The great thing about slots is that you can choose the stakes you’re comfortable playing. You can bet as little as a penny or as much as $5,000 per spin. Most players opt for games that allow them to wager the bare minimum. You can find a great deal of online slots that let you risk just one cent per spin ($0.01 on one line).
Betting a small amount on slots allows you to extend your play further. Small wagers are also attractive when you don’t have a very large bankroll. Of course, many casinos allow players to bet more on slot machines. Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other casino destinations are famous for their high roller machines.
But what exactly is the purpose of wagering more on negative expectation games? I’ll cover 9 reasons why people are attracted to high stakes slot machines. But first, I’m going to discuss exactly what constitutes high stakes play.
What Defines High Stakes Slots Play?
High limit slot machines aren’t defined by a specific dollar amount. Instead, this is a subjective matter that can vary based on opinion. Online low rollers who are used to playing 25 lines for $0.25 might consider anything else to be a high stakes slot. Meanwhile, those who risk $25 or more per round will have a much different take.
Personally, I feel that any slot machine requiring you to wager $3 or more per spin borders on high stakes play. Considering that there are land-based slot machines with $5,000 minimum bets, there’s a big gap here. But many players will find that $3 bets and above can get expensive.
Here’s an example to illustrate my point:
- You play a land-based progressive slot machine with 300 paylines.
- You’re required to bet one penny on all 300 lines ($3 total).
- Return to player (RTP) is 88% (12% house edge).
- You perform 600 spins in an hour.
- 600 x 3 = $1,800 in hourly bets.
- 1,800 x 0.12 = $216 in theoretical losses.
If you play this slot machine for five hours, you’d theoretically lose $1,080. Many players consider this a very expensive night of gambling. Of course, I mentioned before that high stakes slots play is subjective. You may have a totally different definition, such as games with $25 bets or more.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that some slot machines cost more than others to play. I’m now going to explore all the reasons why you should consider betting more on slot machines.
1 – You’ll be Eligible for Better VIP Rewards
Increased loyalty rewards are one of the most-exciting parts about playing high limit slot machines. Casinos are willing to offer more VIP benefits to their top customers. Playing higher stakes means that you’ll rack up extra loyalty points. Therefore, you move up the VIP latter faster and become eligible for better comps.
RFB players, on the other hand, are afforded the best comps that the casino offers. They usually get a nice hotel suite, fine dining, and liquor on the house. The biggest high rollers can also make special requests, such as limousine transportation, a private gambling room, and their choice of nightclub tables. Online casinos can’t give out cool comps like hotel rooms and lobster dinners. But they still offer their players plenty of incentives, including cashback, free spins, and deposit bonuses.
High stakes online slots players earn points at a faster rate, thus making them eligible for a higher cashback rate. Here’s a comparison between what a low-level and high stakes player might receive:
- An online casino allows players to exchange 100 points for $1 cashback.
- Level 1 players earn 1 point per $10 wagered.
- 10 x 100 = $1,000 must be wagered per point
- 1 / 1,000 = 0.1% cashback rate for Level 1
- Level 5 players earn 1 points per $5 wagered.
- 5 x 100 = $500 must be wagered per point
- 1 / 500 = 0.2% cashback rate for Level 5
The high roller is likely to lose more money due to their increased betting volume. But they’re also receiving a larger percentage of money back due to their higher loyalty status.
2 – Some Progressive Jackpots Require Larger Bets
Many popular progressive slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos require you to bet at least $3 per spin.This leaves you risking between $1,500 and $1,800 at a normal hourly play rate.
Plenty of gamblers are perfectly fine with this as long as they get to spin for life-changing jackpots and/or play their favorite games. Others, however, are worried about losing their bankrolls in a short amount of time at this pace.
I went through an example that showed how you can theoretically lose $216 per hour playing a $3 game. Of course, potential losses only increase from here when moving up in stakes. Certain land-based casinos offer high stakes rooms with minimum bets ranging anywhere from $5 to $5,000. Few people can afford to play the $5k games, but it still gets pricey playing slots with $100 stakes and above.
The good news is that the same slot machines normally offer higher RTP. But you’re facing greater theoretical losses on these games.
Here’s an example on how much you could potentially lose:
- You’re playing a slot machine with a $100 minimum bet.
- The game offers 95% payback (5% house edge).
- You perform 600 spins per hour.
- 600 x 100 x 0.05 = $3,000 in theoretical losses per hour
You certainly don’t want to play these slots with a limited bankroll. But well-funded players like risking more to make the payouts worth their while. Therefore, the $3k in hourly losses could easily turn into profits worth $3k or more.
3 – High Stakes Are More Thrilling
I’ve covered plenty on how high stakes slot machines can lead to bigger losses. But you also have to consider the reverse in that they offer the potential for bigger payouts. Many players get more thrills out of having the chance to earn bigger prizes. This is especially true of high rollers who aren’t excited about playing for pennies.
Even players who don’t have five or six-figure bankrolls still enjoy betting more per spin. They’d rather go for the big payouts than make their bankroll lasts longer. Slot machines are all about entertainment. So if you get more excited when playing for higher stakes, then by all means do it.
4 – You May Be in a High Stakes Slots Room
Brick-and-mortar casinos offer high limit rooms for players who want to get away from the normal crowd and gamble in luxury. High stakes rooms typically feature more-comfortable seating, posh furnishings, and extra attention from the cocktail waitresses and other staff members.
You’ll only find bets worth thousands of dollars in certain Vegas Strip casinos. But many other gambling establishments at least feature stakes worth up to $100 in their high-roller area. You pay a price for gambling in luxury, because you won’t have the option to use penny slot machines in these rooms. Instead, you’re likely looking at a $5 or $10 minimum bet.
Here’s an example of potential theoretical losses if you make the minimum wager in a high stakes area:
- You play a slot with a $10 minimum bet.
- The game offers 95% RTP (5% house edge).
- You perform 600 spins per hour.
- 600 x 10 x 0.05 = $300 in theoretical losses per hour.
5 – You Can Win Larger Fixed Prizes
Having the ability to win larger payouts is the main reason why people jump on high stakes slot machines. Slots multiply payouts based on your line bet. For example, a 25-coin payout would be worth $0.25 if you’re only wagering a penny per round.
This same payout will be worth $125 if you’re betting $5 per line, which gives you a far more to be excited about. Of course, most big gamblers aren’t worried about a larger average payout. Instead, they’re focused on hitting a bigger top prize when they bet more.
Here’s an example on how larger wagers can change the dynamic of a top fixed payout:
- A slot machine’s highest fixed payout is worth 100,000 coins.
- You win the payout while betting $0.01 per line.
- 100,000 x 0.01 = $1,000 win
- You win the payout while wagering $5 per line.
- 100,000 x 5 = $500,000 win
If you’re not comfortable betting this much per line, then you can find plenty of online slots that give you a chance to win big progressive jackpots for a small wager. The drawback, though, is that you have smaller odds of winning these jackpots. Casinos make the odds longer, because they’re not earning as much off your small wagers.
6 – Scatter Payouts Are Worth More
Scatter symbols can pay even when they don’t all land in the same payline. These scatter payouts are either worth a multiple of your total wager or line bet.
Here’s an example on how much large scatter prizes can be worth based on a multiple of your total wager:
- You bet $1 on 30 pay lines ($30 total).
- You land three scatter symbols and qualify for a 5x payout.
- 30 x 5 = $150 prize
Imagine if you’re only wagering one penny on each line ($0.30 total) in the scenario above. You’d win just $1.50 (5 x 0.3) instead of the $150 payout.
Scatter prizes only get better when you’re able to land five symbols. In these cases you can win anywhere from 100x to 1,000x your bet depending upon the game. Hitting a 1,000x scatter payout on a large bet is basically like winning a jackpot. In the example where you’re making a $30 total wager, a 1000x scatter prize would deliver you $30,000.
7 – Random Progressive Jackpots Are More Likely to Hit
A random progressive jackpot differs from standard jackpots in that it doesn’t require a minimum bet or specific payline combination. Instead, these prizes pay out randomly regardless of your wager size or wins/losses.
Random progressives are exciting for low rollers who don’t have the bankroll to wager anywhere from $1 to $3 on larger progressive slot machines. But many of these same gamblers don’t realize that their chances of winning the jackpot improve when they make bigger bets.
You don’t necessarily have to play high limits just to experience this benefit. Rather than wagering one cent per line, you could instead bet $0.25 and have a stronger chance of hitting the random progressive prize. But a high roller who’s willing to risk several dollars or more per spin has a built-in advantage when it comes to hitting the jackpot.
8 – Your Free Spins Will Pay Higher
Free spins are the most-common bonus in slots. You typically trigger free spins by landing three or more scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. Your free spin payouts are based on the size of your line bet. If you trigger this bonus by betting $0.05 per line, then your free spin payouts will be multiplied by a nickel.
Here’s a comparison on how much more you’d stand to win with free games based on a higher triggering bet:
- You earn free spins while betting $0.05 per line.
- You win a combined 5,000 coins through all of your payouts.
- 5,000 x 0.05 = $250 win
- You earn free spins while betting $3 per line.
- You again win a combined 5,000 coins during the bonus.
- 5,000 x 3 = $15,000 win
Wagering more per line doesn’t make you any more likely to get free spins. Furthermore, all payouts will proportionally increase along with the size of your bet. But high stakes players are more excited whenever they trigger this bonus due to the fact that they have an opportunity to collect larger prizes.
9 – You’ll Clear Welcome Bonuses Faster
Online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players. These usually consist of a deposit bonus and possibly free spins.
Terms and conditions must be met before you can withdraw money. One of the most important terms is wagering requirements (a.k.a. playthrough), which refers to a multiple of the bonus that must be wagered before withdrawing your earnings.
Here’s an example of how wagering requirements and internet casino bonuses in general work:
- The casino is offering a 100% match bonus up to $200.
- You deposit $100 and become eligible for a matching $100 bonus.
- Playthrough is 40x the bonus.
- 40 x 100 = $4,000 must be wagered
Most players consider wagering $4,000 a lot when trying to unlock their bonus. It does take a while to bet this much when you’re only risking $0.25 per spin.
High rollers, on the other hand, can unlock their bonuses rather quickly. Here’s a comparison between how fast a low and high roller would unlock their money:
- 4,000 / 0.25 = 16,000 spins for low roller
- 16,000 / 500 spins per hour = 32 hours for low roller
- 4,000 / 5 = 800 spins for high roller
- 800 / 500 = 1.6 hours for high roller
One important point worth noting here is that most online casinos include a maximum bet in their conditions. For example, your bonus offer could be nullified if you place wagers worth $50 or more.
Casinos do this to ensure that players don’t just making big bets to get their bonus money as quickly as possible. In any case, you need to read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure that you don’t wager any amount that would nullify your offer.
Therefore, you can see the many perks of betting higher limits with slot machines. But you also have to consider that larger wagers don’t necessarily boost your chances of winning. In fact, high stakes players will suffer more losses on average than low rollers.
The house edge doesn’t go away just because you’re betting more. With many online slots, the house advantage stays the same no matter if you’re playing for low or high stakes. Don’t make the decision to play higher limits under the assumption that you’ll have a better win rate. Instead, you should only do so if you want to enjoy the advantages that I’ve covered here.