If you’ve ever been to a casino in either the United States, Canada, or abroad, you’ll notice one thing very quickly. Slot machines reign supreme.
As the most popular and most played casino game by a long stretch, slots continue to surge in popularity with the handle rivaling that of table games and sportsbooks combined.
Unlike table games and sports betting, however, there is little to no strategy involved in slot machines and they are mostly games of pure chance.
There are, however, some approaches that increase your chances of walking away a winner. Let’s look at a couple of those strategies of how to win on slot machines, as well as some basic terminology you’ll want to be aware of.
How do Slot Machines Work?
Gone are the days of walking up to a slot machine, putting in some loose change, and pulling a lever as the mechanic wheels spin. Instead, slot machines are now completely digitalized, with buttons replacing levers and money on a card replacing coins.
Just like the old machines, however, slot machines work by randomizing which spins are winners, and which are losers via a (calculated randomly) generated algorithm designed to award complete randomness at varying intervals.
In order to get the most out of playing slot machines when you visit a brick-and-mortar or online casino, you’ll want to make sure you are aware of all the bonus features on the slot machine you chose. You can find this information by examining the pay table of a given game, usually located right on the machine.
If you can’t locate the pay table, ask a casino associate for assistance.
What is a Pay Table?
A pay table will tell you the values tied to each symbol, as well as explain any bonus features on a given machine. It will also lay out things such as scatters and any “Wild” symbols, as well as any rules involving round betting.
There are a plethora of websites online that feature slot machine reviews, which will describe the pay tables involved and allow you to assess your risk better by understanding the rules and payouts of the game. Bottom line: a pay table is critical in learning how to win on slot machines
Are Progressive Slots Worth It?
The progressive slot takes a percentage of each wager and adds it to the machine’s jackpot, making the jackpot bigger and bigger the more people that play it. In your standard three-reel slot machine, you are required to bet the max each time to be eligible for winning the jackpot.
If you are starting your slot machine session with a large amount of money, it can be worth it to play the progressives as each time you are wagering, a potential jackpot hit is getting bigger and bigger.
It’s important to assess the amount you are willing to lose before deciding whether or not playing progressive slots is worth it.
What Are Return to Player (RTP) Percentages?
Every slot machine whether it be in-person or online has an established Return to Player (RTP) percentage, which simply is the amount of money you are expected to lose (or win) when playing the game.
As an example, an RTP of 98% would imply that you will win $98 for every $100 you put into that game. As you would expect, the higher the RTP the better the chance the player has to win. Conversely, lower RTP slots are not as bad as they would seem, as the lower RTPs typically have larger jackpots looming with average payouts being larger as well.
As of 2021, some of the highest RTP slot machines in play today are Ugga Bugga (99.07%), Mega Joker (99%), Ooh Aah Dracula (99%), and Jackpot 6000 (98.8%). Keep these machines in mind when learning how to win on slot machines.
Slot Machine Strategies
Now that we’ve established what RTP is, one strategy would be to manage your time effectively by playing the high RTP slot machines for a short amount of time and getting out once you hit a profit. Then, you can go play the lower RTP slot machines for longer, with the confidence that bigger prize money could lay just ahead, but happens less often.
Another strategy for playing slot machines is to understand each machine’s volatility. Volatility is critical for slot machine strategies, as a low volatility machine is one that will produce wins more often, but for lesser amounts. On the otherside of the pendulum, high volatility machines produce fewer wins, but the payouts are often much bigger in comparison.
As you can see, the best slot machine strategies often rely on how much time, and how much money, you want to put into play.
Whether it be in person or online casinos, the same slot machine strategies apply, with the underlying theme being to do your research before putting down your hard-earned money.
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