Casinos for You
Learn about the types of slot machines, why they’re popular, and the strategies that will help you maximize your chances of winning them.
One of the most popular forms of gambling is slot machines. Part of what makes slots so popular is that everyone has the same chance of winning. The machines are designed to come up with random combinations every time they’re played, so there’s no real way to control the outcome of a spin. For every spin, a complete novice has the same chance of hitting a jackpot as a seasoned bettor.
However, not every slot machine is created equal. There’s a wide array of slot machines with varying odds and payouts. To give yourself the best chance of conquering them, you’ll have to know what the best machines are, where to find them, and how to play them to win.
What Is the Appeal of Slot Machines?
On average, slot machines don’t have a great percentage return to player (% RTP). A game’s RTP is the amount of money a player can expect to get back from the casino out of every $100 spent. If a machine has an RTP of 90%, the player will usually lose $10 of every $100 spent to the casino.
Online slot machines have RTPs of around 92% to 97%. However, land-based slot machines have RTPs rarely above 80%. Compare that to blackjack tables, where players can enjoy an RTP as high as 99.6%. There are even rare video poker machines (full-payout deuces wild machines) that have RTPs over 100%, which means players are more likely to win than lose.
When it comes to slot machines, you’ll lose your money at a much faster rate than you would playing many other games, and you’ll have a lower chance of winning. So, why would anyone want to play slots? There are a few reasons.
Slots Are Easy
While some games, like poker, require complicated strategies to win, it doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge to hit a big payout on a slot machine. Slot machines are good, brainless fun. You don’t have to focus on any cards, worry about your next move, or do anything, for that matter.
If you want to get good at a game like blackjack, you’ll have to learn a lengthy set of rules and memorize several convoluted strategy charts. Further, the actual game will require your full attention. Not everyone has the time or patience to study before gambling; some people just want to have a good time immediately.
Slots Can Have Huge Jackpots
While your chances of winning money aren’t huge when you play the slots, there can be a possibility of hitting a huge jackpot. Jackpots for some slot machines can be in the millions. In gambling, it’s usually the games that have the highest risk that give you the best chance of hitting a big payout.
Video poker gives you better odds of winning. However, if you hit the max jackpot on a full-payout video poker machine, you’ll get a payout of 800 to 1. For example, a max bet of five coins would pay out 4,000 coins for a royal flush. That’s exciting, but nowhere near as exciting as the prospect of winning $1 million on a slot machine.
Slots Have Mythology
A slot machine uses a random number generator (RNG), meaning it’s programmed to give completely random results every time it’s played. For this reason, there’s no way to tell when there’s about to be a jackpot. However, that doesn’t stop some players from believing they can tell when a slot machine will pay out.
Some players believe a machine that’s been paying out is lucky and will gravitate toward it. Others prefer a machine that hasn’t paid out in a long time and believe it’s more likely to pay out soon. Adversely, some players avoid slots because they believe that the casinos can press a button to remotely stop them from winning.
Types of Slot Machine Games
Different slot machines have different payouts, formats, and RTPs. To find a machine’s RTP and general information, a quick search should help you find any relevant information. You can also check state gaming reports for more information.
Another thing you should take into account when picking a slot machine is its volatility. A slot machine’s volatility is a measure of how often and how much it pays out. Slot machines that have low volatility pay out fairly often but don’t have large prizes. Slot machines with high volatility can feature large prizes but don’t pay out quite as often.
Which volatility level you prefer depends on the size of your bankroll and your tolerance to risk. If you want a better chance at winning, you should pick slot machines with low volatility. If you have a large bankroll and can afford to lose for a while, you can pick the more exciting, high-volatility games. You can try to seek volatility scores online for slot machines, but they can be hard to find. You can usually assume that the higher a machine pays out, the higher its volatility will be.
These consist of three to five reels and offer a vintage gambling experience. When a player pulls a lever, the reels reveal if the player is a winner. These machines don’t have any special or bonus features. For players seeking higher payouts or who have more experience, these types of machines may not cut it.
Multiplier machines offer higher payouts for bigger bets. With these machines, you still have the option to use one coin, but you won’t win a jackpot unless you make the maximum bet possible. These machines will pay out incrementally depending on how many coins you wager.
If the payout for three cherries for a one-coin bet is five coins, the payout for three cherries for a two-coin bet will be 10 coins, and so on. However, the top prizes pay at a much higher rate than the lower prizes.
Multiplier machines make up the bulk of slot machines in casinos, as they encourage players to make larger bets. In search of higher payouts, the majority of players choose to make the maximum bets.
Buy-your-pay machines let you purchase more winning combinations with higher bets. For example, a machine might let you bet one to five coins. If you make a one-coin bet, you might get paid out if you hit three 7s but not if you hit three bars. However, if you bet two coins, you might get paid out if you hit three 7s or three bars, but not if you hit three cherries.
Multiple Payline Machines
These machines offer additional paylines based on the amount you bet. When a new payline is in play, it will light up. Some games may have as few as two paylines you can purchase, while some can have more than 100. Adding more paylines doesn’t increase your chances of hitting winning combinations, but it does increase your chances of hitting larger payouts.
Wild Play Machines
Wild play machines can be really exciting. They feature wild symbols that can make it possible to get more winning combinations. They also feature multiplier symbols that increase your winnings exponentially. For example, if you hit a winning combination that has a multiplier in it, you could win twice as much money as you normally would. Multipliers can sometimes multiply your winnings as much as 10 times.
Progressive Jackpot Machines
These machines take a portion of the bets they collect to increase their jackpot. There’s usually a group of machines that share a giant jackpot portrayed prominently. The jackpots for these machines can get enormous, making them very popular. When the jackpot is won, it goes back to its initial size and starts building up once again.
With new technology, it’s become possible for these machines to have even bigger jackpots. By linking groups of slot machines from different parts of a state, gaming establishments can grow these jackpots to an enormous size quickly.
Strategies to Win at Slot Machines
Playing slots effectively is about choosing the right machine, making the right bets, and playing long enough to increase your chances of getting a huge payout. However, there’s no skill you can learn to increase a machine’s RTP.
Always Make the Max Bet
To increase your winnings, you’ll need to chase bigger payouts. Most machines, though, only make their biggest payouts for maximum bets. To keep making the maximum bet over your entire session, you’ll need an adequate bankroll. Generally, you’ll want your bankroll to support you through a three-hour gambling session so that you have a chance at winning big while keeping your risk level relatively low.
The size of your bankroll will reflect the size of the bet you’re making. For penny and nickel slots, for example, your bankroll should be big enough to cover 250 max bets. If the maximum bet on a Penny Slots gives you the option to play 20 lines at $1 a spin (in American casinos, a penny is worth 5 cents), you would need a minimum of $250 in your bankroll to play those slots.
For larger-bet slot machines, the number of bets your bankroll needs to cover goes down. For quarter and dollar machines, your bankroll should cover at least 200 bets, while for $5 machines, 150 bets would be adequate.
Do Your Research
Before you play, seek out the slot games that give you the best chance of winning. Look at reviews posted by other players and try searching to see what a particular game’s RTP or volatility is.
Try to find the best games for you. If the prospect of higher gains is exciting to you, look for games with higher volatility. If you like maximizing your odds and winning at least some money, look for games with a higher RTP.
Get Cash Back
Many casinos will offer cash back for the amount you’ve lost over a given period. online casinos, for example, may offer cash-back rewards from 5% to 25% of your losses. This can really help you out during an inevitable losing streak. Cash back isn’t offered by all casinos and it’s usually relegated to certain games, but it can be really helpful if you can get it. You never want to leave money on the table.
Play Slot Machines at Your Own Risk
In the long run, the house always wins. This is especially true for slots, which have lower RTPs than many of the other games in a casino. Even if you can manage to scope out the absolute best slot machines, you’ll still lose more often than you’ll win.
That’s why it’s important to only gamble with what you can afford to lose. If you plan on taking a gambling trip for a few days, split up your bankroll accordingly. Once that day’s bankroll is gone, stop playing. You should also give your gambling sessions a time limit. If you plan on gambling for three hours, stop at the end of that three hours, no matter what.
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