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When you think of a casino, you probably think of a betting floor covered with rows of slot machines. And there’s a good reason that image comes to mind. While games like poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette have many die-hard fans of their own, nothing tops a slot game when it comes to sheer popularity.
The shiny lights and intriguing buzzers of casino slot machines beckon novice and experienced casino-goers alike, and, if luck is on your side, you can experience large payouts from a winning slot machine. But do you know how to win at slots? Is there a strategy that will usher in a mega fortune? In this guide, we’ll cover a few tips and tricks to optimize your time playing online slots.
Odds of Winning at Slots
While an online slots game can be certainly popular, their popularity isn’t a result of the odds you have of winning a maximum bet. Depending on the slot machine, your odds of a winning combination can be anywhere from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 34,000,000.
That’s a lot of zeros (and not in a place you like to see them)! While odds like that may look scary, it’s worth comparing them to other casino table games. One easy way to do this is by considering return-to-player (RTP) rates. These rates are the payout percentage that show how much of the total wagers are given back to players in real money winnings.
For instance, let’s say that a casino game has an RTP rate of 99%. That means that for every dollar that’s bet, $0.99 will be given back to players in winnings. Only $0.01 will go to the casino. So, what’s the average RTP of slots, and how does that compare to other popular casino table games?
Let’s take a look:
- Slots: 96%
- Video Poker: 99.54%
- Craps: 99.54%
- Blackjack: 99.4%
- Roulette: 99.73%
- Keno: 95%
- Scratch Cards: 95%
While slots don’t have the worst RTP rates, they are also far from the best. However, it’s worth noting that different machines will have different RTP, and in some games, the player’s skill level can increase the odds (for example, using good strategy during blackjack can easily up the RTP to 99% or higher, whereas poor play can result in you never winning).
That said, even though slots don’t offer you the best odds of winning a max bet or the highest RTP, 96% RTP still means there will be a lot of winners receiving a quick hit or big win. By following some basic tips, you can maximize your chances of winning and the amount of fun you have playing. If you’re curious about other casino games, for example, how to win at roulette with the perfect strategy, our resource center can help you boost your chances of winning big at any casino.
Strategy for Playing Online Slots
First things first, there’s no magical way of playing slots that will change the odds of any individual machine. This isn’t a game like poker or blackjack, where individual skill changes your chances of winning. Instead, these slot game tips are about your overall approach. By having a plan, you can increase your chances of reaching your goals each time you play.
#1 Set Your Goals
It’s hard to reach your goals if you don’t have any. The first thing you need to do when creating a slots strategy is to be honest with yourself about why you’re playing. The rest of your strategy will be dependent on your answer to that question.
For instance, if you just want to kill some time and have fun, then strategy doesn’t matter at all. Just pick slots where you won’t lose much of a payback percentage and have fun! On the other end of the spectrum, if a potential slots jackpot is serving as your investment strategy, you should plan accordingly.
Generally, a slot player plays for at least one of these three reasons:
- Complimentary gifts or “comps”
- Take-home money
Then, consider how much money you’re willing to spend on the slots and your cut-off point.
#2 Avoid the Gambler’s Fallacy
Remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe sees the old woman scouting out slot machines that are “due?” The woman watches other players as they keep losing, then she swoops in hitting a mega fortune that they just weren’t patient enough to claim.
It’s a funny scene. It’s also completely wrong.
There’s no such thing as a machine that’s due for a jackpot. This is an example of something called the gambler’s fallacy, where people believe that past results will somehow affect the likelihood of something happening in the future. Let’s look at a very basic example of this in action:
- When you flip a coin, the odds of it landing on heads is 50/50. This means if you flip the coin 10 times, you’ll likely get close to 5 heads and 5 tails.
- You start flipping a coin. The first seven times you flip it, it lands on tails. With that in mind, how likely is it that the next flip will land on heads?
- The gambler’s fallacy makes us think the likelihood for heads must be pretty high, but in reality, it never changes. It’s still a 50/50 chance. By looking at larger sample sizes, it will probably even out, but that doesn’t affect any individual flip. It’s still a 50/50 chance.
So what does this have to do with slots? Slots are controlled by a random number generator. Put simply, when you hit spin, the machine chooses a random number for each slot that determines where it will land. The key word here is random. There’s no cycle and the machine doesn’t take into account when the last winning combination was. Your chances are the same each time you spin.
#3 Choose Game with Higher RTPs
Where you can find advantages for online slots is in choosing the machines themselves. The average RTP we mentioned earlier is across all machines. That means some machines have lower RTP rates, and some have higher rates.
If you’re playing online slots, the RTP rates of different games can generally be found on the manufacturer’s website. As for in-person casinos, most casinos will publish the RTP rates of their machines.
It’s worth noting that high RTP doesn’t necessarily mean better odds of winning. It could also mean a higher average payout percentage when you do win. That leads us to our next point.
#4 Consider Volatility
RTP is one part of the equation, but you should also be thinking about a slot’s volatility. Volatility refers to how often the machine will pay out. Slot machines will fall into one of three volatility categories:
- Low volatility slots – If you just want the thrill of a win, opt for a low volatility slot machine. These machines produce more winners, but the payouts will generally be smaller.
- High volatility slots – If you’re willing to be patient, high volatility machines can result in high payouts. However, you also have a higher likelihood of spending all day staring at a screen that never shows you a favorable result.
- Medium volatility slots – This would be Goldilocks’ choice. You won’t win as often as in low volatility machines or as much as you might with high volatility machines. But for players who want a balance between their odds of winning and their odds of a big payout, these machines may be just right.
#5 Use Your Bonuses
The basic rules of slots are very simple. You spin. If you get a certain combination of results from your spin, you win. But some machines have added different versions of a bonus round to keep things fun and add some element of skill to the game.
Whether a machine has a complex bonus system or is straightforward has no bearing on whether you will win (as we’ve covered, RTP and volatility are much more important predictors of wins). It’s up to you what you choose. But if you do opt for a machine with bonuses, you may as well use them.
Some examples of possible bonuses include:
- Bonus game – This is a game-within-the-game where you get to play without adding more money.
- Free spins – Exactly what it sounds like. You get another spin without having to pay for it. The more free spins you can accrue, the better.
- Wilds – Many games will have wild slots which can substitute for whatever you need them to be. There are also different types of wilds:
- Cascading – Wilds that will disappear once you win any amount.
- Sticky – Wilds that stay in place (or move across your reels) over multiple spins.
- Stacked or expanding – Wilds you can continue to accrue over one reel (or across multiple reels), so you end up with multiple wilds to use over multiple spins.
- Multipliers – Ways to increase your potential payouts in the case of a win.
Bonuses like these don’t really add a skill element to the game itself. Rather, they incentivize you to keep playing. You should only bet what you can afford to lose, but if you have accrued several bonuses, it may not be the time to call it a night.
#6 Know When to Walk Away
Then again, maybe it is time to call it a night. Before you start playing online slots, it’s a good idea to set a limit for yourself. Then stick to it. Some nights you may get lucky, while others may be disappointing.
By setting your limit before you begin playing, you know you’re always playing on your terms, regardless of the outcome.
Enjoy Slots and More with Tipico
Slots are easy and fun games that provide you with chances to win some real money. And by following the above tips, you can give yourself the best possible chances of winning (and keep yourself from losing big).
And for our last tip, we suggest you play your online slots and all other casino games at Tipico Casino. Our online casino has all the games you love, so you can have a fun casino night from the comfort of your own home. And, with our $50 instant site credit offer, you can keep the good times rolling with no added risk.
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