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5 Simple Rules of Picking a Slot Machine

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Slots are among the most popular casino games in the industry. Unlike blackjack, roulette, and poker, slots are very easy to play and require little or no experience to win, and you can prove this right at But with so many slot titles available, how do you pick the best slot machine?

That’s the whole idea of this article. Don’t worry, though. We won’t bore you with complicated maths equations or statistics—just some simple rules to remember. Let’s get started, shall we?

Understand the Difference Between Regular and Jackpot Slot Machines

The primary distinction between these two types of slot machines lies in the payouts. Regular slots may come in all shapes, sizes, and themes, but they all have a fixed payout. This is usually based on your bet size. In jackpot slots, the payout starts with a base value and increases every time a new wager is made. This continues until a lucky player wins the pot. When this happens, the jackpot resets to its base value and rises again as new wagers are made.

Here’s the catch; hitting the jackpot is not a walk in the park. It’s rare, ecstatic, and unpredictable. On the other hand, regular slot games are a little more consistent with payouts. Here’s a table summarising their key differences:

Regular Slots Jackpot Slots
Fixed prize Increasing prize
Run by one casino Often run by a network of casinos
The prize is smaller The prize is generally big
Usually played by more conservative players Usually played by high rollers

Avoid Progressive Jackpots for Starters

Let’s just say it right off the bat. Progressive jackpots are for the risk-takers. They promise life-changing prizes, but the odds of winning are horrible. The pot keeps growing, which should make you wonder. How is that happening?

In simple terms, a bigger jackpot means more losers. Casinos take a portion that would normally be paid out to players and stack it on the jackpot. They will never dip into their pockets if it’s avoidable.

As a beginner, don’t invest in progressive jackpots blindly. Learn the ropes first, and maybe find a slot machine with a moderate jackpot and mid-level prizes. You can later try your luck in progressive jackpot slots.

Whenever Possible, Pick Provably Fair Slots

Truly, necessity is the mother of invention. We all want to play fair slots where outcomes are never predetermined. Almost all casinos say their games are fair, but will you take their word for it? You shouldn’t! With provably fair slots, you can verify a game’s fairness yourself. How is that?

It’s a little technical, so your head might spin a bit. Nonetheless, we’ll break it down for you. If you play in a provably fair casino, you’ll get a token/snippet of code after every game. You can then enter the code in a generator and compare the results. If they differ, the online casino may have cheated you. That’s a great way to calm your mind should you doubt the slot machine’s fairness. Common tools to establish fairness include:

  • Quantis;
  • QuickHash.

Play the Free Version of the Game First

Whatever slot game you want to play, you can find its free version online. You won’t need to pay or download any extra software to play the game. This makes it easy to familiarise yourself with the slot machine to determine whether you like it.

You’ll get a chance to test the bonus game, win frequency, and all the technical features. You’ll rarely get free play slots if you play at a brick-and-mortar casino. So, try the demo version first before committing to it.

Classic Slots Pay More Than Video Slots

Those amazing visuals, sound effects, and overall graphics you see on video slots don’t come easy. Developing them costs a lot, and so does running them. Casinos want to make as much profit as possible while covering all costs incurred, and it could be worse with casinos-competitors.

Classic slots, or traditional slot machines, are cheaper to run. So, they generally pay out more often compared to video slots. Don’t get me wrong, some video slots pay well, but not many of them do. So, it’s wise to go where the odds are in your favor.

Higher vs. Lower Denomination Slots

As a general rule of thumb, higher denomination slots pay out more than lower denomination slots. They usually have higher payout percentages. But that doesn’t mean everyone should play them. It all depends on your risk appetite, entertainment value, and what you want in general.

Higher denomination slot machines are riskier, but that’s where big wins are. Remember, you win more by staking more. If that’s not a risk you can take, play lower denomination slots instead.

High Rtp Doesn’t Always Mean a Bigger Payout

Many slot players become a bit skeptical when the RTP of a slot machine is below 96%. They consider slots with an RTP of above 96% the best choice. This may be true, but there are more things to consider if we are to judge slot machines by their return to player rates.

An RTP percentage is theoretical. You can’t expect to get $97 on 100 spins ($1 each) for a 97% RTP slot machine. This rarely happens, though you can be lucky to get more than that. Generally, the numbers don’t add up. These percentages are based on thousands, if not millions, of spins. So, you’ll need to spin thousands or millions of times to match the RTP. It’s just not practical.

Say No to Branded slots

Lastly, avoid brand slots if you’re on a tight budget. They are costly and have low RTPs and high variance. This means that winning will be hard. These games may be fun, especially since they replicate famous TV series or shows. However, many casinos use them as ‘bait’ to lure in new players who don’t know how to pick a slot machine. If you intend to make money, avoid branded slots.

Closing Thoughts

In the end, it boils down to personal preference. Do you want to play it safe or just want to have fun regardless of the cost? Whatever you want, keep these simple rules in mind when choosing a slot machine. Good luck!

Read more about CAD, product design and related technology at


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