Everybody has their own unique gaming style when hitting the slot machines. Be it classic bandits in a real-life casino or the most epic online slots, it’s up to you how you get your kicks.
But assuming you’d prefer to walk away with a prize or two, there are some seriously bad habits to avoid.
With this in mind, here’s a brief overview of the 10 dumbest things you can do when playing slots – online or anywhere else:
1. Presuming all slot machines are exactly the same
Rookie-error number-one is assuming there’s no real difference between the various slot machines available. In reality, you’ll rarely find two slots that are the same. There are (literally) thousands of the things doing the rounds, which in all instances have their own unique points of appeal.
From likelihood of winning a prize to the basic mechanics of the game to the budget you’ll need to get anything out of them, there are huge differences from one machine to the next. Which means that if you plan on spreading yourself between a bunch of different machines, you’ll need to adjust your playing style accordingly.
2. Misunderstanding what RTP really means
RTP indicates how much a machine pays out in total prizes, based on how much is paid in. A 95% RTP means that for every £100 a machine collects, it pays out £95 in prizes. But this does not mean that if you personally throw £100 at the machine in question, it will reward you with anything at all.
In reality, you may not see a penny. It could be somebody else way down the line who picks up a much bigger accumulated prize. RTP offers absolutely no indication of how much you can expect to win, based on how much you pay into a machine.
3. Trying to cheat the system with a betting strategy
Cutting to the chase, there’s no such thing as a slot machine strategy that works. A proven and inescapable fact with all online and online slots, which cannot be tricked or cheated into paying out prizes.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to influence the likelihood of a slot machine to hand out cash. They have fixed odds which are the same with each and every spin…period. Betting strategies always lead to heavy losses, as those who adopt them have lost all sight of common sense and logic.
4. Disproportionately favouring high-wager games
The allure of slots with potentially huge prizes up for grabs is understandable. Precisely why plenty of players stick near-exclusively with high-wager slots. They assume that if they’re putting say £10 on the line with every spin, they’re far more likely to walk away with a decent prize than if they were betting just 10p.
Sadly, this isn’t the case at all. As above, it could be (and probably will be) somebody else who walks away with the massive prize at a later date. High stakes never guarantee more generous or regular payouts at the slots.
5. Betting the maximum amount every time
Similar to the above, this refers to the common betting strategy of placing the maximum possible bet on each spin. It’s assumed (for some reason) by many that this also increases the likelihood of winning a prize. It doesn’t – it simply means you’ll have burned through your entire bankroll much faster.
Again, betting high or low does not inherently have any impact whatsoever on the odds or the resulting outcome. The amount you should be betting should therefore be based entirely on how much you can afford to bet…and potentially lose.
6. Not betting on enough paylines
Conversely, playing fewer paylines when dealing with limited funds can seem like a logical approach. When put into practice, it’s a recipe for disappointment. With each available payline you deactivate, your likelihood of winning anything at all decreases exponentially. You may have limited funds left, but you’re more likely to lose the lot if you don’t bet on as many paylines as possible.
Unless you genuinely do not have enough cash to do so, playing maximum paylines (at a lower stake if necessary) is the way to go.
7. Spending a fortune on progressive slots
If slots with generous jackpots are tempting, those with life-changing sums of money up for grabs are irresistible. Progressive slots routinely tout top prizes of way more than £1 million. Strike it lucky with one of these babies and you’re set for life. All well and good, but the odds of winning jackpots like these are about the same as those of being struck by lightning.
Progressive jackpot slots are best approached in the same way as lottery tickets. You pay for a couple of plays once every week or so, but that’s about it. You certainly don’t spend your entire bankroll on something with the most ludicrously astronomical odds in the whole casino.
8. Believing in hot and cold machines
A quick but important point to cover – there’s no such thing as hot and cold slot machines…there just isn’t. At no point is any given slot machine more or less likely to pay out than at any other time. Whatever the slot’s odds are, they’re fixed – identical for each and every spin, without exception.
Irrespective of whether it has just paid out or hasn’t paid out a penny in hours, it makes no difference – never has, never will.
9. Letting superstitions guide you
If you’re superstitious, it’s not like you can simply flip a switch to turn the whole thing off. Sadly, superstition and hocus-pocus have a (very) bad habit of steering gamblers down a dark path. Logically speaking, there’s nothing you can do that’s going to influence the outcome of any spin of any online slot.
Pack all the lucky charms you like, but don’t base the decisions you make on superstitions alone. Focus on logic and try to enjoy the whole thing for what it is.
10. Playing purely with profits in mind
Rounding off on that note, playing slots with the sole aim of generating profits is a terrible idea. Let’s put it this way – penny slots are the single biggest revenue-generators for all major casinos worldwide.
The actual odds of turning a profit by playing online slots are as close to zero as makes no difference. Slots are supposed to be played for pure fun and enjoyment – not with the expectation of walking away with a fatter wallet.
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