inner page top left

Slot Machine Strategies for Increasing Your Odds

Jennifer Lynn Written by Jennifer Lynn
Richard Grant Reviewed by Richard Grant

Slots strategy and tips

How to Win at Slots:

How to win at slots

Most online slots are played using coins, the value and number of which can be altered depending on how much you wish to bet.

As an example, if you want to bet €1 per spin, you can choose to have the value of the coin as €1 and play using 1 coin, the value of the coin as €0.50 and play using 2 coins, or the value of the coin as €0.20 and play using 5 coins.

We would suggest that wherever possible you play with the maximum number of coins so, in the above example, it is better to play with 5 coins with a value of €0.20 than 1 coin of €1. This is because some machines pay better amounts when the maximum number of coins is used.

Other slots have a bet amount per line. In all circumstances we would recommend playing maximum lines at all times and dropping down a coin value if necessary, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a big win come in on a line that you aren’t playing!

Below you can see a screenshot of a standard online slot where you can see the number of coins, value and total bet.

Online Slot Rules coins

In this instance, we are playing with a €0.01 coin, 25 lines with 10 coins per line making a total bet of €2.50 – 0.01 * 25 * 10.

Every slot has differing win lines, some have just 5, others 30 to 40 and some slots have ‘win all ways’ which means if the same symbol appears anywhere on the 1st 3 columns you will win – the majority of these have 5 columns and 3 rows which means there are 243 possible ways to win.

Although it may sound like a lot, it is worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean you have a better chance to win as each slot has a set payout % which is the average amount it pays out over the long term. Online slots are often around the 95% to 98% mark which isn’t too bad although not as good as some other casino games.

You will often find ‘Scatters’ on online slots, these are symbols that win if they appear anywhere on the reels as opposed to on the first 3 columns of a win line. On many slots, 3 or more Scatters will get you Free Spins or another Feature.

The Features of a slot machine are what make the game more exciting and can often lead to nice wins, so keep an eye out for these when you are choosing which slot to play.

online slot jackpot

You will also find some that have a jackpot, such as the one above, which keeps rising until someone wins it. The one above is currently $3,421 but on some machines, these can get to €1m or more before they pay out – a real life-changing amount!

There are literally thousands of online slots to choose from and almost every online casino these days have at least a few hundred available, we suggest that you try a few out on a free play first and decide which ones you enjoy the most before playing for real money.

Therefore, when playing slots:

1. Choose the value of your coin
2. Choose the number of coins you wish to bet
3. Choose the number of lines you wish to play, if applicable. As mentioned, we strongly suggest you leave this at the maximum

Slot Machine Variations

Slot Machine VariationsThere are many different variations of slot machines and many online casinos have several hundred to choose from.
The very basic ones have just a few win lines and no real options for the player, it is simply a case of pushing the start button and hoping.

Most have between 30 and 50 win lines and at least one or two features that can either be triggered by getting 3 or more of a certain symbol or at random.

Below is an example of one of the most basic, a 1-win line slot with no features.

This used to be popular back in the day when slots first came out, but the majority of players now prefer games with more win lines and features as they feel they get better value and entertainment for their money.

A more recent feature of slot games is the win all ways slots. These don’t have win lines, but any combination of symbols on the 1st 3 or more reels will win. A standard 3 by 5 slot paying out like this has 243 ways to win. These are proving popular with players, especially some like Thunderstruck 2, shown below, which has a feature that remembers you the next time you log in.

The advantage to this is that the first 5 times you win a feature you get the lowest one. After 5 times, you are offered a choice of 2 features, after qualifying 10 times you get a choice of 3 and after qualifying 15 times, you have a choice of 4 features, each with a varying number of free spins and added extras.

Remember that as long as you play on the same site, if you reach a certain level on the feature, the next time you log in and play, it will remember you and offer you the respective features when you qualify.

Whilst most machines pay only left to right, there are some that add to the excitement and win lines by paying right to left as well.

This gives you an opportunity to win on each spin even if the first 3 reels bring you nothing. Please bear in mind that it doesn’t increase your chances of winning in the long term as the payout percentage will still be the same, but it does at least offer a few extra chances of prolonging your gameplay.

Another type of slot to watch out for is the Progressive Jackpot slot. These tend to have lower payout percentages than other slots as a very small % of each spin is put towards a large jackpot which can often have life-changing amounts of money.

Say what you will about slots and having one of the lowest returns of casino games, but the largest progressive jackpot payout was around $24,000,000 by a player from Finland back in 2013 on the Mega Fortune slot.

If you think you need to bet big in order to win this amount, think again. His total stake was $0.25 – 25 cents for a $ 24 million win.

There are no other casino games that can offer these odds, however unlikely it is to come in…

Tips For Playing Slot Machines

I’ve mentioned before that there is no real winning strategy for slots but I’ve prepared this article to help you increase your odds. The most important thing to remember when playing slots is to have fun. Most people that win jackpots have fun playing slots. You need to create a winning mood for yourself and having fun is the best way to do this. I will cover the following topics about slots tips:

  1. Picking the right slots for you
  2. Tips that will help you increase your odds
  3. Some myths you need to be aware of

Here are some tips that will help you understand the different types of slots and will increase your odds drastically. Understanding slot rules and slots FAQ will help you as well. It is essential that you understand the different types of slots available to you.


This machine has a payout for a certain symbol and the number of coins played multiplies it. This machine does not penalize you for not playing maximum coins. If you plan to play only one coin at a time, this is the type of machine you should look for.

Bonus Multiplier:

This one operates the same as the multiplier except that it offers a bonus when you play maximum coins and hit the jackpot. Three 7’s may pay 1,000 for one coin, 2,000 for two coins and 10,000 for maximum coins. You need to decide if the bonus is worth playing the extra coin.

Multiple Payline:

These slots have more than one line of play. Each coin activates a particular line. If you hit a winner on a line that is not activated, you will not receive anything.


These are the most misunderstood slots in online casinos. Each coin activates a different payout. You need the maximum coins to receive the largest jackpot. If you hit the jackpot with one coin in you will not win anything. Do not play this machine under any circumstances unless you are playing the maximum coins.

Progressive Slots:

Progressive Jackpot SlotThe progressive slots take a certain percentage of the money played and add it to a pool for the top jackpot. But the percentage of the payback on the lesser wins is lowered to allow for the big prize. Never play progressive slots unless you are playing with maximum coins.

All the information you need about slots is posted somewhere inside the game. Locate it and always take time to read the information before you play. This helps players assess if a particular type of slot is best suited for them.

Now that you understand the different types of slots we will look into some tips and myths that will increase your odds drastically.

  1. Playing slots until you are out of money is the least advisable way to win at slots. In fact, all you end up doing is playing more money than you planned to spend in the first place.
  2. It has been said that the key to winning in online slots is rhythm. Always try to maintain your rhythm, especially if it is working for you. If after some time, the rhythm is not yielding any profit, try another one and maintain it for a while to see what happens.
  3. Always choose the denomination of the slot where you can comfortably afford to play the maximum coin.
  4. It’s a common myth that slots are the worst gamble in a casino. The truth is that making bad bets at the craps table or blackjack table can give far worse odds than any slot machine. In fact, the odds you get when playing slots are similar to those for roulette.
  5. Another commonly held belief is that a slot machine that just gave a big payout won’t pay out again for a while. Actually, statistically speaking, the odds are the same for every spin and every spin is completely random and independent of all past spins. So there’s no way to predict the next spin and a jackpot is just as likely to be hit right after the last one was hit as it is after a thousand dry spins.
  6. Generally speaking, $1 slot machines have a higher payout than 50 cents or 25 cents machines. Along the same lines, the $5 machines have been proven statistically to payout as much as 98%. It is a good idea to play the machines with the highest payout rate because even though you are putting more money into the slot machines you could also potentially be getting much more back.
  7. Don’t be greedy. Learn to walk away with small winnings or when you have reached your budget limit.
  8. Determine whether you like to win smaller amounts more frequently or put more money into the slots and potentially win big. If you see a large number of winning combinations then this will result in more frequent, smaller wins.
  9. Slots have a reputation for reeling players in and not letting them out. So if you do win a jackpot, set aside most of your winnings and continue playing with only a small percentage of your earnings. This will keep you from giving all your winnings right back to the casino.
  10. Play at casinos that advertise the best payback percentages and offer the best bonuses. These casinos that are eager for your business are willing to reward you with better payouts.


Slot Strategy

Slot StrategyA good slot strategy will help you increase your odds of winning but there are some myths about slot strategy that do not work. Do not waste your time with the following myths:

Counting spins: Slots do not have a memory, the only memory they have is your balance. Counting spins are completely useless because every spin is completely random and independent from the previous spins.

Slots pay more during a certain time of day: There is absolutely no way of knowing how slots machines are programmed. When believing that you will have better odds when you play at 3:00 pm or 5:00 am you are only fooling yourself. Slots payoff completely random and you can hit a jackpot at any time of the day.

Now that you know what slot strategies are useless I will show you what you can do to increase your odds.

  1. Make your money last as long as possible. Slot machines are supposed to be fun and the more time you can spend with them, the more fun it will be for you. So, start by putting in the smallest denomination of coins possible, and then if you are winning, increase that amount. Remember if you risk less you can play longer. The longer you can play without risking any additional money of your own, the better your chance that you will line up that winning combination for a big payout.
  2. Decide what your goals are for playing the slots. If you hope to win a huge jackpot, then you should look for a slot machine with a progressive jackpot that can reach well over $100,000. If you are simply looking to play for a while and would rather win smaller to medium size winnings more frequently then choose a slot machine that does not have a progressive jackpot, but one with bonus rounds that allow for more frequent wins.
  3. If your goal is to go for the jackpot then in order to win the jackpot, you must play the maximum coin bet. Again, choose a slot machine with a denomination that you can afford.
  4. Most slots reward you for playing the maximum number of coins. For example, the jackpot may pay 2000 coins with 2 coins played, but 4000 coins when 3 coins are played. If you don’t feel comfortable playing the maximum coins you might consider moving down to a machine that accepts lower-value coins so you can play the maximum. For example, instead of playing one coin at a dollar machine, play the maximum number of coins at a quarter machine. Some online casinos let you play for nickels. If you’re playing a progressive machine, remember that you’ll probably have to bet the maximum number of coins to be eligible to win the big jackpot.
  5. Only play the best-paying slots. Look for slots that payout between 95 and 99 percent and only play those. Players should note that machines that require $1 and higher machines usually payout 95-99%. Statistical research data indicate that $5 or higher machines have the highest percentage payout range. The range starts at 93.7% and goes up to 98.5%. Remember – these are ranges and averages, not absolute values. The next highest payouts come from $1 machines followed by 50-cent machines, 25-cent machines, and 5-cent machines. You will often see signs that say “Up to 98% payback” indicating that they have loose machines. This means that over the long term the slot will pay out 98 cents of every dollar that is played. The “up to” is the key point here. It means that a casino could have only one machine set to pay back at 98% to comply with the sign. If you find an area of slots with a sign without the “up to” you may want to give it a try.
  6. Know the odds. The result of each spin of the wheels is determined by a computer program that generates random results. This is true for both online slot games and slot machines found in hotel casinos. The machines can easily be set by the casino to generate whatever payout they choose. For example, they may set it to 95%. That means for every 100 dollars bet, the machine will, on average, pay out 95 dollars. The other five dollars goes to the casino and that’s how they make their profit. Of course, that’s just on average. It’s possible, if Lady Luck is on your side, to make hundreds or even thousands of dollars with just one spin.


Within casinos, the general rule is that the easier a game is to understand, the worse the odds are.

This is never truer than with slots, the simplest of games to play, you simply need to press a button to see if you have won. If you don’t want to do this even, you can use the autoplay feature which will spin the machine a set number of times for you.

However, as slots tend to have the highest house edge, and therefore the lowest payout for players, you will not find any quick way to lose your money unless you get lucky.


ConclusionThere can be very few casino games that offer more entertainment for your money than slots, with all the flashing lights, loud and dramatic music and features.

However, there are very few casino games, if any, with a lower payout percentage.

If your aim at playing online or offline at a casino is to have fun and have a very small chance of winning life-changing amounts, give slots a go by all means.

However, if your main aim is to try and maximize your chances of winning a bit and walking out ahead of the casino, slots probably aren’t for you as there are plenty of games with a better chance of winning.

Finally, remember the main aim of playing slots is to enjoy yourself so play smaller stakes if you want a longer session, you can still win a nice amount quicker than on other casino games even if the odds aren’t as good.

Many gamblers believe that slots are a game completely based on luck. This is not completely true as you will see with our slot strategy. However, there is no winning slot strategy, you can only increase your odds. The odds you get when playing slots are similar to those for Roulette but the rewards are better. With our slot strategy you will learn the following topics:

  1. The strategies that do not work
  2. The slot strategy that WILL increase your odds
  3. The online casinos that give you the best odds and why
  4. How to play slots


Slot Related Articles:

Play Free Slot Games Online
Top Real Money Slots

inner page bot left

About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.
Last Updated: May 23, 2024



What are Payout and Hold percentages?

Slot machines are programmed to pay out a certain percentage of all the money they take in. Hold percentage is the opposite of Payout percentage. If a slot pays back 95% then the hold is 5 percent.


What is the payback percentage of the average slot machine?

Slots return anywhere from about 80 percent to 99 percent of the total money put into them. But those are long-term payouts. During the relatively short term, results can fluctuate wildly.


How does one find machines with a high payout percentage?

Every casino has a few machines with greater than average paybacks. One way to try and find them is to get to know the locals. People who play in a casino usually know which machines are worth playing. When playing online, check the game payout ratios for each game.


Do slot machines have "hot" and "cold" cycles?

There are periods when an abnormal number of winning or losing combinations appear, but it is not possible to predict when those hot and cold cycles start or stop. Astute players try to recognize the mode and play accordingly.


What is a Random Number Generator (RNG)?

It is a computer program that determines which symbols line up on the reels. Each random number generated corresponds to a reel combination. Whatever random number was generated the split second you hit the "spin" button (or pulled the handle) will result in the corresponding reel combinations that appear on your screen. The Random Number Generator is a computer robot that just continually generates random numbers. If you happen to be the lucky person that plays the very split second the RNG generated a number that corresponds to the combination for the jackpot, you'll be the big winner.


Do Slot Machines have the worst paybacks in the casino?

Definitely not! Many slot machines pay back more than roulette, more than certain bets at the craps table, and much more than what you can expect in the keno lounge.


Is a machine that hasn't paid for a long time due to hit?

No machine is ever "due" to hit. The Random Number Generator controls when and how much is paid out and the RNG has no memory, it doesn't care what happened before or what will happen next.


Is a machine that hasn't paid for a long time due to hit?

No machine is ever "due" to hit. The Random Number Generator controls when and how much is paid out and the RNG has no memory, it doesn't care what happened before or what will happen next.


Should I play one coin at a time or maximum coins?

How many coins you play should depend on the pay table and on your goal. If a machine pays a jackpot of say, 800 coins for a single coin wager, 1,600 coins for a two-coin bet and 2,400 if you insert three coins, there is no real advantage to playing maximum coins (unless you wouldn't be happy winning less than 2,400 coins). But if there is a bonus for playing maximum coins (i.e. supposing the jackpot paid 800 coins for one-coin play, 1,600 coins for two-coin play and 4.000 coins for three coin play), then it's prudent to insert wagered and $100,000 won = the same 91% return percentage. You might want to risk $100 for one chance in 11 to win $1,000, but do you want to risk $100 for one chance in 110,000?


What size bankroll is recommended?

To estimate your bankroll requirements, use this rule of thumb: For this calculation winnings are not taken into consideration. Six spins a minute means 360 spins per hour. If you do not replay your winnings, for each hour of play you would need 720 coins for two-coin play. So, per hour, your bankroll requirement is $18 for nickel machines or $90 for quarter machines, if you play one coin per spin.


Are slot tournaments a good deal?

Tournament play is not like normal slot play. The machines are modified to play without coins. The participant who accumulates the most credits within a set time limit is the winner. If the entry fee is low and includes accommodation, a welcome cocktail party and dinner on awards night, slot tournaments can be great fun, even if you don't win any money.


Are all machines of the same name programmed for the same payout percentages?

Not all slot machines of the same name are programmed to pay equally well. There might be 25 identical Double Diamond machines scattered around a casino floor, each one programmed for a different payback, ranging from 85% to 98%. Only the slot manager knows which is which, and he won't tell.


What is important when analyzing a pay table?

It depends on whether you want to stretch your bankroll so you can play longer, or you hope to "hit and run". If you hope to make a small bankroll last a long time, select a pay table with a modest jackpot but with a good range of small to medium payouts. If you hope to "strike it rich" the trade-off will be a large jackpot but less frequent and smaller secondary payouts.


Can casinos lower the payout percentages on busy weekends?

It's not as simple as flicking a switch to change payout percentages. In order to do this the RNG chip would need to be changed. That requires an involved procedure, which is done only if a particular machine proves to be not performing according to original specifications. There is no instant way for casino management to manipulate payouts.


Is there a slot system that works?

There are methods of play that will improve your chances of winning, but no system can guarantee certain success.

Full Screen +