Let’s start with the obvious: Long-term, the only winners are the casinos, as the odds are in their favour.
On slots, this is reflected through the Return To Player (RTP) percentages.
For example, the best-paying version of Book of Dead will pay out 96.21% back to the players in the long run, which makes the online casino´s margin 3.79%.
For every 100 wagered, the casinos will keep 3.79 when calculated over billions of spins.
But nowadays, most slots are released with various RTP configurations, so while one casino might let you play BOD on the best RTP version, another offers their players the 91.25% version, which increases casinos’ profits further and decreases your chances of winning – But more about this later.
So why do we play casino slots?
Because it’s fun, and although the long-term odds are stacked against us, it is still possible to win money.
What is the best slot strategy?
This Best Slot Strategy article will look into the do’s and don’ts.
We will show you examples and explain what you should avoid and what you can do to increase your chances of winning.
There is no one way or magic cheat code to guarantee wins when playing slots, but knowing these available quick maneuvers will set you off on the right track.
Always play online slots instead of land-based slots
Playing in brick-and-mortar casinos has some positives, like the social aspect and the feeling of visiting a luxurious environment or watching other players gamble.
However, playing slots in land-based casinos is not one of them. The reason is that the payout (RTP) percentages are much lower on these slots due to various reasons tied to the higher costs of running the operation.
Operating an online casino is not cheap (or easy) either, but the costs involved are fewer, and the offering is bigger as these casinos are not tied to a certain amount of space.
While the casino floor, for example, can fit 50 slots, an online casino can easily offer players +1,000 slots.
All this then affects the offered RTP percentages on slots. While land-based casinos often offer players a long-term return of around 80%, online casinos can offer up to 96% RTP on most slots.
To show you what the effect of a higher or lower Return to Player really is, we have done some calculations.
Based on a starting balance of €/£/$/100 and a stake of €/£/$/1 per spin, we can determine per RTP configuration how many spins it will theoretically take (excluding variance) before you run out of funds.
How many spins does it take before your balance goes below €/£/$/1?
|RTP||Number of spins|
Now, it is a good thing to realize that these calculations are based on theoretical losses per spin. In practice, due to the slot’s variance, results will differ significantly as you will have many losing and some winning spins. But taking the variance out of the equation, you can see enormous differences between the RTP settings.
On top of all this, you can generally find more slots online that offer higher wins than in brick-and-mortar casinos when excluding jackpot slots.
Always play high RTP slots
Playing slots online is better in terms of RTPs, but there is more to it.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, most slots online are today released with various RTP configurations, and online casinos can then freely choose which version to offer their players.
Some casinos are generous and offer players the best-paying versions of specific games, but most offer players one of the lower RTP versions to increase their profits.
Do your homework and check your casino’s version by loading the game and checking the rules info. If it’s a poor version, find a high-RTP casino offering better value.
Remember that the higher the RTP is, the more spins you will get on average from your deposited amounts.
More spins equal more chances of hitting wins, triggering bonus games, and lengthening entertainment time.
Check our slot reviews here on CasinoWizard.com to see which RTP versions are available on slots and where to find online casinos that offer the best RTP version.
We have researched for you so that you can focus on playing with the best odds.
Some examples of slots and the available RTP versions:
- Sweet Bonanza: 95.50% | 96.60%
- Starburst: 90.05% | 92.05% | 93.05% | 94.05% | 95.05% | 96.09%
- Gates of Olympus: 94.50% | 95.50% | 96.50%
- Legacy of Dead: 84.55% | 87.56% | 91.51% | 94.51% | 96.58%
- Sugar Rush: 94.50% | 95.50% | 96.50%
- San Quentin xWays: 94.11% | 96.03%
- Big Bass Bonanza: 94.02% | 95.67% | 96.71%
- Reactoonz: 84.51% | 87.50% | 91.49% | 94.51% | 96.51%
- Wanted Dead or a Wild: 88.42% | 92.33% | 94.55% | 96.38%
- Razor Returns: 88.83% | 90.55% | 94.49% | 95.40% | 96.55%
Avoid jackpot slots
However, like playing Lotto, the big win only happens to a lucky selected few.
Also, what makes the jackpot slot less appealing is the big chunk of the RTP that is dedicated towards the jackpot/s.
For example, a slot like Money Train Origins Dream Drop offers players a 94% RTP, but about 12% of all bets go into the Dream Drop Jackpots, leaving about an 82% RTP for regular payouts.
So, feel free to give a jackpot slot a go if the Mega Jackpot reaches crazy amounts and you feel lucky, but playing regularly on jackpot slots is a bad idea as your money will run out faster.
Use solid money management
Apart from being aware that playing slots long-term is a losing proposition due to the setup and the odds, the other crucial rule includes a proper money management strategy.
Playing slots should be entertaining and fun; keeping it that way requires setting some boundaries.
How much time do you want to dedicate to playing slots, and what amount are you prepared to lose?
Decide these limits and then stick to them at all times. To your help, you can use the online casinos´ tools after you have set up your account.
Use the “Hit and Run” strategy
Firm and clear goals also apply to “Hit and Run” strategies.
A mistake many players make is that they continue playing even after a big win and eventually might lose all their winnings plus their deposited balance.
To avoid this, you can set up some clear goals.
If you, for example, decide to deposit $/€/£100, how much would you like to win to feel satisfied?
Your target might be 200, 300, or even 500. Whatever your goal is, the trick is that if you reach the beforehand decided threshold, you stop.
You don’t continue playing or change the game, but just stop playing and go and do something else. The target has been achieved, and you move on.
The casinos rely on long-term RTPs, and the longer you play, the more the casinos will win in the long run. So do yourself a favour, set a goal, and log out if you achieve it.
Use the “Go big or go home strategy”
For a higher chance to succeed with a “Hit and Run” or “Go big or go home strategy,” avoid low variance slots and go for the riskier medium to highly volatile slots.
Because low volatile slots like Starburst might give you more entertainment time, they don’t pay out big wins as the max win caps are low (Starburst can pay up to 500x the bet size used to spin).
On the contrary, highly volatile slots and high max win slots like Tombstone RIP (300,000x) and Vegas Megaways (172,310x) can pay out massive wins.
These games are risky and have the disadvantage of being able to slash your bankroll into pieces quicker than less risky slots, but occasionally they can pay out hefty amounts.
Eventually, you need to decide if you want longer entertainment time or jeopardize some of that for the possibility of hitting a big win instead.
Avoid playing Martingale system on slots
You probably have heard of the system where you start with a smaller bet and then double that in size after each loss until you eventually win. This is also referred to as the Martingale system.
Often this strategy is tried in Roulette games by using it to bet on either red or black, high or low or odds or even.
However, this strategy is not recommended for Roulette games and not for slots either.
Why shouldn’t you use the Martingale system on slots?
The Martingale system does not work on slots because payouts are not linear, so you can win 100x the bet on your 5th spin or only 1x the bet.
Let’s look at an example:
|5||8||Won €14 (28x base bet)||1.50 lost (15.50 – 14)|
The 28x base bet win might seem like a nice outcome on the fifth spin; however, we see that we are still losing when adding the total bets into the mix.
This shows that although you eventually will hit some kind of a win on a future spin, applying the Martingale strategy to playing slots is a bad idea, as it just doesn’t work.
In this example, you would start the new round with a 0.50 bet while already being on a 1.50 loss.
This system is therefore not recommendable as you can’t rely on it.
If you insist on trying out this system anyway, try it on a low variance slot to decrease the variance a bit.
A low variance slot that isn’t ancient is Taco Fury XXXtreme.
Play slot tournaments where possible
Always check if there are any slot tournaments you can opt in to before you start playing your favorite slot. Participation is always free and you might win some cash, bonus money, or other prizes just by playing in the casino. Slot tournaments are a great way to increase your bankroll without extra risk.
Use casino bonuses to your advantage
We have determined that playing slots is a losing proposition, as the odds are against us.
It’s fun, and there is a chance of winning (even massive amounts), but in the long term, the casinos will be the only real winners as long as players continue gambling.
However, one factor can level the playing field to some extent and even, in some cases, put the player in the advantage seat – Casino Bonuses.
Playing with a bonus adds an extra amount to your balance, and you play with more money than you initially deposited.
This gives you extra ammunition and chances to hit a big win as you have more money to play with. You can increase your normal bet size or spin more times using your standard stake.
Benefitting from playing with a casino bonus needs a mathematical and disciplined approach from the player, where he only takes bonuses that are EV+ (or you just need to get plain lucky).
But keep in mind that this approach will get players banned from casinos after a while or get them a bonus ban.
Although this sounds like sweet music, not all casino bonuses are created equal, as some are better than others.
Some bonuses might even be plain horrible as the wagering requirements are so high, so it’s almost impossible to clear them.
For further help, check out our these 10 essential rules to get the most out of online casino bonuses.