Analysing a Slot
There are many different types of online slot machines you may come across. The three main categories of slot machines are classic slots, video slots and arcade slots. The majority of slots you will find at online casinos are classic and video slots. They have the same basic structure involving reels, rows and paylines.
A slot is made up of vertical reels and horizontal rows. Typically, classic slots tend to have 3 reels and only 1 row. At least, that was true for the first slot machine ever, the Liberty Bell. Video slots tend to have 5 vertical reels with 3 rows. A row is simply a visible symbol position on a reel.
Classic and video slots will have a number of paylines in accordance with their structure. The more reels and rows they have, the more paylines they are likely to have. A payline is a path that can be traced across the reels, involving one position on each reel, that winning combinations can be formed along. The more paylines a slot has, the more chances a player has to land a winning combination.
One of the ways in which a classic slot and video slot differ is in the design. Typically, classic slots tend to have a basic presentation whilst offering one – if any – bonus features. They are simple in gameplay and do not tend to be as complicated as video slots.
Video slots, on the other hand, are the most popular form of slots. They usually have a variety of bonus features, including special symbols, whilst offering an experience full of animations. The presentation of video slots is important; thus, they tend to have many engaging themes – sometimes even based upon popular culture movies, television series, musical artists and more. These are known as branded slots.
The last type of slot is arcade slots. These are games that usually have a square structure, such as a 5x5 or 10x10 grid layout. Arcade slots tend to use a cluster pays mechanic in which wins are awarded for landing groups of matching symbols horizontally and vertically on the reels. Like video slots, these games tend to use the most advanced technology for high quality presentation and are packed with bonus features. The bonus features a slot may offer are hugely varied and may include special symbols, free spins and even jackpot prizes.
An Expert Strategy for Online Slots
Essentially, once you are able to distinguish between slots’ features and themes, the next step is to use strategies to increase your chances of winning. Before you get spinning, it is important to know that there is no way you can influence the game itself. Each spin completely depends on luck and there is no sure-fire way you can guarantee wins. However, you can be mindful of the following things.
Always Play Maximum Paylines
Some slots will give you the choice of how many paylines you wish to have active. When playing these flexible slots, it is important to always maximize your number of paylines and coins. In essence, the more paylines there are, the more opportunities you have to land a win. You may have to reduce your bet per payline, but ultimately it is worth doing.
If this is the case, it is advisable to reduce your coin size and then bet to the full the coin value on each payline. Some slots will have bigger prizes, even progressive jackpots, which can only be won when playing with all paylines active and the maximum coin size.
This requires you to calculate how much you can afford to bet per spin. Once you have all paylines active and the maximum number of coins bet on each payline, you will give yourself the best chance of landing the biggest wins.
Do Your Homework
One of the best ways you can boost your chances of winning is by taking the time to research the slot you wish to play. That means you should take a look at the RTP and volatility of the slot. The RTP means Return To Player and it is a percentage that indicates how much money is returned over a period of time. For instance, if a slot has an RTP of 95%, this indicates that it will return $95 of every $100 bet on it. However, it is important to know that this is calculated over a vast number of spins. Technically, you could win more than 100% of what you bet or could win nothing at all. This is why it is gambling, however, as a rule of thumb, the higher RTP a slot has, the better.
As for volatility, this refers to how a slot behaves. Typically, a slot with low volatility will see the player winning more frequently, but with lower payouts. High volatility slots tend to have bigger payouts that are not awarded as frequently. This correlates directly with your budget as if you are playing a high volatility slot, you can expect the game to burn through your bankroll faster.
Be Cautious of Progressive Jackpots
Whilst progressive jackpots are extremely exciting, they are not always the best option to go with. The popularity of progressive jackpots comes from the element that a single spin could make you a millionaire. However, this comes at the cost of having a lower RTP. Thus, when playing jackpot slots, you can expect to burn through your bankroll a little faster than in other slot machines. We are not telling you to avoid progressive jackpots, rather, to keep this in mind when betting on them.
Stay on Top of Your Bankroll
Finally, perhaps the most important tip of all, is to manage your bankroll correctly. This will not directly lead to bigger wins, but it will allow you to play longer. And, as we all know, by playing longer, you have more opportunities to win. Here are a few tips you can employ to help stay on top of your bankroll.
Firstly, it is essential to ensure that your budget will last as long as you wish to play for. This means to calculate how long a spin lasts. Slot machines tend to have spins that last between 1 and 5 seconds. It depends on the game. Keeping this in mind, you should calculate how many spins you will be able to play in the gaming session.
If a spin lasts 5 seconds and you want to play for 30 minutes, you can set a budget in accordance with that. For arguments sake, let’s assume that you have a budget of $100. In this scenario, you can play 360 spins which would equate to $0.27 per spin. In this case, it is good to look for a slot with 25 paylines, as you can bet $0.01 per payline. That would amount to $0.25 per spin, provided you place the maximum bet on all paylines. This way, you will be able to play for 30 minutes, and perhaps more, if luck is on your side.
Another method of bankroll management is to set win and loss limits. This is a slightly easier option. If you set out to play with $100, you should immediately stop playing once you have lost the $100. This way, you do not lose any more than you have intended. The problem here is that jackpot slots or highly volatile slots may burn through your bankroll rather quickly.
An alternative with win and loss limits is to stop playing once you have won a certain amount. If you set a win limit of 50%, playing with $100, that means once you have $150 in your account, you stop playing. The idea here is to avoid turning a big win into a loss. This ensures that when you leave, you walk away with a profit for your next gaming session.
Most players tend to use a combination of all three concepts above. Thus, they can predict how much time they can spend in a casino with their budget and know when to walk away – from either winning or losing positions. Bankroll management is an ideal strategy to use if you want to give yourself the best chance of leaving a casino without too much damage or even with a profit.