You need to learn how to play slots before you play your first machine. Whether you are eager to play new or classic titles, you need to know how the game works before you play.
If terms like reels, paylines, and paytables seem foreign, you will need to read through a slots guide before playing your first game. Luckily, we explain all you need to know about playing slots below. We also list our top online casinos for slot games so that you can get instant access to the best games.
If you have never played a slot game before, the machine can seem rather confusing. There are flashing lights, spinning reels, and vibrant colors coming at you simultaneously, and it can seem like a bit much if you are not used to it.
We want to help you understand how to read slot machines so you can start playing these games without fear. So, here a step-by-step guide to getting you started:
1. Pick a Game
Firstly, you choose what slot game you want to play. There are many different games available, including:
Classic 3-reel slots
It is important to note that features, variance, return-to-player, and jackpots vary from game to game. So, you need to find a title that ticks all the boxes for you. Generally, games with a higher payout percentage and a low variance have smaller jackpots and vice-versa.
This seems like a lot to digest (and it will be at first, but you will quickly get used to looking at all these factors when picking a game.)
2. Study the Game’s Paytable
When you start a slot game, the title’s paytable will be shown on your screen. It features details about:
How much symbols payout
How paylines work
The game’s special signs
How the game’s bonus rounds work
Take note of all of this information to understand how to win in the game you are playing. It is important to remember that all games are different, so you will need to study the paytable of each game you play.
3. Study the Game’s Paylines
We already mentioned this above, but it is essential to understand how a game’s paylines work because it determines if you win.
A payline is also called a winning line. You win if you match a string of symbols on a payline on the reels. Each game has a varying number of paylines.
Some games only have one payline, whereas others have as many as 729 paylines. Games with many paylines often have the lines going in different directions.
A payline needs to be active if you are going to win on it. Increasing the number of active paylines increases your bet amount. You need to factor this in when picking a game, as it will help you determine if a game is outside of your bankroll.
4. Bonus Rounds and Symbols
Most slot games have bonus rounds, which make games more exciting and more profitable. A game’s bonus features can range from standard options, such as free spins, to more complex mini-games, such as matching the symbols and selecting a prize from many options, among many others.
You need to look at a game’s bonus features when picking a game. Some players are fine with a standard free spins bonus mode, but other players are looking for more to break up the monotony of spinning the reels for hours on end.
5. Study Slot Terms (Jargon)
If you are not an avid slots player, terms like “multi-payline bet” and “free spins” may seem very confusing to you. As such, you need to learn slots terminology to ensure you are not confused while playing a slot game.
It is being unfamiliar with slot jargon that often leads new players to make stupid mistakes that could be avoided, such as betting more than you would like on a spin. So, study up on the jargon, and you will avoid such dumb mistakes.
Tips and Tricks for Playing Slots
There aren’t any sure ways to ensure that you win while playing slots. These games are completely random, meaning you cannot influence outcomes. That said, even if you can’t influence the game’s results, there are a few “external” tips we have for you, which may influence your odds of winning, including:
Play Games with Higher Return-to-Player (RTP) Percentages
Games with higher RTP percentages are more likely to pay out players regularly. There is some confusion over how RTP percentages work among new players, so here is a quick example to clarify any confusion.
Let’s say you are playing a game with an RTP percentage of 99%. The percentage states that the game, on average, pays out $99 for every $100 wagered.
It’s important to note that you are not guaranteed to win $99 for every $100 you wager, as this would take all randomness out of the game. Instead, this is just an indicator of whether a game is willing to payout. Generally, we recommend you stick to playing games with higher payback percentages.
We should also mention that online slots have much higher RTP percentages than their land-based counterparts. Online games often post percentages of anything between 94% and 99%, whereas land-based games usually max out at 85%.
Play Low Volatility Games
Slot volatility (also known as variance) refers to the likelihood of a slot game paying out. A game with low variance is more likely to systematically pay out its jackpot than a high variance game. For example, a game with high variance could payout its progressive jackpot twice in a matter of two or three days.
However, games with low variance aren’t as random. If one player wins today, the next player may only win after a certain amount of time has passed. These ideas have given rise to ideas of “tight” and “loose” slots.
Extra Features are Fun, But They Lower Your Odds
Many games with loads of funky bells and whistles tend to be high variance and have low RTP percentages. So, if you aim to win a game’s jackpot with no focus on how much fun you have while playing, you may want to avoid these games because they offer lower chances to win.
As we said above, some players like games that offer a lot more than just your standard slots experience. So, you need to weigh up the pros and cons here and decide what you value more.
There is No Such Thing as “Due” Machines
Although low variance games are more likely to payout, you can never say that a machine is due because random number generators determine game outcomes. So, there is no way to tell if a game is likely to payout and trying to guess when a game is due is a meaningless task because you will never be able to do so.
Any game that paid out that you thought was due was purely coincidental. Abandoning ideas regarding due games will only lead you to have a better gaming experience. You will play games you want to play and not games you THINK are going to payout.
Play Slots for Real Money or Free
It’s up to a player to decide on whether they want to play for slots for free or for real money. New players tend to start off playing a game for fun and later deposit cash as they become confident in the casino game.
There are several benefits attached to playing for free first, including:
You get to learn how a game works
You get to learn if you like the game without spending any money on it