How to win at slots - 10 slot tips to improve your winning odds
While slots are ultimately a game of luck, there are a few strategies you can employ to help tip the odds in your favour. Read our expert tips to improve your winning potential today.
Lauren Le-Hair – Slots Expert | May 2023
If you’re here to learn how to win at slots, I’m afraid we’re about to burst your bubble. Sadly, there is no way to guarantee wins playing slot games. Online software providers use random number generator (RNG) technology to ensure every spin has a random and fair outcome.
While there’s nothing you can do to make the reels land in your favour, our following tips should at least help you extend your bankroll and choose the best slots to maximize wins.
1. Practice for free in demo mode
To stand the best chance of winning any game, you need to know how it works. For online slots, there are certain features, payout combinations, bonuses and symbols you need to learn. You don't need to risk your bankroll to do this. Most online casinos have free slot games, so players can familiarize themselves with the rules before playing for real money.
Some online casinos even allow players to access free slots without registering, so you don't need to hand over your personal or financial details straight away. We recommend playing a slot game with bonus rounds as this is the best way to hone your skills.
2. Be wary of progressive jackpots
To be clear, we love progressive jackpot slots. As the jackpots are not fixed, it means that the prize pools have the potential to run into millions of dollars. Be aware, though, that higher volatility games like progressive slots have a lower payout rate (RTP), meaning wins are less likely.
If you’re simply looking to win money, regular slots might be a better shout as they have a lower variance, so payouts are more frequent, but less lucrative. You can still play jackpot slots and chase that life-changing progressive prize, but just know your chances of winning are not as high.
Here are a few of the average, life-altering jackpot wins you can expect from progressive slot games:
3. Play Megaways slots
Paylines are patterns on the reels that dictate winning outcomes. Symbols must line up in a winning combination within a payline for the game to pay out. Standard online slots have fixed paylines, which means the number of ways to win is limited. Many players suggest playing Megaways games because they offer even more ways to win.
With the Megaways feature, you never know how many symbols will show up on the reels with each spin. This feature makes the game more exciting than a regular video slot by increasing the number of possible winning combinations.
The original Megaways slots developed by Big Time Gaming have up to 117,649 ways to win. Games that have since been developed by other leading software providers offer a range of paylines – anywhere from 15,625 right up to 248,832+.
4. Choose games that fit your style & preferences
You have access to thousands of slots at the top online casinos in Canada. As slots are ultimately games of chance, you should instead focus on other aspects of gameplay.
Perhaps you like a specific theme, such as animals, horror, adventure or ancient civilizations. Maybe you prefer certain features, such as free spins or multiplier wilds. You might be a player who likes a classic 3-reel slot over more modern video slots. How much you want to spend and potentially win may also be crucial.
Whatever your goals and requirements, select the game that best suits your individual needs rather than worrying about how to win at slots.
5. Study the paytable
Think of the paytable as an online slot cheat sheet. It shows all the information about the game, including symbol values and combinations, details on bonuses and features, and potential payouts.
All online slots have a paytable, which you can usually find in the game menu by clicking the ‘i’ icon on the main game page. If you want to know how to win big on slots, the paytable will be your insider guide.
Whenever you start playing a new online slot, study the paytable carefully to ensure you know all the ins and outs of the game. Software providers do an excellent job of keeping paytables easy to understand and brief, so it should only take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the game. Time well spent!
6. Understand RTPs and volatility
Every slot game has an RTP, or payout percentage, and a volatility level.
The RTP (Return to Player) is the average percentage of money a casino game will pay back to a player. This average is massive and is measured across hundreds of thousands of spins. Online slots have an average RTP of 96%, which means that for every $100 wagered, the game will pay back $96.
RTP is not a guarantee of a win or even a payout, but it is a good gauge of how much a game can pay. That’s why it is generally better to choose slots with a higher RTP. Then again, lower RTP games often have bigger prizes, so it could be worth playing these games, too.
Volatility is a casino term used for assessing the risk associated with a game. Low-volatility games will pay out more often, but prizes will be smaller. Meanwhile, higher volatility games will pay out less frequently, but the prizes will be bigger.
7. Look out for bonuses & promos
Many modern online slots feature bonus games and features, giving players the chance to win even more money. The most common type of bonus found in slot games is free spins, but there are others, such as multipliers, instant cash and jackpots. To see whether a slot game has bonus features, you should check the paytable before playing.
Here are a few of our favourite slot games for lucrative bonus features:
|Slot game||Software provider||RTP||Bonus features|
Games Global (Microgaming)
|96.7%||Free spins, T-Rex Alert bonus round|
|96.47%||Three bonus features, mystery symbols, win boosters|
|96%||Progressive jackpot, bonus rounds, multipliers|
|95.9%||Bonus games, free spins, multipliers, cash prizes|
|88.12%||Progressive jackpot, two bonus features|
Along with in-game bonuses, operators will also offer their own casino bonuses to reward new and existing players. There are several bonus types, including:
Welcome bonus: Also known as a sign-up bonus, this is offered by online casinos to new players when they sign up. This is typically in the form of a deposit bonus or free spins.
Deposit bonus: The casino matches a deposit you make by a percentage amount. For example, a 100% deposit match up to $100. So, if you deposit $100, the casino will match that, effectively doubling your bankroll.
No deposit: A promotion where you can claim a bonus without depositing and risking your own money. There are several different types of no deposit bonuses, including free cash, free spins and free play.
Free spins: Specifically for slots players, this common casino bonus provides free spins on a specific game.
When playing online casino bonuses, make sure to read the T&Cs carefully. Check for rules such as payment restrictions, bet limits, game eligibility and wagering requirements.
Our casinos are:
Safe & secure
8. Stick to your limit and manage your bankroll
Nothing can help you with how to win online casino slots, but safe betting can give you the best chance. Making wise decisions with your money allows you to enjoy yourself while managing your bankroll effectively.
Here are a few top tips to help you manage your funds effectively while playing online slots:
1. Set a budget and stick to it.
That way, you’ll be able to manage your bets more effectively and make your money last longer.
2. Stretch your bets.
Gambling is not a one-shot trade. Rather than risking all of your bankroll on a single spin, spread your bets out and opt for slots with high RTPs.
3. Know when to walk away.
Rather than chasing losses and risk losing your entire bankroll, take a break and come back another day.
9. Read online slot reviews
Reading online slot reviews is a great way to get some helpful tips and advice for a particular game before playing. They often have valuable insights such as how to trigger the bonus features in a game or if the slot is even worth playing. Check out some of our in-depth reviews written by slot experts:
10. Ignore casino superstitions
If you’re the type of player who must rub their hands before a spin or thinks that a specific game is bad luck, you should know that such superstitions do more harm than good. When learning how to win on slots at the casino, avoid falling for superstitions. They are not real and will not bring you good or bad luck.
You'll never be able to improve your luck playing slots as ultimately they are completely random and dependent on chance. But you can certainly have a lot of fun if you gamble responsibly.
No, there is simply no slot machine tip that will teach you how to win at slots. Online slot games are decided by chance, with each spin completely random. Neither players, casinos or software providers can influence the result of a spin.
There is no specific strategy that guarantees wins. If you want the best chance of success, choosing games with high RTPs, betting across all paylines (or as many as possible), playing slots with in-game bonus features and playing regular rather than progressive slots are all good strategies.
You don’t – every spin of the reels is random. That is why there is no way to know how to win casino slots. Even so, metrics such as the RTP, volatility and hit frequency can help give you a general idea of how often and how much a game hits.
It depends on the online slot game you are playing. Some games – even progressive jackpot slots – have a top prize that is triggered randomly during the base game. Others will have a specific bonus side game for the jackpot. Some games will use the free spins feature as the path to a max payout.
Microgaming’s Mega Moolah is the highest-paying slot progressive jackpot ever, paying over $24 million to one lucky player in 2019. The game is known as the 'millionaire maker' and has paid out over a hundred $1 million+ jackpots.
There is really no way to get better at slots because the games are decided randomly. All you do is make your bet and click 'spin' – everything else happens automatically. However, you can sharpen your own game by betting across all paylines, choosing high-quality games, and learning paytables to understand the payout outcomes.
Not at all – top online slots from leading software providers are completely safe. The same RNG software that ensures games are pure luck for players also applies to software developers. RNGs randomize outcomes, and not even casinos or game studios can influence the result of a spin.
No, and we recommend against even trying. Online slots use virtual technology that is independently tested to ensure its fairness. There is no way for players to rig the game in their favour.
There is no sure method for picking a winning slot because the games are luck based. Although, choosing games with a higher RTP could result in more frequent payouts.
About the writer
Coming from a strong media background, Lauren has been working in the iGaming industry for a while. She graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Production. Since then, she’s gained considerable experience and knowledge of Canada’s online casino market.
She combines her passion for writing and love of casino games. Lauren’s a keen blackjack player, yet she also loves spinning the reels of thrilling online slots in her spare time.