If you’re seeking the simplest casino game, then slot machines are for you. No real strategy is required when playing slots, and you only need to place money in the machine and press the spin button to start playing.
The game isn’t social at all, with very few slot machines existing where you play as a team or with someone else. Even though they’re quite simple you can still use a few tactics to get the best out of the machine and your overall visit to the casino when playing slots.
I’ve outlined for you below 21 tips which will help you maximize your chance at winning on slots, and also to help you maximize the amount of fun you have while doing so. Slots can provide some great entertainment, with manufacturers now developing highly interactive and graphic intense games which even feature 4D features such as movement, air flow, sound, and graphics.
So, if you want to get the best out of the slots and have a great time doing it, then read on.
1 – Slots are completely random
This is by far the most important tip you need to know when playing slots. The machines are completely random and no previous events have any impact on what will happen next.
They’re just designed this way. So if you get advice from someone that you should take a seat at a certain machine that hasn’t paid out in a while because it’s due to pay out, then just ignore it. You should always play on the machines that provide you with the most enjoyment and are within your bankroll to play.
2 – Progressive jackpot machines are sometimes good for players
Depending on the jackpot amount, sometimes it’s a great idea to play on a slot that’s tied to a progressive jackpot.
Although the payouts will be less for smaller prizes, if you hit the progressive jackpot you can win millions of dollars. If you want that dream payout and that’s why you’re playing the slots then consider playing one with a progressive jackpot.
The payout rate improves as the top prize gets larger, so make sure you take a seat and play when it’s already quite big. Remember, the fact that it’s big doesn’t mean it’s likely to pay out soon, as I outlined in the first tip.
3 – Progressive jackpot slots are sometimes bad for players
As I slightly touched on above, sometimes progressive machines aren’t that great for you.
This is usually the case when the jackpot has been recently won and therefore it’s back to being quite low. What you also need to be aware of is that on these slots a small amount from what you bet on a spin is automatically taken and added to the jackpot.
So you aren’t maximizing the amount you could be winning from hitting a standard win on the slot in question. While this isn’t such a bad thing if you’re hoping to hit the jackpot and overcome the almost insurmountable odds to do so; it does mean for the everyday player who just wants to play that particular slot they’ll be donating some of their money to the progressive jackpot with no return.
4 – Spend some time reviewing the pay table
Each machine has an associated pay table that will outline to you what it takes to win. The table will show each of the machines symbols and provide advice on how many of these you need in a line to achieve a win.
Symbols have different values, from the most common ones to the rare ones, and then the more symbols you get on a pay line the more you win.
Some machines will pay out more than others in respect to these symbols, so it’s good to know in advance before you start spinning what it takes to get a win. This will solve a lot of heart ache later if it appears that you’ve won but you don’t. Keep in mind that the pay tables aren’t a true reflection of what the payout rate will be on a machine.
5 – Study the bonus rounds
On video slots, the most entertaining part of playing is when you hit a bonus feature. These will give you the opportunity to win big, although sometimes you won’t win much at all.
Bonus features usually result in free spins or offer bonus cash prizes. Each machine is different when it comes to hitting the bonus so make sure you check out the pay table to see what’s required to get into the round.
Some will be easier than others to hit, and usually the easier they are the less they pay out. Some slots even have two or three types of bonus rounds.
One thing to keep in mind is that bonus rounds will pay out according to how much you bet on the previous spin. Keeping this in mind, the next tip will focus on how many coins to bet per spin.
6 – Always bet max coins and lines
Slot machines are funny because unlike some other casino games where the amount you bet doesn’t really matter to your chances, in slots it’s critically important.
Most, if not all slots, have a better payout rate when you bet maximum coins on all the lines. This is because this will activate all possible bonuses, features, and jackpots that are associated with a particular game.
Because of this, you’re better off spinning a slot once at a maximum bet of $5 than spinning it five times at $1 and not having all lines or maximum bet value activated.
While from an entertainment perspective one spin isn’t as great as five, you’ll do better in the long run by max betting. If you don’t have the bankroll to support this type of bet, drop down to lower denomination on the machine you’re playing on, or if this isn’t possible find a machine with a lower denomination.
7 – Get to know what lines and ways are
I would strongly recommend that you do some reading on what lines and ways are in respect to slots.
Basically, a line is a route across the slot face which identifies where you’ll receive a win if you get the right combination of symbols as per the pay table. The more lines you play, and on some slots there can be a lot, the more likely you are to win.
A ways machine is a bit different as usually you won’t choose how many ways there are to win, you’ll just choose a wager amount. On the ways slots you will usually find 243 ways to win from both left to right and right to left across the slot face.
For lines, you can usually only win from left to right, unless a slot specifically says you can win both ways on the information screen. To find out about ways and line, just click the information button on the machine, or look just below the pay table and it will all be displayed for you.
8 – Try a play money slot machine first
If you’re planning on playing a specific slot machine you can almost always find an online version which is free to play.
This is true for both slots you find in live casinos and those you find at online casinos. If you try the slot first you’ll be able to find out if you like the game, see what the bonus feature is like, and get a general idea on what you’re trying to achieve when you play for real.
This is a great way to get to know which slots you’ll prefer playing when you arrive at the casino. Once you’re at the casino it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find any free play money slots, so keep this in mind and try to do it online before you leave your home.
9 – Keep an eye out for slot promotions
Quite often casinos will run slot promotions which give you access to some great prizes and bonuses when you’re playing. It’s always worthwhile keeping an eye out for these as they will allow you to push your dollars that little bit further, which is essential when it comes to playing slots.
Often online casinos will have some very generous promotions so make sure you check out their promotional page before you start playing. A little bit of time in reconnaissance initially could make you some serious cash in the long run.
10 – Sign up to the casino slot club
Slot clubs are a great way to get some rewards and bonuses for all that play that you put through slot machines.
In return for some personal details and the tracking of your play, the casino will give you comp points which can be exchanged for free play credits, cash, free food, and drinks, and much more.
Make sure you sign up to the slot club before you start playing and be sure to put the card in the machine before you put cash in and start spinning. Slot clubs will also give you access to extra promotions and tournaments, so it’s just a no-brainer to sign up to these at every single casino that you plan on playing slots at.
11 – Ask about welcome and sign up bonuses
Whenever you first start playing a slot machine, or any casino game for that matter, you should ask about welcome and sign up bonuses.
This can be done when getting your players card in a live casino, and when you’re creating an account at an online casino. Pretty much every single casino will have some kind of bonus available to new players, whether it is some extra cash based on your initial deposit at an online casino, or some free play credits at a live casino.
It doesn’t hurt to ask the question or do a little bit of searching online for a promotional code so that you can get some extra cash to play with. This is another no brainer so please take a little bit of time to do this before you start spinning.
12 – Play at casinos with the best pay out rate
In some states it’s a requirement by law that casinos print and release the payout rate of their slot machines. If you’re playing in a state where this is the case you should always review this information and use it to decide which casino to play at.
Some of this information can be found online and a quick search will show you everything you need to know. If you’re playing slots in a state where casinos aren’t required to report, call before you travel to check for any available information.
Some will publish this information as part of their advertising and marketing efforts and some will simply tell you as they have nothing to hide. I always seek out the best casinos to play in as this will give me the best possible chance of getting lucky and having a win.
Thankfully in the gambling mecca, Las Vegas, casinos are required to publish this information and you can find all of this online.
13 – Accept the fact you’ll never win at slots
This isn’t so much a tip; more just a sad truth. Unfortunately, no matter what you do you’ll never be able to win at the slots.
Although someone could theoretically win a progressive jackpot and never play again and they’d be a winner; for most of us this just won’t happen and you’ll slowly lose over time. You’ll have winning sessions, losing sessions, and those sessions where you just break even, but on a long enough time line you’ll always end up down.
I like to think about these things logically; if a casino is a business that is looking to make money, why would they risk this by placing slots on the floor that would allow players to win? That doesn’t make any sense at all and if casinos were to do this they’d be out of business very quickly.
Although this is sad, never fear! The next tip outlines why this doesn’t have to be such a bad thing.
14 – Make sure you have fun!
Although I’ve provided you with some great tips here on how to increase your chances of winning and how to play slots in the best possible way, the most important thing is that you’re having fun while you play.
I always play slots for fun, whether it’s to have a few free drinks while I play Wheel of Fortune slots in Vegas with my friends, or just to pass 30 minutes while I’m waiting for my poker tournament to start, it’s always about fun.
It’s not about making money, and if it ever becomes this for you I’d strongly recommend you walk away. That’s not a good path to go down. Remember, spending some money on some slots and getting a few hours’ worth of entertainment is well worth it, and if you get lucky while doing so it’s even better.
15 – Don’t convince yourself you have a lucky game
Pretty much every single person I’ve ever spoken to about slots will go out of their way to tell me about their favorite game. About 99 times out of 100 this game isn’t their favorite because they like the theme, graphics, gameplay or sounds; it’s their favorite because they claim that they always win on this type of slot and that it’s lucky for them.
While this isn’t such a bad thing I guess, it’s completely untrue and it’s simply not possible that you could have a lucky machine that you always win on. Remember earlier when I wrote about the randomness of slots and how you can never win? Well this is the case for every type of game, and it can be dangerous to treat a game like it will always pay out for you.
This is because you’ll quite often wager more on this slot in order to achieve that ever elusive win. I’ve seen it happen all too often; so just be careful and don’t fool yourself into thinking a machine will always pay out for you. You’re far better off choosing a favorite game because of the factors we listed earlier. These things include the theme, graphics, general gameplay, and / or sound effects.
16 – Play slowly
Slots are designed to be played very quickly as this will result in the biggest possible intake for the casino that houses it.
Because of this you should take your time in playing slots and don’t continuously spin immediately after the preceding spin finishes. Take some time and analyze the slot face and see how you won, or how you missed out on this occasion.
This way you’ll get more time out of the game and won’t burn through your cash so quickly. It also makes the slot a lot more fun as you can become more intimate with the game in question and how it works.
17 – Don’t auto stop the reels
As a follow up on from the tip I provided above, I’d strongly recommend against automatically stopping the reels once you’ve started a spin.
Basically what this means is you hit spin which starts the reels, then you click it again straight away which automatically stops them to see the result. Usually a slot spin will last at least a few seconds, unless you auto stop the reels, in which case it will only last a few milliseconds.
This will speed up the game even more, which isn’t a good thing as I outlined for you in the tip above. So take your time and allow the reels to spin out themselves. This way the game will be much more enjoyable as it’s about the process rather than the result.
18 – Change it up with some video poker
If you’re new to slots and really enjoy them, I’d suggest changing it up once in a while and playing some video poker. Although some decision making and strategy is required in video poker it’s a much better game for you to play from a payout rate perspective when compared to slots.
It’ll also give you a bit of variety, which is always a good thing. The best video poker game to start on is Jacks or Better, which is the easiest to learn and play.
Video poker strategy is quite simple and will only take few play money sessions to learn online. So if you’re trying out slots for the first time make sure you head on over to a video poker terminal as well and give that a shot.
You just might find you make more money, or lose less money, and have a lot of fun while doing so.
19 – Try to avoid slots in popular areas of the casino
Casinos are quite smart in respect to where they place things on the casino floor. With this in mind, it might be worthwhile avoiding the slot machines that are in the most popular area of the casino.
This is because it’s likely that the casino put these slots in those areas because they make the most money of them, which in turn means you’ll lose more money on these slots.
They’ll also place more popular slots in these locations to draw people into playing, so it’s a careful mix of the two. I think it’s best just to avoid these ones altogether, and seek out your favorite game deeper in to the casino where you’ll probably get more privacy, peace and quiet while you play.
Not to mention probably better cocktail service as well. It goes without saying, but I’ll mention it anyway; that this doesn’t really apply to online casinos.
20 – Skip those slots at the airport
When you visit Las Vegas, it’s never a good idea to play at the slots at the airport.
While it might be a tradition to chuck a dollar in the Wheel of Fortune slot when you first arrive or depart, I’d suggest that you don’t make a habit out of playing longer sessions on these slots.
This goes for any other airports in the United States or across the world that offer slots also. The simple fact is that these slots have the worst pay out rates that you could possibly find.
This is because the slot owners and operators know the motivations behind those who would play on these machines. Firstly, we provided one above about tradition and secondly, many people will jump on these slots to try and win back all their losses from their trip.
Because of this the operators know they can bump down the payout rate as people will play no matter what. On top of these reasons, the rent for the slot owners and operators will be much higher in the airport when compared to other locations, so they need to pay out less so they make enough money to be able to squeeze out a profit while covering their overheads.
21 – Video slots pay out less than classic slots
Those fancy video slots with vibrating seats, huge video cut scenes, and amazing graphics cost a lot of money to make and run. Therefore they pay out less so casinos can make the same profit on these while covering their costs to run them.
So if you’re looking for a slot to play consider playing on a traditional slot that has actual weighted reels and moving parts. These will generally pay out at a higher rate than their video counterparts because they’re cheaper to run.
They won’t provide as much entertainment as the video slots, but you’ll feel quite nostalgic like you’re playing something that is traditional and has that old Vegas style about it.
This can be worth it alone when compared to a Britney Spears or Elton John machine. I’m by no means saying you should only play classic slots; just that across the board they’ll pay out more and be cheaper to play compared to a video slot.
Use these 21 slot machine tips for beginners to have a better chance to win the next time you play slots. Even if you just use one or two of the tips it can make a big difference in your results and playing time.