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The Ultimate Guide to Slot Machine Strategies

If you are someone who has been to a casino before, then slot machines are one of the first things you would see upon walking into a casino area. Slot machines are gambling machines that can often be found and used in casino areas and even online casinos. In this article, we will be covering some basic information you need to know about slot machines.

The Trick to Maximize Slot Payouts

Slot machines are not games of strategy in the world of casinos; but live casinos and online casinos offer them as games of pure chance. Skill rarely comes into play when it comes to slot machines, although skill-based slots linger as a coming attraction. For most slot games, there is nothing you can do to change the outcome. So how would you go about maximizing your slot payouts while preferably minimizing your losses?

Here are three ways that can maximise your slot payout returns: –

  • Betting with the maximum coins
  • Scouting progressives
  • Playing machines with banked bonuses

Maximizing your returns does not guarantee you that you will be making long-term profit on the slots. The house edge is not as flexible as compared to the games with strong skill elements like blackjack or video poker. These strategies are more towards giving yourself a shot at some nice wins as well as recognizing that the in games of chance with a house edge, and losing sessions are also part of the game.

Should You Bet With Maximum Coins?

Live casinos have encouraged their players to bet on maximum coins on slot machines for a long time, and platers have wondered if this would be really to their advantage. The answer depends on what type of machine you are playing.

  • For most live slots with three-mechanical reels, you would get a higher payback percentage by betting max coins.
  • For most video slots, which includes live slots and video slots, it would be better to cover all the paylines with a minimum bet per line similar to the same percentage as the betting max.

Now we shall take a look at the situations separately, starting with the three-reel mechanical games.

Betting the Max on Three-Reel Mechanical Slots

For most three-reel slots with mechanical reels, you do receive a higher payback percentage if you are betting the max. However, it might not be worthwhile to bet extra to get that higher percentage. To understand this better, here are some information about the basic types of mechanical-reel slot machines:-

  • Multipliers

For every multiplier game, each win is comparable to the number of coins or credits you wagered. Here is an example of a multiplier pay table:

Payoffs are comparable to its wager size, so betting three coins brings payoffs exactly triple the payoffs when betting one coin. 

With that format, the payback percentage is still the same regardless how many coins you bet as there is no incentive to bet the max built into the pay table. Pure multipliers are rare to be found in casinos on slots with three mechanical reels, though there are many video slots and five-reel mechanicals that are pure multipliers in the non-bonus, reel-spinning portion of the game.

  • Multipliers with Disproportionate Jackpot

Majority of the three-reel mechanical slots would give you an incentive to bet on maximum coins by including a big jump in the top jackpot. Here is a sample of the pay table:

Similar to pure multiplier, this game has comparable payoffs throughout most of the pay table. However, there is an unequal jump in the top jackpot when you bet three coins. Three 7s would pay five times as much when you bet three coins compared to when you bet one.

This would bring out the effect of giving the game a higher payback percentage when you bet on maximum coins. Three-reel progressives are this type of game that will get you hyped up with a growing chapter. You have to bet the maximum coins to qualify for the jackpot.

To observe how the effect this has on the payback percentages, let’s set the scene of the above pay table on a RM 1 game that gives you back 95 percent when you bet the max and in which the odds result in the top jackpot hitting about once per 20,000 plays.

  • If you bet on the maximum coins, then you are betting RM 30,000 over 20,000 plays.
  • With a 95 percent payment would mean that you are getting RM28,500 back on average.
  • Out of the RM 28,500 in returns, you will receive RM 2500 from the jackpot and RM 26,000 from the smaller pays
  • If you are betting on only one coin, then you are betting RM 10,000 out of each 20,000 plays.
  • The smaller pays are comparable, so you will be receiving one-third of RM26,000, or RM 8667. The one-coin bet only brings a jackpot of RM 500 on your one 7-7-7 hit. That would bring your total payback to about RM 9,167.
  • To calculate payback percentage, you should divide your RM 9,167 in returns by RM5,000 in wagers, and then multiply by 100 to convert to percent. That shows a payback percentage of about 91.7 percent

Overall, if you are betting the max, then the machine will return 95 percent. If you don’t, it will return you 91.7 percent. Betting the maximum amount of counts doesn’t grant you the jackpot that comes up any more or less than often if you bet on fewer coins. However, you can make the payback percentage higher if you bet on maximum coins with the normal odds of the game coupled with the disproportionate pay table.

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Should I Go For Higher Percentage or Greater Risk?

When gambling on casino games, you can get a higher payback percentage if you bet on maximum coins on multipliers with disportionate jackpots. But does that really mean that you should always bet the max? Let’s do a little math, shall we?

  • The machine detailed under multipliers with modified jackpots returns 91.7 percent to players who bet one coin.
  • Per 1,000 plays, one-coin wagers would bring a 917-coin return. The house gets to keep 83 coins.
  • If you bet three coins per play, then the payback percentage will increase to 95 percent.
  • You get back 2,850 coins per 1,000 three-coin bets, which means that the house keeps 150.
  • Although you’re getting a higher payback percentage, your average losses are higher as you’re risking a lot more money.

The difference in percentages and average losses may vary from game to game, but you need to weigh the larger risk when you are weighing whether to bet more to get a higher payback percentage.

Buy-A-Pays

For every buy-a-pay slot, each coin wagered would unlock a portion of a game’s potential plays. For some, it is as simple as three pay lines across the reels so that you win only on combinations across the centrer reel if you bet on one coin as well as win on the top line if you bet two, and add bottom line wins lines if you are betting on 3 coins.

Here is an example:

  • After winning in a combination for the third time in a row, you would get the three 7s winner only if you bet on maximum coins.
  • Other buy-a-pays would unlock paying symbols with each coin wagered.
  • This is an example of the sample pay table:
    • The first coin wagered unlocks the fruit symbols, the second coin unlocks the bars and the third coin unlocks the 7s.
    • If you line up the three bars but have only wagered on only one coin, you do not win.
    • Similarly, if you line up three 7s and have only betted on one or two coins, you still get back nothing.

You should not ever play a buy-a-pay if you are unwilling to wager enough to unlock all the symbols. The last thing you would want is to see the three jackpot symbols lineup when you haven’t bet enough to unlock them. When it comes to slot games like buy-a-pays, you can either bet the max or don’t play at all.

Overall Conclusion for Mechanical-Reel Games

The number of coins you bet would make no difference to the payback percentage if the game you are playing is a pure multiplier. However, if you cannot bet on maximum coins on buy-a-pay or more progressive games with the mechanical reels, then perhaps you should find a different game.

Should You Bet the Max on Video Slots?

The situation is different for five-reel video slots as compared to casino games like the three-reel mechanical slots. Paybacks are comparable to the coins wagered per payline on these days with no jackpot jump for betting the max when it comes to online casinos. Here is a sample pay table for a 20-payline, five-reel video game:

There are a few notable details you need to remember about that pay table:

  • In order to provide easy examples and streamline the math, this game is simplified from the pay tables that you can see in casinos. Casino games often use more character symbols and use generic symbols like A-K-Q-J-10.
  • Many video slots would also include more than one bonus event. Despite its simplification, there are actually many more possible winning combinations than on the three-reel slot. Even two in a row of the top-paying symbol brings some payoff.
  • As set up, this game with 20 paylines and a five-coin maximum bet per line would have a maximum total bet of 100 coins.
  • There are games that you might find in casinos that would often have much higher maximum bets, such as 20 coins per line on a 20-line game, or 10 coins per line on a 40-line game, for a total of 400 coins. The pay table is comparable from to bottom, so betting maximum coins would not increase payback percentage. That is general for video slots.

How to be Eligible to Win?

Based on the video slot game described above, there is no pay table incentive to bet the maximum coins per line. However, it might be to your advantage if you make sure that you bet on every payline.

You might be asking “why”? This is because on some machines, the bonus symbols must land on an active payline for you to be eligible for the free spins, the wheel spins, the pick-a-symbol round or whatever other special event has been designed into the game.

For example:

  • You have decided to bet a single coin. That activates only the center payline.
  • You go to the bonus event if three bonus symbols land on the centerline, as that line is active.
  • However, if the reels land on any line you have not activated, you do not go to the bonus.

The time spent in bonus events is the time you spend building credits without making extra wagers, so you want to optimize your chances of going to the bonuses. To maximize slot machines payouts, make sure you’re eligible for the bonuses offered. Some newer games tend to avoid this issue by eliminating the option to play fewer paylines than available.

A 40-line game might have buttons that are labeled “Bet 40,” “Bet 80,” “Bet 120,” “Bet 160,” and “Bet 200,” providing you options to bet one, two, three, four or five credits per line, but no chance to play only one line. In the slot industry, these are known as “forced bet” machines.

On mechanical-reel slots that don’t have pure multiplier pay tables, you could get the highest payback percentage by betting maximum coins. A disproportionate leap in the top jackpot is the most common incentive when it comes to betting the max on three-reel games. Getting the highest payback percentage for betting the max doesn’t mean that the average losses are lower as bigger bets bring more risk.

On most video slots, betting the max does not boost payback percentage. But by covering all paylines, even with minimum coins per line, it is important on video slots, especially if bonuses require symbols to land on an active payline.

Conclusion

Overall, there is a lot to cover about what it comes to the interesting slot machines that one might easily come across in casino areas. But once you read all these basic guides and details about how to utilize your chances with slot machines, you might understand better how to better your chances at winning next time.

And who knows? Perhaps you might keep some of this information in mind the next time you go to a casino and change your luck at the winnings.

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