5 Pro Tips To Play Slots And Win More

This guide gives you essential tips for choosing slots that match your gambling style and budget.

We’ll help you to fully understand the following points so you can get the most out of any slot you take for a spin:

  • Choosing the Ideal Slot: Learn how to select slot games that match your individual budget and gambling style.
  • Understanding Slot Mechanics: Get a detailed explanation of slot mechanics, including paytables, RTP, and volatility to see how they impact your win potential.
  • Strategise Your Bet Sizes: Know how to decide on the best bet sizes and when to adjust them to maximise your potential wins.

What You’ll Learn On This Page

#1 Study Up On Slot Mechanics

It’s important to understand that slots are always 100% luck-based, and there’s no guaranteed way for you to land a win. That said, you can work out a gambling strategy and maximise your win potential by understanding basic game mechanics.

Paytable and Symbols

Clicking on the ‘i’ or settings icon in any slot will display its paytable in a pop-up window. They usually have multiple pages, so you scroll through to fully understand which symbols to look for and what combinations are needed to trigger bonus rounds.

The paytable will give you the following information so you can plan your approach to gambling on that specific game:

  • Regular Symbol Values: Each symbol in a slot game has a specific value. They’re often divided into low-value and high-value symbols, giving you smaller and larger potential payouts.
  • Special Symbols: Slots have special symbols, such as Wilds, which can substitute for other symbols. Then there are Scatters, which can trigger lucrative bonus rounds.
  • Winning Combinations: The paytable shows the combinations you’ll need to land across the reels to achieve a win.
  • Bonus Rounds: You’ll find info on how to trigger the slot’s bonus round and how the game’s symbols operate inside these special features.

Bonus Features and Rounds

Bonus features and rounds have payouts far beyond a slot’s base game and can significantly boost your winnings.

Here’s how these features work:

  • Multipliers: These increase the value of your winnings by a specified amount. For example, a 2x multiplier doubles your win. When you trigger a slot’s bonus features, the win multipliers are much bigger than in the base game.
  • Wilds: Wild symbols can substitute for any other symbol, except for special symbols like scatters, to help you create more winning combinations.
  • Scatters: Scatters trigger various bonus rounds, such as free spins or mini-games, and often do not need to be on a payline to pay out.
  • Free Spins: These spins won’t cost you anything to play and often come with additional perks, such as multipliers or expanding wilds. They can sometimes be awarded in the regular game but are usually used for playing a slot’s bonus round.

Return to Player and House Edge

RTP, or Return to Player, is a percentage that indicates the average amount of money you can expect to win back from a specific casino game over time. For example, if a slot has an RTP of 96%, it means that, on average, you will get back $96 for every $100 you wager on that game.

The house edge is the inverse of RTP, giving you the percentage the casino expects to keep from your wagers. Therefore, a 4% house edge means the casino keeps $4 for every $100 you wager.

It’s important to know that these calculations are purely theoretical and never guarantee a return on your bets. Therefore, you could win $20 from a $10 wager, creating a 200% RTP, while in another gambling session, you win zero from your wagers, creating a 0% RTP. 

Online casino slots are truly random games of chance, but understanding these concepts can help you pick out slots that offer better long-run returns and minimise the house edge. See our  article about RTP and house edge to go deeper on this subject.

Volatility

Volatility, or variance, refers to the risk level of any slot game. While a slot’s RTP indicates its average return, its volatility affects how the returns are distributed.

Slots are generally categorised as low, medium, or high volatility:

  • Low Volatility: These slots pay out small amounts more frequently. They’re ideal if you prefer steady wins to large but rare payouts. They’re your best option when you’ve got a limited bankroll or want to wager bonuses effectively.
  • Medium Volatility: These slots offer a balanced mix of small and big wins. They’re great if you enjoy a mix of risk and reward. A truly middle-of-the-road gambling option.
  • High Volatility: These slots pay out large amounts less frequently. They’re the right choice when you’re willing to take higher risks for the chance of bigger payouts. Be aware that you can quickly burn through your casino bankroll gambling on these slots.

Understanding volatility will help you pick the best slots based on your risk tolerance, budget and gambling strategy. See our detailed guide on volatility in casino games to learn more about how and when volatility comes into play and when to choose high-or-low volatility slots.

#2 Choose the Right Slot Game

Choosing the best slot games for your budget and gambling style can improve your casino experience. That said, choosing from the wide range of available slot types can be pretty confusing. To help you find your perfect fit, we’ll run you through the main slot types and their key features. Let’s get into it.

Classic Slots

Classic slots are inspired by the original mechanical slot machines and typically feature three reels and a limited number of paylines. They often have traditional symbols like fruits, bars, and sevens, and their simple design makes them ideal for beginners.

  • Simplest Gameplay:Straightforward to understand and play.
  • Traditional Symbols: Features classic symbols like fruits, bars, and 7’s.
  • Limited Paylines: Fewer paylines compared to modern slots, usually one to five.

Video Slots

Video slots are the most popular type of slot game available today. They’re known for their engaging themes, high-quality graphics, and exciting bonus features. These games can include everything from adventure and fantasy themes to features based on popular movies and TV shows.

  • Multiple Paylines: Many paylines, often 20 to 243 or more.
  • Bonus Features: Free spins, multipliers, wilds, and interactive mini-games.
  • Diverse Themes: Huge range of themes from mythology to pop culture tie-ins.

Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpot slots give you the chance to win life-changing sums of money. A portion of each bet you place contributes to a growing jackpot, which you can win by landing a specific combination of symbols or triggering a bonus game.

  • Massive Jackpots: Jackpots that often reach millions before paying out.
  • Networked Games: Progressive jackpots are networked, meaning that players from all casino sites offering the game chip in towards the jackpot on every spin.
  • High Variance: Wins can be infrequent, but the potential payouts are life-changing.

Megaways Slots

Developed by Big Time Gaming, Megaways slots feature a varying number of symbols on each reel with every spin, leading to hundreds of thousands of possible ways to win. With every spin, this innovative mechanic gives you a highly engaging yet unpredictable gambling experience.

  • Variable Reels: The number of rows varies on every spin, Each spin can have a different number of symbols on each reel.
  • Thousands of Ways to Win: Often offers up to 117,649 ways to win.
  • Exciting Mechanics: Provides a dynamic and unpredictable gaming experience.

Consider Your Gambling Preferences

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of online slots, it’s time to think about which ones you want to play. Consider your preferences for game themes, graphics, and bonus features to get started.

If you’re a newbie looking for simple game mechanics, consider classic slots, or for something with more options and win potential, take a look at video slots. If you’re aiming for big wins, progressive jackpots might be your go-to, or you might enjoy the variability of Megaways slots where every spin brings something different.

Regular Slots Vs Jackpot Slots

We’ve compared regular slots, jackpot slots, and progressive jackpot slots to help you decide which slots you’d prefer to take for a spin.

Regular Slots Jackpot Slots Progressive Jackpot Slots
Payout Structure Base game wins and free spins rounds Base game wins, free spin rounds, one or multiple fixed jackpots Base game wins, free spins rounds, one or accumulating jackpots
Winning Frequency Higher frequency, lower payouts Moderate frequency, higher than regular slots Lower frequency, potentially huge payouts
Game Variety Extensive range of themes and game mechanics Less choices, but there still a massive array of themes Some theme variety, but games can feel very similar
Volatility Low to High Medium to High High
RTP Range 94% to 97% 93% to 96% 85% to 94% as the percentage contributing to the jackpot is not returned to players as winnings in regular play
Bet Size Requirements Minimum bets from $0.10 and up Minimum bets are typically $0.20 and above Often require you to place a higher minimum bet to qualify for the jackpot

Key Takeaways

  • Higher RTP Games: Regular slots generally offer higher RTPs than jackpot and progressive jackpot slots. Whereas progressive jackpots typically only reach the low 90s for RTP as a share of each wager you make goes into the prize pot and isn’t returned in the regular game.
  • Consider Payout Potential: Progressive jackpot slots offer you the highest potential payouts, sometimes reaching millions, but have the lowest RTP and payout frequency.
  • Maximum Volatility: Progressive jackpot slots are highly volatile, meaning they pay out less frequently but offer the chance for very large wins. Therefore, stick with regular slots or jackpots if you are very risk-averse.

The Most Common Slot Features

You should have a good understanding of basic slot mechanics to pick the best slots for your gambling style and budget. We’ve listed the key ones you need to know below so you can quickly understand how they can work to your advantage.

  • Free Spins: Awards a set number of spins that don’t cost you anything to play with. Free spins often come with additional perks like multipliers or special expanding wilds, giving you even more opportunities to land big wins.
  • Gamble Feature: Allows you to potentially double your payout after a winning spin by playing a mini-game. This feature typically involves guessing the colour or suit of a hidden card.
  • Wild Symbols: Can substitute for other symbols, except special symbols like scatters, to help you create winning combinations. They can also come in various forms, such as expanding, sticky, or stacked wilds.
  • Scatter Symbols: These trigger various bonus features, such as free spins or bonus rounds, and often pay out regardless of their position on the reels.
  • Multipliers: Increase the value of your winnings by a specified amount. For example, a 2x multiplier doubles your win, while a 3x multiplier triples it. Multipliers can be found in base gameplay or during bonus rounds to significantly boost your payouts.
  • Mystery Symbols: Transform into a random symbol once the reels stop spinning. They can lead to substantial wins if multiple mystery symbols appear and transform into the same high-value symbol.
  • Bonus Rounds: Offer unique gameplay experiences separate from the base game. These rounds often involve mini-games where you can win additional prizes, free spins, or bonus multipliers.
  • Cascading Reels: Also known as tumbling or avalanche reels, this feature causes winning symbols to disappear and be replaced by new symbols falling from above. This can create multiple winning combinations from a single spin.
  • Pay Both Ways: Allow winning combinations to be counted from both left to right and right to left, doubling your chances of winning on any spin.

#3 Practice In Demo Mode

Many casinos let you play their slots for free in demo mode. This allows you to experience the slot just as you would if you played with real money, including all its special features and bonus rounds.

Practising in demo mode gives you the following benefits:

  • Analyse Paytables: You can study the slot’s paytable to understand symbol values and winning combinations.
  • Track Payout Patterns: You can observe the frequency and size of payouts to gauge the game’s volatility.
  • Activate Bonuses: You can try to trigger bonus rounds and see how they operate.
  • Maximise Free Spins: You’ll learn how to maximise free spins and other bonus features.
  • Test High vs. Low Volatility: You get a chance to decide whether you prefer high volatility slots, which offer larger but less frequent wins, or low volatility slots, which offer smaller but more frequent wins.
  • Match Preferences: You can use your observations to choose games that match your playing style and risk tolerance.
  • Familiarity: You’ll know exactly what to expect when you play the slot for real money in the future.

Strategy Testing

Practising with free slot games can help you test and refine your gambling strategy with zero financial risk. You can experiment with different bet sizes to see how they impact your gambling approach and winnings.

Playing in demo mode also lets you practice effective bankroll management by setting limits and seeing how long your funds last. This will help you gain valuable insights into the slot’s mechanics, develop effective gambling strategies, and build confidence before playing with real money.

Top Tip

Try the Most Strategic Casino Games

Remember that no matter how much we analyse the mechanics and quirks of online slot games, landing a win is still 100% luck. So, if you’re after the ability to apply strategy to your online casino gambling, you’re best off with table games or live casino games.

#4 Strategise Your Bet Size

By setting a budget and choosing appropriate bet sizes, you can effectively manage your bankroll and enjoy some sustainable gambling. Here are some pro tips on strategising your bet size to get the most out of every spin.

Set a Budget

Before you start playing, it’s essential to set a budget. First, determine how much money you want to spend and stick to that limit.

You can manage your funds and ensure your gambling activity remains fun and well within your financial means using these budget-setting pointers:

  • Determine Your Limit: Decide on the maximum amount you can comfortably afford to lose.
  • Time Management: Allocate a maximum amount of time for your gambling session to avoid overspending.
  • Break Down Your Budget: Divide your total budget into smaller amounts for multiple sessions. This can help you practice control and prolong your gambling experience.

Choose Appropriate Bet Sizes

Betting too high can quickly deplete your bankroll, while betting too low might not maximise your potential returns.

Here are some useful tips on how to manage bet size:

  • Bankroll Size: Adjust your bets according to your total bankroll. A general rule of thumb is to bet no more than 1% and 5% of your bankroll per spin.
  • Game Volatility: For high volatility games, consider smaller bets to withstand longer losing streaks. For low volatility games, larger bets might be more appropriate as wins will be more frequent.

Adjust Bet Sizes Based on Performance and Bankroll

If you know when and why to adjust your bet size, you can optimise your gambling and extend your bankroll.

Here are a few pointers that can help you make the right call in different scenarios:

  • Increase Bets During Winning Streaks: If you’re on a winning streak, gradually increase your bet size to capitalise on your momentum.
  • Decrease Bets During Losing Streaks: If you’re experiencing a losing streak, lower your bet size to conserve your bankroll and extend your playing time.
  • Use Incremental Adjustments: When increasing or decreasing your bet size, do it incrementally and not in large jumps to avoid risking too much of your bankroll at once. 

Extra Bet Size Tips

In addition to the above, we have some more expert tips when it comes to your bet size strategy:

  • Utilise Bonuses and Promotions: Take advantage of casino bonuses and promotions to boost your bankroll and allow for larger bets without using your own funds.
  • Stay Disciplined: Stick to your chosen budget and betting strategy, and avoid chasing losses by making impulsive, large bets.
  • Use The Casino’s Responsible Gambling Tools: Use the responsible gambling tools provided by the casino, such as deposit and time limits, to ensure you stick to your set budget.

#5 Make Use of Bonuses and Promotions

Our final tip is to make the best use of the bonuses and promotions that casinos offer. These bonuses come in several forms and can considerably boost your bankroll, often at no additional cost.

Here’s how each bonus type works:

  • No Deposit Bonuses: These are free sign-up offers that don’t require a deposit. Once you’ve registered with the casino, you’ll receive free spins or bonus credit you can use to play slots risk-free. Skip straight to our recommended no deposit bonuses to claim one of these offers.
  • Welcome and Match Bonuses: Most casinos match your first few deposits up to a specific amount. For example, if you deposit $100 to claim a 100% match bonus, you’ll get an additional $100 in bonus funds, so $200 to play with in total.   
  • Reload Bonuses: If you gamble regularly at the same casino, you can get rewarded when you top up your bankroll. You’ll receive a match bonus or a batch of free spins when you deposit.
Top Tip

Always Check The Terms First

If the above section on casino promotions has you itching to claim some, just a little word of caution first… always check the terms and conditions. See our guide to bonus terms and conditions to understand what they are and how best to deal with them.   

What To Avoid When Playing Slots

As well as knowing what you should be doing when you are gambling on slots, it’s equally important to know what to avoid.

Here’s a handy checklist of what not to do when playing online slots:

  • Don’t Assume All Slots Are the Same: Each slot game has unique features, themes, payout structures, and bonus rounds. Familiarise yourself with the specific game rules, paytables, and special symbols before you start spinning the reels.
  • Don’t Use Autoplay Recklessly: While convenient, autoplay can lead to rapid losses if you don’t keep a close eye on things. Set limits for your autoplay sessions and continually check your casino balance to avoid overspending.
  • Don’t Ignore Bonuses and Promos: Online casinos often offer bonuses, free spins, and promotions to both new and existing customers. Check for available promotions and always read the terms and conditions to maximise their benefits.
  • Don’t Overlook Volatility and RTP: Volatility indicates how often and how much you can win, while RTP (Return to Player) is the percentage of wagered money a slot is expected to pay back over time. Choose games with an RTP and volatility that match your gambling style and budget.
  • Don’t Chase Losses: Trying to win back money you’ve lost can quickly lead to even greater losses. Set a strict budget for your gaming session and stick to it, accepting that losses are a part of gambling.
  • Don’t Forget to Manage Your Bankroll: Decide in advance how much money you are willing to spend and never exceed that amount. Set win and loss limits using the casino’s tools to keep your gambling under control.
  • Don’t Ignore the Fun Aspect: Slots are designed for entertainment. Enjoy the experience, the themes, and the excitement of each spin, rather than focusing solely on winning.
  • Don’t Rely on Gambling Myths and Superstitions: Slots are based on random number generators (RNGs), ensuring each spin is independent. Relying on myths like lucky charms or hot and cold slots can soon lead to disappointment and poor decision making.
Top Tip

Always Gamble Within Your Budget

I don’t want to sound like your mother, but it’s essential you set a gambling budget and stick to it. Staying within your financial limits will help you stay safe and enjoy playing slots while avoiding potential downsides. See our complete responsible gambling guide for more information on how to gamble responsibly.  

FAQ

To get the most out of your gambling, it’s important to understand slot mechanics, paytables, and symbols. Knowing the values of regular and special symbols, winning combinations, and bonus round triggers will help you to maximise your winning potential.

Slot game bonus features, like multipliers, wilds, and scatters, can significantly boost winnings. These features can trigger free spins, mini-games, and other lucrative bonuses that enhance your overall experience of a slot but more importantly increase your chances of winning.

RTP (Return to Player) indicates the average amount of your wagers returned to you over time, while the house edge represents the casino’s profit margin. By understanding RTP percentages, you can choose games with better long-term returns and manage your win expectations.

Effective bankroll management ensures you have a more sustainable gambling experience. Set a budget, stick to it, and adjust bet sizes according to your current performance. This helps prevent overspending and allows you to enjoy the game without financial stress.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Laura Simpson, the Chief Editor at NoDepositCasino.Guide - With hundreds of reviews and thousands of no deposit bonuses, NoDepositCasino.Guide is certainly your one-stop destination for free online gambling. Our bonuses are updated daily and we pride ourselves on providing the highest percentage of working bonus, worldwide.