Slots are the ideal type of game for less experienced players as there is no need to memorize any complicated rules or strategies. Players are not required to have gone through any special training in statistics or probability since the outcome of the spins is based primarily on chance. You simply make your bet, click on the Spin button (or pull the lever) and hope the next spin will pay out. Because of this, slots are considered simple, fun and exciting and as such, are among the most sought-after games in landbased and online casinos alike.
Most people play slots because of their high entertainment value. Others spin the reels in hope of potentially hitting a sizeable jackpot. Yet, the question many inexperienced players ask themselves is “Are there any strategies that can be used when playing the slots?”
While there is no strategy or betting system that is proven to work at 100% with slots, there are some factors slot players need to consider at the start of their betting session. Proper understanding of how slots work, adequate bankroll management, and a good amount of discipline can all help increase your profitability when spinning the reels.
Manage Your Bankroll Properly
Something all slot players are recommended to do is set a bankroll for themselves and stick to it when spinning the reels. It is highly recommended to determine the size of your bankroll for the month (the overall amount of money you are comfortable playing with) in advance. Once you have decided on the overall bankroll amount, you need to split this sum into session bankrolls depending on the number of betting sessions you plan for the month.
For instance, if you start with an overall bankroll of $200 and plan ten betting sessions for the month, you will have $20 per session. Players should under no circumstances bet money they cannot afford to lose if they have exhausted their bankroll. To prevent this from happening, we suggest you set a win goal and a loss limit for yourself.
Set Goals and Limits for Yourself
The loss limit experienced slot players recommend amounts to roughly 50% or 60% of the session’s bankroll. Of course, it is all relative, so players should feel free to decide on a different percentage that suits their bankroll. If you find the trends on the slots you play are not working in your favor, you need to call it quits as soon as you reach your loss limit.
A good amount of discipline is required in order to stick to the win goals players have set for themselves. Slot fans need to determine a win goal in advance and end their betting session as soon as they have won that particular amount of money. Even if you feel you have entered a winning streak and should not quit just now, remember it is better to settle for smaller wins than deplete your bankroll if your luck fails you. The recommended win goal for slots is about 60% of the session’s starting bankroll but players can choose another percentage if they wish.
Limit the Duration of Your Betting Session
The longer the time you spend on any given slot, the closer you will get to the game’s built-in house advantage. Please note that typically the length of your betting session should correlate to the session’s bankroll. As a rule of thumb, casino players, slot fans included, should not bet for more than two hours on end. If you continue playing after this period, you will tire out, which on its own will affect your mentality and lead to rash decisions.
At the end of this period, slot players are recommended to take at least half an hour break. If you are spinning the reels at home on your desktop computer, get up and do something else for a change to allow your mind to rest.
With slots, the pace of play is also very important. Hitting the Spin button takes only a split second which is to say players may end up losing a substantial percentage of their bankroll in a few minutes. It would be best to take your time and slow down the pace a little bit. Take short breaks, grab a snack, or chat with fellow players if you are in a landbased venue.
Select Slots with Higher RTP
The games’ Return to Player Percentage (RTP) is of essential importance and should be one of the key things you need to factor in when choosing a slot. The term RTP denotes the average percentage of all wagers the slot is preprogrammed to return to players over time. It also can serve as an indicator as to how much the house edge on a given slot is. For example, if you choose to bet on NetEnt’s Blood Suckers slot where the RTP is 98.00%, the house edge will be roughly 2.00%.
Variance should also be considered. Some slots have high average return percentages but also have high variance, which is to say such games hit less frequently, yet pay out more substantial sums on winning spins. Whether or not you should choose one such game depends solely on your style of play and bankroll size. If your budget is limited, you should go for low-variance slots where there is more action, frequent hits, and smaller payouts, respectively.
Play Slots with Multiple Paylines
The paylines are one of the most important things to consider when choosing which slot to play. This is the number of betting lines players can potentially land winning combinations on. More active paylines means higher chances of landing winning combinations.
The number of paylines is important because it has to do with the overall amount players wager per spin. That is to say, one is required to bet one or more coins of their preferred denomination on all active paylines in order for winning combinations on these lines to pay. It is best to cover as many paylines as possible, even if this means betting one coin per line of a relatively low value.
Less experienced players often deceive themselves into thinking that winning combinations on the betting lines pay on the basis of the overall amount they have wagered per spin. Yet, how much you collect on a winning spin depends on the number of coins you have bet, their value and the number of matching symbols you have landed on the line.
Choose Your Bet Level Carefully
The term “bet level” stands for the number of coins players wager per active payline. Some slots allow players to bet anywhere between one and ten coins per spin. However, the bet level should be adjusted in correlation to the player’s individual bankroll. In other words, players should opt for betting multiple coins per spin only if their bankrolls allow it.
The slot of choice also matters when deciding what bet level to use. On some video slots, players become eligible for the jackpots and bonus rounds only when they wager the maximum number of coins (on all available paylines) per spin. While the bet level does not affect the spins’ outcome, it can help players qualify for huge progressive prizes.
Always Read the Paytable in Advance
You cannot expect to just load a slot game, make a bet and start winning. Gaining knowledge of how this particular slot game works is crucial when selecting which title to bet on. This knowledge can be obtained by carefully reading the slot’s paytable which offers all the information players need to determine whether the game in question suits them or not.
The paytable is where all winning combinations of symbols are listed, alongside the payouts for a specific number of matching symbols. In addition, the paytable explains what the extra features of the slot are, how bonus games and free spins are unlocked, and how special symbols likes the wilds and scatters work.
But this is hardly all. The paytable may serve as an indicator as to what the game’s variance is and this is something casino operators are not willing to share with their players. The higher the maximum payout in a given slot is, the higher its variance will be meaning that winning combinations will be less frequent but will pay better.
Occasionally, the game’s average payback percentage is listed in the paytable as well. If not, players can use the slot’s available coin denominations to determine the payback percentage. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the denominations of the coins in the slot, the better its payback percentage.
Steer Clear of Negative-Progression Betting Systems
Many roulette, craps or blackjack players opt for incorporating progressive systems into their betting patterns. When it comes to slots, things are a bit different and such systems do not always work. The main idea behind progressive betting systems is that by adjusting the size of their bets wisely, players get to eventually balance out the losses they have incurred in the course of a betting session and end on profit.
If you do decide to adopt a betting system, make sure it is one based on a positive betting progression. That is to say, you should increase the size of your bet after you hit a winning combination and bet less after a loss occurs on a given spin(s). With negative betting progressions, it is precisely the opposite since players bet higher amounts after each loss and reduce their bets after a win.
Because of this, it would be best to adopt the reverse approach as positive betting progressions are less steep and thus, less hazardous to your slot budget. Another suitable option is to resort to flat betting until you generate some profit. Start by betting one coin of a lower denomination on the first spins. When you eventually land a lucrative combination on a spin and turn a profit, you can increase the bet on the next spin to the maximum amount allowed. You proceed in the same manner until a loss occurs, at which point you reverse your wager to the minimum again.
Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses and Promotions
Claiming various casino bonuses and participating in ongoing promotions, especially online, is a fantastic way to give your bankroll a nice boost and extend the duration of your betting session. Prior to opening an account at an online casino, always check what promotions are available to slot fans.
On many occasions, newcomers are granted welcome bonuses and a given number of free spins on certain slot games. Existing members are also treated to various ongoing promotional incentives as they get to claim free spins on selected titles from the casino’s slot collection. Such promotions change over time and players are typically required to opt in for them by entering the valid bonus codes for the free spins.
Whatever you do, do not increase the amount of time you spend spinning the reels just to accumulate a greater number of comp points. This approach is counterproductive and may turn out to cost you more money than you can afford to spend. Also, when claiming any given slot bonus, free spins included, make sure you have read the promotion’s terms and conditions down to the very last detail so that you can cover the playthrough and cash out the winnings you have generated with the bonus.
The good news is that in most cases, slots have the highest contribution towards the playthrough and will help you clear the wagering requirements quickly. Generally, slots contribute 100% towards the requirements, which is to say every $100 you have bet when spinning the reels, will clear the same amount from your playthrough. Note that slots with progressive jackpots are usually excluded from promotions and do not count towards the wagering requirements.
To summarize, there is no strategy that is proven to help players to win at slots. The casino always holds an advantage over players so they are recommended to never play with money they cannot afford to spend. With slots, as with all games of chance, playing within your given bankroll is the best advice to follow.
The Double Up Feature and How It Helps the Player
Similarly to video poker, some slots offer a double up feature, also known as a gamble feature. It activates after a winning spin and gives players the choice to either collect their winnings on the last round or try to double them by playing a side game. Said side game plays with a standard card deck and requires spinners to guess the color of a playing card’s suit to double their profits.
Often they can also try to quadruple the winnings by predicting the exact suit of the card. If the player fails, he or she loses the profits from the last winning spin. If they predict correctly, they again have a choice from collecting the doubled/quadrupled profits or gambling them again.
Some slots allow you to double up indefinitely until you eventually reach the game’s doubling limit, while in others, you can do it a limited number of times, usually no more than five or ten. The double up feature itself does not lower the house edge.
What it does, though, is help you to potentially increase your profits from winnings spins at no additional cost because the double up bet itself is devoid of house edge. As such, it is a fair wager, similarly to the odds bet in the dice game craps.
Predicting the color of a playing card is basically like a coin toss because you have 26 red cards and 26 black ones in a single card deck. Neither the house, nor the player has an edge in this case. Both have equal chances with the double up proposition so the double up bet practically pays even money at true odds. If you have 14 credits, you can win 28 on a single gamble, for example.
Not all slots incorporate the feature, but you can find it in games like Vikings Unleashed Megaways by Blueprint Gaming and Scroll of Dead by Play’n GO. In Scroll of Dead, in particular, the player can double up to 5x or a maximum of 2,500 coins.
One logical question that arises is “If the double up bet yields no advantage for the house, then why do casinos offer it in the first place?”. The answer is actually quite simple – software developers incorporate it into their slots simply because some players find it appealing. With that said, the double up feature helps reel spinners in yet another way.
When using the double up option occasionally, spinners play at a more relaxed pace. In turn, they go through fewer spins per hour, which reduces their hourly negative expectation over the long haul. Thus, they expose a smaller portion of their bankroll to the built-in house edge, which helps them preserve their slot budget for longer.
As for whether or not you should use the double up functionality and how often, it all comes down to personal preferences and individual risk tolerance. Your reasons for playing also matter. For instance, if your main objective is to double up your session bankroll or increase it to a specific amount, you can double up either until you achieve your goal or hit the maximum number of double ups the slot allows.
Conversely, if you want to extend your spinning session as long as possible with a given budget, you can double up on low-paying combinations no more than once or twice per win. Above all, you should consider how much money you are comfortable gambling on the turn of a single card.