Hobbies Contests Use This Slot Machine Strategy to Pick the Right Machines to Play How to Determine Which Slot Machines to Play Share PINTEREST Email Print Contests Win Money Basics Tips and Tricks Dream Vacations Win Electronics Home and Garden Lotteries Win Vehicles Jewelry and Clothing Types of Contests Creative Contests Scams Learn More Table of Contents Expand Consider Your Strategy Before You Start to Play Slots Choosing Your Slot Machine Conclusion By Sandra Grauschopf Sandra Grauschopf Facebook Twitter Writer University of Maryland Sandra Grauschopf has been working in the contests industry since 2002. She is a passionate sweeper, with tens of thousands of dollars worth of prize wins to her name, and she has been sharing advice about how to be a winner for over a decade. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 09/29/21 Slot machines aren’t the highest-paying games on the casino floor, but they’re popular because they're easy to play and are so entertaining. If you want to maximize your payouts at the slot machines, here are some tips to follow. Consider Your Strategy Before You Start to Play Slots A successful slots strategy begins before you ever start to play. Here are a few things to consider before you even look at a machine. What’s Your Main Goal? Fun, Entertainment, or Cash? The first thing you need to determine is what your goal is while you're at the casino. Are you there to have hours of fun, to be entertained, or to try to win as much cash as possible? The way you prioritize those three aspects — playtime, entertainment value, and payout — will affect everything else about your strategy, so think about what’s most important to you before you start. What’s Your Bankroll Budget? Before you set foot in a casino, you need to decide how much money you're willing to spend. Start by deciding how much money you can afford to lose at the casino. Of course, no one likes to lose any money at all, but you can consider it the cost of your entertainment. Once you decide how much you're willing to lose, think about how long you plan to stay at the casino and divide your bankroll by the number of hours in your stay. For example, if you can lose up to $100 and you are planning on playing for five hours, you can’t lose more than $20 per hour. Set a timer and, if you run out of money early, take a break until the hour is up. You can also consider whether you might want to play a less expensive machine. How Will You Handle Your Winnings? Many people have won a respectable amount at the slot machines, then lost it all again before they left the casino. To avoid having that happen to you, make a plan for how you’ll handle your winnings. Some people choose to bank all of the money they win. Others set a win limit, like double their bankroll, and stop playing when they reach it. You can also take a middle road that will protect your winnings while still extending your bankroll: banking half of your wins and playing the other half. Which Casinos Will You Visit? If you're not going to a specific casino, but rather to a place like Las Vegas where many casinos compete for your attention, take a moment to research which option offers the best odds. Many casinos publish the odds of winning at their slot machines, guaranteeing a 90- or 95-percent payout rate. You can choose to play at the casino with the best odds. Remember, however, that those published odds are for all slot machines that the casino offers. Payout rates for specific machines are usually not published. Sign Up for a Casino Benefits Many casinos compete with one another for players by offering benefits and rewards. Taking advantage of these rewards can pay off for you. For example, some casinos offer a no-deposit bonus, where you can play for free and keep the winnings. Others have a deposit bonus, where they'll match whatever amount of money you convert into chips. Slot cards are another bonus that some casinos use. These cards track what you do in the casino and extend special offers to you depending on your activity. Offers include bonuses like cash back, free meals and drinks, and more. The cards cost you nothing, while the rewards can be valuable. Take advantage of any promotions available to you to extend your profits at the casinos. Choosing Your Slot Machine Now that you've outlined your basic strategy, it’s time to make some decisions to help you pick the right slot machines. There are two important things to keep in mind about slot machines: First, you won’t know what the odds of winning at any given machine are, but you can determine the various payout levels for each machine. Secondly, you can’t do anything (legally) to change the odds of winning once you start playing. Thirdly, the general wisdom is that you want to make the maximum bet when you play. Many slots only offer their biggest prizes to people who bet the max. You don’t want to miss out on those prizes. So how do you decide which slot machine you want to choose? Pick a Denomination Slot machines come in different denominations, like penny slots, 5-cent slots, dollar slots, etc. Dollar slots have bigger payouts, but more risk and you might hit your loss limit faster. Penny slots won’t bankrupt you, but you won’t win big, either. However, you can spend a lot of entertaining time playing. Don’t forget that you are going to want to bet the max amount per spin, so take that into consideration when you are picking your denomination. Go for Simpler or More Exciting Slot Machines? Some slot machines have a lot of exciting bells and whistles that are fun to play. The simpler games pay out more money, but are less fun. So think back to the goals you set before making your choice before you decide. Avoid Progressive Slots Progressive slot machines have life-changing prizes but horrible odds. They take a part of the money they’d normally pay to players to put toward the progressive jackpot. Remember, casinos don’t dip into their own pockets when they can avoid it. Jackpots are funded by the losing spins on the slot machine. Bigger jackpots mean more losers. So instead, read each machine’s pay table to see what their payouts are. Look for machines with moderate jackpots and lots of mid-value prizes. Conclusion You now have enough information to be able to make an informed decision about which slot machines to choose at a casino. Remember, here are some general tips to keep in mind: If your goal is fun, go for more intricate video slots with lots of bells and whistles but lower payouts.If your goal is to spend as long as possible at the casino, you’ll want to concentrate on lower-cost machines like penny slots, even if your chances of winning big are lower.And if you want to make the most money possible, you’ll want to avoid huge jackpots, fancy slots, and low-cost machines.