Is There a Way to Beat Slot Machines?

Man thinking about slot machine

Slot machines are the easiest games to play in the casino. You just need to select the “spin” button and wait for the results.

Given how easy slots are to play, you’d likely be thrilled if you could make consistent profits from them. All you need to do is make spins and rack up profits!

Assuming you’ve played slot machines for any measurable amount of time, though, you know that they’re not usually generous. In fact, you can lose your money rather quickly with these games.

With that being said, is there actually a way to beat slot machines?

The short answer is yes. As you’ll see below, though, this matter is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.

Rare Slots Advantage Play Methods Exist

Everybody knows that you can count cards to beat blackjack. However, not everybody realizes that you can also apply advantage play to slot machines.

Unlike with card counting, slots advantage-play opportunities aren’t widely available. They do exist, though, under rare circumstances. You can see the different ways to beat slots below.

Bonus Accumulator Slot Machines

The vast majority of slots see you trigger bonuses randomly or with scatter symbols. In the latter case, you might land three scatter symbols and trigger free spins.

Bonus accumulator slot machines, on the other hand, see you work towards unlocking a feature. For instance, you might need to land 20 scatters over the course of play to trigger the bonus round.

The difference between a bonus accumulator game and regular slot is the method in unlocking features.

With the former, you build, or accumulate, towards getting a bonus. Normal slot machines, in contrast, award features randomly.

Provided you consistently play accumulator machines when the bonus is about to trigger, then you’ll gain an advantage. By continually finding these opportunities, you will eventually make profits.

Mystery Jackpots

The title of mystery jackpot slot machines is somewhat misleading. There’s no mystery when you unlock these jackpots.

Instead, these machines pay their top prizes at a set amount. For example, a mystery slot may deliver its jackpot at exactly $1,000.

In this case, you’d seek opportunities to win the jackpot when it’s almost near $1k. You could then jump on the machine and win the top prize rather quickly.

You’d simply need to be the player who made the bet that pushed the jackpot to $1k. When consistently taking advantage of this situation, you would rack up serious winnings over time.

Favorable Glitches

Some developers take great care to ensure that their machines don’t glitch. They especially don’t want any glitches going in your favor.

Tips:Every now and then, though, a game won’t be programmed perfectly. If you could spot these instances, then you’d earn a boatload of money.

Such a scenario happened in 2018 with a group of New Jersey online slots players. They discovered a glitch in Ocean Magic where they could keep wild symbols on the reels at all times.

The gamblers exploited this flaw repeatedly and made hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was only after they cashed out most of this money that the online casino cut them off.

You Normally Need Luck to Beat Slot Machines

As can be seen, a few different ways exist to consistently beat slots. However, these methods aren’t common in most land-based and online casinos.

Bonus accumulator and mystery jackpot slot machines are only sparsely available in Las Vegas. Casinos used to offer more of these games, but they quickly found that these machines lead to trouble.

Specifically, “vultures” like hanging around these types of slots and waiting for opportunities. They even try coercing players off of relevant machines when the bonus or jackpot is about to hit.

Casinos realized that the easiest way to eliminate these problems was to get rid of said machines. Nowadays, you’ll only find a smattering of mystery jackpot and bonus accumulator slots across the industry.

As for glitches, slots developers are very good at their jobs. They take many steps to ensure that they’re not releasing faulty games.

Developers don’t want to rip off players and get a bad reputation. Of course, they also don’t want to mis-program games to give gamblers an advantage.

With that said, you’re not going to find many legitimate opportunities at slot machines. Instead, you’ll mainly be relying on luck to win money.

Slots winnings are hard to come by on a consistent basis. Nevertheless, you might get lucky and win a jackpot or series of big payouts.

Tips for Winning More With Slots

You most likely aren’t going to become a slots advantage player. However, you can use some simple tips to boost your odds of winning.

Look for High RTP

Each slot machine is programmed to deliver specific return to player (RTP). The higher the RTP, the more money a game will pay out over time.

Unfortunately, you won’t really know slots RTP in Las Vegas casinos. Land-based developers don’t make the payout percentages publicly available.

You have every opportunity, however, to find RTP for online slots. Most internet developers put the payout percentage in the info section.

You can also run online searches to locate RTP. This method is good for finding the highest-paying online slots.

Consider Volatility

Payout percentages are good long-term figures to consider. Provided you always play slots with high RTP, then you’ll likely win more money over time.

However, volatility plays the biggest factor in short-term winnings. High volatility skews results more one way or the other. You might win far more or less in a given session due to this unpredictability.

Low volatility, on the other hand, makes for more predictable results. You still probably won’t win exactly what the RTP suggests, but you’ll be closer to this mark with a low-volatility game. Therefore, you should consider less-volatile slots if you want a better chance of winning right away.

Take Advantage of Rewards

Almost every casino offers rewards to slots players. You should take whatever steps are necessary to earn these loyalty benefits.

At an online casino, this matter is as simple as completing registration. Once registered, you’ll normally be automatically enrolled in the VIP program.

Of course, you don’t register to play at land-based casinos. Therefore, you’ll need to sign up for the loyalty program before getting the benefits. You can register at either the front desk or online.

Cashback is one of the most common rewards at both online and land-based casinos. The average establishment offers 0.1% cashback on all slots wagers. Depending upon the casino, you can look forward to plenty of other comps, too.

Stick to a Budget

Slot machines feature high volatility compared to the average casino game. Therefore, you may struggle with bankroll management in some sessions.

In this situation, you might be tempted to keep betting money in hopes of winning back losses. Chasing losses, however, is one of the worst things you can do in slots.

A much better approach is to set a budget and stick with it.

You can set these budgets for each session and from an overall perspective.

For example, you might plan to never lose more than $50 in a single session. Your overall bankroll could be worth $500. Once you lose $500, you’ll need to save up more money before playing slots again.

Avoid Feature Buy

Some online slots developers include an option called feature buy (a.k.a. bonus buy). This option lets you pay a certain amount of your stake to automatically trigger the bonus.

A game might, for example, require you to pay 100x your stake. Assuming you’re wagering $1, you’ll need to bet $100 to automatically launch the bonus.

Feature buy seems like a handy option to use if you don’t like waiting on the bonus to trigger naturally. However, it can wreak havoc on your bankroll when you don’t win much from the feature.

Perhaps you’ll consider using this option once in a while at low stakes. I definitely don’t recommend using bonus buy very often or even at all.

Will You Ultimately Make Money With Slot Machines?

The only way to guarantee long-term profits with slots involves using one of the advantage-play methods covered earlier:

  • Bonus accumulator slot machines
  • Mystery jackpot slot machines
  • Glitches that go in your favor

Even at that, you’re not guaranteed to win anything in the short run with these methods. You’ll likely need to play for hours and hours before realizing profits.

The bigger problem is that bonus accumulator machines, mystery jackpot slots, and favorable glitches are rare. Realistically, you won’t become an advantage slots gambler.

The best path towards making more money with slot machines involves following the tips covered above. Here’s a recap of what you can do to improve your odds:

  • Search for games with high RTP.
  • Consider slots with low volatility for more-immediate winnings.
  • Sign up for the rewards program.
  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Don’t use feature buy.


Few slots players realize that slot machines can be beaten. As discussed before, each slots advantage-play method is obscure.

Yes, you can theoretically win money with slot machines. The more likely scenario, however, is that you’ll be relying on luck to win.

This luck can come quicker on slots with high RTP and low volatility. If you really want to win big with slots, though, you might have to settle for the combination of high RTP and low volatility. After all, the most volatile slots usually offer the biggest maximum wins.

In summary, the best approach to beating slot machines is a sensible one. You should follow basic tips, manage your bankroll properly, and hope for a little luck.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.