Slot machines are the most popular casino games in the world. Millions upon millions of people play them each and every day online and at land-based casinos. Everyone wants to know how to win at slots. This guide is designed to explain how slots work, the types of machines that you’ll find online and at land-based casinos, and what it takes to win when you roll the reels on these entertaining gaming machines. We’ll also talk about slot machine secrets and how understanding these secrets can make you a better player.

Slots are exceptionally popular for many different reasons. These include:

  • Overall, slots are simple to understand and play
  • They offer high rate of return to players
  • Wide range of slot themes and features is attractive
  • Big payouts can happen at anytime
  • There’s a game for every size bankroll

Online Slots vs. Land-Based Slots

The major difference between land-based and online slots is the return to player percentage. Online slots come in upwards of 94% RTP!

One of the major differences between land-based and online slots is an obvious one. Slot machines at brick and mortar casinos are three-dimensional objects that you can touch. Online slots are graphically projected; they are virtual gaming instruments. Yet, both types of machines are driven by software and both have random number generators that determine the outcome of each spin.

A major difference between land-based and online slots is the return to player percentage, which is usually called the return to player and abbreviated as RTP. Knowing about this percentage is an important factor in determining how to win at slots. At brick and mortar casinos, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a slot machine with a return to player rate that is over 90%, while just about every online casino slot offers a return to player of 92% or better. In fact, most slots that you play online come with anywhere from a 94% to 99% RTP.

That means if a machine has a RTP of 99% of every euro that’s bet €0.99 is eventually returned to the player. That makes online slots a much better wagering proposition than land-based machines, which usually has RTP percentages ranging from 76% to 88%. Thus, online slots are a much better bet.

Another major difference between these two types of machines is how many more progressive jackpots are available online and how much larger such jackpots are. Land-based casinos do often feature a progressive jackpot that’s tied to a specific series of machines, but even though these machines accumulate large jackpots, they cannot rival the huge payouts you’ll find online. Online jackpot slots often pay off in the multimillions. Also, at many online casinos you’ll find 10 or more different progressive slot titles. People who play these machines want to win at slots in a major manner, and online jackpot slots allow them to do so. If you’re wondering how can I win at slots and win big, the answer is by playing progressive machines.

Types of Slots

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If you want to know how to win at slots, you’ll need to understand how they work. The first part of that is learning how they are classified. Slots are classified in various ways. One common method is by the number of reels. There are three-reel, five-reel, and seven reel slots. Seven-reel slot machines are relatively rare, while five-reel are the most common.

Site icon Number of Paylines

Slot machines are also categorized by the number of paylines they offer. There are single payline and multiple payline slots. Three-reel slots most commonly offer one payline. These are often called classic slots because they emulate the earliest and oldest slots. Some classic machines do offer three paylines.


Site icon Classic Slots

Classic slots, which may also be called basic slots, usually use symbols commonly associated with the earliest machines, such as bars, numbers, and various types of fruits, such as lemons and cherries. They may include a bonus symbol, which often multiplies winnings when hit. These types of machines usually offer smaller prizes than five and seven reel slots and provide players with fewer chances to win.

Site icon More than Three Reels

large-More than 3 reelsFive- and seven-reel machines may be referred to simply by the number of reels that they use, but when describing these machines there are often a few other identifiers that are added. The first is the number of paylines. Most of these machines have a minimum of five paylines and many have 50 or more. As an example of how slots with more than three reels might be identified, one may be a five-reel, 25-payline machine and another a seven-reel 50-payline machine.

Site icon Other Categories

large-PercentageFinally, there are other terms used to describe these types of machines, including video slots, which refers to the use of video technology in reel movement, icon manipulation, and sound enhancement; bonus slots, which means the slot machine offers a bonus round; and progressive or jackpot slots, which describes machines that pool a percentage of each bet made, placing that cash into one big jackpot that is often worth millions.

A quick note, all slots that are played online and most land-based machines are video slots, which means they use video technology for their displays rather than actual mechanical spinning reels. However simple, three-reel slots without a lot of bells and whistles are still referred to as classic machines. That’s despite the fact that these classics use video technology.

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Site icon Themed Slots

Slots are often categorized by theme, and while such classification does not necessarily influence a player’s winning at slots, it can certainly help to determine for progressives how large of a jackpot might be available. That’s because popular themed progressives tend to be played more than those with less popular themes, and thus their jackpots build up faster.

Themes are various and include movie, holiday, sports, historical, mythological, celebrity, and TV slots. There are very specific branded slots, such as the Marvel slots, which are based on Marvel comic book heroes such as the Hulk, Wolverine, and the Avengers. Many of these are progressives, and due to their popularity, their jackpots can be huge.