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How to Win at Slot Machines

Author: Preston Davis | Updated: July 13, 2024

how to win at slot machine

Slot machines are a staple at land-based and online casinos. They are extremely simple to use; insert your coins, spin the reels, and wait to see what symbols you land. Yet winning at slots is no easy task. As slots are 100% down to chance, there are no skills you can learn to be more successful.

Nevertheless, you can increase your long-term winnings by carefully selecting slot machines to play. We share everything you need about beating slot machines online on this page.

How Do Online Slot Machines Work?

To win at slot machines, you must first learn how slots work. Here is the crucial part: slot games are entirely down to chance. There is no skill or strategy involved at all. Anyone can press a button and spin the reels. A person playing slots for the first time has just as much chance of success as someone playing for years. Every player has exactly the same odds.

At UK online casinos, the outcome of slot machines is determined using a random number generator (RNG). It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing the latest video slots or classic fruit machines; behind every game is an RNG. This keeps them fair for players but means there is no way to improve your odds. So, how can you win at online slots?

Top Tips for Winning Online Slots

All slot games are 100% down to chance, so it is impossible to beat slot machines every time you play. Yet you can win at slots more often with a bit of help. We have another page dedicated to online slot tips and tricks here, but here’s a quick summary of our favourites.

1. Choose Your Slot Machine Carefully

Choosing the right online slot games is crucial to keep winning. When choosing between slot machines, there are two factors you should consider:

  1. RTPThe rewards players can expect to win at slots over time, expressed as a %.
  2. Volatility: The frequency of hitting a winning combination relative to the amount you win.

Firstly, you want a slot machine that has a high RTP. The higher the RTP, the more you will win back over time. Anything above 97% is considered an excellent return rate. Low-volatility games are best if you’re looking to win at slots. Although the payouts are smaller, your wins will soon add up to a large total the more you play.

2. Make the Most of Free Spins

Most online casino sites run free spins promotions. This is a type of casino bonus that lets you play online slots for free. The casino will always state how many free spins you get and which casino games they can redeem. They usually choose new slot machines or titles they’re currently promoting. Using these free spins is one way that you can work to overcome the house edge.

Some slot machines at online casinos also give free spins away in the game. You can trigger these bonus spins by hitting certain symbols. Opting for slots with bonus games might seem tempting. However, bonus games actually increase the slot’s volatility. You’re better off playing games without a bonus round.

3. Aim for Smaller Jackpot Prizes

Many players are drawn to progressive slots with huge jackpot prizes. The top prizes for these progressive jackpots are often six figures! Yet it is better to aim for smaller jackpot slot machines. These tend to be less volatile and payout more frequently.

On the other hand, top progressives will hardly ever payout. You could easily end up whittling thousands of pounds away and never secure one win. Little and often is key for long-term success.

4. Bet the Maximum Amount

If you want to win at slots, always bet the maximum when you play. The top prize the progressive jackpot slot advertised is only achievable if you’re betting the maximum amount. Besides, the more paylines you have activated, the better your chances of winning each spin. Not betting the maximum amount is a big mistake.

For anyone with a low gambling budget, this rule should still apply. Choose slot games with fewer paylines and lower betting limits. There are a range of penny slots to play online, which are great for those with smaller bankrolls.

5. Learn to Walk Away

Remember that the online casino is always the real winner when playing slot machines. Because of the house edge on all casino games, the site will profit from the bets it takes. You must learn when to walk away from a slot machine.

If you’re suffering from a losing streak, there’s no guarantee luck is around the corner. On the other hand, if you have secured some winnings, then walk away on a high.

Understanding Slot Machine RTPs

What is RTP in Online Slots?

To win online slots, the most crucial consideration is the RTP. As mentioned, this is the reward you can expect from a slot over time. It is expressed as a percentage of the total amount you have wagered. A 100% RTP would mean that for every £1 you put in, you can expect £1 back. In other words, you’d break even.

However, you won’t find any slots with a 100% RTP at online casinos. This is because of the house's edge. The casino advantage will change depending on which slot game you play. For this reason, the RTP will vary dramatically but will always result in a long-term loss for players. For example, an RTP of 97% means you will win £9.70 for every £10 you bet. Similarly, an RTP of 94% would result in £9.40 in winnings for every £10 wagered.

Here it is clear to see why a higher RTP is best. The higher the RTP, the more you can expect to win back. When playing slots online, the average is around 97%. Only opt for slots with this or higher for the best chance of winning.

What Slot Machines Have the Best RTP?

We are here to help you find the best slot machines with the highest RTP rates. Here is a list of five options you will find at most UK online casinos:

  1. Ugga Bugga by Playtech (99.07%)
  2. Mega Joker by NetEnt (99.00%)
  3. Wild Circus by Red Tiger Gaming (98.18%)
  4. Rainbow Riches Pick n Mix by Barcrest (Up to 98.00%)
  5. Jokerizer by Yggdrasil (98.00%)

Understanding Slot Machine Volatility

What is Volatility in Slots?

Players often get confused between RTP and slot volatility. Whereas RTP refers to the amount you can expect back, volatility refers to how often a slot machine pays out. This is relative to the amount wagered on the machine. Most slots will have either high or low volatility:

  • High Volatility: The slot machine does not pay out very often. Yet when you do hit winning symbols, the payout will be large. For example, you could wager £1 one hundred times and lose 99 turns. But on the winning spin, you receive a £500 payout.
  • Low Volatility: The slot machine pays out frequently, but each payout is less valuable. For example, you could wager £1 one hundred times and win on 50 spins. But for each win, you only receive a £10 payout.

Games with low volatility are best if you want to beat online slot machines. These smaller wins over time will equate to a larger bankroll in the long run. Of course, there is a chance you could win a million-pound jackpot prize on a highly volatile slot. Yet the chances of this happening are slim. It is partly down to personal preference, but we think low volatility is the way to go.

What Slots Have the Lowest Volatility?

If you are looking for slot machines with low volatility, here are five that we love:

  1. Starburst by NetEnt
  2. Thunderstruck II by Microgaming
  3. Bloodsuckers II by NetEnt
  4. Enchanted Garden II by Real Time Gaming
  5. Wild Scarabs by Microgaming

How to Choose a Winning Slot Machine

Choosing the proper slot machine means finding the balance between RTP and volatility. Selecting a slot based on RTP or volatility alone is not enough to improve your success rates. You want to choose the slot with the highest RTP and the lowest volatility possible.

Think about it this way… Imagine there are two slot games with an RTP of 97%. Both will pay back £9.70 for every £10 you wager over an extended period. However, one of them is highly volatile, and the other has low volatility. Although the average return rate is the same, most players would have more luck in the slot game with low volatility. The less volatile the slot, the closer the true payouts are to the RTP.

Here are some other things you could also look for when choosing a game:

  • Play slots with smaller prizes rather than progressive jackpots.
  • Opt for games with more pay lines to give you more chances of winning.
  • Look for fewer big prizes and more small prizes.
  • Avoid slots with bonus games, as this lowers the volatility.


How can I pick a winning slot machine?

There is no way to know which slot machines are going to payout. Yet you will have a better chance of winning if you choose t play a casino slot with a high RTP and low volatility. These are the games with the best slot machine odds.

What is the RTP rate in slot machines?

At online casinos, an RTP rate stands for “Return to Player”. It is the percentage of total money put in that players receive back over time. The higher the RTP, the more likely you are to win.

Can online casinos rig slot machines?

Online casino sites can rig their slot games so they never pay out. This is why choosing a reputable site when playing slots online is vital. Reputable sites all use a random number generator to determine the outcome of the games. These are not rigged and are entirely fair.

Can you win real money playing online slots?

Yes, you can! Slots are one of the most popular casino games of all time. When playing online, make a deposit, choose your stake, and start spinning the reels. If you hit winning symbols, you will receive an actual money payout.

Can I play slots online for free?

Yes, most online casinos offer free games to players. It is a good idea to play slot machines for free if you’re new to online gambling. Plus, you can make sure you like the slot game before spending real money.

Preston Davis is a gambling writer based in London. He's always on the lookout for new Online casinos, bonuses, and games to write about - so you can be sure he's on top of any news as soon as it breaks. Preston takes his work seriously but likes to have fun too - which is why he thoroughly tests everything he reviews before giving his final verdict. Preston enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children when he's not writing or playing games.