Tips for Playing Online Slots

Slot Machines

You’ve probably seen 1,000 pages providing junk slots tips and advertising systems to beat slots that simply don’t work.

We feel your pain. The truth is, when we first started playing, we came across the exact same “systems.” They never work, and the only party making any money is the one selling you the system, and the only person getting tricked is you.

That’s not the sort of page you’ve landed on today, you’ll be glad to know. Instead, this page will provide you with common sense slots tips that you can use no matter what your bankroll or what type of game you’re playing.

Best of all, all these tips for slots are 100% free! We won’t ask you for a dime. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Slots Tip One - Do Your Research

If you don’t understand the subtle differences between the various slot games online, that’s going to cause you problems.

We know how common it is for players to waste thousands of dollars playing games with low RTPs, zero worthwhile features, and underwhelming jackpots, when all the while they could have been playing world-class slots with fun (lucrative) features and mega jackpots.

Doing your research before picking a slot game is key. You’ll want to know the following, at a minimum:

  • What company created the game? Not all slots software companies are equal. Some are trustworthy, while others aren’t. Some design slick slots with cool features, while others create second-rate games which get old fast. Find out who created the game, and do your research on them.
  • What is the slot RTP? The return to player is the average return a slot pays out (expressed as a percentage) over time. Obviously, a slot with an RTP of 97% is preferable to a slot with an RTP of 92%.
  • What’s the cost per spin? Everyone has a bankroll/budget, and there are endless slots to suit everyone. Make sure you understand the minimum/maximum bet limits before picking a game, or you could end up with empty pockets quickly.
  • What’s the jackpot? There’s a phenomenal difference between a slot with a jackpot of 2,000x and a slot with a jackpot of 10,000x. Of course, a progressive jackpot worth millions is even better. What many players don’t know is that slots with bigger jackpots often don’t cost more per spin to play. So, why play for a smaller jackpot when you can play for larger payouts for the same amount per spin?
  • What features does it offer? Free spins, multipliers, scatter pays, and picking rounds are all extra opportunities to pocket cash. It’s worth searching for slot games with great features. Not only do they make the games more fun to play, but they can line your pockets, too.

You can find most of this information in a game’s paytable and by playing free versions of it. You can also read expert slot reviews to get detailed information on any given game.

Slots Tip Two - Have a Game Plan

Do you know how most slots players lose? It’s due to getting carried away in a haze of greed and excitement or despondency and chasing losses. Neither is healthy and in a way, you could say these emotions lead most players to defeat themselves.

It’s important to approach a slot machine with a strategy or game plan. We all know the machine is controlled by a random number generator and that complex game strategies are unnecessary and ineffective. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy to manage your bankroll.

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You should always go in with “maximum loss amount” in mind and walk away no matter what once you hit it. Likewise, you should go in with a “win limit” amount and walk away when you hit it.

Most players can walk away when they lose their initial bankroll, but it’s far harder to walk away when you’re up 50x and are gunning for 500x. There’s a tendency to almost get high from the winning streak and begin making irrational decisions. It’s this greed and bullishness that will cause you to lose what you’ve won and then some.

If you started with $100 and are up to $5,000, think about calling it quits while you’re ahead. Alternatively, decide you’re willing to risk 10% of what you’ve won to get to the next level, then walk away when you lose that.

Also, never chase losses. When your initial bankroll is gone, live to spin another day.

Slots Tip Three - Take Advantage of Slots Bonuses

Lots of people are opposed to taking advantage in principle, but heck, casinos are more than happy to take our money, so our theory is that we’re taking all we can get our hands on to have even a slight advantage.

How do you do so? By playing on a casino’s need to attract new customers through bonus offers like free spins deals.

Make no mistake about it – a casino will empty your wallet without remorse, so don’t feel bad about signing up at multiple casinos, taking all the free spins offers you can get, and withdrawing what you win.

Here are some pointers to remember when dealing with free spins offers:

  • Shop around. There are hundreds upon hundreds of slots free spins offers online. Not all of them are worth taking. Make sure you’re getting deals with fair terms and conditions.
  • Assess terms. This is related to the above point. Check out the wagering conditions, minimum deposits, and maximum withdrawals of any free spins offer.
  • Go for it. Once you find a free spins offer you like the look of, whether it be a no-deposit free spins offer or welcome bonus spins, bet the maximum value per spin. You want your wins to be as big as possible. Since these spins are free, you can go for broke and take extra risks.

Another hot slots tip that many players overlook is to negotiate! There’s nothing to stop you from taking a proactive approach and contacting the customer service team and negotiating some free spins in return for a deposit. There’s no guarantee you’ll get a deal, but as the old saying goes, If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Slots Tip Four - Test Your Strategy on Free Slots

Now, we said above that most slots systems sold online don’t work. That remains true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try different common-sense strategies within a specific game.

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If a game is highly volatile, that means it will pay out infrequently but will pay out either in clusters or large amounts when it does pop. Therefore, some players prefer to find these types of games, bet small stakes until they have lost five or ten spins in a row, then up the bet size in anticipation of the inevitable payout.

Another easy slots strategy is to bet larger stakes in the knowledge that one win can cancel out all of the losses in a split second. If you’re going to try this one, it’s best to find games with lots of lucrative features, such as 5x or 10x multipliers in a free spins bonus round with expanding wilds or high-value picking games.

Of course, the best way to test the features (and how potentially lucrative they could be) is via free play, too. That’s double the reason to play slots for free!

Slots Tip Five - Try to Have Fun

Remember that no matter what you do, how hard you try, or what schemes you come up with to manipulate slot games, these games are ultimately determined by random number generators.

What does this mean? It means they’ll pay out when they’re mathematically programmed to do so, and not a second before it.

Therefore, the best way to approach video slots is as a fun way to spend some time, and if you win money, all the better!

Never bet what you can’t afford to lose, always know when to walk away before you lose what you’ve won, and try to have fun with the various features and cool extras modern video slots offer.

Take Advantage of Winning Streaks

You’ll often notice that slots wins come in streaks, then vanish for a while, leaving you with a “dry spell.” Some players believe in these streaks so strongly that they increase their bets after any win, capitalizing on the streaks when they do come.

Of course, not every win means a streak is coming up. You’ll experience plenty of single wins, too. However, you only need to hit one or two streaks in a given game for the overall amount you win to cancel out all losses and then some.

Think of it this way – if you lose 100 spins over the course of a game at $1 per spin and then win 10x four times in a row at $10 per spin, are you up money or down money? We’ll let you do the math on that, but this example serves to illustrate what this slot machine strategy is all about.

When you hit a win, bet big in anticipation of a streak. It’s a simple strategy, but it’s effective as long as you can absorb the losses long enough for the inevitable streak to cancel them out.

Take the Conservative Approach

Some people don’t like the idea of maximizing or even significantly increasing bets after a win because they either don’t believe in streaks or they simply have a risk-averse personality. That’s okay, and there’s no “one and only” slot machine strategy.

Another way to play is to minimize your bets by playing for the lowest cost per spin. It’s best to pick a game with lots of ways to win and which is renowned for paying out fairly often (such as Mega Fortune by NetEnt).

The idea behind this strategy is that all the little wins will add up slowly, and the losses will be canceled out by the big wins when they come. After all, if you conserve your capital for long enough, the probability of hitting a big win over 1,000 spins is greater than the probability of hitting a big win on just a few dozen spins, or so the thinking goes.

However, some would argue that from a mathematical point of view, you have an equal chance of winning big on any spin. You’re just as likely to hit the jackpot on the first spin as you are on the 100th, they say, but there’s something intuitively satisfying about this approach. More spins mean more chances to win, and to most of us, that makes sense.

Think of it like scratch cards – if you buy 1,000 of them, do you think you stand a better chance of winning than you do if you buy just 10? That’s the logic here, and conserving your capital for more spins is a popular slots strategy.

Go for Broke from the First Spin

This is the exact opposite of the low-risk slots strategy mentioned above. This is likely to appeal to those of you with a devil-may-care attitude who believe that if a jackpot is written in your destiny, it will come, and if it isn’t, it won’t.

If you’ve been reading around the slots section of this site for a while, you’ll already know that slots outcomes are controlled by a random number generator. A hardware chip or computer program generates numbers at a rate of millions per second, and if a winning number comes up, you win. That could happen just as easily within the first few spins as it could in 200 spins.

This approach aims to maximize big wins by betting the maximum amount per spin, or close to it. Players using this slot strategy believe that it’s better to win one big win rather than lots of smaller wins. They also often do not buy the line of reasoning that the longer you play, the greater your chances of winning.

Again, we’re not going to cast judgment on this popular slot machine strategy. We’re just here to outline the different approaches and let you pick the one(s) which suit your individual style. It must be said, though, that this strategy requires a serious tolerance for risk and/or a large bankroll, to begin with.

How to Pick the Best Slot Games

Of course, effective slot machine strategies are about a lot more than just playing the game itself. Just as a good military commander plans before he goes into battle, so slots players should take the time to research the games and form a game plan before risking real money.

Here are a few tips for picking slots so that you stand a better chance of winning.

Check Out the Game Paytable

Lots of players pick a game and dive right in, then wonder why their bankroll has shrunk significantly or is completely exhausted. If only they had taken the time to look at the game paytable.

You can find out lots of interesting information about a slot game from its paytable, such as the number of paylines it has, the bonus features it offers and how to trigger them, and what the jackpot is.

Why play a slot with no free spins feature and a 2,000x jackpot for $0.50 per spin when you could be playing one with multiple free spins bonus rounds and a far bigger jackpot for the same price?

Noticing what the bonus features are could also help you form ideas about which slot machine strategy to use. For example, if the game has a free spins feature with large multipliers, it is worth considering placing bigger bets in anticipation of that round triggering.

Do you see now why research is a vital part of forming a winning slots strategy? Overlook this point at your peril!

Managing Your Bankroll – Slots Strategy 101

On the battlefield, no ammo means almost certain death, or at least inevitable retreat. In slots, every penny is the equivalent of a bullet, and when you’re out, it’s game over.

Therefore, it’s important to manage your bankroll effectively and make it last as long as possible. You should:

  • Assess how volatile the game is. How often does it pay? Does it pay in clusters? Does it require you to absorb long dry spells followed by a series of wins, or does it pay small amounts fairly often?
  • Control the wannabe high roller within. Greed and getting carried away with your own success are the inner enemies you’ll have to do battle with when playing slots. If you win big and decide to get reckless by betting your entire bankroll on a single big spin, more times than not, the math of slot games will punish you.
  • Pick games with low-denomination spins. If a game is going to cost $0.50 per spin to play, you’re obviously going to run out of capital faster than if it costs $0.10 per spin. This is another example of where research plays a part in winning slots.
  • Have win/loss limits in place beforehand. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional rollercoaster that playing slots takes you on. It’s important to go in with set numbers in mind about how much you’re willing to lose and how much you need to win to walk away.
  • Risk only house money as soon as possible. This will depend a little on luck, but whenever you have a big win, move your initial capital out of your account, if possible. That way, you’re playing with “house money” and really have nothing to lose.

The Only Foolproof Slot Machine Strategy

The only way to avoid losing at slots is not to play slots at all. Of course, there’s no reward without risk, and so by adopting this strategy, you kill off any chance you have of winning, too!

That said, there are other casino games worth playing which often offer better odds than slots. These have a lower house edge than most video slots, and therefore the math dictates that over the long run, you’ll have a better chance of winning them.


Baccarat is a fun card game which you bet on the outcome, rather than actively participate in. If you bet on “banker,” the house edge is 1.06%, although some casinos take a commission on the banker bet.


Blackjack is a card game which is renowned for being one you can get better at over time. If you learn blackjack strategy, you can reduce the house edge to as little as 0.05% – meaning it’s virtually nonexistent in any given game.

Video Poker

This is the only game in the casino in which you can tilt the odds in your favor by using a perfect strategy. It doesn’t work every time you play, but over a long enough timeline, you’ll be able to gain a slight edge over the casino (something in the region of 0.025% in the susceptible variants).

Of course, as with everything, there’s a tradeoff. While these games have a lower house edge than most slots, they don’t offer the massive jackpots, entertaining features and bonus rounds, or sheer variety that slots do.

We wish you luck in whatever game you choose. If you decide to go ahead and play slots, remember the strategies above to increase your chances of winning.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.