How to Win on Slots

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Written by Erik Jensen

Playing a slot machine can be lots of fun… but let’s face it, we play to win on this type of game, not just to have fun. But how do you give yourself a better chance of winning slot machine games?

Because these are games of luck, there is no way you can guarantee a win just by playing a certain way. However, there are ways to improve your chances and get the odds on your side.

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In this article, we will look at:

  • The best slot machines to play for the best chance of winning
  • Finding the best slot machines with the best odds
  • How to get more chance of winning with bonus games and features

And lots more.

We will also look at which are the best progressive jackpots to try out and how to maximize your chances of hitting the jackpot win.

How Casino Slot Games Work

In order to know how to win at slots, you need to have an understanding of how they work. Slot machines are some of the most popular casino games in the world – both online and at land-based local casino sites. However, unlike other casino games such as poker or blackjack, these are games of chance and there is limited strategy involved.

You simply spin the reels and the outcome is determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure that it is completely fair and random. If you hit a winning combination, you win… but if you don’t you can spin again.

Choosing The Best Online Slots Machines to Play

The first step on your slot-winning journey is choosing the right slot machines to play. This means picking the one with the best combination of Return to Player, volatility, betting limits and bonus games and features.

This requires a bit of research – but luckily this information is very easy to come by. You simply open the game information. When you open the game, you simply need to open the pay table, look at the payouts, the game RTP, what bonus features it has, the max win and the volatility. This should all be there for you.

Playing Slots Online – Getting it Right

The best chance you have of playing to win is simply about choosing the best real money slots. No matter what game you play, you will never be able to win with every spin. However, the most experienced players will know the right slots to play. Choosing the one with the best RTP means that you’re halfway there.

Although some ‘experts’ will advise you to steer clear of the most well-played games, this is not true. Players keep returning to those games for a reason because they play well and they pay well.

Online Slot Machines with the Best Odds

So, your first set to winning at slots will be to play slots that gave you the best chance.

Your first port of call should be to look at the RTP – the Return to Player percentage. This figure tells you which are the ones that pay out most in winnings – and therefore have the best odds.

Most players that are new to the online gaming scene pick the slot machines that have a theme that they like, or that have the best graphics etc. However, that’s their first mistake. They play slot machines based on aesthetics – style over substance if you will.

Of course, you should always play a game that appeals to you, but you should also pick one that pays out more than the others. This is where the RTP comes into it. You need to know where to find it and what it means.

What is the Return to Player (RTP)?

Essentially, the RTPs are the payout percentages – the percentage of money bet on the game that a slot pays out to its players in winnings.

So, for example, if a slot machine has an RTP of 96% then, on average, for every $100,000 that is played on it, it pays out $96,000 in winnings.

However, this is an average and it does not mean that you will get $96 for every $100 you bet. You may get more or less… but obviously, the higher the RTP, the more it pays out in general so the more chance you have of getting a win.

Finding the RTP of a Slot Machine

The easiest way to find the RTP is on the slot machine itself. Most online casinos are transparent and will indicate the game’s RTP. However, if you cannot find it this way, then you can always google the RTP of the slot casino games.

What’s more, if you read a review of the casino games you like before you play (which again, we recommend), then you will also usually find information on the RTP.

The Average RTPs Online Slot Machines

Because it is a percentage, the RTP will be somewhere between 1 and 100. However, any decent slot machine will have an RTP somewhere between 93% and 98%. We recommend you play slots that come with a Return to Player of 96% or higher. Some go up as high as 98% or even 99% – the higher the RTP, the lower the house edge.

Slot Machine Tips: How to Find ‘Loose’ Machines

Playing online slot machines should be something you do to win – not just for fun… and you should look for a loose machine. Essentially, this is an online gambling game that has an RTP of over 96%.

Researching the Volatility of Slots

As well as the casino slot RTP, you also need to find out what the volatility of the game is. This is sometimes referred to as the variance of the slot machine… essentially it refers to how risky the game is and how often it pays out.

Low Volatility Online Casino Games

These slots give you a higher chance of winning as they pay out more often. So, really, you are more likely to win at slots when playing a low-volatility game. However, the payouts are also a lot lower, so the wins you do get might not meet your expectations.

High Volatility Slot Machines

They don’t pay out as often as low volatility slots. So, you are less likely to win at slots when playing a high-volatility game. However, when you do win money, you will enjoy much bigger and better payouts.

Depending on your aim – whether you want to win more frequently but smaller sums, or win less often but bigger amounts, both of these game types are popular. You need to choose the right slot machine for your needs.

If you do choose to play high-volatility slots, you may need to exercise patience. It may take some time to win – and you may eat through a lot of your budget before you eventually start winning cash prizes, so if you are playing slots on a smaller budget then you may prefer to stick to a lower volatility slot.

Study and Understand the Pay Table

All video slots come with their own pay tables. These pay tables will tell you what the different symbols are worth and which are the most lucrative winning combinations. You will also find out information on the bonus rounds, the special symbols and more

You can’t be successful on a slot unless you understand the bonus features, how to reach a bonus round, the different symbols and how to get a win.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

This is essential for all players that want to win slots in the long term. You need to make sure you set yourself a realistic budget and stick to it. Never start spinning those reels until you know how much you can afford to play (and lose).

Don’t go over that budget because you think you are on the verge of reaching a bonus round… or because you think that your chance of winning cash prizes is just a spin or two away.

As soon as you hit your limit, step away and start again later with a brand new budget.

Playing Progressive Slots at Online Gambling Sites

If you want to stick to smaller wins, then stick to the penny or one-dollar machine games, but if you are after a big win, you will want to check out the progressive jackpots games.

Many online casinos will have a selection of progressive slots – and the big money wins you find on this type of game can be appealing. However, if you want a better chance of winning, then this may not be your best option. Playing online jackpot slot games will usually mean lower odds of winning. And, if you do have a limited budget then this might not be the best choice.

These games usually have the lowest RTPs of any online casino game. What’s more, you need to make bigger bets to win the big prizes – usually the maximum bet. On average, progressive slots feature the lowest overall payouts in gambling so you don’t have great winning odds.

On top of that, you always need to bet the maximum to access the top jackpot prizes – meaning you might end up spending more money than you can afford to lose before you get even close to a win.

Smaller Jackpots

If you do want better slot machine odds for a jackpot game, then we would recommend you play for a smaller jackpot. These usually pay out more frequently and, although they aren’t quite as appealing as the million-dollar machines, you have a much better chance of winning.

Make Bigger Bets

Some people are wary of placing big bets on slots – and this is understandable if you only have a small budget. However, one of the most frequently ignored slot machine tips is to place bets that are bigger than the minimum bets.

We would recommend you try and make bets over the minimum $0.01 if playing on penny slots because these low bets won’t usually unlock the bonus rounds. Often, you will need to have all bet lines activated – especially if you want to qualify for the maximum win or jackpot.

Ultimately, there’s a reason why all online slot machine tips suggest that in order to win the big prizes you need to make the bigger bets – because it is true. Stick to your budget, but also try to make sure you give yourself a fighting chance of a decent win.

Maximum Bets for Maximum Wins

Because maximum wins on a pay table are based on multipliers (i.e. 5,000x your stake), you win a lot more money if you play with maximum bets. If you want to keep playing a penny slot machine at $0.01 per spin, you won’t ever really hit a decent win.

After all, if you are lucky enough to win the maximum 5,000x of your stake (for example) playing slots at $0.01, realistically you will only win $50. If you were to play at least $1 per spin (which is still budget-friendly), then you could win $5,000. However, if you were to play $25 per spin, then your maximum win would be $125,000. A big difference for the same winning combination.

So, ultimately, the amount you bet will determine how much you can win. It’s fine if you want to stick with small, budget-friendly wagers, but don’t expect to walk away with huge winnings.

Winning More on Online Slots

So, as you can see, winning at slots and winning ‘more’ on online slots are two very different things. Bigger wins will require a bigger bankroll and an understanding that you may well eat through our bankroll a lot quicker.

It is always good to bear in mind that because slot game results are determined by Random Number Generators, you are NEVER one spin closer to a big win or a jackpot win. Each and every spin is completely independent of the last.

This means that you never have a better or worse chance of winning based on how long you have been playing online slots.

As such, bear in mind that going for big wins with big wagers can be risky, so never chase bonus rounds or big cash prizes as hitting them can never be guaranteed – even if you play slots online all day.

Manage Your Bets Properly

This leads us to an essential part of getting a winning slot strategy. Managing your bets properly. You don’t have to choose a bet size and stick to it. Like all other online casino games, slots can have very low minimum and very high maximum bets and you need to take this factor into account when coming up with a slot machine strategy.

You might start playing the $100 maximum bets, but if you hit a few losing spins, the bankroll will quickly be depleted. If you only play 5 x$100 spins, you have much less chance of winning than if you play 50 x $10 spins.

As such, you might start out more carefully, be cautious, and if you do start hitting some decent wins, you can up the amount you play.

However, if you notice that your budget is deleting rapidly, you may wish to decrease your bets significantly until your bankroll starts to increase again.

Because the amount you bet should depend on your bankroll, you should be amending your bets based on what is happening in your bankroll.

Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses and Free Spins

One excellent way of getting more winning potential is by claiming a good welcome bonus and finding a site that offers excellent casino bonus offers and free spins.

Free Spins

The most common casino bonuses for slot players are free spins, which allow players to play slots for free. These can be rewarded as part of your welcome bonus, as additional existing player bonuses and even as no-deposit bonuses.

When you open a free spins bonus you will only be able to play specified and set online slots as dictated by the casino. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

Welcome Bonuses

Most casinos will offer a welcome bonus to get them started and to attract new players to the casino site. This will usually be a match deposit bonus, where the casino will double the amount of your first deposit with bonus money – i.e. 100% up to $200 deposit bonus. 

You may also get free spins on top of the match deposit bonus. The welcome bonus money will be valid for practically all video slots and slots will usually contribute 100% to the wagering requirements (with a few exceptions).

Cashback Offers

Some online casinos will give you a percentage of your money back on any losses you suffer over a certain period (i.e. 10%).  These usually come with no wagering requirements which will make it easier to claim your winnings.

Wagering Requirements

How to win at slots with bonuses and free spins is tougher if you take into consideration the terms and conditions.

Most slot bonuses and free spins will come with wagering requirements, which is how much you need to play of your own money before you can withdraw the winnings. So, if you win $100 with free spins that come with a 35x wagering requirement, then you will need to play 35 x $100 = $3,500 of your own money before withdrawing the $100. 

However, some may come with no wagering requirements (rarely) and these are worth their weight in gold.

Conclusion: Improve Your Chance to Win at Slots

    So, ultimately, the best way to give yourself the best chances of winning at an online slot game is by following these slot tips:

  • Choose a slot game that has the highest RTPs
  • Make sure you choose the slot with the right volatility level for you
  • Look to see which slots offer the highest maximum payouts
  • Read the game review, check out the pay table and play free games for practice
  • Claim a welcome bonus or casino bonus with lower wagering requirements
  • Make sure you play at a licensed and legit casino.

Although we can never guarantee that you will always win at online slots games and come out on top, this will give you the best chance of being a winner in the longer term.


Is There a Trick to Win Slots?


Not a trick, but if you choose a slot machine with an RTP over 96% then you will give yourself a better chance of winning.

Which Slot Machines Pay Out the Best?


Most slot machines will have an RTP of anywhere between 93% to 98% or higher. There are some with 98% or even 99% which are always to be recommended. Progressive jackpot games usually have lower slot machine odds.

Is There Any Way I Can Increase My Chances of Winning on Slots?


The best way to give yourself the best chance of winning is by picking a high RTP slot machine that also has high volatility. This means that the wins you will get are bigger. 

How Do I Know if Slot Machines are Rigged?


All of the casinos that we recommend here are fully licensed and compliant. The games on the site are all determined by a Random Number Generator which ensures that all results are fair and random. These RNGs are tested by third parties to ensure that they are fair and not rigged. 

Are there Other Casino Games with a Better Chance of Winning than Slots?


Yes, the casino game that has the lowest house edge and the highest RTP is blackjack, which, when played with the basic strategy, has an RTP of around 99.5%. Roulette and Baccarat also offer a low house edge.

Can I Win Real Money on Slot Machines?


Yes, you can. Just as with all casino games, if you play with real money, you can win real money prizes. However, because they are games of chance, you can’ guarantee a real money win. There is no exact way to beat slot machines.

How Can I Win a Progressive Jackpot Slot Machine?


If you do pick a jackpot game, you will have a better chance if you choose one with a smaller jackpot as these pay out more frequently. However, if you are playing slots for the life-changing win, then avoid playing the minimum bet. You simply need to play high (or even maximum) bets, stick to your budget and hope that luck is on your side.

Which Games Come With the Best Slot Machine Odds?


There are numerous online slot games out there that have decent odds of winning. When you open your casino’s catalogue of titles, you need to look for the RTPs of the different slot games. If you are playing slots purely for the win, then we recommend you choose the game with the highest RTP. However, because all RTPs are less than 100%, in the long run, the casino will always come out on top, no matter which game you choose.

Can You Tell if a Slot Game is Ready to Pay Out?


No, there is no way to see whether a slot is ready to hit because the outcomes are determined by RNGS, which means that all outcomes are independent of previous and future outcomes. However, because of the laws of probability, you may find that you are more likely to hit a win if you do hit many numerous losses in a row. However, don’t go over your budget to chase the win.

Erik Jensen is a seasoned gambling expert that has previous worked at one of the largest igaming companies globally. He has also extensive experience working with online casino campaigns for the biggest companies in the world. In the last 5 years Erik has solely been focusing on the Canadian market to give the best up to date news and best casino bonuses available for the Canadian casino players.

Erik Jensen
Erik Jensen
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