You know that slot machines are a bottomless money pit. I know it. Yet we continue to play them anyway.
Slot machines are fun. And even though the odds are against you winning money in the long run, anything can (and often does) happen in the short term.
Including winning a progressive jackpot.
My biggest complaint about slots isn’t that I lose money. It’s how quickly I lose money. My wife and I have burned through $20-$50 in minutes playing penny slots. It takes the fun out of playing.
So, it got me thinking. What are some tactics that I can try to make my money last longer playing slot machines?
We’re going to play anyway, win or lose. And even if you sink your last $20 into a machine, it can still be fun if the slot is good and you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
The following are a few ideas I’ve tried. Give them a shot and see if you can’t extend your slot sessions a little bit longer without spending more money.
1. Take Your Time
When you gamble, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You’re excited, so you repeatedly smash the spin button for a couple of minutes…and then realize you blew through $20.
So my first tip is an easy one — slow down.
What I suggest you do is take a couple of breaths between each spin. It’s not uncommon to spin the reels more than 500 times per hour, but you can cut this in half (or more) if you take your time.
Think about it. If you bet $0.30 per spin, you’ll spin $150 on the high side. If you take a couple breaths between spins, you’ll cut this down to $75.
Your bankroll will go twice as far. All you’ve got to do is calm down.
I also suggest you avoid the auto-spin feature. The only break your bankroll will get if you use it is when you trigger a bonus feature or win some money.
It’s a great way to blow your bankroll, which is the opposite of what we want to accomplish.
2. Don’t Rush the Machine
What does that mean?
It means that when you trigger a win, you don’t touch the machine. You don’t hit the spin button to speed up how fast the machine pays you out.
Let the machine do its thing, at its own pace.
This can take a little while, especially if you trigger a major win. It can take a couple of minutes for the machine to pay you $50, $100, or $1,000, one penny at a time.
This is a great opportunity to stand and stretch. You can use this time to flag the cocktail waitress down to ask her for a drink.
And if you’re playing from home, you can get up and use the bathroom or grab a snack.
Whatever you do, just let the machine pay you out at its own pace. This will burn up some time, which is time you’re not using to spend more money.
This will help you prolong your slots bankroll.
3. Share a Machine
This is a tip I use frequently when I play slots with my wife.
Every brick-and-mortar casino we’ve been to has had a few machines that seat two or three people. And over the last couple of years, we’ve noticed that casinos are adding more of them.
Here’s what we do.
Instead of splitting $100 between us and playing our own machines (and losing twice as much, just as fast), we share a machine.
We’ve played several fun two-seater slot machines. This includes The Simpsons and Willy Wonka, both from Scientific Games.
This is a great opportunity to save some money or to make your slots bankroll last a little longer.
Another benefit of sharing a slot machine is spending more time with your significant other. My wife and I take turns spinning the reels. This fosters a little competition. If one of us triggers a bonus and wins money, the other wants to try to do the same (or better).
Now, admittedly, these machines are bigger and fancier, and the fancier slots sometimes have worse odds than other slot machines.
However, if you use my first two tips above and share a bankroll, you can more than make up for these poorer odds. Your money will last longer, and you’ll have more fun playing slots games.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can’t use this tip to play slots at online casinos. In fact, I’d argue that you might have more fun compared to playing live.
When you play live, you’re limited to playing slot machines that have bench seating or finding a second chair that you can drag over to the machine.
When you play slots online, you can both play from the couch. And you’ll have a far larger selection of slot machines to choose from.
4. Play on a Free Money Slot Site
I’m sort of cheating with this tip, but I’m including it anyway because it can involve spending real money.
Another thing you can try to prolong your bankroll is to play on a free money slots site.
These sites don’t pay out real money. You play with free (or fake) money instead.
You can still spend real money, though. For a couple of bucks, you can buy hundreds of thousands, millions, or even billions of credits.
You don’t have to. It’s optional.
But you might want to. These sites have incentives such as missions to complete and slot machines to unlock. Accomplish your tasks, and you’ll receive a prize.
When you spend money on these free slot game sites, you’ll usually receive a few perks or power ups that can help you complete your mission.
You can get these perks without spending money, but they’re given to you at random.
The point I want to make here is that playing on a free money site is a great way to make your bankroll last longer when playing slots. $20 will go much further on one of these sites than it will on a real money slots site.
5. Take Advantage of Casino Promotions
Another way to play slots longer on your bankroll is to take advantage of your casino’s promotions. Nearly every casino I’ve been to offers something.
The most common offers you’ll find online include deposit bonuses, free spins, and VIP programs. Here’s a brief explanation of what each of those offers are.
- Deposit Bonus — The casino will match a percentage of your deposit. For example, say you claim a 100% match bonus up to $1,000. You deposit $1,500. The casino will give you $1,000 extra to play with, so you’ll have $2,500 total to play slots with
- Free Spins — These are just like the free spins that you win while playing slots. The difference is that the casino gives them to you as a promotion — you don’t have to win them first
- VIP Program — Most casinos have some kind of casino promotion that awards players for their loyalty. The perks vary but can include cash back, exclusive bonuses, higher limits, and more
All online casino promotions have terms and conditions. Some are better than others. I recommend you know what these are before you claim a bonus. Our reviews explain them in detail.
Brick-and-mortar casinos have promotions too. The most common are comps programs (like VIP programs) and slot tournaments.
The VIP programs for brick-and-mortar casinos are a little different than the ones online. You can win cash back, free spins, and vouchers for rooms, meals, and shows.
Slot tournaments are like poker tournaments. You pay your buy-in and play slots. The goal is to earn the most points possible in the allotted time frame with the credits they give you.
The highest finishers receive a cash prize.
It doesn’t matter which bonus type you go with for playing slots. It’s hard to go wrong when you claim a promotion. You’ll add money to your bankroll, get to play for free, or offset your losses.
However you look at it, whatever deal you claim, promotions will help you get more mileage out of your slots play bankroll.
6. Take Frequent Breaks
I’m suggesting you take a break because any time that you’re not spending money, you’re making your money last longer.
If you play at home, taking a break is a good chance to get out and walk the dog, have a snack, or use the bathroom.
And if you’re playing in a casino, this is a good opportunity to stand up and stretch your legs. You can go eat or grab a drink.
That said, if you’re playing live and want to continue playing your slot machine, I suggest you stand next to it or have a friend hold it for you.
Slot machine players can be vultures. If you’re playing a slot game that others want to play, and the casino only has one or two of them, people will swoop in to take the machine once you stand up.
But maybe that’s a good thing. If you leave the slot machine now with a little money in your pocket, that means you can come back to play later.
This means you made your slots bankroll last a little longer.
7. Play Slots With Features (Like Bonus Rounds)
My seventh tip is to play slots with features, such as bonus rounds and free spins.
I know, free spins aren’t as exciting as bonus rounds. They’re not interactive. You just sit back and watch the reels spin.
The great thing about free slots spins, though, is that you’re going to get 5, 10, 50, 100 or more spins that you didn’t pay for. This can save (or make) you anywhere from a couple bucks to as much as $20 at the lowest limits.
My favorite slot that offers free spins is Invaders from the Planet Moolah. This machine has cascading wilds that help you to trigger the free spin feature. You can trigger as many as 50 free spins in one attempt.
Don’t forget that free slot spins can trigger additional features, such as additional free spins. This means you can get way more than 50 of them.
Free spins can also trigger bonus rounds.
I love bonus rounds because the mini games break up the monotony. Watching the reels spin over and over gets boring. A mini game breaks that up.
The most important aspect of a mini game, though, is that you are continuing to play slot games without spending any more money.
Think about it. You’re still being entertained. You’re having a good time. And you’re not spending any extra money to enjoy those benefits.
This is why I think playing slots with features is one of the best ways to make your money last longer.
8. Play a Lower Denomination
My last tip is to play a slot machine with lower denominations.
For example, if you’re playing $0.25 per line, and there are 30 lines, you’re spending $7.50 per spin. But if you play $0.10 per line instead, you’re now only spending $3 per spin.
You cut your costs by more than half. This should more than double how long you can play on your bankroll.
It’s a simple tip, but I don’t think many people will use it.
A lot of people associate gambling for higher stakes as more fun than playing for lower stakes. Even I’ll admit that playing for higher stakes is more fun. It gives you a chance to win larger sums of money.
However, if your goal is to prolong your gambling bankroll, then sometimes you have to change your perspective and make the logical choice.
Playing slots at a lower denomination is one of the most logical choices you can make.
Obviously, I went to the extreme here. I made it sound as if you’re never going to win money playing slots. You’ll just burn money hand over fist.
That’s not true. You’ll win a little, and this will help you play longer too.
You don’t want to count on it, though. Not when you play a casino game like slots, where the odds are against you. You can lose your money in a matter of minutes.
When I play slots, I know that I’m ultimately going to give my money to the house. I see it as being no different than going to the movies or out to dinner.
And I’m okay with that, so long as I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.
That’s why I use my money-managing slots tips above. There aren’t any guarantees, but in my experience, my bankroll lasts much longer when I use them.
I think they’ll do the same for you.