A Guide On How To Win At Slot Machines

September 7, 2021

A Guide On How To Win At Slot Machines


Woman playing slots

We all love the traditional casino games, poker, blackjack, roulette, and so on. However, something that beats all these in the online casino world, and in the on-land casinos, is slots. Playing the slots is easy enough, and everyone likes to have a go on them. However, winning slots, that’s another thing, winning slots requires knowledge and technique, but mostly, luck. 

While a majority of the slots are all down to chance, and sheer luck, you can always use different techniques that will help you win. Using different tips and techniques will help you better understand how the slot machines work, which you are more likely to win with, and how to get the best payouts. 

Today we will talk about how you can understand and win on slot machines.

How Slot Machines Work

How Slot Machines Work

The first step to getting better results with slot machines is to understand how slot machines work. When it comes to anything in gambling, you first need to understand how these games work to have a better chance at winning on them. Slots are very popular, and most of them work in a similar way, be they online or land-based. 

One thing to understand about these machines is that slot machines are entirely down to chance, which means you do not need to memorize any complex strategies, and every player has the same chance of winning. 

All you need to do is spin the reels and hope for the best. 

You need to know how slot machines work in order to win

The biggest point you need to understand about how slots work is that all slots are down to chance- There is little strategy involved. This means that all these theories that you hear that in live casinos, live slots are loaded from money from one or more players, and they are bound to pay it out eventually. This is really not very true, even in older generation slots. They are equipped with RNG, which is a random number generator chip, which generates numbers within a massive spectrum, and it randomly decides on the outcome of any particular spin. 

This means that the final outcome of a spin is decided at the moment that you press the button to spin, and even if you stop the reels or do anything else won’t change it. 

This is something within learning about the way that these machines work that will benefit all players of slot machines. 

We have to note that because of the RNG factor, every player has the same odds of winning. Unlike how many people may believe that it is not quite as random is it really is, thanks to movies and TV shows, showing scenes where one person will try a machine for ages and get nothing and then a new person will take it and suddenly win a massive payout (Looking at you ‘Friends’), however, it does not actually work this way. 

Every player will have an equal likelihood to win a payout. 

So, what is there to learn about using slot machines? 

Pick Your Slot Carefully

Pick Your Slot Carefully

Much like any time you gamble, or go to a casino, you should choose your game carefully. 

This works the same if you go into a land-based, or if you are online. In live casinos this simply means choosing the right machine to play on, whereas if you play online then it simply means choosing the right title. 

If you go online, look at the slot developers’ website, you can notice that every game has a clearly marked RTP percentage, this is not hidden at all. Different games and different game developers will have different RTP’s. 

The truth is simply that a vast majority of players are completely unaware of this, and they will just typically play a game by its looks and how it sounds, thus ignoring the RTP altogether. 

However, you should do things that other way around, ignoring the machine that looks and sounds cool, while instead focusing on the RTP. RTP is the number one thing that you should look at, this is the factor that determines just how much money on average a player will typically lose per each £1 that is wagered. 

If you want to win, then the first step that you need to take is choosing the game that has the highest RTP, doesn’t this can help you to come closer to being more likely to break-even in theory, and it can therefore increase your chances of winning. 

No two slot machines are the same

It is important that you remember that no two machines are the same as each machine has different features e.g. sounds/ themes and so on. As well as the typical ways in which slot machines differ from one another, RTP is very important, so when you look at a machine, always be aware that they may not only differ in what you can see and hear but also in their return-to-player factor. 

As well as this, there are many types of slots as well, classic, video, progressive and so on. Once upon a time, there were only a few types of slot machines available, but since the industry was revolutionized, slots have been developed and there are many new types. 

Classic slots for example will usually have up to 5 paylines and their pay table is very simple. They do not offer massive payouts, and the biggest win is capped at 1,000 bets or fewer. They have high RTP, which makes them ideal. Then there are video slots which have between 5 and hundreds of paylines, as well as bonus games, mini-jackpots, and other options for big wins. This means they are highly volatile and their RTP does not regularly go over 96%. 

Progressive slots feature a progressive jackpot and these are typically fairly standard in video slots, aside from the jackpot. They have an RTP that is often around 94%, although they do offer life-changing jackpots to some lucky players. Finally, we have megaways slots, which is an invention of online casinos, these slots are some of the most fun in existence. They offer huge payouts which are worth tens of thousands of bets, however they are very highly volatile, and these will typically require you to have a giant bankroll. 

There are also some hybrid types, and unique games that don’t really fit into these categories. Simply remember, the RTP is the most important factor in these games. 

Understanding RTP

We have mentioned RTP quite a bit, but let’s talk about it a little more, so that we all have a better understanding of what it means. RTP means ‘Return To Player’ and it describes the amount that a slot will pay back to the players over a large number of spins, which is usually explained in a percentage amount. So, we said progressive slots have an RTP of 94% or thereabouts, this means that for every £100 you play, you would get £96 back. So, RTP basically tells you how much you should expect to lose when you are playing any particular slot game.

This is a number that is calculated over a huge number of spins, often millions. So, over a short session of just a few hundred, or even a few thousand spins, everything and anything could occur. This is why you find them so exciting, is it not? While the idea of a game that could pay back exactly £95 per every 100 spins might be more financially lucrative, it would hardly be quite as fun to play. 

RTP is the result of slots being programmed in a way that gives back a percentage of the total money that has gone into it. How much an RTP a machine is varies, but when we say that a machine has 98% or 95% RTP, we are simply saying that it gives back 98% or 95% of all the money that has gone into it over whatever number of spins it is selected to do so. 

Practice Is Perfect

Practice Is Perfect

‘Practice Makes Perfect’ as the saying goes. And, it is not wrong. While slots are mostly a game of change, experience can always be a weapon wielded in your favour. Understanding how slots work is half the battle, but you can always do one better by practising, much like poker or blackjack lovers will practice their game of choice even though most of the game is up to chance. 

But, how can you practice these games, without spending a ton of money, just to do so? 

Free slots! 

Try free slot machines 

Free slot machines, they give you an opportunity to get to know your games. Of course, you can do these online. It is always a good idea to get in some practice before you go out into the big wide world to gamble hard. Not only are free slot machines great fun, but they give you the experience of that particular game, and help you to understand its quirks. 

We also recommend playing a slot that has bonus rounds and this is a great way to hone in your skills, and get extra experience. Never start playing with the idea in your head that you will soon be a pro and can go and win at the Vegas slots, start small, with free games, and go from there. Doing this can be beneficial in other ways too, letting you not only learn the machine, but also how you can trigger bonus features.

Free games don’t jeopardize your bankroll, and they help you learn. They are like a taster session. These are the slots’ version of a waiter bringing you your wine to taste it before you choose to buy it. Take this opportunity to get in some practice first, a little predicting never hurt anyone. 

Examine the Pay Table

Examine The Pay Table

What is the pay table? We will explain, but just like the RTP, this is something you should always look at before you go spending your cash on these games. 

Each slot machine has its own unique pay table

Every slot machine will have its own and unique pay table. This is something that shows what each symbol is worth, and which symbols are the more lucrative, they will also tell you whether or not a game has wild symbols and scatters.

A pay table is usually accessed online by clicking an icon that is close to the bottom of the game screen, this launches a pop-up window that tells you everything that you need to know about the game that you are playing. 

Most players will simply dive right into playing the slot without checking out the pay table. It helps because it can let you know what symbols you want to cheer for in order to get ultimate enjoyment out of your playing. It lists all the winning combinations, as well as the amount that will be paid out when they land. 

This can also inform you of which symbols are wild, and which are scatter symbols, as well as their functions in main and bonus games. 

As well as all this, the pay table can also tell you what the bonus rounds are, as well as what the minimum and maximum prizes are, if there are any. If you are playing a game that features a progressive jackpot, it will also provide you with all the information on how to play for this. 

So, where can you find the pay table? As we know on online slots, it is at the bottom of the game screen. However, in land-based casinos there is no screen, so where do you look? On some more simple slots, you may find the pay table directly on the game itself, often right above or below the reels.

Yet, on a majority of modern slots, there will be a button- if the machine is modern, it may well have a screen, and you press this button so that the pay table will come up on the screen. This icon is usually in the shape of an ‘i’ much like your typical ‘information’ symbol. If your machine doesn’t have a screen or an ‘i’ button, chances are the information will be displayed directly on the game itself. 

Make sure to look for this before you start playing so that you know exactly what the game has to offer you and so that you know what to look for. 

Play A Game That You Enjoy

Play A Game That You Enjoy

It goes without saying that when you are looking to choose a game to play, you should always choose one that you enjoy. Do not choose a game just for the money you could win by playing it, as it will not always pay out. So, choose a game that you enjoy, so whether you make money from it or not, you are still having fun. 

Players who select a game that they enjoy are likely to win, and this gives players the ability to play slowly and not rush

It is important that you choose to play a slot that you enjoy playing, while you may hope to win the game that you play, if you get bored, you might start making bad choices. We do not mean that everyone automatically makes bad choices when they get bored.

However, if a game is not satisfying to you, there is a higher chance that you will increase the bed to just alleviate the boredom. And this can be a really bad thing you do, as you can just end up losing more money.

It is actually way more likely that you will end up winning if you play a game that you enjoy. Enjoying the game that you play will give you the ability to play the game slowly and not rush things. Furthermore, you are not thinking about the win, instead you are thinking about the game and just having fun. Your mind is not on the money. 

Big wins will typically take a lot longer time to come, so you should ensure that if you do want a win, that you are not just turning your back on it through boredom, this is the other end of the spectrum that has you enjoy playing the game, thus preventing you from quitting through boredom right before that winning spin hits!

More Tips To Win

More Tips To Win

RTP, pay tables, and enjoying the game you are playing are not the only things that can influence your winning at slots. There is so much more to it than that. 

So, we will talk to you about the various other tips you can use when playing slots that will influence the likelihood of you winning. 

Run it up

One of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you if you seek winning at slots, is to try and run up a big win from a small deposit or bet. Start off small, and build from there, don’t go jumping in head first, remember ‘good things come to those who wait.’ 

If you play online, then just make a small deposit, or if you play in live casinos, then just bring a few bills with you. Don’t go crazy. 

When you have a good day on the slots, starting off small can easily turn around into a huge win. Besides, we can all imagine just how much better it feels to get a big win on only a small deposit, then to make a big win when you have spent a tonne of money already. 

Things do not turn around so quickly during a session, and most slot gamblers will likely agree with this. If you start out losing, you will end up desperate to break even, which will result in you losing even more money. 

Yet if you go into the slots with a limited amount of spending cash then you do not stand to lose much, and if you win, you could win a ton if you are lucky! 

Therefore, running it up, by gradually increasing your bets each time you score a decent win, can help you come away with some massive wins and minimal losses. What more could you want? 

Use Bonuses

While this only applies to online casinos- Online casinos will add cash on top of your current balance and increase your chances of winning. For online casinos, this could well be the best method for securing wins at slots. 

Online casino bonuses will add cash on top of your current balance and give you more chances to play more slot machines of your choice. 

This way, you can play higher stakes, and then if you do win, you will win a bigger amount- in theory. Bonuses will come with some restrictions in place, but they are usually okay. 

Each bonus will often come with a wagering requirement that will force you to have to play for some time. But, few players will quit after just a few spins, and so this does not really make all that much of a difference in a majority of cases. 

Basically, a casino bonus will increase your balance, and depending on the wagering requirement in place it can give you a legitimate edge over the casino when it comes to some slot games. 

Sadly, this is only a feature of online casinos, but it is part of what is making online gambling more and more popular these days. The bonuses mean it is easier for you to play for longer without feeling like you are putting too much at risk, in turn increasing the likelihood of a higher pay out. 

Study Variance

A games’ variance can affect a player’s gameplay style and bankroll. The terms ‘variance’, ‘volatility’, and ‘payout frequency’, mean how frequently a slot game pays out and how much it pays when it does. A low variance slot will land wins often, but the payouts are often small. If a game is high volatility then it means that this game offers gigantic jackpots, however the wins are few and far between.

Players can and should use variance to pick a game that both matches their bankroll and their gameplay needs. Players often risk a small bankroll chasing after a huge jackpot, when they would actually have a better chance at winning a decent cash prize on a low or medium variance slot. 

Watch Out For Tricks 

Electronic and online casinos use software to determine which symbol will land on the reels and some players will claim that you can control when jackpots land by studying the spinning eels and identifying the right time to land a payline. Some would say you should study ‘near misses’ to figure when a machine is most likely to pay out. None of these are right because the software determines these things, and the system will choose these the second that you click to spin. 

Even the reels can be controlled, as in the UK, the UK Gambling Commission limits the amount that a player can lose on a slot game by adjusting the animation of the spins in a slot game to just three seconds per spin. 

Do not listen to these bogus tricks, even if someone used it and won, it is all chance remember, and these tricks would give you the illusion that you can control the game, when you in fact lack the expertise that actually will influence the outcome.  

Aim For Smaller Jackpots 

Smaller Jackpots will pay out more often, so these are a good point to play at, especially if your bankroll is not massive. If you want a win, but you are not concerned about chasing after the big payouts, then games that have smaller jackpots are ideal. While the big jackpots are enticing, your chances are not favourable, especially if you do not have the bankroll to match. 

Realistically, it is always a good idea to go for the games with the jackpots that suit your bankroll, rather than reaching for the stars when you only have a few bucks. 

Points To Remember

Points To Remember

Besides all these things, the RTP, pay table, choosing the games you like, practising, understanding bonuses, variance, and running it up, there are a few other things you should think about. 

Slots are a form of gambling, and gambling can always be dangerous. No one wants a bit of fun gambling to become a financial issue, and therefore, understanding how slots work, how to win, and what type of slot game is best suited for you are not the only things that you should consider. 

You should also consider the act of gambling and what situations can make it go from an enjoyable pastime to an addiction real fast. Putting measures in place can keep you in the safe zone where gambling is just some good fun.

Make responsible bets

Whenever you are gambling, your bankroll is all you have got. This is why you need to make sure that you have a reasonable bankroll for the betting level that you are playing at. Modern slots offer a very wide range of betting options. Some slots will allow you to bet hundreds in one spin, but this really is not a wise idea, because, if it doesn’t go well… you just lost hundreds. 

This is why you need to set up your bets in relation to how big your bankroll is. If you only have £100, then do not start playing your slots at £1 per spin, this can quickly result in your losing money, start with a 10p one if you can and work those for a while. As your bankroll increases, so can your bets. 

If you just want to run it up fast, and you do not mind losing, you can also do this. However, if you do lose, do not try and win it back, by adding more money. And with that, onto our next point. 

Gamble responsibly

Always gamble responsibly. The first step to being gambling aware, is to set up your bankroll so that you only have that to spend. If you go to a land-based casino then only take that with you, do not take credit or debit cards with you to avoid the temptation of over-gambling. Never gamble money you do not have to spare. 

Similarly, if you find yourself no longer enjoying the game, then it is time to stop and take a step back. Likewise, if you find yourself starting to focus on the money and desperately yearning for a win and that big jackpot payout, take a step back. 

Playing slots is supposed to be fun and entertaining, the minute it stops being fun or entertaining is a cue to cut back. 

Set a Stop-Loss

Similar to our last points, knowing when to call it a day is also a skill. Slot machines can be great fun, but they can also be dangerous as well. If you are not vigilant, you can easily lose more than intended. 

Setting a stop-loss simply means to know what you want to play with and never exceed that. For land based casinos this means the physical cash you take with you, and for online, you can set a limit. 

Also, never, ever try to win back your losses, as most of the time, it just increases your losses. 


A couple getting the jackpot on the slots machine

Playing the slots can be such great fun, however, they are a game of chance, and like most gambling there is no real cheat sheet on how to win a game of chance, nothing you can do that will guarantee you an instant win. 

That being said, there are things you can do that will increase your chances of winning, or not accumulating excess losses. Understanding the game, and the different types of slots as well as what each type offers is the first step to giving yourself a better chance for a win.