos.com, it covers the different types of slot machines, odds, payouts, volatility, and everything you need to know on how to win slots.
Whether you are playing slots online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, it is impossible to win every spin on a slot machine. If that was the case, everyone would have won, and the casinos would have gone out of business rather quickly. This is why every slot has a House Edge which is a built-in statistical advantage that lets the best live online casino make money in the long run.
Although every spin doesn’t guarantee a win, there are certain strategies that savvy slot players use to help increase their chances of winning over time and get bigger wins. Find out their secrets in our guide!
The first slot machine in its ‘modern’ version was invented in 1894 by Bavarian-born American inventor Charles August Fey. It was a coin-operated gambling machine that Fey, a San Francisco mechanic, built in his basement. Fast forward to 1976, when the first video slot machine was introduced, featuring an electronic color display and logic boards. The Internet revolution of the 1990s saw the first online casino with online slots launched in 1994. Since then, slots can be found at top mobile casinos providing players with access to thousands of slots at their fingertips from any smartphone or tablet device.
But despite leaps in technology that revolutionized the way we play slots, many basic principles of slot machines remain similar.
The first step to learning how to win slots is understanding the principles of the game. Whether digital or mechanical, a slot machine will contain reels with symbols that represent different values. One or more paylines will outline the pattern of symbols that needs to align on the reels in order to generate a win.
The player will spin the slot’s reels by pulling a lever or pressing a button (for mechanical and computerized slots, respectively) with the aim of landing a winning combination of symbols that corresponds with the slot’s paylines. The payout will depend on symbol values, and the amount of money wagered on the payline.
It is important to know that all slots have a Random Number Generator (RNG) which makes sure that the outcome of every spin is completely random.
Beyond basic similarities, slots differ significantly in their number of reels and paylines, features, payouts, bonus rounds and more. To make the most out of your slot experience, you need to find a slot that suits your gameplay, personality, and strategy.
Below are the main types of slot machines available to players:
Nowadays, it is common to find slots that combine many of the features above. For example, a multi-payline slot that has 5 reels and offers mega spins and multipliers, etc.
Progressive slots offer a community prize pool. The casino operator or game developer will usually put up a prize seed which is a set amount of money that goes into the prize pool. Then, a portion of every qualified wager made on the progressive slot by any player will be allocated to the jackpot prize pool. The prize will keep growing until a winning combination is triggered by a lucky player who will win the jackpot. Once won, the prize pool will reset and the jackpot will start building up again.
While some progressive slots make any size wager eligible for winning the jackpot, many offer several betting tiers. So only players that placed wagers over a certain amount will qualify to win jackpots. To avoid disappointment, always check the required bets to qualify for jackpot winnings and select the bet level to match the prize you wish to play for.
Although the odds of winning a jackpot are slimmer, rewards are much larger. For example, in 2015, a jackpot of $13.2 million was won on Mega Moolah – a 5-reel, 25-payline progressive slot developed by Microgaming. It has set a Guinness World Record for the largest online jackpot ever won and has since been surpassed with even bigger wins.
Most casinos feature progressive jackpot slots. On network progressives, contributions from wagers from all the participating casinos will count towards one common prize pool. This leads to prizes that can grow very quickly to jackpots worth many millions.
There are also progressive slots with local jackpots that are shared amongst players of a specific casino. Although local jackpots tend to be smaller, they usually provide better odds for winning, providing a good incentive for fans of the best real cash slots.
As losing money is an inevitable part of playing slots, you are bound to have losing spells on the reels. At other times you will have winning streaks that just keep your balance growing. The key to winning on slots is knowing how to enjoy these winning spells, but never forgetting they will come to an end.
The first rule on how to win slots is to never bet on money that you cannot afford to lose. You must set up a budget and time limits and keep a very close eye on your bankroll.
Casinos need to make money in order to survive. So it comes as no surprise that every slot machine has a built-in statistical advantage that lets the casino rake a profit in the long run. This built-in advantage is called the House Edge, which is the percentage of total wagers that the casino will keep as profit over time. So if you want to learn how to win slots, it is important to understand the house edge.
For example, if the house edge of a certain slot machine is 5%, the casino will keep 5c for every $1 wager and return the remaining 95p to players in winnings. This doesn’t mean that a specific player will get 95c back from every $1 wager he/she places. This is an average return that is distributed as winnings to players over time.
Part of what makes slots so popular is that they are fairly simple to play. Once you understand the values and functions of different symbols, it’s just a matter of spinning the reels, right? Well, not exactly. Slot games are a lot more complex than they appear to be. There are many mechanisms, math models, and statistical ratios that operate every slot machine underneath the surface. That’s what makes slots so exciting and entertaining.
When it comes to choosing the right game and understanding how to win on slots, there are a few terms that you should know:
The average 96% RTP of online slots is much higher than that of slot machines in a land-based casino. Examples of online slots with higher RTPs are:
Visit our recommended slots pages to find more slots with a high RTP.
A good way to practice how to win at slots is to play them for free. Free slots will let you test many games and find slot machines that suit your playing style. It will also give you an opportunity to practice your slot machine strategy. So you can hit the ground running once you start wagering real money.
Many casinos use free spins to entice new players and reward their existing customers. Free spins will allow you to spin the reels of specific slot machines without wagering your own money. However, the outcome of a free spin and a real-money spin is just as random. This means that you can also win while playing free spins. And subject to the casino’s wagering requirements, what you win from free spins is yours to keep.
Another way to play slots for free is in demo mode. Although you will not need to be logged into an account, winnings from demo play will not be available to claim.
As the outcome of every spin is random, a slots strategy cannot improve your chances to land a winning spin. However researching and choosing the right slot to fit your style of play and goals, managing stakes, and taking advantage of bonus features and multipliers can increase your chances to turn a profit when playing slots.
As every slot is built to churn out winning and losing spins, picking up a winning machine is hard. But when choosing a slot machine you can check its RTP (Return to Player), volatility, maximum potential win and other factors that can give you a good idea of what to expect when spinning the reels.
Some players place maximum bets as part of their strategy while others place smaller bets to make their stakes last longer. Placing the highest possible bet can earn you handsome cash in case of a winning spin, but it can just as well blow a hole in your budget in case of a loss.
If you enjoy playing on a specific slot machine, you can keep playing it until your budget or time limit expires. Keep in mind that every spin is random on every slot, so rotating between slot machines will not necessarily increase your chances to win.