Basic Slot Strategy

Gamblers often make the mistake of thinking that slots play involves just pure luck, and whilst it is true that luck is an essential part of successful slot play, there are several strategies that can maximise your bank roll and increase your chances of a big win.

Firstly, its important to understand the type of slots you are playing, whether it be a simple three reel or five reel slot, a progressive jackpot slot or one of the latest bonus slots , where certain combinations trigger a bonus round or free spins. Although each slot may have a similar payout ratio when looking at casino audit reports, they way they play is very different and you need to adjust your play accordingly.

The golden rule certainly with progressive jackpot slots is always to play the maximum coins, for example never bet just two credits when the jackpot is only payable if you play three credits. Sound like a no-brainer? Well, believe me gambling history is littered with players who said I only played one credits because I wanted to maximise my bank roll, I never thought I would ever hit the jackpot. Imagine missing out on a million bucks for the want of one extra coin!

With basic slots, without a progressive jackpot, it is not so essential that you play maximum bet, particularly when playing on a limited bank roll but even so it is better strategy. If you take a closer look at the pay tables on most slots, you will see that the payout table is loaded to give maximum coin play the advantage. To use an example, on a three coin slot you may find that the payout for 2 coins is say 20 credits, but the payout for 3 coins is not 30 credits as you would expect but 40 credits – which after just a few spins will give you a much higher potential return on your investment. If your bank roll is limited, a general rule of thumb is it is far better to bet max on a lower denomination machine than a coin or so, on a higher denomination machine. Over time, betting the maximum will always give a better % return on your money than playing just minimum bet.

Over the past few years, a new type of slot has appeared in online casinos – bonus slots offering free spins, multipliers, bonus games and even the choice of how many free spins you want and at which multiplier. Bonus slots certainly have a great deal of entertainment value, but in terms of strategy they are notoriously unpredictable and streaky. A good bonus round can net you several hundred – even several thousand dollars in just a few seconds, but conversely there can be very long gaps between winning streaks. Players often complain that bonus slots eat bank rolls very quickly and this can be true – but as a good win in a bonus round can net you several hundred times your stake, it is a risky yet attractive proposition.

Good strategy in bonus slots is to err on the side of caution. Don’t make the mistake of betting mid to large denominations in the hope of hitting a big bonus round, unless your bankroll can really take it - you will need a big bank roll in order to ride out the rough – and even then there is no guarantee of success. Of course you may hit a bonus round on your first spin – but you probably won’t. One thing I have found over years of online slot play is that an inverse relationship exists between the size of the bet and the generosity of the bonus round. Bonus rounds in smaller denominations have netted me several thousand dollar wins, whereas larger denomination bonus rounds tend to be meaner, hitting very little in the way of wins.

Lastly, the most important rule of slots strategy and one which applies to all forms of slot play, whether online or in a land based casino – set a limit and stick to it. It is very easy to get carried away chasing the progressive or chasing a bonus round but good slot players are always aware that lady luck is fickle. If a machine just isn’t paying, move on. When a machine that has been paying well stops paying, move on. Don’t chase losses or keep pumping a machine you have invested heavily in, full of money in the hope it will return your investment. It won’t. Trust me I did it lots of times in my early gambling career.

Sticking to these basic rules, will minimize your risk and maximise your potential winnings, which is the key to successful gambling – whatever the game.