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With so many slot machines abound, it’s inevitable to ask ourselves the question of how to beat them, and how to make money while playing them. Many players, new and experienced alike, have struggled to find an answer to these questions.

How to make money playing slot machines

Way back, when slot machines mechanics weren’t as advanced as they are today, there may have been various ways of cheating to win across land casinos. Today, stories like that resemble old wives tales. The truth is, the only way to beat a modern slot machine, offline or online, is to not play at all or get lucky and stop while you’re ahead.

With so many people playing slots, it’s only natural that gaming enthusiasts will come up with different strategies and theories on how to win. The truth of the matter is that no matter what players attempt to do, the innate randomness algorithm of slots cannot be changed. While playing a slot machine, you will have to accept that it’s you vs the random number generator.

Once you’ve come to terms with that, then you can start thinking of how to stay ahead once luck has smiled upon you. There’s nothing complicated about winning – place your bet, spin and the slot will pay out sooner than later. There are many types of slots, and what you should do is find a game that suits your needs. Some slot machines pay out frequently in low amounts, while others can be silent for a while before exploding with a game altering combination.

The bottom line is, while there’s nothing you can do to reliably stay ahead when playing slot machines, but managing your bankroll and knowing when to stop can turn luck into your favor – even in the long run.

How to win jackpots playing slot machines

The jackpot is an essential ingredient of the slot machine recipe. Rarely will you find a slot without a jackpot. Whether it’s a small time multiplier jackpot, or a colossal multi million pound sum, players will always be hopeful of being that one lucky winner. Naturally, everyone wants to be a millionaire, and jackpots may offer a one-way ticket to the promise land.

how to win when playing slot machines

So, how do you win a jackpot?

We’re not going to sugar coat it. Besides getting lucky, there’s not much else to it. The only real advice anyone can give you, is to bet on all reels and paylines. With jackpots, betting with the actual maximum amount per spin does help a tiny bit, but don’t get your hopes up too much. In fact, the latest Mega Moolah winner of £13.2 million, won by placing a minimum bet of £0.25.

Pursuing a jackpot is often unadvisable. Instead, we’ll advise you to just play your regular game, and if a jackpot win does come screaming out of nowhere, then know it was because luck was at your side that day.

What slot machines pay out the most

Finding a slot machine with the highest payout percentage is not as mystifying of a task online as it is offline across land casinos. Many, if not all, of the leading software providers have the RTP (Return to Player) percentage of slots, publicly displayed for all eyes to see.

You may wonder why not everyone plays these slots and nothing else. The answer is that not everything is as simple as it seems. While a slot with a high RTP generally means less money down the drain, there are slots with a lower RTP but with higher variance.

Slot variance, in simplest terms, equates to risk. Low variance slots are frequent low payers, while high variance slots are their polar opposites. Although it’s not as black and white as that, and slot variance does not strictly translate to winning chances, it is a good indicator of a game’s winning potential.

Slot machine variance tips

A low variance slot will reward you with frequent payouts, and you can often string together a series of low to medium winning spins, whereas large wins will be seldom seen. In general, this type of slot will maintain you a steadier bankroll, thus prolonging your gaming session.

If you’ve ever played a slot without seeing a notable win in 50, 100 spins or more, then you’ve probably come across a medium to high variance slot. These slots can be merciless, but they can also bestow previously unimaginable rewards upon you. A high variance game requires a higher “investment” to play, as it may be a while before you see returns.

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Which slot machine should I play

Ultimately, it comes down to your preference which type of slot machine will you pursue. If you are a new player operating with a smaller bankroll, or you’re simply looking for maximum entertainment, we recommend a low variance slot. If you’re equipped with a loftier bankroll up your sleeve, along with a “high risk, high reward” mindset, then by all means you can pursue a string of big wins in a high variance slot. Just remember to cash out promptly after coming across a sizable win, or all of your efforts would have been in vain.

How to identify slots variance?

As you are browsing through casinos, and exploring the massive game libraries at your disposal, you will need to be able to identify which side of the coin each slot falls under on. We’ll give you some tips on recognizing any slot’s level of variance.

Normally, by looking at a slot’s paytable you can easily determine its level of variance. If the base symbols don’t offer great multipliers, or there is evident discrepancy between payouts in stringing a few key symbols together (2-3 = low payout, 4-5 = high payout), then you’re looking at a high variance game. Moreover, another good sign of this is spotting a high variance slot is a rare, but very rewarding bonus game (large free spin rewards, high multipliers). By looking at this data, it’s easy to determine a low variance slot as well. Checking a slot out in fun play may help as well, but it is advised to spend some time playing it to get a reasonable sample size at hand.

When it comes to the question on which slot to play, it ultimately comes down to your bankroll and how much you’re willing to risk. We’ll give you a few examples to further illustrate slot variance.

Blood Suckers

Blood Suckers

Best low variance slots

Blood Suckers – NetEnt

Blood Suckers always gets a special mention whenever high paying slots are mentioned, simply because of its massive RTP of 98%. This game can be also categorized as a medium variance slot, because of its multiple bonus games and high multiplier potential. Nonetheless, you can expect a prolonged gaming session with frequent wins when playing it. It is a masterful creation by NetEnt, one which offers great bang for your buck in terms of entertainment value.

Santa Surprise – Playtech

As you may’ve guessed by its name, Santa Surprise is a Christmas themed video slot by Playtech. It is famed for its low variance and jolly theme – a perfect mixture creating a recipe for an entertaining gaming session.
The game has 5 reels, 20 paylines and a RTP of 97%. There are two bonus features in Santa Surprise; the Christmas gifts bonus game and 15 free spins with an x3 multiplier that can be infinitely retriggered.

Best high variance slots

Immortal Romance – Microgaming

This video slot by Microgaming is the crowned king of high variance. It is extremely popular among players precisely for that reason. Its base game can be a string of disappointments, but the Wild Desire feature that randomly turns 5 reels into Wilds can be a game changer. However, the true money maker in Immortal Romance is The Chamber of Spins. We’re talking about the main bonus feature of this game. It is divided into four layers of free spins along with special free spin features, all linked to each of the four characters of the slot.
If you’re prepping for a serious Immortal Romance gaming session, make sure you have a sizable bankroll to back you up.

Immortal Romance

Immortal Romance

Dead or Alive – NetEnt

If you’ve heard of people amassing riches via a video slot, but not through a jackpot, they’ve probably won one of Dead or Alive’s outstanding multiplier payouts. This is another slot which gained a massive following due to its high variance.

Dead or Alive features 5 reels, 9 paylines and a RTP of 96.8%. This slot is so volatile that it doesn’t even offer a bonus game. The free spins feature is the only thing you can hope for by way of bonus rounds. Once you’ve triggered the free spins, this is where the Sticky Wilds feature comes into play, e.g. the money maker of this game. The Sticky Wilds (wanted posters symbols) will hold their position on the reels until the following spin, greatly increasing your chances of forming a sequence of winning combinations.

Now, a lot of slots feature Sticky Wilds, and it’s seen as nothing special. The difference lies in the fact that Dead or Alive has 9 paylines. It’s the catalyst that makes this slot a big winner.

Slot machine tips

Bankroll management

If you plan on frequent visits to slot machines, devising a long term budget plan is crucial. When you set aside false advertising of slot systems and guaranteed winning strategies online, this is one of the most important tips we can give you.

Since winning or losing is completely out of your control, you need to make sure you won’t leave a casino with regrets later on. Come up with a fixed budget on how much you’re willing to deposit per gaming session. Make sure you remain within the boundaries of what you can realistically afford to play with. Once you’ve established a suitable “entertainment budget”, you shouldn’t feel remorse when losing.

Mr Green casino has its own Green Gaming policy, which enables you to set your own limits when playing. They’d be actually set in stone, rather than in your mind. Not all casinos will have this policy in place, unfortunately.

Set your expectations

As a long term slot player, you’ll need to set realistic expectations beforehand. How much of a bankroll increase would you be satisfied with by the end of your gaming session? The types of slots you’ll be playing factor in here. Expecting a 300% deposit increase from a low variance slot is not quite realistic, for example.

Once you’re reached your goal, or close to it, you should call it a night. A volatile bet that you weren’t supposed to make may yield short term results, but a calamitous playstyle can be devastating in the long run. By remaining disciplined, you will have a clear advantage right off the bat.

Don’t chase losses

Like we said, always remain within your predestined budget. Many players will reach for a second deposit in order to win back what they’ve lost. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why casinos make so much profit. Don’t fall into this trap, don’t even look at a game of luck as a chance of winning money. Entertainment above all should be your moto. You’ll play better, and you’ll lose less.

Slot machine tricks

Bet on all paylines

When playing video slots online, more often than not you will be playing a game with 25 paylines. To maximize your winning chances, you should cover them all on each spin. In land casinos this may cost you upwards of a pound per spin, but a video slot payline is usually worth £0.01, resulting in £0.25 per spin. Trying to extend your gaming sessions by betting £0.10 per spin on a video slot, for example, will ultimately shorten your bankroll’s lifespan because of the reduced winning chances.

Learn your game

You shouldn’t decide which game to play based on its pretty lights and funky sound effects. Make sure to carefully examine the paytable and its RTP. We already covered this above, determine the game’s variance so you know what you’re getting into. This will help you set your expectations to boot.

Take advantage of slots bonuses

It’s quite worthwhile to be a slot player in this day and age. In fact, slot players are the main target of online casinos when it comes to bonuses. There’s so many ways in which you can boost your bankroll, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of them.

You could argue that it may not be wise to imprison your money under a casino’s wagering requirements. However, if you’re playing slots either way, a bonus functions like an extension of your bankroll and gaming session. In a way, it increases your winning chances. Normally, playing with your own money is a decision we can’t argue with, but there’s always way to get something extra without even making a deposit.

No deposit bonuses and no deposit free spins are on offer by most prestigious casinos nowadays. Take BGO’s 20 free spins upon registration or Paddy Power’s £5 no deposit bonus for UK players as examples.