Top 9 slot machine strategies and tips to maximize your winnings

By Ana-Maria Ciobanu updated:

After analyzing online casino statistics, we have concluded that everyone loves to play slot machines. One of the most common questions amongst slot enthusiasts is “How do you win at slot machines?”

Most beginners tend to share a common trait – they think that winning at slots is easy. However, the truth is that you need to use slot strategies that work to get consistent results.

Because skills can’t modify the winning odds, slot machine winning strategies aren’t as complicated as in blackjack or poker. The truth is that being successful with reel-spinning relies on your understanding of the mechanics of the game and a reliable bankroll management tactic.

Let’s take a look at the top 9 slot strategies to win, tested by our team of gambling experts:

1.    Set a budget and stick to it

Bankroll management is considered one of the most important actions that you can take to improve your performance with slot machines. Before starting to spinn the reels, decide on a budget you’re comfortable to play with, and assume that you can potentially lose it.

One costly mistake that most new players make is that they simply charge their account with a small amount, which runs out immediately, and they keep depositing small sums until they eventually end up spending more than they can afford.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend setting a fixed amount of cash that you want to spend during a gaming session and stick to it. This way, if you’re unlucky and lose everything, you won’t find yourself using the money for utilities.

On the other hand, if you succed to win some money, it’s best to keep at least half of the sum and add it to your budget. By doing this, you will avoid losing everything to the online casino, which is a common beginner mistake.

Tips: Expert gamblers recommend using a separate banking account for gambling expenses. This way, you will be able to manage your budget better and avoid overspending.

2.    Play slot machines with fixed payouts

Even though progressive jackpots might seem attractive at first, winning them occurs very rarely, and the volatility is too high. Thus, we suggest looking for slot machines with fixed maximum payouts and jackpots. Even if the payout potential on fixed slot machines might be lower than progressive slots, they will occur more frequently.

Play slot machines with fixed payouts

Be aware: Most progressive jackpot slots require you to bet a considerable amount to qualify for winning the big prize. However, the chances of winning that high amount are as low as in lottery games.

3.    Choose games from reputable software providers

The online gambling industry is quickly overtaking the market share of land-based casino businesses. However, with so much variety available out there, players find it more challenging to choose a reliable slot machine.

Our suggestion is sticking with slots developed by reputable game providers, such as:

  • NetEnt
  • Microgaming
  • Playtech
  • IGT
  • Betsoft

While we’re not saying that other game providers aren’t as good, we can’t guarantee that their games will be as enjoyable as those created by the software developers mentioned above.

4.    Never use the autoplay feature

Modern online slots offer players the Autoplay option, which practically spins the reels automatically.

slot machine strategies

Apart from taking all the fun away, since you will be simply watching the reels spin by themselves, you won’t be able to make adjustments to the bets while the Autoplay is on. However, some slots allow you to set a stop-loss limit on Autoplay, meaning that the feature will stop once you’ve lost a set amount of money.

5.    Make sure you check the RTP percentage

In case you need a refresher, RTP stands from Return to Player and represents the house advantage of a slot machine. This is a failsafe mechanism that casinos use to ensure that they will be profitable in the long run. Thus, we recommend you always check the RTP percentage of a slot before you start spinning the reels, as it will offer you some insights into whether the game is loose or tight.

Here’s how you can calculate the house edge of a slot machine:

  • Check the Return to Player percentage, which is mentioned in the game’s description;
  • If the slot’s RTP rate is 98%, it means that for every $100 wagered, you should expect to get $98 in return;
  • The house edge can be obtained by subtracting the RTP from 100. In our example, the house edge is 2%.

One of the best slot strategies to win is choosing titles that have the highest RTP percentage. Below, you will find five slots that have a great Return to Player rate:

  • Böb: The Epic Viking Quest For The Sword – 98% RTP;
  • Bloodsuckers – 98% RTP;
  • Joker Strike – 98% RTP;
  • 1429 Uncharted Seas – 98.5% RTP;
  • MegaJoker – 99% RTP.

Be aware: The Return to Player percentage reflects the expected return over extended periods. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to earn $98 every time you play, especially if you’re playing for a short while.

6.    Use bonus codes to extend your playtime

All reputable online casinos have special promotions to incentivize new users to join and keep existing ones entertained. Our suggestion is always to start your gambling journey with a bonus since you will get additional free spins or extra funds, which will allow you to play for an extended period of time.

slot machine with bonus

Our team of gambling specialists is continually researching the best opportunities for players and categorizes them based on what the promotions offer. If you want to kickstart your gambling adventure, make sure you browse around our site and pick a suitable promotion.

Here are the primary types of casino promotions that you will find on our website:

  • No Deposit Promotions (bonus spins or bonus funds)– if you’re not ready to deposit real money, this type of deal will allow you to test a gambling platform;
  • Free Spins – after making a qualifying deposit, you will receive free rounds that can be used to spin the reels on the slot machines mentioned in the bonus description;
  • First Deposit Offers – these promotions are created for new players that are just joining the platform and can consist of either free spins or match promotions;
  • Welcome Packages – this type of deal is dedicated to new members and can be a combination of free spins and match promotions, available for a specific number of deposits;
  • Reload Bonuses – promotions created for existing players, which can be usually be redeemed directly from the gaming platform.

Be advised that most casino promotions come with specific requirements, such as wagering or expiry date. If you want to choose the right bonus, it’s recommended to read the Terms and Conditions before claiming it.

7.    Know when to call it quits

If you’re planning to make a profit from reel spinning, you need a clear mindset. Thus, one of your primary slot strategies to win must be knowing when to stop playing. Our casino experts recommend setting a limit for both losses and winnings. This way, you’ll be protected from spending your entire balance. At the same time, you avoid losing the profits you generated for the house.

slot strategies - let's call it quits.jpg

On top of that, you shouldn’t spend too much time spinning the reels. Here’s the thing – the more time you play, the higher the advantage the casino will have over you.  Our suggestion is to try to spend a maximum of 1-2 hours playing slots, with breaks in between, of course.

8.    Progressively increase your bet value

Professionals use a slots strategy called “prime the pump” betting. In a nutshell, these gamblers assume that the wins will not come right away, so they need to “prepare” the slot for the great payouts by wagering small amounts at first.

The results on slots are entirely random, and the RTP will remain unchanged even if you progressively increase your bets. However, we recommend starting with a smaller stake to test the slot machine and increase your value when you feel like the slot is about to pay.

Even if this is not a guaranteed slot strategy, it will surely save you some money compared to starting big.

9.    Play slowly and never stop the slot machine

One common misconception about slots refers to that fact that if you fast-play your games, you might be able to rig the algorithm and make it pay you more. However, this is impossible since a Random Number Generator determines the outcome.

That’s why we recommend playing slow and taking your time with reel spinning and watching the animation until the end. The math is simple – if you fast play, you will spend your balance twice as fast.

On top of that, you won’t be able to enjoy the session if all you’re doing is spinning the reels like crazy, hoping to get that huge payout. Instead, try to play slowly and enjoy your favourite games for a longer time, with the same amount.

Some casino gurus will say that the secret slot strategy to win is to stop the reels at the right moment by hitting the spin button a second time. However, the truth is that stopping the slot will only backfire and help you lose your money faster. Since you are reducing the slot’s Time of Spin (TOS) from around 10 seconds to less than 3 seconds, you will make three times more spins at the same time.

Fun Fact: While reel stopping is no longer a good slot strategy, this trick worked on the old-school fruit machines, which allowed agile players to stop the reels when they saw a winning combination.

Pros and cons of slot machines

Despite being the most popular casino game in the world, slots aren’t perfect. Below, we will explore the main advantages and disadvantages of playing slot machines:

pros and cons slot strategies

Pros

  • Easy to learn – Getting started with slots doesn’t require preparation, even if you’re entirely new to gambling. That’s because there aren’t many slot machine strategies that can improve your odds, and all you have to do is press Spin.
  • Wide variety of options – The online slots market is continually releasing new titles, so you get to choose a game that you like. However, not all slots are made equal, so make sure you do your research before starting.
  • Betting ranges for all types of players – the great deal about slot machines is that you can adjust the bet value based on your budget. Thus, if you’re a high roller, you can bet $100 per spin, or if you’re on the budget, you can start wagering as low as 10 cents.
  • Impressive payout potential – Slots can pay incredible amounts, especially if you are lucky enough to hit the jackpots. On top of that, getting a combination of 5 identical symbols will also pay you a significant amount of cash.

Cons

  • Luck plays a crucial part in your payouts – The main disadvantage of spinning the reels is that you can only rely on luck since there is no way you can get consistent wins. Thus, if you want to play a game where you can lower the house edge, look for a table game instead.
  • Some players miss the land-based atmosphere – Even though casino providers try to recreate a genuine atmosphere with slots featuring certain sounds and animations, there are players who still don’t feel the same vibe.

What are our closing thoughts?

Slot machine strategies mainly rely on your ability to stick to a budget and don’t spend more than you can afford. To summarize, here are the best solutions to increase your winning odds on slots:

  • Play only high RTP slots(>96%);
  • Look for medium volatility games;
  • Start your journey with a casino bonus with low wagering requirements;
  • Make sure the game has good payouts and high-quality mini-games;
  • Choose a licensed online casino from our site;

Follow the tips mentioned here, and you can make a more informed decision and kickstart your reel spinning session. Always gamble responsibly and reach out to an addiction specialist if you feel like the fun stops.

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