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How to Win At Slot Machines

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 7 minutes

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a casino knows that they are full of slot machines. Standing on a casino floor, one can hear the buzz of the crowd trying to get their hands on the jackpot.

It is no secret that people love slots, and the fact that they are the most popular casino games in the United States probably won’t surprise you either.

Even though the casino always wins and you can’t expect to make a living by playing slots, it should be noted that there are some strategies regarding slots. Slot machines aren’t entirely random, although it may seem that way when you play one. 

While randomness is heavily involved, there are still specific strategies you can use to improve your chances of winning. We will discuss some of these strategies in detail, so read on.

What I will discuss in this blog:

  1. Free Spins
  2. Manage Your Bankroll
  3. Look for Bonuses
  4. Quit While Your Ahead
  5. No Such Thing as “Hot” Slot Machines
  6. Paytables
  7. Near-Miss Effect

Seek Out Free Spins on Slot Machines

look for machines with free spins

While most slot machines operate in an almost identical way, casinos can be quite different. Some will go the extra mile to attract new customers, especially if they are looking to make a name for themselves in the gambling world. To make money, casinos need a player base, and they sometimes employ very aggressive marketing strategies to attract new players.

These marketing strategies are what you can use to your advantage. Every now and then, a casino will offer free spins to new players, hoping to attract them. This is obviously something every player should be taking advantage of every chance they get.

There are no downsides — you literally have nothing to lose with free spins.

If you’re new to the world of slots, free spins can be an excellent opportunity to learn more about how the games operate. It will cost you nothing to get acquainted with the games.

Start Small and Manage Your Bankroll

At some point, you will have used up the available free spins, and you’ll have to start spending your own money. When that happens, think carefully about your bankroll. This is as true for slots as it is for any other gambling game. 

Hopefully, you’ve learned by now that losing is a huge part of the game. A vast majority of your spins will result in a loss, and you should be prepared for that. 

Being smart about how you manage those losses is the most essential skill you’ll need if you hope to get a positive result in the end. Remember to never bet money you can’t afford to lose. This may sound obvious now, but you’d be surprised to see how easy it is to forget that once your impulses start to take over.

Never try to win your money back aggressively. That is a recipe for disaster and you will most likely go through your bankroll in minutes.

Look for Bonuses Slot Machines

Look out for Bonuses on Slot Machines

As we explained earlier, casinos are always trying to attract new players, as well as retain regular customers. As we already mentioned, one of the best ways to do that is by giving out free spins, but offering bonuses works almost just as well. 

Most casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players, while some come up with holiday-themed gifts and special seasonal events, too. If you happen to come across an offer like this, we suggest making the most of it, since it is more than likely to be time-limited. 

Bonuses differ in terms of what they offer. Some casinos may give you extra cash, matching your deposit up to a certain amount, while others may offer free chips or spins. 

If you decide to receive news about current offers from every casino website you come across, online casinos will bombard your spam folder with promotional offers, which is why we don’t recommend doing this. However, this might be a good idea if you’re looking to be thrifty.

Quit While You’re Ahead

Knowing when to stop playing is an incredibly useful skill when it comes to slots. Winning big on your first spin shouldn’t be an invitation to double down and try to win even more. The machine isn’t there to give you free money — the more you play, the more likely you are to leave empty-handed. 

Sure, as your bankroll grows, you may be able to risk more money, but it’s always best to quit while you’re still in the green.

A good strategy is to have an idea about what kind of payout you’d be satisfied with before you even start playing. Once you get to that number, grab the money and run.

There’s No Such Thing as “Hot” Slot Machines

Dont believe in hot slot machines

You may have heard that a particular machine at a specific casino pays out more than others. Although this would be amazing, it is not likely to be true. 

Just because a few players happened to get a winning run on a particular machine doesn’t mean that success is guaranteed for others as well. The reality is that these things are all random and people are just good at finding patterns in random situations — sometimes too good. 

Every slot machine’s payout will even out over time. If you were to use the same slot machine thousands of times, you could see that. Sometimes you’d win big, sometimes you’d have a “cold” streak, but it would all even out in the end. 

Keep in mind that the game is inherently rigged in favor of the casino, which is why we don’t recommend trying this as you are bound to lose.

Read the Paytables

You might not be aware of the fact that each slot has a guaranteed payout rate. Every machine comes with a unique setup, meaning that each of them follows a different payout structure. If a payout table is available, make sure to familiarize yourself with it. 

If you’re playing online, you will most likely be able to find this information in the Help menu. This may sound like we’re giving you homework when all you want is to have fun, but taking some time to get familiar with the game. If you do you will enhance your chances of success.

In the end, even though it’s all a matter of chance, it’s never a bad idea to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Some slots might have better bonus features or more favorable paytables than others, so don’t let your laziness cost you.

Be Wary of the Near-Miss Effect

slot machines be wary of near miss effect

Anyone who has ever tried gambling knows what we’re talking about. You had a spin and were just one symbol away from hitting the jackpot. By using simple logic, we understand that the next turn has an equal chance of hitting the jackpot as any other. However, the mere fact that we nearly got it makes us believe that we’re close. 

It is important to remember that a near miss on one spin has no effect on how the next one.

Each turn needs to be observed as a separate entity with an equal chance of resulting in a jackpot. As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are very few rules here and the best strategy might be embracing the randomness.

If you want to know more about how slots games work – check out our guide How Slots Work – What is the RNG Mechanic? or read our guide to the most Top 10 Popular Casino Slot Games for 2020.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.