SLOTS: A Brief Guide To Playing Smartly Online 

Let’s make something clear from the outset: Nobody should advocate playing slots or any other games of chance as a way to make money. Most people who play casino games with that attitude, tend to end up disappointed. However, many people love to play slot machines online, and there isn’t anything wrong with that as long as they are playing responsibly.

Slots, of course, are games that require no strategy; you cannot impact the outcome in the same manner as, say, poker or blackjack. However, there are many things to think about before playing slots, and while employing different strategies do not guarantee a win, they can increase your chances of winning, or at least enhance the overall experience.

RNGs determine the outcome

The first thing to note is that modern slots use random number generators to determine the outcome of each spin. This means that each spin is random, but its outcome is based on a set of protocols. Basically, a slot will be programmed to be random, but within that randomness there will be parameters of payouts, e.g. the game might be programmed to pay out 97% of what it takes in over time. The online casino has no influence over that outcome. Instead, it is the software developers who create those payout parameters.

This randomness would suggest that there is no right answer to the question: When is the best time to play online slots? It’s not like, for example, online poker, where card sharps would wait until drunk people come online to play. To an extent that’s true, but there are times when it might be better to play slots. For instance, some games have daily jackpots, prizes that must be won by, say, 10pm or midnight. If you log on to the casino, you will see these games have countdown clocks, and someone will be guaranteed to win the prize. Playing a game when you know the jackpot will be won in 10 minutes is a lot different to playing with no idea when it will trigger.

It’s also important to remember that while slot games are designed to have random outcomes, but they can also have differences in volatility. Great Blue slot is a jackpot game that has high volatility (sometimes called variance), which means that it pays out less frequently than average, but there is a greater chance of hitting a large sum when the win does come along. Some slots, like The Legend of Shangri-La, are low variance, meaning smaller wins come more frequently. The idea is that you weigh up your risk versus the potential rewards.

Weigh up your options with jackpot slots

Indeed, many players are dazzled by the huge jackpots on offer at a typical online casino, some of which can reach millions. It’s important to note that these progressive jackpots are funded by taking a small percentage of each wager made by all players, i.e. it takes away from the standard return rate. Playing a jackpot game is a bit like buying a lottery ticket, and you should really decide if your aim is to shoot for the stars or play something that has a better overall return rate. Mega Moolah is an example of a jackpot game which has overall returns lower than most slots, but it is redeemed by the fact that the one-off jackpot can be worth millions.

The most important factor about playing slots, however, is to keep a cool head. We often fall into the trap of thinking that games are somehow sentient, that they are reacting to our play, and will perhaps even reward you because you have been playing for a length of time. This is a trap we all fall into, and you have to bear in mind that the slot is simply lines of computer code, and not bound by any rules of fairness.

In the end, it’s best to do a bit of research before you play any particular game. Expert slot players will leave feedback on review sites. They will tell you if the slot is volatile, what stake to play, how often the jackpot is awarded and so on. Taking five minutes out of your time to read such feedback can really help with the overall experience.



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