Play for Fun and Not to Win
It is truly important that you always remember that slots are games of pure chance. There is no skill involved whatsoever and the machines are completely random. This means that what has happened before will have no impact on what happens next.
Sometimes you will hear people talking about their lucky game. They will claim that they always win when playing that particular slot. While this is a nice idea, it is most likely to be absolute rubbish. While it is theoretically possible for a player to have consistent success at one slot, statistically it is highly unlikely.
Furthermore, at land casinos you will often hear people talking about machines that are due to payout big. This is also rubbish and is not a system that can be relied upon in any way. Rather, you should simply choose a machine based upon how much fun you will have playing it and ensure that you always stick to your budget.
It is best to approach slots with an attitude of having fun rather than trying to win. While you will occasionally hit some big payouts and the very lucky players may even win huge progressive jackpots, ultimately, it is very hard to win at slots. In the long run, you will have sessions where you win and session where you lose, and ultimately, over the course of years, you are likely to end up down on money, but not necessarily by very much.
That is why it can’t be stressed enough that if you are not having fun, then you are playing the wrong game. Slots can be a huge amount of fun. Modern games are packed with exciting graphics, animations and features that are truly engaging and make the entire experience truly enjoyable. Of course, you will never stop hoping to win, and there is no denying that this is a large part of the experience. However, your primary focus should be on having a good time while staying within your budget.
Approach Progressive Jackpot Slots with Care
Progressive jackpot slots can be hugely enticing games, especially the ones that offer truly life-changing amounts. However, they should be approached with care. To begin with, progressive jackpot slots often offer smaller regular payouts than other games do, which means that they can eat through your bankroll if you are not careful. Furthermore, people sometimes fall into the trap of looking for patterns in the way that the jackpot pays out when it will actually be completely random.
On the other hand, with proper bankroll management, they can be extremely enjoyable. They allow us to dream of hitting a payout of millions and some lucky players really will hit the huge jackpots and find themselves instant millionaires. In other words, like with all forms of gambling, make sure that you are having fun, playing within your budget, and are fully aware of what experience the game is offering.
Study the Games Carefully
Far too many people make the mistake of diving straight into a game without first taking the time to review just what it has to offer. Slot rules and paytables can be a little confusing to begin with, but it is essential that you take the time to understand them.
To begin with, the paytable will show you all of the different symbols in the game and the different payouts that they offer. Furthermore, it will also show you all the bonus symbols and explain how they work.
In fact, the paytables will also explain all of the slots bonus features, and these are often where the biggest wins come from. Before you play a slot, you should know if it offers free spins and if so, how those spins are won. You will also want to know about any other bonus features it may offer, such as wild symbols, expanding symbols, payout multipliers, picking games, and so on. You also need to ensure that you are qualifying for any bonus features that are on offer. In some games, there may be a minimum bet to qualify for the bonuses, and you do not want to miss out on these.
Paytables will also display information about a slot’s paylines and winning ways. It is important that you understand these, as they are the key to understanding how a win is awarded. You should have an idea of where the paylines are on the game that you are playing and if they work from left to right, right to left, or both.
In short, take the time to study the paytable carefully so that you know exactly how a game works and what it has to offer.
Maximise Paylines and Credits
Some slots have a fixed number of paylines while others require you to select how many you want active. In a game where you can set the paylines, it is always worth playing with the maximum number of paylines, even if that means reducing the amount you bet on each payline. For example, if a game has 25 paylines and you can afford €1 per spin, it is better to bet €0.04 on each payline than €1 on just one payline.
Similarly, in land casinos it is common to find games that offer better payouts when the maximum number of coins are bet on all the lines, as it will activate all the possible bonuses and features that the game has. Therefore, you should reduce your coin size as necessary in order to place the maximum bet. It may mean looking for a slot machine with a lower denomination, but in the long run, it will be worth it.
It is possible to spin a slot machine hundreds or even thousands of times an hour and it is important to be aware of your rate of play. It is easy to get lost in the action and burn through your bankroll in hardly any time at all.
Therefore, you should try to give yourself a little breathing space between each spin and reduce your rate of play. Take some time to look at the reels after a spin, see what paylines you won on or look for near misses. It will help you become more familiar with the game and prevent you from playing too quickly.
Similarly, it is a good idea to avoid using auto play functionality and to stay away from turbo mode. Both of these will make the games even faster and you may find that after just a few minutes you have run out of money and need to end your session far earlier than expected.
Another type of feature that should be avoided are those that allow you to stop the reels once the spin has started. Because of the way that slots work, it will have no impact on your chances of winning. All it will do is make the spin time even shorter and speed up your rate of play.
While the fast rate of play can be very exciting, try not to become carried away so that you can make your bankroll last longer and keep playing for longer.
Examine RTPs and Pay Out Rates
When playing at an online casino you will nearly always be able to look up a slot’s RTP. In fact, if you can’t then you should almost certainly stay away from that casino and that particular slot.
RTP stands for Return to Player and it is the percentage of money bet on a slot machine that is returned to players over time. For example, a slot with an RTP of 95% will return €95 of every €100 bet on it to players. This means that the higher the RTP, the better for players. However, it is important to remember that the RTP is calculated over a vast number of spin, so you should never assume that you will win that much money back. On the other hand, some players will win more than 100% of what they bet, and this is part of what makes the games exciting.
When you are in a land casino, it is often safe to assume that video slots pay out less than classic slots. This is simply because video slots are more expensive to make and run, so the payouts are reduced in order to cover the running costs. While not all players will find classic slots as exciting, you may find that you win a bit more, and they can certainly provide an enjoyable experience.
Similarly, just as you can look up the RTPs of online slots, at many land casinos you are able to request the payout rate of all the slot machines in the casino. You will also be able to look it up online. Not all casinos will be required to provide this information on demand, it depends on the local laws, but it is always worth looking into. That way, when you come to choosing a slot on a casino floor, you can aim for those with the highest payout rates. If you are ever in Las Vegas, then you can certainly request this information.
A similar concept that is too often overlooked is slot volatility, sometimes referred to as variance. The volatility of a slot machine is a measure of the risk involved. Low volatility slots tend to award small wins very regularly while high volatility slots award larger wins less frequently (and medium volatility slots are in the middle). If you are playing a high volatility game then you will need to be patient and ensure you have a large enough bankroll to keep playing for longer.
See if You Can Play for Free
Whether you are playing online or at a land casino, very often it is possible to play a game for free before you risk your money on it. It is nearly always possible to find free play online versions of slot machines and this will give you an idea of whether it is a game that you will enjoy. This is true for both online slots and slots you find at land casinos.
Before you visit a land casino, you should be able to look up what slots it offers and then try them out online. This way, when you arrive there you can go straight for the games that you know you will enjoy and not waste any of your time or money on the others.
Look for Good Value Promotions
Many casinos, both online and offline, run promotions related to slot machines. You may have the chance to qualify for some free spins or receive some bonus money to use on slots. These can be a great way of making your money go a bit further and give you the chance to play for longer.
Similarly, a number of land casinos run slot clubs while online casinos may have loyalty schemes. The casino will track how much you are playing and reward you with comp points that can be exchanged for free play credits online and at land casinos you may also qualify for free food and drink, or even free accommodation in the casino hotel. As such, it is always worth looking into these clubs and remembering to enter your card in the machine when at land casinos. They will give you access to even more promotions and tournaments, which very often offer some truly exciting prizes.
In fact, when you join a casino, both online and offline, you should be asking about welcome and sign up bonuses. Nearly every casino will offer some kind of welcome bonus, which may be in the form of free spins, bonus money, or even no deposit bonuses or free play credits. It won’t be hard to come across this information, so be sure to take the time to look into it before you start playing.
Consider Slot Machine Placement
This tip only applies when you are playing at a land casino. Casinos consider the placement of their slot machines very carefully and as a result, it may be worth avoiding the machines in the most popular areas of the casino. This is because the casino has likely placed the machines that make them the most money in the most popular areas, which means that you will lose more money on those machines.
This isn’t always true and very often the machines will be placed there simply because they are crowd pleasers and will draw people into playing. However, there is no harm in avoiding them, unless the specific game that you want to play can only be found in that area. Take some time to explore the full casino floor and the machines in the quieter areas. As an added bonus, you may find you get better cocktail service in the casino’s quieter areas.
Incidentally, if you are going on a trip to Las Vegas then it is never worth playing the slot machines found at the airport. While there is a tradition of betting a quick dollar on the Wheel of Fortune slot upon arrival or departure, it is not a good idea to play a long session on those machines (or the machines at any other airports). As a general rule, airport slot machines have the worst payout rates that you will find anywhere. This is because the operators know that some people will turn to them out of boredom and simply waste a lot of money on them and other people may be tempted to use them to try to win back money they have lost on the trip. As a result, they know people will not be as fussy about payout rates and happy to play whatever games are available. Furthermore, the airports often charge high rental fees for the space, so the operators need to make enough money to profit from them.
Once Again, Have Fun
It can’t be stressed enough that playing slot machines should be about having fun. Select games that you find entertaining and only bet what you can afford to lose. By budgeting carefully, you should be able to have hours of fun playing your favourite games and with a bit of luck you may be one of the lucky players to hit a really big win.