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Is there such a thing as strategy when playing online slots?

Is There Such A Thing As Strategy When Playing Online Slots Hero

Want to improve your odds when playing online slots? Then you are in the right place

Everybody wants to be a winner when playing online slots - but unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for everyone. If every single player won, then most casinos would go out of business. As tough as it may be to hear, there is no sure method to winning when playing online slots at an online casino due to the fact that these games utilise random number generators.

Random number generators ensure that every sequence in a slot game is completely random to ensure that it is fair, and that no one is getting cheated out of the experience. Players may be lucky or unlucky through their playthrough, but it’s all down to pure chance.

Despite this random element, there are tactics that can be used to improve your odds of winning but these depend on certain factors in play. Potential strategies such as selecting specific volatility, targeting a particular return to player percentages and choosing casino bonuses all can help to improve your chances of winning. Of course, these all depend on what you are specifically looking for from your online slot experience and must be adjusted accordingly.

Choosing the right volatility level

Firstly, volatility plays an an important role in the overall experience of an online slot. Your budget also determines to some degree what level of volatility slot you should play. If you have a limited bankroll and want some frequent and smaller payouts, then you should target a low volatility slot.

It’s usually recommended that players with a small bankroll should opt to play low or medium volatility slots as they are lower-risk games. Players will be able to enjoy the gameplay and win without breaking the bank too much.

For players with a larger bankroll and the patience to wait for bigger returns, then high volatility slots are usually the preference. These can reward players with larger sums of money but less frequently compared to low volatility slots. Here are a few examples of slot with different levels of volatility:

Starburst

Starburst Online Slot by NetEnt Screenshot 1
Name:
Starburst
Developer:
NetEnt
RTP:
96.10%
Max payout:
50,000 coins
Volatility:
Low
Reels:
5
Win lines:
10
Theme:
Space
Release date:
12th Nov 2013

Arguably one of the most popular slots of all time, Starburst is a low volatility slot with simplistic gameplay. If you love space-themed slots with small frequent payouts, then Starburst is one to try.

Aloha! Cluster Pays

Aloha Cluster Pays Online Slot by NetEnt Screenshot 1
Name:
Aloha! Cluster Pays
Developer:
NetEnt
RTP:
96.42%
Max payout:
10,000x stake
Volatility:
Low
Reels:
6
Theme:
Tiki
Release date:
25th Mar 2016

Players wanting to try a low volatility slot with the innovative Cluster Pays should try out Aloha! Cluster Pays. The low volatility level mixed with respins and free spins makes this ideal for players wanting a low-risk slot.

Reel Rush

Reel Rush Online Slot By NetEnt Screenshot 1
Name:
Reel Rush
Developer:
NetEnt
RTP:
96.96%
Max payout:
3,840x stake
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
5
Win lines:
3,125
Theme:
Food
Release date:
18th Jul 2013

There’s always the medium volatility option available with slots like Reel Rush where so you know there’s a fair chance to get a high or low payout. Reel Rush is perfect for players who want the best of both worlds. It’ll keep you entertained with respins, free spins and wild substitutions.

Dead or Alive 2

Dead Or Alive 2 Online Slot By NetEnt Screenshot 1
Name:
Dead or Alive 2
Developer:
NetEnt
RTP:
96.82%
Max payout:
111,111x stake
Volatility:
High
Reels:
5
Win lines:
9
Theme:
Action, Wild West
Release date:
20th Apr 2019

For high rollers, Dead or Alive 2 is a brilliant slot with high volatility and a maximum payout of 111,111x your stake! As long as you have the bankroll and patience to match, then you could win big on Dead or Alive 2.

Chocolates

Chocolates Online Slot By Big Time Gaming Screenshot 1
Name:
Chocolates
Developer:
Big Time Gaming
RTP:
96.60%
Max payout:
65,536x stake
Volatility:
High
Reels:
4
Win lines:
65,536
Theme:
Food
Release date:
28th Oct 2020

You can expect a tasty win of up to 65,536x your stake with Chocolates. This high volatility slot pays out less frequently but with larger sums - ideal for high rollers looking for greater returns.

Looking at RTP

There is no guarantee that you’ll win, but you can improve your chances by simply looking at the RTP of a slot. The RTP (return to player) is the theoretical amount of money that a player can expect to win from the casino overtime on a specific slot.

For example, if the slot states that there is an RTP of 97%, then this means that the casino would have a house edge of 3%. Naturally, the bigger the RTP, the less of a house edge the casino has.

An RTP of 95% and above is considered a decent amount with anything below this number to be avoided - unless there is a jackpot attached or a generous bonus round. Here are some examples of slots with high RTPs:

Tequila Fiesta

Tequila Fiesta Online Slot By BF Games Screenshot 1
Name:
Tequila Fiesta
Developer:
BF Games
RTP:
98.08%
Max payout:
1,500x stake
Volatility:
Low
Reels:
5
Win lines:
20
Theme:
Food, Mexican
Release date:
21st Apr 2017

Not only does Tequila Fiesta have mariachi wilds and tequila free spins, but perhaps one of the highest RTPs that we’ve ever seen at 98.08%. There are few slots that go above 98%, so this is a must-play.

Rainbow Riches Leprechaun Gold

Rainbow Riches Leprechaun Gold Online Slot by Barcrest Screenshot 1
Name:
Rainbow Riches Leprechaun Gold
Developer:
Barcrest
RTP:
97.75%
Max payout:
1,085x stake
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
7
Win lines:
50
Theme:
Irish
Release date:
29th Jan 2019

The base RTP is at a decent 95.17%, but it becomes legendary in Rainbow Riches Leprechaun Gold with the Big Bet features that changes it to 97.75%! You’ll definitely have the luck of the Irish on your side with that RTP.

Hotline

Hotline Online Slot By NetEnt Screenshot 1
Name:
Hotline
Developer:
NetEnt
RTP:
97.04%
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
5
Win lines:
30
Theme:
Action, Retro
Release date:
22nd Mar 2018

Find the perfect balance with the medium volatility slot Hotline with a whopping RTP at 97.04%. Experience a phenomenal theoretical return along with free spins, respins and expanding wilds!

Finding a decent bonus

Online casinos and slot sites will often throw out bonuses to try and entice players to sign up - but you can use specific bonuses for your own benefit. Now, there are two different types of bonuses when it comes to playing online slots. Firstly, you have free spins bonuses attached to specific online slots.

For example, if you want to play Starburst (because it's a solid low volatility slot with a decent 96.10% RTP) then you could look to find some free spins bonuses for that specific game. These free spins will allow you to play Starburst, effectively for free, but still be in with a chance of winning.

The second type of bonus is the casino bonus. Casino bonuses are usually monetary amounts expressed as a percentage of your deposit e.g. 100% bonus up to £100. The benefit of these bonuses is that they aren't usually limited to just one game and instead can be used on multiple games, if not all. They can be used just like real cash, to play slots, casino games, live casino and more, but can also come in the form of cashback based on any losses incurred. 

As with all bonuses, make sure you check the terms and conditions of the bonus for any potential limitations, game exclusions or wagering requirements.

Trying out the slot

After you’ve decided on your slot choice through volatility level, RTP and bonuses available - you’ll probably be wanting to jump straight into the slot. Before actually wagering any money, you can most often try out the demo of the slot first.

This gives you the opportunity to see the slot for yourself without putting any of your money at risk. You can figure out whether it’s the slot for you and if you are willing to play for real.

Whilst demos are not often fully representative of what you’d experience playing for real - it can be a good way of finding out if that'll be a slot you’ll enjoy. Not only that, but if the slot has complicated mechanics or features, then you can understand these before you play for real. Playing the demo allows you to become familiar with the slot and be as prepared as possible before playing for real.

Closing thoughts

As previously mentioned, there are certain strategies and tactics to try to improve your gameplay and payout - but there is no guarantee of success. Online slots are purely randomised by a number generator and no one can work out exactly how and when they’ll get paid.

This being said, there are ways to improve your specific slot experience. You can decide on your volatility level and go from there. Make sure that the RTP is at least 95% or above for non-jackpot slots and research the bonuses available before trying out a demo. These precautionary tactics can ensure that you will have the best gameplay possible suited to your playing style.

The key takeaway from this is to prepare before playing and not to jump into the first slot you see. You can improve your odds of winning if you select the best slot for you. Just remember to gamble responsibly and take extra precautions before throwing all your money into one slot.