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Can You Increase Your Odds of Winning on Slot Machines?

Slots are one of the most popular casino games around. In this article I look at if you can increase your odds of winning on slot machines.

Online gamblers all want to know the magic formula to success. We want to win all the time and make epic profits and people often ask if this is possible playing online slots?

In the article below, I use my expert knowledge and personal experience to debunk the myths and answer once and for all if (and how) you can increase your odds of winning while playing slots.

How Do Slot Machines Work?

Before we jump into how to win at slots it’s vital to understand how they work. These online games are essentially like traditional slot machines in bricks and mortar casinos but use a random number generator to decide the outcome of the reel spins instead of the mechanical reels of real slot machines.

The typical playing process is as follows:

  1. Select your bet value.
  2. Hit the spin button.
  3. The reels spin and land on random symbols.
  4. An outcome is determined and a payout is given if you get a winning combo.
  5. Rinse and repeat.

Each time you hit the spin button, a random number sequence is generated that determines the outcome of the symbols. This makes sure that the results of the online slot game are random and that there is no cheating involved from the casino.

In the game, you will typically see the reel layout like on an actual slot machine, together with game controls and bet amounts at the bottom. The controls may allow you to change the pay lines, alter your line bets, and even set an auto spin function. We can see below a standard reel layout in the popular game 88 Fortunes from SG Interactive:

88 Fortunes

What Are the Odds of Winning at Casino Slot Machines?

When looking at odds of online slots we have to speak in terms of the RTP and not a fractional odd of winning on each spin.

The RTP is the return to player percentage and I explain this clearer below. For now, it is basically how we describe slot machine odds as a percentage of how much you can expect to win back when playing slots over time.

The average RTP for online slots is 96.00%. This means that for every $1 spent, you can expect to win back $0.96 or make a $0.04 loss. These are the basic odds of slot machines. The best slot machine odds are higher than this and can go to 97.00% RTP and above.

Compared to other casino games, slot machines are middle of the road:

DraftKings White Rabbit

How to Increase Your Winning Odds

So, we can see that slots sit somewhere in the middle in terms of expected payouts. The great news is that you can increase your chances of winning by using the below slot tips.

Play slots with a high RTP

I explain RTP fully in a section below, but for now, slots with a higher RTP give you a better chance of winning. You can usually find the RTP (return to player) percentage in the game rules or pay table of a slot machine.

Also check the volatility

While RTP is the first thing I look at, I also consider the volatility. Volatility or variance relates to the frequency and value of your wins.

Match your playstyle with the volatility and consider which you think is more conducive to winning.

Manage your money

Money management is key to being successful at casino games including slots. I typically set myself a playing limit per session so as to not burn through my bankroll instantly.

It’s also a great idea to avoid playing with the maximum bets – you may get a big win, but you will also run out of cash much quicker!

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I never jump straight into slot games, even cheaper ones like penny slots without playing a demo version first. Most online casinos have free-play versions available that you play using virtual credits and not real money.

By doing this, you can read the pay table, look at the game rules, check the available bet values, etc.

Know when to stop

This is possibly the best piece of advice I can give and I have often fallen short when it comes to knowing when to stop. If you hit a big payout on your first few spins – take the profit and run! Or, continue to only play with your original money and put the profit to one side.

You have got lucky here and managed to beat the RTP but if you continue to play, over time, the RTP will most likely average out and you will end up down on your initial money.

Does Betting the Maximum on Slot Machines Increase the Odds?

No. This is another misconception. Your bet value has no bearing on slot machine odds or the RTP. You could bet $1 or $100 and the chance of winning would be exactly the same.

The difference is in the volume and how much you win – not the frequency. For example, I play at 300 Shields Extreme by NextGen. This game has a below-average RTP of 95.29%.

I play 10 spins at $1 each ($10 total spent) and would be expected to win back $9.29 or make a $0.71 loss. In contrast, I play 10 spins at $10 each ($100 total spent) and would be expected to win back $95.29 to make a $4.71 loss.

There is no difference in my expected percentage loss. However, as you can see from the below screenshot, I would have won a lot more on this spin had I bet $10.00 and made more profit.

300 Shields Extreme

Is it Better to stick to the Same Slot or Switch Around?

It’s surprising how many different opinions and misconceptions there are around this question but mathematically speaking, there is no difference if you only play at one slot machine, or keep switching to different slot games.

The main point I always remember is that each slot spin is independent. Just because you have not won in the last five spins, it doesn’t mean you can expect a win on the next turn or that you should play another video slot and expect to win.

Blood Suckers

It doesn’t work like that. The outcomes are based on the RTP of the individual slot machine so whether you play at 10 different video slots or spend hours playing one online slot really doesn’t matter.

Can You Trick or Hack Slot Machines?

No. Online slots use random number generator systems to decide the outcome of your spins. This means that everything is randomly decided with a slightly skewed ratio so that the slot games still have a house edge.

These systems cannot be tricked and trying to do so is illegal and can land you in a heap of trouble. Never try to hack or game online casinos unless you want to serve jail time! Instead, use your brain and simply pick slots with a higher RTP while managing your bankroll and playing sensibly.

Is There Really a Strategy for Winning at Slots?

No, and anyone who claims differently is lying to you. I could sit here and claim that I have a foolproof strategy to always win at slots but it’s total rubbish – the outcomes are randomly decided and there is always a house edge.

In terms of strategy, all you can do is pick online slots with a higher RTP, manage your bankroll, quit when you are ahead with a big payout, and know your limits.

How Can I Pick a Winning Slot Machine?

You should now have a clearer idea about the expectations of slots but to give you more insight I want to explain the main factor to consider if you want to win at slots – RTP.

What is RTP in Slots?

RTP = Return to Player

This is the most important factor to consider if you want to win at slots. RTP is expressed as a percentage and it relates to the theoretical amount you can expect to win back over a prolonged playing period on casino games. RTP is not just for slots but it applies to other games like blackjack and roulette. To give you more insight I have listed some major pointers about RTP below:

  • If you subtract the RTP from 100%, you get the house edge.
  • RTP is theoretical and not guaranteed.
  • Playing for only a few spins can result in skewed RTP percentages.
  • Higher RTP (closer to 100%) is better.

Let’s look at an example. I play Arthur Pendragon by IGT which has an expected RTP of 96.43%. Based on this, if I spent $1000 on it, I would be expected to get back $964.30. Or, to look at it another way, I stand to lose $35.70 which is the house edge ($1000 – $964.30).

This is the expected outcome over time. However, as stated, this can be skewed greatly if you only play a few spins. For example, I could play just one spin for a bet value of $1.00 and win nothing. If I walked away at that point, my RTP would actually be 0%.

In contrast, we can see below that I did a spin at $1 and won $2.10. In this scenario, if I walked away, my RTP would be considerably higher than the expected 96.43% at 210%. To reiterate – RTP percentages typically play out over a longer playing period – not just a handful of spins but it is better to play slots with a higher RTP.

Arthur Pendragon

Slots with High RTP

The industry average for video slots is around 96%. Therefore, I always look for games with an RTP higher than this as you theoretically have a better chance of winning. To give you a headstart, I have selected 10 slots that give you better odds due to their high RTP and that are available at popular US online casinos like DraftKingsGolden Nugget, and FanDuel:

🎰Slot Name💯RTP📈Volatility🧑‍💻Provider
Mega Joker99.00%LowNetEnt
Blood Suckers98.00%LowNetEnt
White Rabbit Megaways97.70%HighBig Time Gaming
Medusa Megaways97.63%HighBig Time Gaming
Guns ‘N Roses96.98%LowNetEnt
Blood Suckers II96.90%LowNetEnt
Jimi Hendrix96.90%LowNetEnt
Butterfly Staxx96.80%MediumNetEnt
Extras Chilli Megaways96.82%MediumBig Time Gaming
Divine Fortune96.60%LowNetEnt

Slot Paytables Explained

While the RTP is imperative to beat slot machines, you must also have a firm understanding of paytables. All online slots have a pay table you can access while playing the game.

This essentially explains every aspect of the slot including winning combinations, different special symbols, bonus games, and every other feature the slot has.

Standard Symbols

Usually the first item of the payout table is the basic symbols. These are standard symbols that have an allocated winning combination and amount listed as either a dollar value or a multiplier of your line bet. For example, we can see the standard symbol payouts below for the slot game Alladin’s Legacy:

Alladin's Legacy Paytable

Wilds & Scatters

Two of the most common symbols after the standard icons are wild and scatter symbols. Most slots including 1c online slotsprogressive slots, and medium volatility slots will have both these symbols.

The wild symbol usually substitutes for any other standard symbol except the scatter while the scatter symbol typically has its own payouts, but may also trigger the casino bonus such as free spins or a bonus round.

Alladin's Legacy Bonuses

Bonus Symbols/Features

After the standard symbols and special symbols, many slots have some type of bonus game or special feature. This could be something simple like the chance to win free games through to complete bonus games with unlockable levels.

In most instances, the bonus rounds have either the same pay table but with additional multipliers, or a completely new pay table. You often find that bonus rounds have additional wilds, sticky wilds, or large symbols that cover multiple reels.

The possibilities are endless and this is what I love about slots – the different variety of bonus games and features mean you can also find something new and exciting. Alladin’s Legacy, for example, has a special “into the cave” bonus where you must guess the right combo of gems to unlock a special treasure vault.

Alladin's Legacy Bonus

Other Rules and Info

A pay table often includes a description of the game rules, version information, RTP percentages, and the different pay lines together with diagrams of the symbol combinations. Essentially, by reading a pay table you should be able to fully understand how the game works and how you can win money. If the game type is unusual it also helps to learn exactly how the game and costs work, classic games like Keno slots have some basic strategies and risks associated with them.

Alladin's Legacy Rules

Can I win at Slot Machines with $20?

I get this question a lot and it’s a difficult one to answer but we can look at it mathematically. Let’s say that you play Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt with your $20.

This popular slot game has an expected RTP of 96.00%. Therefore, if you bet $1 per spin, you would get a minimum of 20 spins and should be expected to make back $19.20 or make a loss of $0.80.

Gonzo's Quest

From a mathematical basis alone we can say that it’s not possible to make a profit with $20 playing slot games.

However, the RTP is theoretical – it’s an average over time. You could get lucky and hit a big win on your first spin which would earn you a profit and skew the RTP way above the expected 96%. As a result, yes it is possible to win and make a profit with just $20.

Final Thoughts

I hope your mind is much clearer on the reality of how slot machines work and what you can expect. So, can you increase your odds of winning slot machines? I have two closing answers to this important question:

From a technical and in-game perspective, no you cannot increase your chances of winning. The slot spins are random and each slot machine has an RTP that determines your theoretical winnings. Nothing you can do can alter this.

However, from a strategic perspective, you can increase your chances of winning by playing the right slot machines. If you pick slots with a higher RTP (Above 97.00%), manage your money carefully, and know when to walk away, you can make a profit. Also, consider the volatility, and make use of any welcome bonuses offered by online casinos like DraftKings and BetMGM.

The slot machine winning odds might be fixed as a whole, but players can use this guide to leave the casino with a positive balance.

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FAQs

How to increase your odds of winning at slots?

Look for slot machines that have a smaller house edge or higher RTP. The closer the RTP is to 100%, the better your slot machine odds are. Also, consider the volatility and choose games that fit your play style and budget.

How to trick a slot machine to win?

Most slot machines use complex random number generator algorithms to determine the outcome of your spins. These cannot be manipulated or tricked and we strongly advise against trying anything against this unless you want legal action taken against you.

Which slot pays out the most?

Historically, Ugga Bugga from Playtech pays out the most as it has an RTP of 99.07%. This jungle-themed slot game is incredibly fun and due to its low volatility gameplay, you could get consistent wins and even turn a profit.

Can you win real money on slot machines?

Of course! Providing the online casino you use is legitimate and licensed in a US state then you can always win real money playing slots online. Make sure you look for the software developers too and only play with reputable game providers like NetEnt, Evolution, Yggdrasil, and Playtech.

Is there a way to increase the chances of winning at slots?

Not via the game as wins are decided randomly. However, you can increase your chances of winning by selecting the right slot machine with a high RTP. Play slot machines with an RTP of 96% or more to increase your chances of winning. Know when to stop spinning, and you can have positive winning odds in the long run.

Should I stay on the same or change slot machines?

Mathematically speaking, there is no difference if you play a single slot machine or multiple slot machine games. The deciding factor is luck + the RTP percentage, volatility, and random number generator in the slot machine.

Do I win more often when I bet max on slot machines?

This is a misconception that many believe. While playing with more money on slot games results in larger payouts, your bet value has no bearing on the frequency of wins. Whether you bet $1 per spin or $20 per spin, the statistical outcome will always be the same. You may win a bigger volume with $20, but you will also lose much more per spin!

Which are 5 slot machine strategies that work?

There are no slot machine strategies - you cannot game the system or trick slot machines. Nor can you do anything to increase the odds in your favor. The only viable strategies are to play slot machine games with a higher RTP, manage your bankroll effectively, and test demo versions of slot games first. It’s also worth sticking with providers that do not manipulate their RTPs at casino sites and using the bonus buy rounds if you can afford them to get the maximum RTP per spin.