Slots are popular everywhere you find online casino games. They’re easy to play and offer a chance to win every time you play. But you only have so much money set aside to enjoy the slots. Most players simply sit down at their favorite slot machine, put some money in, and start spinning the reels. They hope for the best, but don’t have much of a plan.
What if you could make your slots bankroll stretch to double your playing time? You can use several simple steps to make your slots bankroll last longer. Below I’m going to share 7 easy ways to stretch your slots bankroll, including one way to double or triple it before you start playing.
1 – Play Online with a Bonus
The first time I played a slot machine, I had to get on a plane and fly for over three hours to do it. I could have got in the car and driven to a closer casino, but the car ride would’ve taken longer than the flight. Now I have several more convenient options if I want to sit down in front of a slot machine, but the best option was introduced in 1994.
While online casinos also have expenses, they don’t add up as quickly as the ones in land based casinos. Online casinos invest in software to run their slot machines and use storage space to host the games. But once an online casino has their software and secure hosting in place, they can offer virtual slot machines to an almost unlimited number of players.
Land based casinos often cost billions to get started today, and even 20 years ago could cost hundreds of millions. An online casino can be launched for a million or less, depending on where you license it and the software you use to run it. Business people figured out that an online casino could make a great deal of money with a relatively small investment. Of course, a well run land based casino also makes a great deal of money, but it’s easier to get a million for a start up casino than a billion.
As more and more online casinos were launched, the competition for online slots players became intense. Online casinos started offering sign up bonuses to entice players to make a deposit and play their slots. Now it’s almost impossible to find an online casino that doesn’t offer a sign up bonus of some type.
Land based casinos have their own strategies for attracting and keeping slots players, but I’ve never found one willing to offer me a 100% or higher bonus on my bankroll. Many of the online casinos that offer a sign up bonus also offer regular reload bonuses. This means that you can get another bonus on your next deposit, so you can consistently stretch your bankroll. And even if the online casino where you’re playing doesn’t offer a reload bonus, you can simply play at a different casino.
You can find literally hundreds of online casinos, so you’re not going to run out of options. Some are better than others, and some are safer than others, but even if you’re picky about where you play you have dozens of options. Another benefit of playing online slots is the variety. While and based casinos have hundreds or thousands of slot machines, online casinos have even more. You can find any type of slot machine imaginable at online casinos, from old fashioned three reel machines to the most current video and progressive slots.
Each online slots software company offers their own games, with some software companies producing hundreds of different games. It can take hours just to explore all of the slots offered at one online casino. If you play at a different online casino with the same software, the slots are the same. But when you sign up at an online casino using different software, you get to try all new slot machines. Some online casinos even combine slot machines from more than one software company to give you even more options.
Here’s an example:
You make a deposit of $1,000 and receive a 100% match bonus with a 40 times play through on the deposit and bonus. This means you have to make bets totaling 40 times $2,000, for a total of $80,000 before you can request a cash out. The truth is that whether you play slots in a land based casino or online, the odds are good that you’re going to lose in the long run. When you look at it realistically, even when the terms and conditions make it hard to win enough to withdraw funds, you’re usually still better off doubling your bankroll because it lets you play twice as long.
Most slots players want to play for real money because they want a chance to win real money, but if you just enjoy playing and don’t have to play for real money you can play free slots forever and never have to worry about your bankroll. Playing free online slots is also a great way to find the games you like best before you make a deposit. With hundreds of options, it can be expensive to try them all for real money.
2 – Coupons, Comps, and Vouchers
While land based casinos don’t tend to hand out bonuses like online casinos, they offer their own perks to get you to play their slots. These offers generally fall into one of three categories.
Coupons can be found in casino fun books, newspapers, and sometimes at the player’s club desk. A slots coupon can offer a wide range of benefits, with common ones offering a free play match on a set amount of slots play.
Here’s an example:
You find a coupon in the local newspaper offering $25 in match play on the slots at the local casino. You present it to the player’s club when you get to the casino and get $50 worth of play for only $25. This is somewhat like an online casino deposit bonus, but land based casino coupons tend to be much smaller and don’t have restrictive terms and conditions.
Comps programs vary from casino to casino, but the way they work in general is you get a percentage of your play back in some sort of reward. Your comps can come in the form of free play, free meals, free hotel rooms, or free merchandise. Any form of comps you earn for your slots play has a positive influence on your bankroll. If you earn free play it means you get to play longer on the same bankroll. If you earn a free meal, it means you don’t have to spend money to eat so you can use it to play more slots.
Vouchers work like coupons in most cases, and give you free money to play slots. Many organized casino trips, like bus trips and casino junkets, offer vouchers.
Here’s an example:
You join a bus trip to Atlantic City and part of the package includes a $50 slots voucher. When the bus drops you off at the casino you present you voucher and the casino gives you $50 in free play on the slots. Most of the time, you’re going to play through your voucher quickly and have to start using your regular slots bankroll, but if you get lucky you can play for hours on the voucher. Either way, a voucher helps your slots bankroll last longer.
3 – More Socialization
Some players prefer to concentrate on their slot machine and ignore everyone around them. Others enjoy playing slots with friends and family. Some slots players even enjoy meeting new people while they play. Slot machines work like every other game in the casino when it comes to your bankroll. The slot machine is designed to give you some entertainment to keep you playing while slowly draining your bankroll. This means that the more you play, the faster the casino takes your money.
In the long run, most slots players lose money. The only way most slots players come out ahead is if they win a big progressive jackpot. In the short term you can win sometimes, but the more you play the more you lose. Slot machines have a built in house edge. The edge varies from machine to machine, but they’re all designed to show a long term profit for the casino.
Here’s an example:
You’re playing a slot machine with a house edge of 3%. Your total cost per spin is $2. This means that you lose, on average, six cents per spin. Of course, on each individual spin you lose your entire $2 wager or win. But when you average thousands of spins you lose six cents per spin.
This information is important because you can use it to get an idea of how much you can expect to lose on average every hour you play based on your average number of spins per hour. You can play hundreds of spins per hour on slot machines, so your losses can add up quickly.
- If you make 500 spins per hour, your expected average loss is $30 per hour.
- If you make 400 spins per hour, your expected average loss is $24 per hour.
- If you make 300 spins per hour, your expected average loss is $18 per hour.
- If you make 200 spins per hour, your expected average loss is $12 per hour.
As you can see, if you play fewer spins per hour you can play longer on the same bankroll. This is where socializing while you play comes into the equation. The more you socialize while playing, the fewer spins per hour you take. Many people say they play slots because they want to win, but the real reason to play slots is to be entertained. You should have fun while playing, and visiting with other people can be fun. I don’t see any reason why you can’t combine slots entertainment with socialization as a form of entertainment.
The next time you plan a trip to play slots, find a few people you enjoy visiting with and take them with you. Spend as much time socializing as you do playing slots and your bankroll will last longer. You still have a chance to hit a big win, and you won’t take as many spins per hour while still having a good time.
4 – Play a Different Machine
It’s always fun to try new games. Whether you play online slots or in a land based casino, you can find many different slot machines in the same place. Every slot machine is different, and it takes a minute to learn about each new machine. This goes along with what you learned in the last section. Every minute you spend not taking spins extends the use of your bankroll. Instead of spending your entire casino visit sitting at one machine, take the time to try 10 or 20 different machines.
The truth is that casinos don’t want you to know what the house edge is, and don’t even want you to think about it. If you can find out the house edge on slot machines you can use it to choose which machines you play. But most of the time you aren’t going to have this information.
But you can control the amount you bet per spin. The casinos want you to bet as much per spin as possible. Many machines have a maximum bet of $2 to $5 or more. But if you look around for different machines and find ones that let you reduce the number of pay lines activated, you can usually find machine that offer a minimum bet of a quarter or less.
Here are a couple examples showing how a lower bet size, even if the machine might have a higher house edge, can stretch your bankroll.
- 200 spins per hour at $2 a spin on a machine with a 2% house edge is an expected hourly loss of $8.
- 200 spins per hour at .25 a spin on a machine with a 4% house edge is an expected hourly loss of $2.
As you can see, even if the house edge is twice as much, a lower bet per spin can let you play for much longer on the same bankroll. The only thing you need to be aware of is some progressive slots require a maximum bet to be eligible for the top prize. Read the rules on each machine before you play. You don’t want to miss out on a huge jackpot because you didn’t understand the rules.
5 – Skill Based Games
Most casino slot machines use a computer program that’s based on long term results. This locks in a profit for the casino in the long run, and the amount of profit is fairly predictable based on how much is wagered on the machine.
You can learn how to improve your results on a skill based slot machine with practice. This can lower the house edge, and the combination of taking your time to practice and a low house edge can stretch your bankroll a great deal. It’s important to understand that no matter how good you get at playing skill based slots, you still aren’t going to win in the long run. Skill based slot machines are still designed to show a profit for the casino, even if you become a master player.
6 – Enter a Slots Tournament
Entering a slots tournament is one of my favorite ways to enjoy slot machines while controlling my bankroll. You pay a set entry fee and are guaranteed a minimum amount of play. And if you get lucky you can still win a nice prize. Look for slot tournament schedules where you play or ask the player’s club desk about them. I like to play in slots tournaments with a low buy in, from $10 to $25, but different casinos run different types of tournaments.
If you play in a slots tournament, make sure you understand the rules and payout structure. You usually want to play as fast as you can until you hit a big win. Most tournaments are set up in rounds, with the top totals from each round advancing to the next round. When you hit a big win, if it’s enough to advance to the next round you’re usually better off slowing down until you start the next round.
7 – Switch to Video Poker
Video poker machines usually look like slot machines, but they’re more like skill based slots than regular slot machines. You can find the house edge based on the game and pay table by looking online, and you can use strategy to keep the house edge low.
Many popular video poker games have a house edge of less than a half percent when you use the proper strategy, which is usually 10 to 25 times lower than a slot machine. This is one of the best ways to stretch your bankroll.
If you make the same sized bet with a house edge of one tenth, you can play 10 times as long on the same bankroll. Though it requires a little more work than playing slots, it’s worth it to find video poker games with good pay tables and to learn the best strategy for each game.
You only have a set amount of money to play slots. Playing slots is supposed to be fun, so anything you can do to stretch your slots bankroll helps you have more fun. Use these 7 easy ways to stretch your slots bankroll to have more fun.