The Best Way to Play Slot Machines

By Contributing Writer

In both online and offline casinos, slot machines have become a popular way to gamble. One of the major drives to slot machines is their ease of use. In most cases, you simply make a bet and pull the lever or push a button to make the machine turn its reels. When the reels stop, you may be awarded money based on the symbols present on the screen and the amount of your initial bet. While slot machines often can be lucrative, it is important to approach them with a solid strategy to avoid losing money.

Different Types of Slot Machines

There are two basic types of slot machines available when payouts are concerned: progressive and nonprogressive. Progressive slot machines have jackpots (the maximum award offered by the machine) that continue to grow as more money is bet on the machine. Some casinos have a bank of machines that feed into the same jackpot. While the jackpots can be large, the payouts often are far less common than in nonprogressive slots.

Nonprogressive slot machines have fixed jackpots that do not increase based on the amount of money bet on the machine. While the jackpots do not normally grow to the levels of progressive slots, the payouts are more common than on progressive slots.

Choosing whether to play progressive or nonprogressive slots is a quite simple. Although the large jackpot of progressive slots can be tempting, the payouts are rare. In other words, there is a reason that the jackpot grows so high. Stick to nonprogressive slots to earn large numbers of small payouts.

The Slot Machine Buttons

Knowing what each bet button means is important to making the correct bet. There are four basic buttons that commonly appear on slot machines.

Bet max: This button will place the maximum allowable wager on the machine for a single spin. Avoid this button, as the payouts do not normally justify the bet.

All lines: This button will place a wager on every line on the screen. You should place small bets on every line each time you play. Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a jackpot hit on a line that had no bet. If that occurs, you do not win the jackpot.

Hold: The hold button allows you to keep a single reel or symbol in place while the reels are spinning. This feature usually is only present on some machines that offer bonus spins (free spins awarded with payouts or symbol matches). Always use the hold button if you get the chance.

Bet per line: This button will allow you to place a different bet on each line upon which you are betting. Place the same small bets on each line, rather than using this button.

Basic Strategies

To be successful using slot machines, there are some basic strategies to employ.

First, be familiar with the game before betting on all of the lines. Making very small bets on a single line for the first 10 spins can help you get familiar with how the machine functions. Avoid flashy games that can be difficult to interpret.

Decide how much you wish to bet before playing, and stick to your original intention. For example, you may decide that one hour of entertainment is worth $20.00. Try to spread the $20.00 over an hour. If you lose $20.00 before the hour is up, stop playing and try again later.

One of the most common mistakes when playing slots is to play when you're tired or under the influence of alcohol. Always stay alert to what is going on in the game and avoid running up a large drink tab at the casino. You may lose control of your budget and make poor choices.