Slots have a reputation as a skill-less game. Critics claim that it’s all luck, and some gamers believe that you only need to develop a “sixth sense” for a “loose machine”. Both statements are misleading. In actuality, slots are a game like any other—you benefit from knowing the ropes. Whether or not the reels align is up to chance, but there’s still a lot that you can do to increase that chance.

Casino Choice

  • Before you play, go online and do your research. Make sure you know which casinos have the best payouts for slots, and stay away from anything that sounds like a bad deal.
  • It’s also useful to know which casinos offer bonuses. You may not win the jackpot every time, but a good bonus can increase your chances and add some exciting variety to the classic game. It’s also worth considering a casino if it has a VIP club.

Slots choice

First things first, check the slots paytables. Casinos offer paytables to indicate just how much money is available on an individual slot symbol combination. Before beginning a game, be sure that you understand which combinations will win you which amount. This may help you understand your chances. If you understand that the probability of a certain set of symbols is unlikely, you can save yourself from chasing it all night.

It’s also important to understand high volatility slots and low volatility slots

  • High volatility means a better chance of hitting a big win, but you’ll see fewer small wins. It can be discouraging to go so many rounds without a win, but keep that big jackpot in mind!
  • Low volatility means many small hits, but a much lower probability of hitting the big ones (i.e. 1,000 x your bet). Low volatility usually offers the most playtime, as people are more likely to stay in the game when winning.

Odds and Payouts on 3 Reel vs 5 Reel vs Progressives

Three-Reel – Always pay attention to the number of reels. The more reels you play, the lower the probability of each reel hitting the same symbol. The lowest number of reels that can possibly be played is three, giving this game the best possible chances for hitting the jackpot. The odds are better, but often this means the payout is smaller.

Five-Reel – In a five-reel game there are two more reels to match than on the classic three-reel game and the chances of matching all five are much lower. That said, if you do win big then the payout is a definite improvement from the three-reel. Five-reel games are often connected to each other through a network, and this allows them to offer up a hefty jackpot to the winners.

Progressives – Progressive games are similar to five-reel. Every time you make a bet on a progressive game, a portion of your bet is added to the increasing jackpot. Much like the lottery, individual players are building up the reward for a small number of lucky winners. Because you are competing against all the players in a network to win the same jackpot, the probability of winning is much lower. But when someone does win a progressive jackpot, it’s huge.

Playing Max Coins, Max Playlines

  • When choosing a game, look for one with the highest payout percentage and the biggest jackpot. Most will only award bonuses and progressive jackpots if you bet the maximum credits (maximum coins).
  • If you are looking to win big, you need to play the maximum number of lines. Some slots may have as many as 100 lines to play, and it’s up to you how many of them you use. The big payouts, however, almost always require that you play all the lines or at maximum coin level in order to win the jackpot.


Bankroll Management

do your researchYou must do your research. Before you play, check the internet to find out the payout percentages of slot games at different casinos. Remember that a higher percentage of payout may mean higher odds of winning.

Play with small amountsPlay with small amounts. If you bet large quantities at a time, you’ll run out faster and the game will end before you’ve had a chance to enjoy the experiences.
Set a limit

Set a limit. Before you sit down to play, decide a win limit and a lose limit. If you’re winning, stop when you’ve reached your win limit (i.e. doubled the initial amount), if you’re losing, stop when you reach your predetermined lose limit.

Put away your winningsPut away your winnings! Most importantly, never mix your initial bankroll with your winnings. When playing online, it’s even more important to keep track of this as you don’t have a physical pocket to keep your earnings in. Remember: if you only play with the money from your predetermined initial bankroll, you can avoid ending a game without anything to show for it.