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How to Tell if a Slot Machine is Ready to Pay

Is there a way to tell whether your slot is close to hitting a big win? On this page, we analyze different types of slots games, how to measure the volatility, variance and RTP, and whether there are any telltale signs of whether a slot is ready to hit big.

Playing slots is one of the most exciting, fun games you can play at a casino. But is there really a method to tell if a slot machine is hot? We take a look.

It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular questions among slot players. But is there a way to see which machine is due to be hit? Do you know which machines are the best to play? Can you tell when a slot machine is due to payout? We take a detailed look at ways to increase your chances of finding a loose slot and understand how slot machines work.

When a Slot is Ready to Hit

Slot machines are undoubtedly one of the most popular games among gamblers globally. Depending on their mood, players can play slots for real money or just for fun.

Many people enjoy hitting the Las Vegas slots when visiting the gambling mecca, with the numerous casinos on the strip offering a massive variety of slot machines. One of the most commonly asked questions among slot players who play for real money is: How to tell when a slot machine is about to hit?

Slot Machine Reels

Questions such as these are typically asked in land-based casinos across the country. The fact is, it is impossible to predict if a specific slot machine is going to pay out at a particular moment. If players knew precisely when a slot machine is about to hit the jackpot, casinos everywhere would be losing significant amounts of money. Players would be getting big wins at both land-based casinos and online casino sites all the time, and we all know that doesn’t happen.

Slot Machine Pay Out

However, that does not mean that it is impossible to generate some serious money from slot machines with the right strategy or significantly increase your chances of winning. Most players familiar with slot machines will know that the odds around these games are calculated on mathematical probability. Consequently, if you understand how these odds work, you could use this knowledge to your advantage by combining this with casino bonuses with low wagering rates and making some profits.

If you have a well-rounded slot machine strategy in place and an excellent ability to identify high-variance slots and volatility, you can increase your chances of winning. You won’t ever be able to know when a slot game is about to payout, but employing a strategy including bankroll management will give you a better chance than blindly playing the nearest slot with the brightest cabinet.

We have carried out detailed research looking at numerous slot machine hints and tips to answer questions such as When do slot machines payout? Or how do slot machines payout? This online slot machine guide provides information on the most valuable strategies you can use to turn the random odds of slot games in your favor.

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Choosing a Winning Slot Machine for Big Wins

If you want to win money playing slots, the first thing to consider is to choose the right kind of slot machine. Typically, playing your favorite slot game may give you a decent chance of winning.

But have you ever researched;

  • What is the maximum payout (is it capped)?
  • The bonus hit frequency percentage?
  • The average number of spins required for each bonus feature?
  • The average bonus round wins relative to stake size?
  • The overall volatility and variance of the slot?
  • The RTP?
  • The RTP contribution of playing if it’s a Jackpot Slot?

Seasoned gamblers and gambling experts will confirm the notion that becoming familiar with a particular game improves your chances of claiming some big wins. If you can identify the type of slot you are playing within a few minutes, this gives a massive advantage. It also saves you money playing on a slot that isn’t capable of producing big wins. It would be a thankless task attempting to win big on a low-variance machine that is only capable of tiny wins. So improving your overall knowledge about slots, the key terms associated with them, and the slot developers who produce slots capable of big wins is worthwhile to research.

There are many high-variance slot games online that we have featured in our in-depth slot guides for DraftKings slots and the best slots on FanDuel casino, featuring perfect examples of slots that can provide the most significant wins that we, as players, all seek. Additionally, there are free-play demo versions of these games available. If you are still getting to grips with how to play slot machines, playing the free demo version is an excellent starting point until you gain enough confidence to put your strategy to the test in a real money scenario. Understanding how a style of slot machine works is also vital to find out if your slot machine strategy, including managing your bankroll and bet size is a good idea.

Play Slots With High Variance and Volatility and High RTP

This may seem like the most obvious thing to do, whether playing slots at a physical casino or online slot machines at online casinos. If you have played slots before, you will know the term’ house edge’. If you have not encountered this phrase before, we will explain what it means.

The ‘house edge‘ refers to the odds being in favor of the ‘house,’ which could be a physical casino or an online casino. The house’s advantage means that a guaranteed percentage of the money wagered will be returned to the online casino over time. This means that casinos will always beat the player in the long run, because the odds are stacked in their favor. Everybody will have come across phrases such as ‘you don’t see a poor bookmaker’ or ‘the house always wins.’ In this instance, the house is the casino.

However, although the slot game odds may be against you, it is still possible to be a winner. Every slot machine has a return to player based on statistics and money wagered, which is aptly named the RTP (Return to Player). Keep in mind the average RTP for most online slot machines is around 95-97%. So, if you come across a slot game with an RTP over 97%, that is a fantastic option. It may seem insignificant if the difference is only a few percentage points; however, this makes a big difference over thousands or millions of spins. This is why it is beneficial to observe the RTP before you play to give you a better chance of an extended play session, which gives you more chances to win in the long term.

Of course, playing online slots is different from visiting a casino in person. There are now a lot of NJ online casinos and PA casinos online that offer slots to players within state borders. The good news is that RTP is generally much higher online than at land-based casinos, even for the same slot machine titles!

Where Can You Find the RTP?

As long as you are willing to do a little research, finding the RTP of a particular slot game is straightforward. Check out some of our online casino reviews, which detail the casino games available, including slots and their respective RTPs. Whether playing slot games at a physical casino or any online casino, you have a better chance of getting a big payout by choosing the games with a higher RTP. This also applies when you are playing through bonus spins.

If you want to know more about some of the most popular casinos in the US that have a great range of slots, you can check out these guides:

Measuring Volatility & Variances of Slots

This aspect is as crucial as choosing an online slot machine with a high RTP. Volatility and variance tend to go hand in hand as slot terms. In online slot games its a measurement of how much and often you can expect to win when you play.

High volatility means the probability of winning is low, but you might get the occasional very big win. As the payouts are significantly higher with high volatility slots, the danger is you will be hitting the spin button non-stop as your bankroll decreases before your eyes. However, if the stars align and you get lucky, you could hit the max win, which in today’s online slots can be over 100,000x stake, and we aren’t even talking progressive jackpot slots here!

Conversely, the low volatility games mean that the probability of winning is high, but the payouts are smaller. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that you can still net a big win with these games. However, they are generally not as high as the high volatility games when they do occur.

The choice here boils down to player preference. If you feel more comfortable playing games where you can win small amounts often, choose the low-volatility games. Alternatively, if you are going online intending to win big and are willing to take the necessary risks, the high volatility games are for you.

Online casinos are reluctant to give out information about the game’s volatility, but you can notice what they are after playing for a certain amount of time. Some slot developers are now revealing much more information about their games, including how the RTP is distributed between the base and bonus games, overall volatility rating, hit frequency, and max win potential. Play’n Go, Quickspin, Push Gaming, and Relax Gaming are all being very transparent with their new slot releases making this kind of information more readily available for players.

Again, we must stress there is no right or wrong choice here. It simply boils down to player preference; we always prefer the higher variance and volatile machines, though!

Use Casino Bonuses & Bonus Spins To Your Advantage

One of the most effective ways to overcome the house edge is to use casino bonuses to your advantage. Most online casinos offer welcome bonuses that offer bonus money, bonus bets, or bonus spins on slot machines. Additionally, these bonus spins have often come with little or no wagering requirements. Combining these bonuses with playing on slots with a higher than average RTP, and certainly ones that have higher variance and volatility give you a bigger chance of making a withdrawal.

These bonuses can turn the odds in favor of the player, especially if the wagering requirements are low, Once you understand RTP you can work out quickly how competitive the casino bonuses being offered to you are, and the likelihood of making a withdrawal after completing wagering.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions of any bonus offer, as it is likely they will have an expiration date, wagering requirements, possible max bet sizes, and even some restricted slots.

While they are active, make sure you make the most of them and use them to give your bankroll a nice boost. It is in your interest to have a look at various casino sites to find the best bonuses available, pick slots capable of producing good wins, and hope that lady luck is on your side!

Finding A Loose Slot Machine

A loose slot machine increases your chance of winning and helps if you want to know when a slot machine is close to hitting the jackpot. Below you will find a list of things to look out for when determining if you have found a loose slot machine.

Loose slot machines

  • Machine Cycles – If you are wondering how to tell if a slot machine is ready to pay out? One thing you can do is observe the cycles of the machine and the games. At some point, the machine will release the jackpot, don’t leave at that point, as you can continue to observe.
  • Game Popularity – Play slot machines that are popular with other gamblers at a casino.
  • Don’t Hang Around – Once you have won enough from a slot machine, remove yourself from the action before you see those winnings dwindle. Have an “exit strategy” and use it!
  • Go For High Limit Slot Machines – Use a high limit slots strategy by betting big on the machines to get some high limit jackpots. The payouts are high, and there is a chance of hitting the jackpot on a slot machine. These games are more suitable for high rollers in a casino.

The above list contains some valuable information when looking for a loose slot machine.

Jackpot Slot Machines

High limit slot machine jackpots are different from traditional slot games. Some of these differences include:

  • Paylines: Slot machines have numerous paylines triggered by the bet placed; sometimes Jackpot slots will need to be played on max lines to be able to win the Jackpots.
  • Progressive Jackpot Slots: Progressive jackpot slots work by collecting some of the money staked and putting it towards a huge jackpot prize (RTP contribution).
  • Multipliers And Bonus Multipliers: The multipliers use the special symbols found in the game, normally wilds to multiply your winnings by a specific amount.


Is a slot machine random?

Slot machines are random. Those found in casinos and online work using the RNG (Random Number Generator). This random number generator is a computer-run program that randomly chooses numbers. Slots are also tested and audited to make sure they are RNG certified. A random number generator produces numbers that are not connected to each other in any way, which ensures your games are entirely random. The outcome of your current spin is not based on any of the previous spins by you or any other players. You could spin a slot 1000 times and never hit a bonus feature by design. The next time you play it, you could hit three bonus rounds in 3 spins. Over an extended period of play, these frequencies will average out and become more consistent.

Is there a strategy for playing slot machines?

Slot strategies should focus on how you approach playing them. Before you begin spinning the reels, make sure you find out the payout percentage of the selected slot machine. We recommend avoiding any slot machine with an RTP of below 95%. Choose the high volatile games and go after the big jackpot if you want big wins. Finally, make the most of any casino bonus offered to you, including free spins on any slot machine. Make sure your bet size is small in relation to your bankroll. This is even more important if you play high variance slot machines.

Can you tell when a slot machine is ready to hit?

You cannot tell when a slot machine is ready to hit, this would go against the very nature of slots being random.

Which slot machines pay the most often?

The slot machines that pay the most often are generally termed as low variance slot machines that are also low volatile. These terms mean that the slot will payout very frequently and in small amounts, the lack of volatility means there is little to no deviation from this pattern whilst playing it. If you seek out slots that pay the most often in terms of frequency then low variance and low volatility, and a high hit frequency are the key features to look for.