The gambling industry has grown in popularity every year since its inception, and the internet has only expedited this process. Now, it’s one of the biggest industries when it comes to revenue and market size.
One of the staples of this industry is the slot machine. Slots have consistently been the most played games in any casino, in-person or otherwise. That being said, many will tell you that there is no such thing as a strategy when it comes to slots – only dumb luck.
While online machines are bolstered by random number generators to ensure fairness, and you can’t do anything to boost a game’s winning percentage, there are a few things you can do to boost your odds of winning.
Keep on reading for the top five ways to advance your online play on slots.
Strategy #1 – Choose Your Game Wisely
The first step to advancing your online play on slots is choosing the right game. This will differ depending on if you’re playing competitively or casually.
If you’re choosing a slot to play during a tournament, you may not have a large selection to choose from.
In these cases, look for tournaments that feature games you’re comfortable with and have played in the past. Within these games, you’ll want to look for two key features.
Whether inside or outside of tournament play, the two terms to keep in mind when picking a slot are RTP and variance.
RTP stands for Return to Player and describes the percentage of the payout given to the player. The industry average is around 96%. You’ll want to pick a game or tournament that uses slots with an RTP of 96% or higher.
Variance is also known as “slot volatility” and is described as low, medium, or high. A slot with low variance will pay out more frequently but at lower amounts. Likewise, high volatility slots pay out less frequently but pay well when they do. The right type of variance depends on the type of session you’re having.
If you’re planning on playing for a long period, low variance slots are best. However, if the goal is to win big in a short period of time, a higher variance slot may suit your needs.
A great example of a high variance title is Fishin’ Reels, one of the popular Pragmatic Play slots; this game also has an RTP of 96.5%, which is slightly higher than average.
Strategy #2 – Know Your Game’s Conditions
You’ll also want to fully understand your game’s conditions. Each slot is equipped with a unique paytable and bonus features. The best slots for winning big often have a free spins round.
Some games require you to land a particular combination during your spins, while others rely on pure luck—the more control over the situation, the better. You’ll also want to delineate which paylines are active and whether or not they’re fixed.
A popular bonus rounds feature that you’ll find with online slots is a “gamble” feature that gives you the chance to potentially double your winnings. Using this feature can be risky but can also help you make the most out of even the smallest wager.
Strategy #3 – Use Your Site’s Features
The site that you play on will also contribute significantly to your chances of success. Features including no deposit offers, welcome bonuses, and free plays can allow you to get the hang of a slot before tournament time or even win big.
For tournaments, you’ll want to check out which features the site is offering before signing up. The most common site features active during slot tournaments are re-buys and continues. You’ll want to use all of the bonuses at your disposal.
For casual play, many of the major online casinos will also offer a VIP program. Signing up for these programs can give you free spins or bets. Free spins can be a great source of payout success and also an opportunity to practice before competing.
Strategy #4 – Play Progressives
Although not typically the focal point of slot tournaments, progressive jackpot games are an excellent way to boost your winnings. The concept is simple: the jackpot increases for every player that spins the slot.
The jackpot can increase as a result of a single player or multiple players' play, depending on the game itself.
These are excellent ways to ensure a massive payout (at some point); it's all a matter of timing.
Progressive jackpots are one of the features that help video slots stand out from other casino games like blackjack. A very lucky slot player can land a massive win on any spin of the reels, even when betting the minimum.
Strategy #5 – Set & Maintain Limits
Perhaps the most important strategy on this list is to set and maintain your limits. There’s no quicker way to lose a hoard of hard-earned winnings than by riding past your limits.
It's easy to get carried away when you’re on a winning streak and let that influence how you bet. Make sure to set time, individual wager, and loss limits for any slot session you plan on playing.
Most importantly, hold yourself accountable. Luckily, online casinos will typically allow you to set hard limits on your account to help with this process. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling, make sure to take a step back and seek help.