Online Slots

Many people find that playing online slots is a very entertaining pastime. The thrill of wagering real money and the possibility of winning huge jackpots is enough to get anyone excited.

Traveling to a casino is not possible for everyone, as travel and accommodations are expensive. Not everyone lives near a casino or has the time necessary to travel to a casino. Furthermore, some people just are not a fan of the noise, smoke, and crowds typical of a casino floor.

Luckily, we have another, more convenient, option – playing slots for real cash from the comfort of our own home. You can even play from bed in your pajamas if you want to!

Playing Slots Online vs. In the Casino

Playing real money slots online is very similar to playing slots on the casino floor, except without the casino atmosphere (which many don’t care for anyway).

Slot Machine Variety

If you like the variety of slot machines offered on the casino floor, you will absolutely love the variety of slots that you will find at an online casino. Online casinos typically offer thousands of different slot machines for you to choose from, which sure beats the variety of slot machines at any casino that I have ever been to.

Games for All Budgets

Online casinos are typically very accommodating of all different types of budgets. If you have a low budget, you can generally find some penny slots where you can wager as little as $.01 per line. Even if you play all the lines, you can still get away with wagering as little as $.20 per spin. Playing these penny slots is a great way to stretch a small budget into the maximum about of gameplay time.

If you are a high limit player and are looking to place larger bets, you can typically find yourself a high limit slot game where you can wager $5 per line or more.

Slot Bonuses

Online casinos offer players several different types of bonuses which provide players with extra chances of winning cash. In an effort to attract new players, casinos often offer sign up bonuses to new players. The bonus may be a match of the new player’s deposit or maybe a specific amount.

Some casinos even offer “no deposit” bonuses which offer new players free money to play without even having to make a deposit first. Such no deposit bonuses are typically small and come with terms and conditions limiting their use. Often bonuses are non-cashable, meaning that they can be used for gameplay but cannot be cashed out until they are played through a certain number of times.

Casinos are also known to offer reload bonuses, referral bonuses, and seasonal bonuses.

Terms and conditions of slot bonuses differ from bonus to bonus and from casino to casino. You will want to review these terms and conditions thoroughly before signing up for any bonus.

How to Get Started

The most important part of selecting a place to play online is ensuring that you find a safe and reputable online casino. Finding a safe and trustworthy online casino is simple by referring to the reviews of casinos available online.

Once you select a casino to join you will need to sign yourself up as a player in their system. Sign-up will take you through a verification process to prove your identity, which may include sending them some form of identification such as a driver’s license or other documentation.

Depositing Funds into your Account

Once you get signed-up you will need to deposit funds into your account before you can begin playing slots for real money.

Deposit methods typically fall under the following 3 categories:

  • Credit cards / Debit cards – such as Visa, MasterCard, and Amex
  • E-Wallets – such as Paypal, Neteller, Ukash, and Skrill
  • Bank wire transfer – which directly sends money from your bank account to the casino
  • Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and litecoin

Online casinos offer several different deposit methods, so once you are signed up with an online casino you should check to see which deposit methods are offered for your area and choose the option most convenient for you.

Withdrawing your Winnings

As you play, your winnings will accumulate in your account. Once you reach the minimum withdrawal limit, you can request a cash-out. Much like the methods of depositing funds into your account, there are several different options of withdrawing your winnings. The following are the 3 common cash out methods:

  • Check
  • E-Wallets – such as Paypal, Neteller, Ukash, and Skrill
  • Bank wire transfer

Bank wire transfers and checks typically take longer to process than e-wallet transfers, which often take only a matter of hours.

Need help getting started?

If you find yourself in need of assistance during the sign-up process or need help getting funds deposited into your account, casino personnel will be happy to help you and do everything they can to get you set and started playing. A quick phone call or online chat is typically all that is needed to get the help you need, and you can be playing slots in no time.

How to Play & Win at Slots

Understanding what slots are and how they work is the first step to becoming a winning slots player. Of course, slot machines are a negative expectation gamble, so you can’t expect anyone to teach you a way to win on a consistent basis. So-called professional slot machine players are lying—maybe to themselves as well as you, but they’re lying.

Yeah, you can win at slots, but chances are you won’t. This page explains how slots work, why they’re so popular, and how the odds affect you. It also recommends playing progressive jackpots if you’re interested in the big win, and why saving money is as important as winning money.

Understand how they work

The first thing you need to understand about slots is how they work. Modern slot machines determine who wins and how much they win by running a computer program called a random number generator. Every possible combination of symbols on the reels corresponds to a number. The random number generator cycles through thousands of numbers per second. When you press spin (or pull the lever), the random number generator stops on a number. That number determines whether or not you win and how much you win. The symbols and the reels are just for show.

No one would play a game where you push a button and get an instant result of “you won $1” or “you lost $1”. Slots designers and casinos put together the spinning reels to maintain player interest in the game. Don’t fall for any of the baloney you’ll find on the Internet about “zig-zag” systems, which supposedly tell you when a machine is due to pay out.

Understand why they’re so popular

In fact, you should understand that the casinos don’t have your best interests at heart. They’re soulless corporations—money-making machines. These slot machine games have been designed to maximize your interest. Time on device is the industry term that casinos and slots manufacturers use to describe how long the average player sits in front of a slot machine. They use cutting-edge psychological techniques to maximize this time on device.

What that means for slots players is that it’s easy to spend more time playing than you intend to. The more time you spend playing, the more money you lose. All slot machines are programmed to pay out less than they take in over time. The longer you play, the more likely your results are to resemble the mathematical expectation.

Understand progressive jackpots

I recommend playing progressive jackpots if you want to be a winning player. These represent your best chance of winning a jackpot that will change your life. Unfortunately, the odds of actually winning are not as good as the odds of winning the lottery.

With progressive jackpots, a tiny percentage of every wager goes toward growing a jackpot. This jackpot doesn’t stop getting bigger until someone wins. In many cases, progressive slots are networked together, so everyone who plays contributes toward one jackpot. And everyone playing one of these networked machines has the opportunity to win. An example of a networked progressive jackpot is the Megabucks machine, which is found everywhere in Las Vegas and Arizona. Online progressive jackpots work the same way.

As I write this, the Megabucks jackpot in Arizona is worth almost $14 million. The last time the jackpot was hit was in December 2013, almost a year ago. I enjoy speculating about what I would do with that money, so I take my chances and play the progressives all the time.

Understand the odds

Of course, the odds of winning a progressive slot machine are generally lower than flat-top games. (A flat-top game has a fixed top jackpot amount.) With a game like Megabucks, probably 10% to 15% of every wager goes toward feeding the jackpot. That’s reflected in your actual results in the form of smaller and less frequent payouts. But when you do hit a big win, you never have to play again.

It doesn’t matter how long since the last jackpot hit. Your odds of winning are minimal. Michael Bluejay (VegasClick.com) compares the odds of winning on Megabucks slots with the odds of winning the Texas lottery. The odds of winning Megabucks’ top jackpot is about 1 in 50 million, compared to about 1 in 25 million in the Texas lottery.

Understand that a penny saved is a penny earned

Every dollar that you win is worth just as much as every dollar you lose. Since slots are a negative expectation game, you have a better chance of showing a profit by not playing at all. Another effective approach is to play until you’re ahead, quit, and never win again.

But what fun is that?

Conclusion

The true secret to being a winning slots player is to understand what you’re doing. Play with money you can afford to lose, and if you lose, don’t be disappointed. Just make sure you have fun when you play.

How Slot Machines Work

Gaming technology has evolved rapidly over the past several decades. An article discussing how slot machines work in 2015 is much different than an essay on the subject in 1975. The biggest difference is the change from mechanical-to-electronic gaming machines. The computer chip and random number generator has opened the way for faster and flashier slots with bigger payouts and more gaming features. Today, I want to discuss how electronic slot machines work.

Electronic Reels

When slots had mechanical reels, payouts were constrained by the machine’s limitations. The symbols had to fit on a limited space, so only a certain number of symbols could fit on a reel. Also, the number of reels were limited to three. Slot machines with more than 3 reels had been built, but to accommodate the extra reels, the machines were so large they filled up most of a room, like the computers in a 1950s science fiction movie. This wasn’t feasible for casinos, which had limited space, so the 3-reel machine was standard.

In the age of electronic gaming machines or “EGMs”, everything is done using computer software and hardware. With the results handled on something the size of a pinhead, that creates a world of possibilities. Jackpots can reach vast sizes. Designers can create 5-reel machines or even the rare 7-reel slot machine. With so much space freed, developers can devote all their time to better graphics, flashier displays, high-quality music, and more sound effects.

Also, the game screen has virtual reels, instead of a reel. That fact means things like the zig zag method of finding the reels starting to line up is not feasible anymore (if it ever was). In fact, no system exists to tell when the jackpot is about to hit.

No Cycle of Payments

One big slots myth is the idea of the random number generators on modern slots uses a “cycle of payments”. A cycle of payment is a theoretical list of results used to determine the outcome of a spin. The idea of the cycle of payments is the machine cycles through this list to get results, so if a player can determine which part of the list the machine is on, that player can somehow figure out when a jackpot is going to hit.

That isn’t the case. No such list of results exists, because slot machines use true random number generators.

True Random Number Generators

A “true random number generator” is so-named because it truly arrives at the results in a random fashion. You might have found a dice roller or other randomizer online and felt like its results were non-random. Maybe the machine seemed to spit the same number out too often all at once so that you felt you saw a pattern forming. It’s possible you were correct because some RNGs on the Internet are not “true” random number generators. They use a big list and, if the list isn’t big enough, you start to notice a pattern.

Random number generators on licensed and regulated slots are totally random. Gaming machines cost thousands-and-thousands of dollars to purchase. These are complicated machines with the ability to generate true randomness, unlike the less involved systems used by programmers online. Thousands of random numbers are generated each second. The very instant the “Spin” button is hit, the last random number spit out is the result you get. For that reason, no cycle of payments exists. You can’t find a pattern in the results. It’s useless to try.

The House Edge

Slot machines work along mathematical principles. Results are not predetermined, but virtually any gaming machine is going to have a house edge. The house edge, sometimes known as the casino’s advantage, deals with expectations and probabilities: in this case, the probability of what the results of the game will be.

If someone plays a slot machine with a 10% house edge, that means they can expect to lose $1 for every $10 you wager or $10 for every $100 wagered. A 5% house edge would mean you would expect to lose $1 for every $20, which converts to $5 for every $100 wagered. Knowing the house edge means you can play your day’s betting by figuring out your bankroll and how much you should bet in order to maintain your bankroll throughout the day.

Again, the house edge does not assure you will lose $5 for every $100; it just means it is probable enough to be expected. Results can vary greatly. Some players win jackpots and walk out the casino doors big winners. Others lose more than expected.

Negative and Positive Expectation

Negative expectation means you expect to lose money. Positive expectation means you expect to win money when you play. Most slot machines won’t have a positive expectation, though progressive slot machines which have a really big jackpot might become positive expectation games. Even then, the expected return is determined by what you would expect to win if you bet as much money as it would take to have a 50/50 expected return–millions of $1 bets. In other words, you would still expect to lose your money, unless your bankroll was several million dollars.

The Truth about Slot Machines

What players should take away from this article is they should start playing a slot machine expecting to lose money. Gambling on the slots is not a way to make money. It is not a way to beat the casino. Playing the slots is a form of entertainment. If you happen to win a big jackpot, know you got lucky and be happy.

Game Features

We talk a lot about slot machine game features on this website. These are nice attractions, but slot machine design begins and ends with the return-to-player or RTP. In many ways, the wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, bonus games, and other cool slot machine features are there as a distraction. While it is important to know all the bells and whistles that keep things interesting along the way, it is best to play gaming machines which return the most money to the gambler. This makes for more entertainment.

That’s one reason we cover Bally Technologies slots on this website. While Bally slots are not always the fanciest in terms of presentation and graphics, their slot machines tend to have better odds from a player’s perspective.

Slots are the most profitable game for the casinos, and probably due to the fact that they are so hard to hit a jackpot often – so you just keep playing for that magical spin and day for it to happen in front of your eyes; oh… what a day it will be…

However, slot games are also quite entertaining depending on the game and its features available, but there has to be some type of slot strategies to win the it, get some good money out of it, or at least to decrease the loses on it – so let us look around.

Basic Slots Strategy

Slots is another one of those casino games, that regardless of it being at online casinos or offline casinos, it is all random generated, and hence, a chance/luck game, where there are not many things you can do to gain the winning edge. Nevertheless, there are some points or slots strategies you could consider to improve your winning odds.

All casinos will have a casino payout, which is a percentage of what they will pay out for every $100 dollars gambled in a range of time of life-time of the slot machine in this occasion (not per player, unfortunately). This is the same for each game, and hence, the same for slots – each with a particular slot payout.

In offline casinos for instance, the slots with the highest slot payouts are placed near the entrance door, with the hopes of attracting pedestrians in with the siren and jackpot noises. In other words, the slots located near the entrance door of offline casinos have higher payouts, and hence, will give you higher winning odds too. If you go to these land-base casinos then, try playing at these slot games instead of the ones located deeper in the casino area, regardless of the jackpot amount it might have.

If you are lucky, you will find an employee, which with a nice tip, will also let you know which slot games are getting hit more often (and set to hit more often) – then you will obviously have greater winning odds there; it is not guaranteed they will pay out much, as they as used as bait, but they will get you more sirens and noises going.

Now in terms of the slot denominations you should consider, it all depends on your budget. Common sense basically, if you do not have much of a budget, then you should play smaller denominations and vice versa. This also takes into account if you want to extend your game experience, hence, playing the smaller coins and just one (1) pay-line. On the other hand, if you have enough of a budget, or if you are looking for the biggest payout from the machine, the jackpot in other words, then you should play with the max coin amounts, and bet on all the pay-lines for the slot game.

Once you get a hit, you should work on your willpower and cashout, as getting another hit right after another has pretty low odds. If your game is based on entertainment though, then keeping at it is fine, especially if you like the game, its features, and graphic experience.

One last point to consider regarding all of the above, is that even though they are not as easy to locate, online casinos (online slots) do payout more than offline casinos, plus you will have many more game choices available in one centralized place for you to surf around; convenience is the name of the game in other words.

Regardless of your main purpose with the video slot machines, the idea is to have fun and keep within your spending budget – all part of a slots strategy so once you have that clear, go ahead and play slots now.