This is the first part in a new series we are running on how you can get the most from your online slots play. We all know the odds are set against you with slot machines, but sometimes you can improve your chance of winning
One thing that quite a few players do not realize, is that some casinos give you better payouts than others. The rate of your chance of winning on a slot machine is known as the 'payback' rate and anything over 90% is good.
As you will see, if you visit our listings of casinos, we only select casinos to recommend that have the highest payout rates - that means you get much more play for your money. And yes, it gives you a better chance of winning cash when you play
Some slot machines pay out better when you play max bet. For example, on some 3-reel games, if you hit a line of the top-paying symbols you might win (for example) 1,000 credits if you play 1 credit per line.
But, if you had been playing max credits per line (for example, 3 credits), then the top win might rise to 10,000.
In this type of example, you should play max bet, because if you hit that top winning line, you stand to win a lot more than you would otherwise
With other games, it makes no difference. For example, most video slots pay out the same, no matter how many credits per line you play.
One exception with video slots, is when there is a progressive jackpot. If you play a game like Wizard of Oz, which has a big progressive, you can only win if you play max bet. The max bet is usually $3 or $4 per spin, so you need quite a lot of money to play, but you get much better odds when you max bet.
If you don't have enough to max bet, then I would say it is better to choose a slot with a lower domination that does not have a progressive.
Although they are very rare these days, there are some machines still out there that do not require you to max bet to stand a chance of winning the jackpot.
The way to find them, is more often than not, to look out for a 'random jackpots' sign or 'mystery jackpots' indicator. What this means is the jackpot is triggered completely at random, and doesn't need the right reels to line-up to get it
On these machines, the more you bet the higher the chance you have of hitting the jackpot, but you can still win the jackpot even if you play a single penny spin.
One last thing to look out for is the sneaky machines that require max bet, but not just max bet on one line, but max bet on all the pay-lines - this can make it very expensive to play and have a chance of winning the big one compared to other machines where you only have to max bet on one single line if you want that opportunity
With online casinos, you will nearly always be offered the chance to take up one of their 'free cash' bonuses.
With a free cash bonus, the casino will match you initial deposit. for example, if you deposit $100, they will give you an extra $100, so you will start your play with a total of $200 (this is a 100% bonus)
Take a look at the latest (2015) list of Bonus Offers for Online Slots
Other casinos go further than that - some will offer 200%, 300% or even 400% bonuses. With a 400% bonus, if you deposit $100, you will get $400 extra, meaning that you get to play with $500 in total.
Of course, it's not as simple as that. The casino expects you to actually play with the money, otherwise people would just take the cash and run!
So, with a bonus, you must play through the bonus a certain number of times. Usually, this means you have to play 25x the total (of deposit + bonus) before they will allow you to cash out the winnings.
These bonuses are fantastic to play jackpot games, because you get so much more chance to hit the big jackpot. To win at slots with jackpots, bonuses are a perfect tool to give you the best odds.
However, bonuses might not be so good for the type of player that just wants to hit a $200 win playing slots and cash out straight away, because of the need to complete a play-through.
So, you need to decide yourself what type of player you are and then decide whether you will take your bonus offer or not. That will help give you the best chance of winning, depending on what type of win you are going for.
The question about payouts is of most concern to players that live in the USA. Players in the UK and Canada are generally fine getting their payouts, as long as they play at a recommended casino (like the ones we list here).
But, for USA players, things are a bit different and really, it depends on the type of play you enjoy and also, what your expectations are.
All of the casinos we list DO pay out winnings to players, but the process can be slow sometimes. Especially the first time you cash out, because there is often a lengthy identity check for security reasons.
What you will find, is that if you win a big jackpot (like $100k), then you will need to take your prize in instalments. With most USA casinos, this is set at around $2500 per week, but it can vary, so it is worth checking.
Some casinos limit it to $500 per week, which is only really suitable for penny slot players (fine for me!). so if you are looking to win at slots, you need to make sure that the casino will pay the amount you are trying to win.
If you are playing games where you stake more cash per spin, or if the jackpots are big, you need to Choose a Casino for High Limit Players - these casinos are much better at paying out players and so you will get your jackpot much more quickly if you choose one of these casinos.