It’s one of the most commonly asked questions in the world of online casino gaming:
What’s the best strategy when playing online slots?
Present this question to 500 players and you’re likely to be returned with hundreds of different answers. Nevertheless, you can immediately discount any responses that don’t highlight the most important and obvious fact of all:
There’s no such thing as a winning slots strategy…
Unfortunately, far too many people confuse safe and simple slot strategies with those that (supposedly) guarantee profitable ventures. One of these online slot strategies is a thing – the other isn’t…and nor will it ever be.
The thing to remember when playing real money slots online is this – even the slightest house edge means the odds are not tipped in your favour. Online slots typically have a good return to player (RTP) percentage these days, but it’s never 100%. If it was, it wouldn’t make any money – the casino offering it would go out of business.
Instead therefore, the secret to a sensible strategy when it comes to online slots is to forget about guaranteed prizes or profits. Focus instead on the fun and enjoyment of the whole thing, rather than seeing it as a money-making venture.
A Slots Strategy That Works
If you’re more about common sense than ludicrous claims of ‘miracle’ strategies, there’s still plenty you can do to enhance your experience and stretch your bankroll as far as possible.
Rather than chasing unicorns and ending up with absolutely nothing to show for it, here are the basic fundamentals of a safe and simple online slot strategy that actually works:
1. Take advantage of no deposit bonus offers
Right off the bat, one of the quickest and easiest ways of getting your hands on something for nothing is to grab yourself a no-deposit bonus offer or two. Admittedly, the vast majority of no-deposit bonus offers come with all manner of terms, conditions and wagering requirements attached. Nevertheless, they are still technically 100% risk-free, given how you don’t need to spend a penny to access them.
2. Focus on no-wager free spins
The same also applies to the vast majority of free spins, which are fun to play with but rarely profitable. The higher the number of free spins provided, the more likely they are to be accompanied by excessive wagering requirements. Though there is an exception to the rule – the relatively rare no-wager free spin. As the name suggests, these are the types of free spins that allow the user to pocket prizes accordingly – no wagering requirements involved. Even if the maximum permitted prize is capped at say £10, it’s still worth having a punt at.
3. Be mindful of volatility
Anyone who tells you there is such a thing as a ‘cold’ or ‘hot’ slot doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about. With each and every spin, the odds are returned to normal – whatever that happens may be. Hence, irrespective of how recently or long ago any given slot paid out, this has no bearing whatsoever on its likelihood of doing the same again with the next spin. Nevertheless, volatility has a significant impact on payout frequency and generosity. High-volatility slots pay rarely but in plentiful amounts, while low-volatility slots at the opposite end of the scale pay prizes on a more regular basis but don’t tend to be as generous. There’s no right or wrong choice – just be sure to pick whichever suits your preferences and budget.
4. Limit your time
It’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of slot gamers sometimes (or regularly) lose track of time completely. You plan on trying out a few new slots for a few minutes, only to find yourself in the exact same position several hours later. This isn’t always necessarily an issue, but can nonetheless result in spending far more than you wanted to…or can afford to. Unless you have exceptionally deep pockets and can cope with the potential losses, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the clock and ensure you don’t stick around too long.
5. Study the pay tables
Studying the pay table doesn’t technically have any impact on your likelihood of winning. Nothing can alter the odds – not even all the research you care to carry out. Nevertheless, getting familiar with pay tables can at least help you make the right decisions at the right time. For example, if it’s possible to gamble your current winnings for the chance of pocketing an even bigger prize, it’s worth knowing how much you could win and whether the odds are in your favour.
6. Enter a tournament
There are two reasons why getting involved in online slots tournaments is always a good idea. First of all, there’s the excitement of playing for potentially huge cash prizes, or other goodies handed out by those hosting the competitions. Secondly, you’ll often find that for a relatively low entry fee, you get to play a ton on one or more fantastic slots for the duration. Excellent value for money, along with the prospect of taking home something special if you’re lucky.
7. Always check RTP rates
We mentioned RTP rates earlier, which indicates how much any given slot pays out in prizes for every £100 it collects. For example, an RTP of 97% would mean that for every £100 that goes in, £97 comes out. Hence, higher RTP rates are always better. Though it’s worth remembering that irrespective of how much per £100 is returned, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be returned to you.
8. Practice for free
Last up, always bear in mind that it is possible to play most quality online slots right now for free. Often without even signing up for an account, you can test the waters using virtual currency before handing over a penny. This can be particularly useful for newcomers, who may benefit from trying a whole bunch of slots before finding something they like.
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