Strategies in Playing Online Slots

by Brad Welch

The thought of implementing a plan to play online slot games may seem rather far-fetched to those who aren’t regular players. Yet planning a strategy and going through the wide range of playing modes and payouts is vital to the chances of making a profit for any player. It’s also one of the gaming slots online’s most entertaining features.

The first step in the creation of a plan is to remove the fallacies of unhelpful gamblers and to dispel debunked theories. It’s time to get realistic and understand the system that’s best suited for your play style after disposing of these old adages. Selecting a computer and handling the capital are the last steps.


There are numerous mistakes scattered around online slot play that dissuade players from optimizing their winnings. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

‘I’m owed a win’ Virtual slots, and most live casino slots, are dependent on set-probability number generators. Whether a player is at the tail end of a losing streak or riding high on a winning run, the odds of a winning line are the same each turn.

‘It’s ready to pay’ Watching progressive jackpots get higher, or looking for popular games, won’t make a difference to the chances of a payout (unless an online casino runs a special offer). Gone are the days of lurking around a corner while an unwitting punter fills a machine. A built-in house edge determines the odds, not the weight of the money in a machine.

‘I know a cheat’ Casinos rumored to be cheeky cheats. When you have three nudges, you hit spin, never holding two Sevens, and dozens more. Nowadays, tester groups are stopping these vulnerabilities from happening: so be very skeptical about any of these ideas.


Old slot tactics may have once succeeded, but technological advances have now consigned the vast majority to the annals of casino history. Strategies to be stopped now include:

Lurking – On a screen, following a game and hopping in if they leave empty handed. This may have succeeded when slots paid out when they were complete, but now they are just generators of random numbers (RNGs), and this technique is obsolete.

Cheats – There were always stories of predictable patterns and cheats in the arcades of the’ 80s and’ 90s. The slots of today were big business and the glitches are squashed.

Hot / Cold Machines – The RNGs are designed to be random, as you would expect. You may have a lucky streak, or an unlucky streak, but it’s lucky.

Playing Style

Asking these questions will help players determine their preferred style of playing:

  • How patient are you?
  • Would you like to spend a lot?
  • How long do you want to last every gaming session?

Patient players with a big pot and no desire to play for long stints may be better suited to major jackpot plays. Look for franchise slots like Marvel, where egalitarian jackpots are generally available. Alternatively, consider looking for games that have payout lines that are more generous but less frequent. Players who are able to survive long droughts without panicking are usually in line with the biggest wins.

Impatient players are better suited for standard, but typically less accommodating, winning positions. Such game styles tend to offer several low-to-medium priced winning lines that often pop up and throw in lots of extras, such as wilds and random prizes. A good sign of such players is that they have a lot of lines or ‘winning ways’. Those who want a big win out of this style should be looking for games that offer a better multiple win when the stakes are raised.

Low pot players are advised to look for generous bonus features and regular (though low) payouts from their slots to enjoy their game sessions. Big money tends to come more from the prizes than big jackpots, but in every reward game run, players won’t earn it. That means earnings will be built up over a slightly longer period of time, but while you wait, money can easily be chipped away.


Because machines are pre-programmed with a keep percentage (like a house edge), a certain percentage of total stakes is expected to be held over the long run. There’s no way to change that, but strategies are in place to make the most of your short-term winnings. The first step is to select the right machine.

Video Slots – like virtual slots, they feature video versions of old slot machine reels and often have bonus players and special features as well as winning columns. They add an enjoyable and complicated dimension, and they often have daily payouts.

Jackpot Slots – like a video machine, but with less complex players and simpler signs for winning. Although maybe less fun than more complex games, they are perfect for those who try to play the numbers or experiment with money management techniques. These typically have payouts that are larger and less frequent than video slots.

Progressive Slots – these bring a best percentage of each wager to add to a cumulative jackpot from multiple linked machines. That means payouts are even less regular, but the chance of a massive win is always there. Some machines allow players to wager one, two or three coins, and only offer those placing in top stakes the jackpot, so make sure you have a chance to win the jackpot before playing them.

Tournaments – The best casinos connect their machines to run a tournament in which a group of players must compete within a set time limit through a fixed amount of credits. Wins are set in a bowl back, and the biggest pot wins. Speed and focus are crucial because many people do not make the most of their credits.

Managing Money

If you decide to go it alone, it’s easy to get drawn into the gambling fallacies. The best way to maximize your money and leave with some winnings is to set a cash limit system that dictates your play.

Set aside £25 for 100 spins on a 25p/spin slot, for example. The through the odds of hitting a major jackpot, the more spins you require. Switching machines when you’re up or putting all winnings aside, however, is a good way to hang on to profits and end the day with money in your pocket.

These are, of course, just generic methods. Understanding how slots work is the secret to any program, determining how much to stake and sticking to it. There is no easier way to empty a pot than to hesitate and fall back into the fallacies of the gamblers. When you think you’re ready to fine-tune your new found talents and try some of the better slots on the market then we’ve got what you need on our Free Slots page so you can play for free and discover the slots that suit you best.

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