Slot games are one of the most popular games in a casino, both in-person and online. Their simplicity, impressive design and features, as well as their potential for big wins, all add to the experience.
That is why casino slot machines are usually the most dominating games or at least take up a lot of space in both land-based and online casinos. They require no strategy, and you do not have to compete with other players. Of course, nowadays, there are slot game tournaments where players compete for a greater prize, adding more variation to these games.
So, if you are a novice with slot machine games and are looking into how to get started, this beginner's guide will provide you with all the necessary information.
We'll outline tips on how to choose a slot machine, explain a slot game's RTP, how to read the slot machine and answer frequently asked questions about slot games.
How To Choose a Slot Machine To Play
Slot games are so popular in land-based and online casinos that there is now such a wide range of them. They cover a range of different themes and offer different mechanics and features to bring unique gameplay.
So, choosing one that you may like may be a difficult task. But it does not have to be.
Players look for different things when choosing a slot to play, and there are many factors to take into consideration, such as RTP, volatility and potential bonus features. The RTP rating is, perhaps, the most common factor players look to, is the one we will explain below.
Understanding RTP: Return To Player
RTP is short for Return to Player. It indicates how much a slot game may pay back out to players over time. The higher the RTP rate, the more of the money taken in by a slot game is paid back out to players in the long run, in theory.
For example, a slot game with an RTP rate of 96% means that, in theory, the slot averages out as paying £96 for every £100 it takes in back out.
However, this is a theoretical value because slots are random in nature. The RTP is an average calculated over a very large sample of spins by the developer. Therefore, your results may not reflect the RTP value. You may win more, you may win less, or you may win nothing at all.
Therefore, the RTP is used as a guide to help players select a slot game to play, but it doesn't guarantee anything. The industry average for video slots is around 95%, so anything over this is considered high and are the slot games many players seek out.
How To Play a Slot Machine: For Beginners
Playing slot machines is relatively straightforward. You simply choose a slot game you wish to play, launch the game, read through the information and the paytable, set your bet amount, and press the Spin button to play.
It is important to note that slot games are chance-based games that run using a Random Number Generator (RNG). So, each spin has the same chance of winning as the previous spins. Each spin is an independent event, so previous results have no impact on the chances of winning.
How To Read Slot Machines
Due to advances in technology, slot games can now vary greatly in terms of gameplay. Although they follow the same basic steps of set your wager and hit the Spin button, some new players may find them tricky to read because slots can look quite different to each other.
Remember that each developer also uses their own terminology and way of imparting important information. There are reels, rows, paylines, winning ways, and various types of symbols with various functions.
That's why it is always a good idea to read through the slot's paytable and game information before playing, so you have a better understanding of the slot and what to expect.
Symbols are the main components or pieces of a slot game. They are what land on the slot's reels and determine if you make a win or not, as well as whether a possible bonus feature triggers. But how these symbols land is just as important as what symbols land.
Slot Machine Paylines Explained
Paylines are specific patterns across the reels that a specific number of matching symbols must land on in order to form a winning combination. For example, a slot with 30 paylines means there are 30 different ways to form a winning combination.
The information about paylines can be found in the game's paytable.
Some slots may have fixed paylines, and some may have adjustable paylines. Fixed paylines mean the slot has a set number of paylines that are active on every spin and cannot be changed, whereas adjustable paylines allow you to choose the number of active paylines you want to play with.
However, not all slots use paylines. In some cases, the winning combinations can be formed if enough matching symbols land anywhere on the reels in no particular order. That is known as Pay Anywhere or Scatter Wins.
Instead of paylines, some slots use "win ways". This is similar to paylines, except instead of needing to land in particular positions across the reels from left to right, the matching symbols merely need to land on adjacent reels starting from the leftmost reel. Win ways are commonly found in Megaways slots, although some other slots also use them.
Megaways slot games use a reel modifier mechanic, which means each reel can have a different number of rows (typically between 2 and 7) on each spin. This can change the number of ways to win on every spin, and it can reach the hundreds of thousands.
Is There a Way To Tell If a Slot Machine Is Going To Hit?
No, there is no way to tell if a slot machine is going to hit a win. Slot games are entirely random. The RNG ensures that they have no patterns and cannot be predicted.
The RNG is a sophisticated sequencing program that continuously produces number sequences at astounding rates even when the slot is not in use or the reels are not spinning, and each sequence translates to a random display of symbols on the reels.
That way, the game remains entirely random, fair and unbiased for all players. The chances of landing a win are the same on every spin, and each one is an independent event. So, no matter what happened in previous spins, it gives no indication of the outcome of future ones.
Slot Machine Tips For Beginners
Slots need no skill, so they are fairly simple for beginners to pick up. It really is as simple as placing your bet and press the Spin button to play.
That being said, it helps to know a bit more about slots before playing them so you have an idea of what to expect. Below are some tips we can give you as a beginner:
Understanding the Odds & Randomness
The first thing to know about slot games is that they are entirely random. As mentioned above, you do not need any prior skillset to play them. You simply press the spin buttons and wait for the outcome.
Setting a Budget and Limits
When playing any casino game, including slot games, it is a good idea to set a budget and loss limits for your session. This can help to promote responsible gambling and help to avoid excessive losses.
Once you reach the loss limit or use up your budget, stop playing. Do not bet money you aren't comfortable losing, and never chase your losses.
Time Management and Breaks
Making sure that you manage your time and take regular breaks can help to keep a clear head and avoid problem gambling. Setting a time limit can also help with sticking to a budget.
Avoiding Superstitions and Emotions
Betting according to superstitions or when emotions are heightened can be problematic. You can lose your objectivity, and your judgment may be impaired.
Slots are random and do not give off any indications that they are about to hit. Your beliefs or feelings that a slot may hit soon are not a good indication of an outcome. Slots are random games of chance, and this fact cannot be changed.
So, betting within a budget and sticking to that budget is the better course of action.
Learning About Slot Game Varieties and Features
Slot games can be repetitive. But, with modern technology, they do not have to be. Modern slot games are created with various unique features and bonuses to counter the repetitiveness and add some variation to the game.
Some slot games have progressive jackpots affording their players a chance to win a jackpot prize that increases as players play on participating slots. Others have free spins, multiple win ways, expanding symbols (symbols that cover more than one position), and substitute symbols, to mention just a few.
All these can make for unique gameplay and bring some variety to the slot experience.
Slot Machine FAQs
Are More Paylines Better In Slots?
Not necessarily. It is a matter of preference. Some punters may prefer more paylines, while others would rather stick to fewer paylines. More paylines may mean more chances of forming winning combinations, but in some slots, the more paylines there are, the lower the potential payouts of winning combinations.
Are You More Likely To Win Slots If You Bet More?
No, you are not more likely to win on slots if you bet more. The size of your bet does not affect how likely you are to win. Remember, the outcome of a slot game is random and is not affected by your bet size.
Is There A Trick To Slot Machines?
Are Slot Machines Rigged?
Contrary to popular belief, slot games are not rigged. They are operated using an RNG, which keeps the game random and ensures that the games are not rigged and that there is no foul play. In addition, slot games have a house edge, allowing casinos to make money in the long run, so there is no need to rig them.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins, etc.) mentioned in relation to these slot games are subject to change at any time. Game features mentioned may not be available in some jurisdictions.