Slots Strategy for Beginners

So, you have finally gotten around to playing some slot games. Maybe you have already even found a couple that you really like the looks of. And perhaps you have even tried them out. But so far, it just seems like you’re losing money on these games and not much else is really happening.

Of course, you may also be having fun just spinning the reels and enjoying the feel of the slots. However, with that friend of a friend who brags about helping pay his way through college with casino winnings, you feel like you aren’t quite doing it right. And that is very likely the case because you don’t have a strategy.

Wannabe-experts may tell you that there’s no winning with casino games, and no strategy will ever help you beat them. But they couldn’t be more wrong. And we’re here to prove it to you!

Just keep on reading, and we will tell you all about what you can do to make those slot games start working for you.

How Slot Games Work

Before you get started with any strategy business, you need to first understand what it is you’re dealing with. In this case, that would, of course, be the slot games. How do they operate, exactly? What types of games are there? Are there games you should avoid and others you should gravitate towards?

All of the above are fairly legit questions, and you should want to know the answers to them. So, let’s begin with the basics, namely how an online slot game works. You open the offering, and before you is a grid (in the majority of cases) with rows and columns (called reels).

Below them, there will be a panel with a bunch of buttons and controls. On either side of the reels, you will likely see a number or numbers. If not, you will be able to find the number you’re looking for in the game settings. This number refers to the paylines present in the slot game.

These lines are where you will need to land combinations of identical symbols in order to gain a cash prize. This is important because the number of paylines will affect your bet, as well as your winning opportunities. The more paylines there are, the better your odds. However, more paylines normally also means a higher stake.

Many games will also allow you to regulate the number of paylines and reduce them to just a single line. This will greatly lower your betting amount, but it will also diminish your chances of landing winning combos.

But once you start playing and experimenting with the different options, you will be able to determine what works best for you.


Allow yourself a minute to study the different symbols and the game rules. See which of the icons are most lucrative, note if there are any special ones, and see if those come with bonus features. Special symbols can vary from game to game, but you should generally look out for Wilds and Scatters. The former will be able to substitute for the regular symbols when forming winning combinations. As for the Scatters, these normally offer you payouts without having to land on active paylines.

In addition, landing a certain amount of them can trigger special features.

Now, what’s remarkable about special features in a slot game is that they can act as a freebie of sorts. Besides, they also greatly contribute to diversifying gameplay and just making the slot more fun.

Bonus rounds can be very different, depending on the offering and its manufacturer. But normally if a game has a bonus feature, it will most likely be free spins or a pick-me game. The free spins will provide you with, quite literally, free spins – the name is self-explanatory. In turn, the pick-me game will offer you to pick one (or more) of several objects and reveal a prize.

The prize can contain cash, free spins, another bonus, or some other perk. Bonuses are generally a great way to increase your winning potential, too. In fact, depending on the game, they can prove to be very lucrative.

RTP and Variance

So, you have gotten to know how gameplay works, and you’re comfortable with it. But besides the bonuses and game structure, there are two less obvious aspects that you absolutely must know about before playing a slot game.

One of them is the return to player ratio, better known as RTP. This ratio is always in percentage form and will tell you how much of your investment you can expect to get back from the game. Of course, this is an average number, so don’t expect it to be super accurate in the short term.

The number refers to long-term play. Typically, RTPs range from around 89% all the way up to a staggering 99%. The higher that number is, the better for you. So, be sure to find out the RTP of the game prior to engaging in gameplay. Try to avoid lower RTPs (below 95%) and strive for higher ones.

What the slot game retains is what is known as “house edge.” It is basically its “fee,” if you will, for you playing. Thus, the less greedy the slots, the lesser the house edge and the higher the RTP will be. And vice versa.

Some slots will also allow you to play around with the RTP. The option will have a different label in different games, but a common name for this is Big Bet (mode). It will offer you better winning odds in exchange for a higher bet. Sometimes this means you will get to trigger bonus features more frequently; other times it will guarantee you access to a certain special feature.

As with everything, you will be risking more, but potentially also gaining more.

And then there is also the variance of the game to consider. The variance (also volatility) will tell you what you can expect in terms of payout frequency and size. Low-variance offerings will make for smaller wins but at more regular intervals. High-variance slots will make for just the opposite: big wins, but less frequent.

There are medium-variance titles, too, that will offer something in between the two extremes.

Please Note:

Unlike the RTP, which you can often find in the game rules, you will need to figure out the variance on your own. Start with smaller bets and watch how the slot reacts. Is it taking it an unholy amount of time to give you something back? But is that something then well worth the wait?

Or do you manage to win fairly often, just not very much? Be patient with this, and eventually your patience will pay off very nicely.

Strategy Myths and Truths

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions surrounding the world of online gambling. They range from one extreme to the other, but as is most commonly the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

For example, one very common thing you hear from “experts” eager to give their advice is that you should stay away from “hot” slot machines and go straight for the “cold” ones. Hot slots are those that have recently been paying out more.

Basically, they have been raining cash these past few minutes or so. So, the logic behind this is that allegedly these machines will stop paying out very soon afterwards. And they probably won’t be paying out for some time to come.

Likewise, the “cold” games are those that haven’t been paying out for a while. Hence, if you start playing those, they will be sure to start raining cash themselves.

Nonsense. These are ridiculous statements that couldn’t be farther away from the truth if they tried. In fact, they’re very desperate ones, too. But that’s just how it is with games of chance. Especially when you find yourself losing money and just can’t seem to muster the willpower to leave the game behind, it can be very comforting to tell yourself things like this. People try to look for patterns in all the wrong places and find them where there are none.

REMEMBER!Slot games do not pay out based on the number of payouts they just had previously. Remember this forever and ever, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Another fairly common thing you’re likely to hear, as we mentioned earlier, is that you can never beat the machine. No matter how much you try, no matter how long you keep playing – there is just no way that you will come out a winner.

To tell you the truth, there is some reality to back this statement. Of course, you can’t just sit down and expect to beat the professional right from the start. You don’t just play backgammon with the world champion and expect to beat him, right? This is similar. But that’s not to say you cannot win, either.

True, you can never actually conquer the house edge in the long term. But with some useful tips like the ones we have here, you can make it work.

Bet Strategy and Budget

One of the key things to keep in mind when you want to make the best of gameplay is the budget. If you don’t stick to your budget, you can easily lose track of how much you’re spending.

Furthermore, your budget is also your safety net. Without it, you risk getting sucked into the game and doing completely the opposite of what you set out to do. So, set an amount that you will not exceed in spending on a certain game.

Next, pick out a slot game that suits that budget. For example, if you aren’t comfortable with spending more than a fairly small amount, check out some penny games. Stakes in these will start pretty low, so you can play for longer.

The good news is that, unlike with land-based games, online slots tend to have very flexible betting ranges. And now for the important part: stick to that budget! It sounds simpler than it really is, but this is paramount.

This brings us to the other no-less-important aspect to strategically placing your bets: betting the maximum. After reading this, you might be thinking we’re out of our minds to even suggest that. What happened to the budget? Well, there are ways of betting more without necessarily losing your bankroll.

Notice that most games will provide you with the option of setting the number of coins you stake per bet. There should also be an additional option allowing you to set the coin value. Now, this may sound rather unbelievable, but you can bet 20c in two different ways and get two different outcomes. You can bet one coin worth 20c, or you can bet 5 coins worth 4c each. You will actually have lower winning chances with the former than with the latter.

Most online slot games actually offer different payouts depending on the number of coins you bet. If you bet the maximum number of coins, your winning opportunities increase in that your win will be multiplied by a higher number. As a matter of fact, if you happen to play a jackpot game, many of those require a maximum bet in order to qualify for the jackpot.

So all in all, you can enjoy better odds if you play with more coins. And as we made clear, you don’t have to break the bank while doing it, either.

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve found these slot strategies beneficial. Betting on slots can be a ton of fun, and winning is even better!

Our Recommendation:

There are things you can do to increase your chances of having a successful slots session. Look for games with a high RTP, choose a level of variance that works for you, and bet the maximum number of coins for the best results. Also, don’t fall for the myths about when hot and cold machines are likely to pay out.

You may never be able to overcome the house edge, but with these tips and tricks in mind, you can put yourself in position for a much more enjoyable gaming session. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Other Useful Resources

Still have questions about online slot games? Want to try some online slots for free? Check out the following links for all you need to know!