How to Play Slot Machines: A Step by Step Guide

Arguably the most popular gambling games in casinos are the slot machines, which entice gamers with the opportunity of a substantial jackpot with every play, and entertain players with themed games and exciting bonuses. Slots players can choose from a wide array of different games, with different levels of payouts and different bonuses attached. It’s a type of game that can be played without training or practice, but it’s also one which strategic players can tackle with tactical planning to increase their chances of winning.

Slot machines—whether online or at a traditional casino--are enjoyable for the instant rewards experienced by players. With every wager, the player sees instant results of some type, and the payout of coins (whether they’re physical online casino tokens or virtual representations) is a tangible reward for any push of the button or pull of the lever. It’s worth noting as well that the vast majority of casinos’ revenue (as much as seventy or eighty percent) comes from slot machines, and casinos weight the slots’ rewards accordingly. Some of the biggest wins and jackpots available at any casino are those available to players of slot machines.

Types of Slot Machines

A multiplier slot machine pays out in amounts proportional to the number of coins (or credits) played. If a player can wager between one and three coins, a win on the multiplier machine will be greater if the player wagered three coins on that particular play than if the player had gone with the minimum. The amount of your win will be bigger if you’ve placed a larger wager, but the percentages are the same regardless of whether you’ve wagered one credit or three, so there’s not a specific advantage to playing three credits at a time, as opposed to playing one credit at a time for three successive plays. A bonus multiplier slot machine operates on the same principle, but with the addition of a bonus payback if you do choose to place the maximum wager. In this case it’s to your advantage to play the maximum, as there are bigger winnings to be had.

A buy-a-pay slot machine actually does offer better winnings to a player who wagers the maximum credits than to the player who goes with the minimum. A buy-a-pay machine generally offers several payout lines, with a different set of gaming symbols on each; if you play all three coins in this scenario, you get the winnings from every one of those lines. If you have played only one coin, you’ve paid to play only one of the three lines of symbols, and a winning combination that shows up on either of the other lines won’t result in a payout to the player.

A progressive slot machine is connected to other machines being played by other players, with the jackpot building with every play, and every player eligible to win the big pot. The biggest winnings can be scored on progressive games, but in many cases a player must wager the maximum amount on a play to be eligible for the large progressive payout. With a progressive slot, it’s to a player’s advantage, strategically speaking, to play that maximum and stay in the running for the big win. Microgaming offers the largest amount of progressive jackpots, so you should check out JackpotCity Casino for big wins...

Common Slot Machine Myths

Myth: A machine that has just made a big payout won’t pay out another for a while, so a player should switch to a new machine. Statistically speaking, any machine (whether online or in person at a traditional casino) is exactly as likely to pay out a jackpot on any play as on any other play. The slot machines themselves are operated by random number generators, so your chance of hitting a jackpot is exactly the same every time you play the machine. The statistical likelihood of a jackpot is not any different on the play after a jackpot than it is a hundred games later. It’s common for people to move from a machine after a payout, but there’s actually no statistically valid reason to move.

Myth: A machine that hasn’t paid out for a while is “due” for a win, and is more desirable than other machines at that time. This myth is the flip-side of the previous one, based on the perception that machines pay out at particular intervals. In truth, however, whether you’re playing online or in person, the likelihood of a win on any given play is exactly the same percentage or chance as on any other play, regardless of when a player last experienced a win on that machine.

Myth: Casinos position “hot” machines in the areas where wins are visible, in order to draw in players who see others winning. This perception leads people to choose particular machines (in the aisles of traditional casinos, for example, or even from particular layouts in virtual casinos) with the expectation that these games are more likely to pay out. In actual fact, no machine is more or less likely than others to pay out a win, based as they are on random number generators.

Playing Slots to Win

Slot machines have high payback rates—often around 94-95% at a traditional brick and mortar as casino, and as much as 98% on the online casino games. Extrapolating from these odds, a player wagering $100 in an hour could expect to lose $2-6 (and come away with more than $90 still remaining) if that player continued putting all of the winnings back into the game. The long-term odds favor the house (meaning the house will win that two to six percent from the player over a long continued course of play), but strategic players can work those odds in their own favor. Rather than putting all of the winnings straight back into the machine, a player can choose to pocket or set aside the winnings, and continue play with the original amount they brought to the game. This way you’re not continuing to lose that small percentage from the winnings themselves, which are safely building on the side. Accept that you stand to lose the house’s “cut” from the hundred dollars you originally brought to the table, but don’t subject the extra funds you’ve won to that same loss. A player who re-invests all of the winnings back into the slots does stand a chance to win more by wagering more, but over time the statistics are against the likelihood of that player keeping all the winnings.

A strategic slots player always reads the machine, whether online or in person, before playing. Because different games (multipliers, buy-a-pay, progressive, and so on) pay out in different ways, it’s to your advantage to be informed about which type of game you’re playing so you can place your wagers accordingly. On games where the bonuses, jackpot or big winnings are tied to a maximum bet, play the maximum! Holding back and placing smaller wagers for each play will stretch out your playing-time, but you drastically reduce your chances of a significant win. Playing to win - in these cases - means putting enough on the line with each play that your wager can qualify for the substantial win of a major jackpot or a multiplied bonus. For more great bonuses in action, visit EuroPalace Casino.

A little research can go a long way; look into a casino’s audit reports to see what the payout percentages are on specific games, and you’ll be armed with the information to help you decide which games to play for a win. You can look for slot machines that are paying out high bonuses or jackpots, machines that offer bonus rows or bonus rounds or bonus multipliers, and increase your winnings simply by choosing the games with the best odds. When it comes to strategically choosing games, remember that with a standard slot machine, the odds of winning or losing aren’t in any way connected to the most recent payout on that given machine, because every individual play is governed by a random number generator. Strategy with progressive slots, however, incorporates a different set of information. With a progressive slot game, the jackpot continues to build as gamers play the slot machines, so engaging in a progressive jackpot is more beneficial if you enter the play at a point in time when the jackpot has been building. Your odds of winning any particular play are still the same, but the potential prize amount for that win increases the longer that progressive jackpot has been building.

As you choose a game to play, basic math will tell you that the larger the number of symbols in a game’s reel, the less likely it is for you to line up a winning jackpot of matching symbols. Say, for example, that the game’s reel shows three symbols at a time, and there are eight possible symbols. In that case, your chance of turning up a winning row of three of the same symbol is one in one thousand (1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10), whereas the same game with a reel showing five symbols reduces your chances of a matching line-up to one in one hundred thousand (1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10). Games which include “wild” symbols (a symbol which acts like a wild card and can be designated as any one of the other symbols to the player’s advantage) increase your odds of winning by significantly altering the odds. With a wild symbol, you could score a line-up of two matching symbols, and the third can be either the same symbol or a wild symbol to complete a jackpot. Obviously your chances of turning up one of two symbols are better than if there’s only one symbol that could complete the jackpot.

Slot Machine Tournaments Online

Tournaments for slot machines usually require a registration or entry fee or a deposit before you begin play. Tournament machines are generally set to higher pay-off rates, and often offer bigger jackpots and prizes, which can more than offset the cost of the entry fee. An online slots tournament will schedule a certain time-period for play, and the tournament-winner will be the player with the most points or credits at the end of play. A tournament positions you for the possibility of adding the tournament prize or jackpot to the winnings you score from the play itself. Check out the awesome tournaments at Winner Casino now!

A tournament player buys into the tournament with a specific minimum entry fee, but in most tournaments you can buy additional credits and increase your play. Since the jackpot goes to the highest-ranking gamer at the end of play, this is a situation where it can be to your advantage to buy in for higher amounts and play more. Tournament points are awarded for two different elements of play—the amount a player is winning and the number of “spins” that gamer plays. A player who plays a higher volume during a tournament will rack up more points for spins, and if that player is also playing strategically to win, the combination of frequency-points and winning-points can put them at the top of the leaderboard. You can check your progress and standing throughout the tournament by checking the tournament leaderboard, which lists the players and their current points and standing.

As with any form of casino gaming, a player should stay within their pre-set gaming budget—an undertaking that’s actually more easily managed in the online environment with the tracking-help of your online money management service and the statistics kept on your play by the casino itself. For players who want to game strategically and keep informational gauges on their own play, the online casino is an ideal venue, and slot machines are easily tracked if you choose to take notes on your own play and results. Employing some basic strategic tactics and playing from an informed position of understanding, a player can put the gaming odds to their own advantage. Try out some strategic tacts and use the gaming odds to your advantage and play for free at Spin Palace