Slot machines are the most popular choice among Australian casino players. Did you ever wonder if there was something you could do to increase your odds of winning? Luckily, there is, and that is exactly what we are going to explore in this article.
How to Beat Slot Machines?
Slots are among the most popular casino games in the world. They were invented in the US by the end of the 19th century, and at first, they awarded players with candies and drinks.
In more than a century of their existence, numerous urban legends developed, claiming that there are some kind of ‘strategies’ on how to win at a slot machine. But have you ever heard some of those stories? One of them is that your odds of winning will rise if you move from one machine to another. This and similar fallacies are merely a consequence of people not knowing how modern slot machines actually work. Therefore, in this article, we will explain the mechanisms which run slots, provide you with several useful tips, and bust some of the old myths.
We should make it clear from the very beginning: these tips won’t make every one of you a millionaire. However, they will help you play wisely and increase your odds of winning.
What Are Slots?
Classic slots are those machines which have several reels (usually three to five) with different symbols. Players activate the game by inserting money and pulling the lever on the side (or pressing the button, in modern versions). The reels then start spinning, and the player wins if the same symbols end up aligned across the payline.
Lots of things have changed in the previous hundred years, and slots have progressed from mechanic to electromechanical, and finally, software-based. However, the main principle remained the same — you want the same symbols on a payline. Although, one of the most important changes is that slots now have multiple paylines, sometimes up to 40, and even more. This means you don’t only win when symbols are aligned horizontally in the middle of the screen anymore. Now, paylines have various patterns across the screen, allowing many more opportunities to win.
Additionally, another innovation are video slots, which feature virtual reels, work with buttons rather than levers, and are much more interactive than the classic slots.
However, the most important modern feature is the Random Number Generator (RNG) technology. This is a computer chip generating thousands of random number sequences in a second, and these sequences determine which combination will appear on the reels. You practically pick your combination at the moment you press the “play” button or pull the lever. Therefore, your outcome is determined the moment you press spin, but the game will display the spinning reels all the same because that’s much more fun!
Tips for Maximising Your Odds When Playing Slot Machines
So if you understand how RNG works, you will understand that slot games function purely randomly and solely depend on your luck. There is no skill involved that you can master and become a slot professional, like in video poker. However, here we’ve provided you with some tips which can help maximise your odds of winning.
1. Check the RTP
This is the first thing you should do before you enter a brick-and-mortar casino or sign up online. RTP (Return to Player) is a percentage telling you how much you can expect from a slot machine to pay you back in the long run. Acceptable RTPs range from 92–97%, and if the game has an RTP which is lower than that, we strongly advise not to play it.
So for example, what does 95% RTP mean? This doesn’t mean that if you bet 100 dollars, you will win 95 immediately. It is a statistical number — an average calculated based on thousands, or even tens of thousands of rounds. It means that in that time, you can expect to get back 95% of the entire amount you wagered. In the short term, however, everything can happen.
Do keep in mind that casinos are not obliged to disclose the RTP values of their machines, although many casinos do. Additionally, it is always better to consider playing at online casinos because they usually offer higher RTPs for slots. Moreover, online slots also have more exciting game variety. There, you can choose among different themes and storylines to entertain you even more than with the land-based slots.
Also, keep in mind that higher denomination slots tend to have higher RTPs. So a slot which has a $3 minimum wager will most likely have a better RTP than the one with a $1 bet. This should come as no surprise — the more you give, the more you can expect in return. However, this is a good thing, as long as you are winning, but the situation reverses in case you’re losing. So if you bet on higher denomination slots, you can make bigger wins, but you can also lose more. It’s simple mathematics: it’s better to lose 40 cents on an 86% RTP slot than $3 on a 95% RTP slot.
Therefore, it is essential that you plan your budget carefully and know when to stop.
2. Check Volatility Rates
Put simply, volatility is the hit frequency of a slot game. It is another crucial information you should know about your favourite slot before playing it. Low volatility means that you can expect lower wins, but they will come more often. Conversely, slots with high volatility will bring winning combinations less frequently, but they will award you with larger wins.
And since this is what directly affects your winnings, most of the casinos will mostly try to hide this information. Luckily, you can test slots for volatility yourself. If you don’t manage to hit a winning combination in a considerable number of spins, you are playing a high volatility slot.
3. Find Slots with Juicy Bonuses
There are many bonuses you can get while playing slot games. The offer is, once again, better at online casinos, which often award new customers with welcome bonuses and free spins. Nevertheless, free spins aren’t rare even in brick-and-mortar casinos.
If you get a bonus, you will have the chance to play more, and therefore, your chances to win will grow.
Although, it is one thing to find a juicy bonus and another to find a bonus with reasonable terms. With that in mind, one of the criteria we use to determine whether a bonus has good terms or not is its wagering requirement. The wagering requirement is the number of times you must turn the amount of the bonus over to be able to withdraw the winnings. So it is in your best interest to find a wagering requirement that’s as low as possible. Acceptable WRs range between 25x and 40x, while it would be best to find bonuses with 10x or similarly low WR. Also, keep in mind that it is important whether a WR is 40 times the bonus only or 40 times the bonus and the deposit amounts. The latter will require much more effort to become eligible for withdrawal.
Also, a bonus can be sticky or non-sticky. The difference is that you can never withdraw a sticky bonus as free money — it only allows you to play more. Therefore, it is best if a bonus is non-sticky because you will be able to cash out whatever you have left of it.
4. Search for Progressive Jackpot Slots
Progressive slots are indeed something that attracts most of the players today. The progressive jackpots hit randomly, and their shared prize pool grows with each spin made by players across the whole casino. These amounts can go up to dizzying millions of dollars, and therefore, this is something you should consider before playing. If there are so many slots with a jackpot growing in real time, why play elsewhere?
5. Consult Fellow Players and Play Only at Reliable Casinos
This is not a strategy that increases your odds of winning, but if you consult other people’s experiences with a certain slot or casino, you will spare yourself lots of time, energy, and money. So if someone already had a bad experience, you don’t have to go through the same thing again. However, this doesn’t mean that if someone tells you they didn’t win anything on a particular slot machine you should avoid it — it only means that they weren’t lucky.
But if players tell you that a brick-and-mortar casino has slots with low RTPs, then this is something. Or you might read a report about an online casino featuring pirated software with broken RNG. Each of these can help you stay away from shady places.
Winning at Slots — Common Myths
If you Google, you will find many tips on how to win at slots. But you will soon realise that lots of them are nothing but a part of gamblers’ folklore with a basis in superstition rather than reality.
If you understand the RNG technology which runs contemporary slot machines, you will know that a tip such as moving from one machine to another has no point. You will also know that “loose” slot machines don’t exist, and therefore, there’s no difference between the machines standing at the entrance of a casino and the ones in the corner. Also, you cannot increase your odds of winning by raising stakes or playing more often. It’s impossible to outsmart RNG — it’s a hazardous game, and that’s where its charm comes from.
Anyone experienced in online gaming knows that the only differences between different slot games are their RTP and volatility rates, and nothing else. Knowing this is all you can do to increase your odds. Everything else is purely about luck. And although big winning combinations don’t happen often, the very thought of hitting one gives many players enough adrenaline to keep on playing! And such excitement is what online gambling is all about.