Slot players have the opportunity to win incredible money. Where else do you see million-plus payouts listed for a $.75 investment? The downside to these games, though, is that the money to pay those massive amounts needs to come from somewhere so the smaller prizes may not come as frequently.
There are some things to consider, before even deciding on your preferred game, that can help you to increase your chances of cashing out something. Let's be honest, though, this is gambling, and there's no such thing as a sure thing.
Think about it; you don't see the same person taking the WSOP title every year or slots players winning the millionaire-making jackpot payout on Wheel of Fortune time and time again. There's risk to placing bets, but there are a few things you can do to lower that risk factor.
I do want to get right to the heart of the matter, the tips for increasing your winning potential, but just two quick definitions first as they will come into play when picking out the best slot game you can find.
RTP - The RTP is short for the Return to Player percentage and is determined by a very long range testing process that involves at least one million wagers.
The higher the percentage, the better it is for the player. The difference is the averaged amount that the casino will make, so if an RTP is 95%, the casino essentially keeps 5% of everything wagered on this one particular machine. RTPs can range from 82 to 99% but stay away from anything less than 90%, or you'll have a much bigger challenge ahead of you.
Some machines will note it, but you can also usually find it online at a casino or through the slot provider.
Variance or volatility - These terms define the risk of a slot game and are broken down into three different levels: high, medium, and low. The lower end games provide for a better number of overall wins, mostly small but some larger ones mixed in as well.
The higher variance games have much bigger jackpot potential, but you won't see nearly as many small wins to keep you going. The medium ones will naturally fall in between, providing some of the lower level prizes, but more potential for bigger jackpots than a low variance game.
How to find the approximate variance level? Sometimes it will be publicly posted online, but you can figure it out for yourself by comparing a few payout tables of different games. Take a game and compute the difference between the payout for three identical symbols and the payout for four or five identical symbols. A big difference in the prize amounts equates to a high variance machine. Relatively smaller escalation is associated with low variance games.
For most of these tips, you'll be keeping the RTP and variance in mind as they do factor considerably into the bottom line.
As video slots have some intricate bonus rounds incorporated into their game play, they will typically have a lower RTP (higher for the casino) to offset the reduction in playing time.
For example, a casino may count on something like 60 spins an hour for a regular slot game, but a video slot could reduce it to just 30. The casino makes money from more wagering, so it will need to even things out by adjusting the house edge.
I know, I just said the video slots have higher RTPs. But, if you're betting smaller amounts, you want to play those bonus rounds as they are great ways to build up your credits. The little extra bells and whistles come with free spins and payout multipliers so your winnings can add up regardless of your initial wager.
If you're not certain what a fixed pay game is, it has a payout table that is balanced equitably regardless of whether you're betting 1, 2 or 3 credits per line. For example, three lemons on a fixed pay machine could pay 100 for one credit, 200 for two, and 300 for three.
Now, take those same three lemons and put them on a machine that isn't fixed pay (progressive) and you could be looking at something like 90 for one credit, 180 for two, and 500 for three. You don't want to lose out on anything because you're only playing one credit.
Big jackpot progressives or games that just pay a lot for the top prize are harder to cash out on because smaller prizes are reduced to offset the cost of those big ones.
A game with a 5,000 credit top payout is going to be better off for players in the long run when compared to one with a 100,000 credit prize. Now, of course, if you win those 100,000 credits, you're sitting pretty, but I'm just talking about the day to day regular wins that don't include the biggest jackpots.
On occasion, a casino will have different payout structures for the same or similar game. They may rearrange some things so that lower level prizes pay out more on one machine, but the top prize is larger on another. If you have a game in mind and there are similar options out there, do your due diligence and look at everything first to compare and contrast.
The few tips provided here already should give you some things to consider before you decide on a game to play. If you're someone who plays slots with the singular goal of winning big-time money, though, you'll want to stick with the jackpot progressives. A game like Mega Moolah provides for a starting prize of £1,000,000, and it doesn't matter if you're betting the maximum or not as it has a random bonus structure.
Regardless of how much homework you've done on the RTP and variance of the game as well as the payout possibilities, if you've spun the reels ten times and haven't received anything, you may want to consider moving. Sometimes, it's just not happening. On the flip side, if you test out a game and it's paying and paying, ride it out and don't think about percentages or any house edge, just build up those credits!