How to Win Online Slots

Chris Bell
Written by Chris Bell

Discover strategies to increase your winning odds at online slots, focusing on choosing games with high RTP, understanding volatility, practising with free games, and more. This article provides seven key tips for savvy slot play, helping you make informed decisions to boost your success.

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, online slot machines have soared in popularity, becoming a cornerstone of remote gambling. The UKGC’s latest report highlights this trend, with online slots contributing significantly to the gambling sector’s revenue. Renowned for their simplicity and instant rewards, fruit machines have gathered even more British players around them after the 2020 COVID pandemic. That means that more and more people ask themselves if there is a way of outsmarting the casino and bringing home a jackpot. As we examine the mechanism of slot machines and the core of their attraction, we also offer seven strategic slot machine tips to enhance your chances of winning. This guide aims to arm you with the knowledge to navigate your slot play more effectively.

The Core of Remote Gambling Favourites

As for now, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s Industry Report (April 2022–March 2023) states that remote casino games prevail in the gaming sector. The lion’s share of its total revenue, £3.2 billion in Gross Gambling Yield (GGY), relies exclusively on online slot machines. Furthermore, the UKGC’s chart for the same period not only presents the irrebuttable popularity of remote slots among the Brits but also reveals consistent positive yearly growth of the game type throughout 8 years: from 65.9% GGY (£m) up to 79.8% GGY (£m) last year. A solid proof that remote slot machines are one of the most popular ways to entertain gambling lovers.

how many people play online slots UKGC stats

Statistic charts by the UKGC, November 2023.

Unlike other popular casino games, for instance, cards, largely based on strategic thinking, this is a game of chance with a very simple mechanism. It runs under a Random-Ratio schedule and rewards the trophy without delay (Chóliz 250) — the reason why it falls under the Instant Game category.

The staple of slot machines, thus, is that there are no predetermined winning patterns. Still, chances of multiplying your winnings exist.

How Slot Machines Work

Invented over 120 years ago in San Francisco by a Bavarian-born mechanic Charles August Fey, classic three-reel slots were machines with drums that could be launched with a lever:

The slot machine is essentially a cabinet housing 3 or more narrow cylindrical drums, commonly called reels, which are marked with symbols. Vertically disposed on a common axis, the reels are caused to revolve freely when the player activates the machine and pulls a lever-like handle affixed to the side of the cabinet. Awards, which are paid automatically, are based on the horizontal alignment of symbols when the spinning reels come to a position of inertial rest. (Ethier 429)

This feature gave them the nickname One-Armed Bandit.

first slot machine

Photo by Lambert/Getty Images, 1955.

Over time, the classic drums turned into modern random number generators with a bright display. Animation replaced the drum-based mechanism, and the lever became a glistering START button.

A common belief is that casinos can influence the way slot machines operate as the game progresses, especially online slots. Good news or bad, but it is impossible. The random number generator shows combinations unrelated to the previous ones — the outcome of the machines, controlled by a microprocessor, can’t be predicted. Prof. Stewart N. Ethier explains why:

The microprocessor typically contains an EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) on which is programmed a random-number generator that operates continually. The moment the player pulls the handle or presses the button to activate the machine, the most recently generated random numbers (one for each reel) determine the outcome almost instantly. […] the underlying mathematics of the modern slot machine […] being that the stopping positions of the reels need not be equally likely. (Ethier 430)

Furthermore, if the casino is licenced, the machines are regularly seen by professionals who make sure that they can’t manipulate the number or size of wins. Speaking about online casinos, the same requirements for unpredictable outcomes are set for gaming providers, which puts their reputation on the line with the released product.

Slot machines and games vary by their appearance and characteristics. There are simple three-drum slots, five-drum slots, progressive slots, and Megaspin slots, subject to Gamblizard’s scrutiny in another article. The winning chances vary for each of the types of slots. Strategic tips that increase winning chances remain valid for all, however. Below are things you should pay attention to before playing to maximise your winning potential.

How to Play Slot Machines: Useful Tips

When a new machine is built or an online slot is launched, the manufacturer always sets up several characteristics: the percentage of payout Return to Player (RTP), the share of the casino, and volatility. Pay attention to these properties that can increase slot machine winning odds:

1. Choose Winning Slots with Low House Edge/High RTP

A casino has its share in each game — it aids its development and growth. The advantage of the casino over players is called House Edge. This is a mathematical factor that describes the percentage of your bet passing to the casino from a play. In other words, some of the player’s money will be inevitably lost.

This factor is important since:

The lower is House Edge → the less you pay the casino → the more you keep to yourself

The revenue obtained by casinos from each game, independently of slots or others. It can be calculated with the following formula:

HE = 100 – RTP%

For instance, The Book of Dead slot has 96.21% RTP. Thus, the HE will be 100 – 96.21% = 3.79%. The Book of 99, on the other hand, has an RTP of 99%, meaning that a casino’s HE comes down to 1%. That said, in the latter case, the casino gains four times less profit than in The Book of Dead.

Alternatively, the slot’s RTP is another factor to orient on. Usually given in every online slot description on the casino’s websites, this percentage varies from 82% to 96%. If the payouts were 100%, the casino and the player would have equal chances of winning. Even though the player wouldn’t lose a penny, such a scenario wouldn’t be favourable for the vendor because they wouldn’t make any profit.

When RTP is less than 100%, the casino has a higher chance of getting the prize, but the client is still very likely to get paid. Therefore, if you choose machines with RTP of 95% or more, you can significantly boost your odds. Currently, the top 7 slot machines with high RTP are:

Title RTP Volatility
Book of 99 99% High
Magic Garden 10 98.9% High
Marching Legions 98.12% High
Money Cart Bonus Reels 98% High
Blood Suckers 98% Low
Money Cart Bonus Reels 98% High
Apollo 77 98% Medium

Table credits —, January 19, 2014.

Volatility, another important criterion, is discussed next.

2. Determine the Volatility of Slots

One must know the machine’s risk factor before playing. This is defined by its volatility. It indicates risk levels in a particular game: the frequency and amounts of cash payments. Volatility can be high-, medium-, or low-:

  • Slots with high volatility rarely please an average British player with winning combinations, but the prize’s sums are always large
  • Slots with medium volatility are the most popular because reward waiting doesn’t take long. Players enjoy regular medium-sized prizes as opposed to occasional wins in high-volatility machines.
  • When it comes to low volatility, the risks are much lower. Such games please the players with small but frequent winnings — an optimal option for beginners.

To assess the volatility, suffice it to read the chosen slot description or personally evaluate the payout ratio:

  • High volatility includes big-win slots with a payout ratio above x10000
  • Medium volatility machines have a payout ratio from x5000 to x10000
  • If the ratio is below x5000, the game’s volatility is low.

3. Study the Paytable

Payout tables are present in every slot’s descriptions. They delineate prizes for each character: which is the most profitable, and whether the game has Scatter and Wild symbols. Scatter symbols in slot machines launch free games and increase bonuses.

Note if there are any rewards for two scatter symbols in a row, and avoid games where they act as regular characters, needing three or five in the betting line to win. This is a trick used by casinos that don’t want to pay their clients.

4. Practice with Free Games and Take Advantage of Free Spins

It’s common for UK casinos to give new players special bonuses and casino free spins after registration. These welcome gifts are a good way of getting acquainted with slots and assessing the possibility of winning without losing significant sums of money. Some online casinos give free spins as a consolation prize, especially if the player loses significantly.

There also are games available for free or in demo versions. In this case, you can’t win any real money as the provider uses virtual credits. However, this risk-free mode suits those who are not ready to commit to registration but want to try slot games nevertheless.

5. Stick to Your Budget — Stake Smartly

Before starting a game, set aside the amount of money you will not regret losing. Plan how long you want to play and distribute your bets as if there would be no positive outcome.

As for betting maximum on a slot machine, it only looks spectacular in films — we advise against betting all the money at once. Remember, slots are meant for entertainment and are not a way to earn income. Undoubtedly, the more the bet is, the bigger the prize, but you risk spending the entire bankroll at once.

6. Aim for Smaller Jackpots

A good strategy is to look for games that have multiple main prizes. They won’t be massive, but the bets will also be smaller. Moreover, the chance of getting one of the smaller rewards is always greater than hoping for one big win.

Thus, for those new to gambling: don’t go chasing the huge jackpot. Instead, choose more realistic and achievable goals to increase your odds.

If, however, you are determined to get the mega prize, follow the trends to see when it reaches its maximum value. For reference, the largest jackpot in Great Britain was won by Jon Heywood. Namely, £13,209,300 on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot on Betway’s website, 6 October 2015. Test your luck when you see the jackpots reach the highest values.

7. Avoid Branded Slots

It’s key to remember that the brighter the design and the more popular the characters, the higher the House Edge is.

Using famous characters in slots is a luxury that has been paid for by the developer and the casino. They will try to compensate the expenses with your bets. Best-paying slot machines are not always the most appealing ones.

Understanding slot machine hacks and how to win playing slot machines revolves around grasping core concepts like RTP, House Edge, and volatility. If applied, they help to predict the frequency and size of wins and alter the strategy accordingly.

Will Stopping the Slot Machine Help Me Win?

The outcome of your game is defined as soon as you press the START button when the random numbers generator stops at a particular position. The only thing you do by stopping the slot is speed up the animation.

Therefore, predicting the right moment to stop the drums in a favourable combination and tricking a slot machine to win is a mere myth. In practice, there is no point in interrupting the game as it won’t change your chances. Don’t be easily fooled by charlatans who offer you questionable ways of calculating the winning combinations.

Other Myths

Some believe that one should only use the machines that have been frequently operated by other players because they are ‘full’ and easier to get the big win with.

Others try different ways of pressing the START button — more slowly or more strongly than usual, hoping that it might change the speed or number of spins and help to get the jackpot. In an honest casino, none of these tricks will work. Each provider cares about their reputation, and they don’t want to lose loyal customers if it turns out that the game results are skewed.

To Sum Up

By adhering to the seven tips outlined: selecting slots with high RTPs, determining their volatility, studying paytables, benefiting from Free Spins, staking smartly, choosing smaller jackpots, and steering clear from branded slots, you can approach online slots with a more informed perspective. But remember, responsible gaming and setting a budget are key to ensuring a positive aftertaste. As you apply these slots strategies, keep in mind that success in slots combines knowledge, planning, and a bit of luck.

And whereas you might not be able to fool the machine, there is no better way to maximise your chances than keeping top casinos at your side. Visit to select your winning slots in Britain and worldwide.


  1. Chóliz, Mariano. Experimental Analysis of the Game in Pathological Gamblers: Effect of the Immediacy of the Reward in Slot Machines, Journal of Gambling Studies, 2010, 26: 249 – 256, DOI 10.1007/s10899-009-9156-6. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  2. Ethier, Stewart N. The Doctrine of Chances: Probabilistic Aspects of Gambling, Springer, 2010.
  3. Glimne, Dan, Slot machine, revised and updated by J.E. Luebering, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Accessed March 6, 2024.
  4. Guinness World Records. Largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game (nominal),, October 6, 2015. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  5. Jones, Herbert B. Slot-Machines: An Historical and Technological Report. Chicago, Bally Manufacturing Corporation, 1978. Qtd. in Ethier, Stewart N, The Doctrine of Chances: Probabilistic Aspects of Gambling, Springer, 2010.
  6. Lambert, Harold M. Jackpot Winners, January 1, 1955, Photograph. Getty Images, April 2, 2004, Accessed March 6, 2024.
  7. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Gambling Commission. Industry Statistics – November 2023 – Superseded,, November 2023. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  8. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Gambling Commission. Gambling Industry Statistics November 2023 interactive dashboard,, November, 2023. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  9. Zammit, Sergio. Best RTP Slots – Online Slot Games with the Highest Payouts in 2024, fact-checked by Sam Barnard,,, January 19, 2024. Accessed March 6, 2024.
Chris Bell
Chris Bell Game Expert, Slot Machines

Another gambling software developer. Chris worked for Evolution Gaming for 6 years. Now he’s working with, projecting his knowledge on our reviews. Chris has tried so many slot games, he probably would never be able to count them.But he does know how to count the stars and rate a slot properly.
Mail: [email protected]