Slot machines are usually by far the most popular games at any online casino. They are attractive to beginners and casual players precisely because they don’t require a lot of skill, experience or strategy. Slot games are random, or at least as random as any computerised system can be programmed to be, so it’s generally believed that unlike many card and table games, there is no skill or strategy required.
It’s true that slots are games of luck, but as with any online game, there are players who will apply some level of strategy to playing slots. Here are some of the strategies that regular slot players tend to try in order to give themselves a better chance of winning big.
They say you have to play big to win big, and when it comes to slots, there’s some logic in that idea. Slots that require a high wager tend to have a higher payback percentage, so there is potentially some advantage to playing the higher denomination slots. There’s also a drawback, however, as when you’re on a losing streak, you’ll lose a lot more money, more quickly, than if you’re playing cheaper slots. While some players claim that it’s worth going for the big payback, others will claim that average wins and losses will even out over time.
If you play progressive slots, you’ll be aware that a percentage of each wager is added to the potential jackpot. The jackpot then moves up in tiers, with anything from two to 12 tiers on most video slots. Depending on the game, you may have to wager a certain amount in one go to be eligible for the jackpot. When that’s the case, it’s important to make sure that you bet enough to be eligible for the jackpot.
You may think that you don’t care about the jackpot, as long as you win something, but remember that with progressive slots, the jackpots are the main reason to play because wins outside of the jackpots are usually much lower than in other games. If you don’t want to place a wager big enough to make you eligible for the jackpots, your best strategy would be to focus on other games. Want to try out a progressive slot? We recommend Mega Glam Life here at Bitcasino. It offers significantly higher jackpots than standard slots.
“Priming the pump” is a phrase used by online gamblers who work on the assumption that you have to put something in to get something out. They start with small bets and slowly increase the amounts they wager in the hope that they will be betting big by the time that the slot is ready to pay out big. While this can seem logical to many players, there is no evidence to back it up.
As we’ve already said, slot games are random, and you’re just as likely to win with your first bet as a later one. The psychological benefit of starting slow may help some players to “ease in” to their gambler’s mindset, but there is no concrete advantage to it. Nevertheless, there are still gamblers who insist that this strategy works for them, so new players often like to track their winnings and see if they tend to win more early on or after they’ve been playing for a while.
Some games give you an option to “double up” – choosing to try to double your win with a 50% chance of success. Depending on the game, you may even be able to double up several times in a row. This sounds risky, but true 50/50 odds in an online casino are rare, and many players jump on a chance where there is, for once, no house edge.
Doubling up will also increase the volatility of the game, and high volatility can work in your favour when playing slots. For games in which you need luck to win, high volatility is risky because losses can be bigger, but so, of course, can wins. Low-volatility games tend to result in smaller losses but also smaller wins.
If you’re prepared to use high-volatility strategies to try to win big, you may also want to try playing with fewer winlines. Games with fewer winlines automatically have higher volatility. When you bet on one line, you will, of course, win less frequently than if you bet on multiple lines, but when you do win, that win will be significantly higher than if you had spread the same bet across several different winlines. Remember that high volatility means that you can lose bigger, as well as winning bigger, which is why the next strategy is probably the most important one of all.
As with any other casino games, the best strategy is probably learning to be disciplined, and set sensible limits around what you are prepared to lose, and win. If your losses hit the figure you’ve set as the maximum you want to lose, it’s time to stop playing. Conversely, when your winnings reach an amount that you are satisfied with, it’s also time to stop playing. It can be hard to stop playing when you’re on a winning streak, but there’s only one alternative, which is carrying on until you’re on a losing streak. Learn to quit while you’re ahead.
What if you fail and just keep playing until you start to lose? What if you overshoot your losing limit because you’re convinced that the next spin will be a winning one? Don’t beat yourself up over it – pretty much every player has done the same. Just work on it for next time. Gambling responsibly, and learning to take your winnings while you have some to take, is a vital skill, and one that all the long-term successful gamblers have mastered. However, it can take time to develop the discipline.
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Words: Sean McNulty