Online Slot Strategies

While a lot of the action from a land-based casino can be mimicked online, one of the few games that exceeds the brick-and-mortar experience is slots. With advances in technology, graphics and gaming, playing online slots often outpaces the old school experience. Online slots offer almost every type of theme and color imaginable, and all of the action is right at your fingertips. You don’t have to make the trek to a land-based shop to take a spin. 

To many, the game is quite simple but there slightly more to it than just sitting and spinning. There are a number of different strategies to keep in mind when you play and we’ve rounded up five of the most important ones to enhance your experience.

Manage Your Bankroll, Manage Your Betting Strategy

One of the first keys to a successful slots strategy is managing your money. While the stars could align and you could hit the jackpot, you could also spin your wheels a little bit, so make sure you set a budget that accounts for both ends of the spectrum. You never want to be in a position where you feel like you can’t afford it. That’ll lead to a lot of frustration and that’s not what online slots are about. Play with an amount of money that you can comfortably spend. That way you’ve set up some boundaries and won’t run yourself into any trouble.

While setting the budget is the first step, you also have to come up with a betting strategy. You might start off with a $100 budget but if you’re going with $20 a spin, that might lead to a short session. The good news is that online slots have a huge variety of bet types ranging from the amount you can bet per spin as well as how many coins you play. That means you can look for games where you’re playing as little as a penny per spin. With $100 to play with, a penny per spin means you’re settling in for an evening of fun.

Of course, you don’t have to be a minimalist. A recommended strategy is playing anywhere from 2-5% of your bankroll per spin. And it’s also recommended to see how things are going and adjust on the fly. For example, if you hit a big win right off the bat, feel free to be bold and bump it up a little bit. And if it’s not your lucky day, you can start off with dollars and quarters per spin, and then drop it down to extend your gaming action.

The bottom line is to do a little bit of math before you get started. Come up with a budget for the session and from there check in to see the full range of betting options the games allow you to play. If you’re conscious of those two factors, you’re in much better financial shape.

Pay Attention to the Paylines

Paylines are arguably the most important aspect of the game because that’s how you win. While old school slots were pretty simple, the new wave of online games are far more elaborate. That makes the games much more entertaining but it also means you have to pay attention to the paylines a little bit more.

In a classic slot, there are just three reels and one payline. It’s pretty simple: line up a winning combination across the center and you win. Those games still exist but what’s really trendy these days are the games with endless paylines. So why do you need to focus on this aspect of the game? There are two reasons.

The first has to do with understanding how you win. If a game has 25 paylines, it’s helpful to know where they are and how you’ll cash in. For example, if you’re playing a game with five reels, you’ll want to know if the winning combinations can only be across the middle or if they can be on the top or bottom, or if diagonals count. What’s exciting about these types of online slots is that there are multiple ways to win. When the colors light up and you’ve won, that’s the sweetest part. That’s why you need to know how many paylines the game has, where they are and how to build a winning spin.

Secondly, you’ll want to understand the paylines for purposes of budgeting. A common mistake made by newbies is that they don’t consider the paylines in terms of the cost. If you’re playing a game with 10 paylines, it can be enticing to bet the max as that’s when those incredible jackpots are in play for you. At the same time, if you’re betting on 10 separate paylines every spin, that’s going to cost you. Can your budget handle that? It’s just something to keep in mind when you’re deciding which game to play.

Get to Know the RTP Percentage

The RTP is an acronym for Return to Player and what you want to know is what percentage the online slot offers. The number tells you how much money is returned to players in the form of winnings. For example, a game with a 95% RTP will pay out $95 for every $100 that’s been played. Some games are lower and some are higher. For many players, one of the key attractions to a game is the RTP with the thinking that the higher RTP, the better. 

One thing to keep in mind about the RTP is that it’s not always going to look like a hard-and-fast formula. If the machine has a 97% RTP, remember that that’s over the long run. You’re not going to see $97 back every single time that $100 is bet. There is an element of randomness but in the long run the machine does stick to the script.

Forget the “Hot” and “Cold” Myth

It’s always fun to people watch around the slot machines of a land-based casino as you end up finding more than a few hunters. While they mosey about like they’re working security at the casino, they’re not on staff. They’re actually doing a completely different type of work: searching for slots that are “hot” or “cold”. In other words, they’re hunting for machines that either recently paid out or ones that haven’t produced in a long time. 

While it’s much harder to see these people in action online, the pursuit is very much in play but allows us to save you the effort: it’s a myth. You should cut this quest out of your online slots (or land-based) strategy because you’re simply wasting your time.

The fact of the matter is that slots function based on a random number generator. The odds of hitting it big on back-to-back spins is just as likely as if the jackpots haven’t paid out in days. Many players are under the impression that a machine might be “due” for a win or is ready to burst at the seams because no lucky player has cashed in for a long time, but that’s just fiction. The wins with online slots don’t work like that and that perception that many players have is not the reality.

Mix in Max Bets

Typically, the biggest draw of online slots are the generous paydays. It’s hard to beat that feeling of euphoria when the reels line up just right and you get rewarded with a huge prize.

Something to note about putting yourself in line to win those precious payouts is that you often will have to bet the maximum coins. Remember, that doesn’t mean you have to bet the maximum that the machine will take but you do have to bet the maximum coins. Let’s dive into this further with an example.

You can bet a $2 coin or you can bet four 50-cent coins, but both strategies are quite different. Even though they both involve you investing $2 for the spin, the results could be dramatically different. Most online slots pay out the same whether you bet one, two, three or more coins. All you’re doing here is changing the multiplier. For example, if you bet one coin then it’s 1x or three coins would be 3x. However, if you bet the max, then usually your multiplier is much higher. Say, for example, the max on a slot might be five coins but usually the multiplier is higher in this case, maybe around 10x or 15x. 

The other important element to note is that most slots will only allow you to hit the jackpot when you’re betting the max. You won’t get access to the random progressive jackpots betting anything less as the big wins are for those who place the big bets.

That means that if you’re looking to hit those life-changing, jaw-dropping payouts, then you’ll have to be betting the max. You don’t have to do it on every spin – keep your budget in mind – but mix it in from time to time to give yourself the opportunity. You never know when it’s going to be your lucky spin.