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How to play online slots to win more often: expert strategies

Play online slots to win

We outline the very best techniques and strategies to improve your odds when playing real money online slots. You’ll learn how to play online slots to win more often. 

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We’ve all heard about a lucky player that struck it lucky playing a slot machine either in a land-based casino or online. But the question remains, how did they succeed in turning a profit? Was it pure luck, or did they have a hack? Luck certainly plays a role in slots, but when you learn how to play online slots to win, manage your bankroll/budget effectively and identify different slot games such as video slots and progressive jackpot slots, you’ll stand a better chance of winning. 

What are variances and volatility?

It’s essential to understand how slots work before you get down to gambling. Before you consider playing a particular slot game, it’s necessary to have some vital information handy – such as the game’s variance and volatility.

In a nutshell, variances and volatility describe similar things when talking about slots. These two words are interchangeable descriptions. But what do they tell? Simply put, they say to the unpredictability of a slot. Are there going to be predictable wins or not?

The main difference between the two words is that variance is strictly speaking defined as a long-term projection while volatility describes a short-term forecast. You’re unlikely to come across a slot’s variance, but you’re sure to see volatility quite often.

High and low volatility explained:

Volatility describes the unpredictability of a slot over a short timeframe. It boils down to how often and how big you will be winning. High volatility slots are high risk, high reward games, while low volatility games are low risk, low reward. Volatility is a big part of the MDA framework design of the games.

High and low variance explained:

The same goes for variance, except that it describes the game’s predicted results over several months. A high variance slot is less likely to pay out frequent wins, but there’s a higher chance of paying out bigger wins. On the other hand, a low variance game is more likely to pay out smaller wins more regularly.

An easy way to recognize a high volatility game is by its jackpot – if there’s a large jackpot, it’s in all likelihood high volatility. A low volatility game will have many small prizes, and it will also have limited bonus features if any. 

Is Your Budget More or Less than $100 for a Round?

Working out a budget is crucial to gambling if you want to play online slots to win. The general rule with any form of gambling is that you shouldn’t bet more than you’re ready to lose.

Determining whether your budget or bankroll is more or less than $100 makes it a lot easier to decide which slots you’re going to play, how large your bets per spin will be, and how long you’re spinning session is going to be.

What to play for less than a $100 round?

If you’re looking to spend less than $100, your best bet is to play penny slots. Don’t let the name mislead you. Most of these so-called penny slots allow you to spend considerably more than just a penny per spin. You’re typically looking at anything between 1c and upwards per spin – you can decide how low or high you want to go to maximize your bankroll.

Typically these slots allow you to bet 1c per payline, while some of these low-stake slots require you to select a fixed number of paylines that might drive up the cost per spin, but you won’t be spending too much on a spin either way.

What to play for more than a $100 round?

Some real money online slots are best played with a higher bankroll if you’re looking for larger payouts. You’re typically looking at high risk, high reward slots, or high volatility slots. These types of slots require you to play with the highest possible bet if you want to maximize your winnings.

Should You Claim a Casino Bonus?

It’s vitally important to realize that a bonus is precisely that – a bonus. It’s not free money that you can utilize to win more money and then cash it all out. It naturally comes with strings attached as there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

When to claim a bonus: 

If you’re in the mood to try out several new games or you’re trying your hand at something new, it’s best to try before you buy. Bonuses give you the opportunity of playing without the risk of losing your own money.

So what’s the catch? The simple answer is playthrough requirements. If you win a large sum using the bonus money, you won’t be able to withdraw the bonus amount, but you will have the opportunity of playing through the bonus to get your winnings. Meaning you’ll have to wager the bonus amount up to 20x 30x, 40x, or even more. This amount varies from online casino to online casino, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you get too excited about that big win off a bonus. The best bet is to view casino bonuses as virtual money – you can’t do all that much with it in the real world.

When not to claim a bonus:

You already know which games you like, you’ve done the homework, and you’re ready to play with your own money without any T&C’s hanging above you.

If you don’t know which games to play, it’s best to read reviews of online slots for real money for the United States and abroad. These insightful reviews give you an idea of which games might be best suited to your needs, budget, and personal taste.

When you play slots for real money, you’re sure to receive all of your winnings within a few days of requesting a cash withdrawal. No playthrough requirements are involved when you’re playing online slots with your own money. 

How to Select a high RTP Slot Machine

When you read up about slots, you’re sure to come across the acronym RTP, which stands for Return to Player. RTP is expressed as a percentage as it represents the expected payout of the game over the long term, with the number usually falling within the top 90 percentile, with some slots going as high as 99%.

To play online slots to win, it would be best to look for games with higher percentages, such as 97%, to ensure that you’re going to be winning enough so that your bankroll lasts longer. If a game has an RTP of 97%, you can expect to win back $97 for every $100 bet.

If you’re interested in a specific game’s RTP, it’s best to Google it as many game developers make their game’s RTP publicly available.

Goals: Are You Going for the Jackpot or Occasional Wins?

Different folks have different expectations when playing slots. Either you’re looking to make a small fortune or ideally looking to make some extra money.

If you want to strike it lucky and unlock that ever-elusive jackpot, you’ll need to wager maximum bets and select all of the paylines to optimize any winnings. Keep in mind that jackpots are only triggered when you play this particular way, but there are no guarantees that the jackpot will appear. When you place maximum bets, any winnings will naturally be more than those made with a smaller stake.

However, if you are content to win smaller amounts more regularly to bolster your original bankroll and make some extra cash, a strategy of dividing your budget by 100 and using that amount per spin is advised. For example, if you have a bankroll of $100, you’ll be able to set each slot spin at $1 value.

When to Quit Playing

You’ve just had a lucky streak or a big win, and you’re feeling great about it. What now? Should you continue in hopes of extending the streak or striking it lucky again? The simple answer is no; the random number generator which serves as the slot’s engine is unlikely to award another win in such a short period, so you’re better off by taking a breather or cooling down. Sit back and enjoy your triumph.

After all, the idea is to turn a profit from your gaming, and if you’re already doing well, why not take your winnings and try a different game if you’re still willing to take a chance. Alternatively, set your winnings aside for another round or online casino night.

If you do not have that much luck just yet, keep on playing with your bankroll, as it should be an amount you feel comfortable losing. It is a gamble, and you should view your slots gameplay as a high-risk investment.

If you deplete your bankroll, fight the urge to chase your losses. Spending additional money to win back what you’ve already lost is not a feasible strategy – sure, you may win it all back, but the chances are slim.

Above all, enjoy your gameplay, and remember that slots can be a profitable pastime.

About the Author – Hein Sondag

Hein has worked in the online casino and sports betting industries for over ten years. A wild man at heart with a passion for writing about what matters most about betting – turning a profit while enjoying the gameplay. He’s an avid fan of horse racing, baccarat, and the slot industry’s latest developments. When he’s not keeping tabs on the latest online casino developments, he’s cycling, hiking, and swimming with sharks.