Always Check the Return to Player (RTP)
This is by far the most crucial concept to understand I you want to maximise your chances of winning on slot machines. The RTP is the percentage of stake that is paid out in winnings over the lifetime of a slot. This is usually measured over 100,000 or even a million spins. The RTP of most online and indeed land-based casino slots is usually around 94 to 98%. Although the 4% difference between these may not seem like much, it makes a huge difference. There’s really no good reason why you should play any slot with an RTP of less than 96%.
You can find the RTP of 1000s of slots right here on topslotsandgames.com with more being added every day.
Check the Risk/Variance of the Slot
The variance of a slot is the amount by which the pay-outs of a slot machine differ from the expected RTP of the slot. A low variance slot will have frequent pay outs but of relatively small amounts whereas a high variance slot will have fewer winning spins but they will generally be of higher value. High/Low variance can also be described as High/Low Risk.
Before you start playing a slot, it is important to understand what type of win you’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking for a huge win with some spare money you can easily afford to lose or are you looking to play for longer and just slowly build up your winnings?
If you like consistent wins and the possibility of slowly building you your balance then stick with low risk slots.
If you’re going all out for the big win; you should pick slots that are high risk. Be warned though, with high-risk slots, you can often go many spins without any kind of win which can quickly lead to the increasing of stakes. This can dramatically increase your losses on a high-risk slot.
Start with small stakes and low risk slots
This staking strategy will ensure that you avoid losing lots of money but at the same time will take full advantage of a hot streak by rapidly building up your bank.
Deposit an amount that you are comfortable with and start with a low risk but high RTP slot such as Jack Hammer 2. Use a stake per spin of between 1 to 5% of your total bank. If you get a win and are ahead of your initial stake then double up your stake. If you go back down to your initial deposit then decrease your stake again. Once you’ve doubled up your initial deposit, you can either withdraw the winnings and then start again with the initial deposit or increase your stake again and go for the bigger win.
This method gives you a great chance of your initial deposit growing exponentially but at the same time you stay in control of the amount you can lose.
Avoid boring slot machines
Since video slot machines were first introduced the main providers have been in a constant battle to provide the most beautifully presented and feature packed slots. From movies to popular bands and from space to underwater themes and even a weird sub-genre of slots based on bible stories, there is almost no story or idea that the operators won’t explore and put onto spinning reels to try and find a niche.
Many players like to try out different slots, but we do recommend trying them out first to see if you like them. A boring slot, especially if it’s higher risk can still pull you in and there’s a danger that if it’s not holding your interest, rather than switching to a different game, you may be tempted to up your stakes to regain any losses before moving on.
Take advantage of Sign-up Bonuses (but check the t&c's!)
Casinos realise that players are generally loyal especially if they happen to have a big win. Even a if a big win is followed by significant losses then the player will often remain with the same operator in the belief that the big win will come again. It’s for this reason that they’re incredibly keen to get users to sign up with them first and to give them the best opportunity to win some money.
With the majority of sign up bonuses, you will have to wager a significant multiple of the deposit before you are allowed to withdraw. Nevertheless, if you read the terms and conditions carefully and avoid the pitfalls, the sign ups will often take away the bookmaker margin away entirely and allow you to play the slot with a positive expected value.
As a rough rule of thumb if a casino offer has a wagering amount of 40xdeposit or less, then it has a positive expected value. This does not mean that you are guaranteed to win, it just means that if you did enough of the offers you would come out with a small profit.
Play with free play first
Can’t recommend this enough. On the downside, it can be a little frustrating if you hit a big win on free play mode but it’s important to remember that if you had been playing for money at a casino it would have been a completely different random event so you’ve in no way lost anything.
It’s good to try out a slot first as it’s highly beneficial to understand how the bonus rounds work, what the win frequency and payouts are like, and whether the slot is entertaining enough to stop you from getting bored. This can prevent a lot of frustration and disappointment when you play for real. There’s nothing worse than playing a slot and thinking you’ve hit it a big bonus round and then discovering it’s an extremely low-risk slot with very small payouts.
You can try out over 2500 slots right here on our site with absolutely no risk or temptation.
Be wary of jackpot slots
Many casinos use the allure of huge constantly updating rolling jackpots to entice users such as Mega Fortune Dreams, Arabian Nights or Jackpot Giant. These are also often heavily feature in social media advertising. Many of these slots have a fairly decent RTP as well (Mega Fortune Dreams is 86.4%).
Online jackpot slots can be quite misleading. We often see jackpot machines in casinos where the jackpot is available on just the one machine and it can be easy to assume this is the case with the slot you’re playing on. The issue with these slots is that the progressive jackpot is made available over literally hundreds or even thousands of casinos.
The chances of winning are infinitesimally small and what’s more, a small percentage of every spin goes towards the jackpot which actually decreases the RTP for anything other than the biggest win.
Of course, if you have the money to spend and want to go for it then that’s entirely up to you but just be aware your chances of losing are greatly increased,
Be aware of and don't fall for the gambler's fallacy.
The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that previous events influence current probabilities. A good example of this is a player betting on black on roulette after a run of 9 reds. This is particularly dangerous with slot machines as players can be inclined to increase their stake after a long run of dead spins in the mistaken belief that a win is due to come up soon.
It can also persuade a player to stick with a low RTP slot after a couple of wins due to the conviction that it is “lucky” or “currently paying out”.
A long losing run is no indication of an impending winning run.
No slots are lucky or unlucky.
Don't ever gamble under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Just don’t. The loss of inhibitions can lead to bad decision-making and rapidly lead to you losing money or chasing losses that you can’t afford.
To maximise your chances of winning some money, always gamble with a clear mind and solid strategy.
Set a limit of what you can realistically afford to lose and don’t go chasing your losses if you hit this limit. Ideally, if you’re getting close to your stop loss limit, take a break. Even a few minutes away from the games in the middle of a losing run can help you rationalise and re-evaluate your situation and prevent bigger losses.