Slots have been the staple in countless casinos around the globe ever since the very first slot machine (created in 1894). They’re the first thing you hear when you walk through the entrance and the last thing you hear when you head on back out – but the relatively recent development of online slots brings a whole new perspective on the games.
The battle of the online vs offline slots is nothing new. There are pros and cons to both with deposits, locations, feelings and jackpots, all varying for the physical and digital options. But it’s the portability of the online casino that has governments worried, and rightly so.
Gambling addictions are at an all-time high with the accessibility of the online casino from anywhere in the world. But this doesn’t mean that slots should be barred, taking care and gambling sensibly is the aim of the game, anything more than that and it’s time to take a step back and evaluate.
I’ve been playing online slots for more years than I’d like to disclose by leveraging online slot bonuses and along the way, I think I’ve managed to come up with some serious lessons for life (or slots) that I’d pass on to anyone taking to the levers.
Here are the top 5 lessons that I’ve learned by playing slots online:
1. Manage your money
My first lesson for slots which coincides nicely with a lesson for life – get your money right first and prepare for the worst.
It’s my first suggestion for any forms of gambling, but it can be even more important when it comes to slots. Play on autopilot for long enough and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about – the slot machine will eat its way through your bankroll at a rate of knots and with the odds of 35:2, it’s absolutely no surprise.
Every bet you make is a risk you’re taking, by managing your bankroll and keeping to a strategy you can minimise the amount of money you’re losing. If you’re playing by yourself and just spamming the button, hoping for the best, it’s a surefire way to lose a sizeable chunk of pennies fast.
The small denominations that you’re betting each time around are also deceiving – what may feel like chump change on each spin soon adds up. What starts off as a nickel or a dollar each turn can very quickly spiral to $250 – $1000 in the space of just a few hours.
Set limits for your spending and back off when you hit them. Adopt a strategy and stick to it.
2. Maximum bets mean maximum rewards
Maximum bets mean maximum rewards, sure. But they also mean maximum risks.
When cranking up the bets and hitting the maximum, you’re putting a sizable chunk of your bankroll on the line on every single spin. It only takes a short run of bad luck and that’s you out of time. It’s the reason that betting maximum machine stakes have reduced from £100 to £2 in the UK.
However, when it comes to cashing out the big jackpots, it’s sometimes only possible if you’re betting the maximum. There’s nothing worse than finally hitting the jackpot you’ve been chasing only to find you can’t claim the top cashout due to a lower than maximum bet.
These problems aren’t quite as big of a deal when playing online, but it’s still something to consider. Bigger bets mean bigger rewards, but they lead to bigger risks. It’s not my place to tell you how to play – but if you want my advice, stick to the lower wagers.
3. More lines can always be entertaining
When it comes to online slots, the more lines you add, the more entertaining it can be.
While you still know the odds aren’t in your favour, it’s pretty comforting knowing that you’ve got 50 or more chances to win on each and every turn. Granted it’s going to cost a little extra per play, but with more chances to win – it might be worth it.
Whatever you choose to go for with the lines, make sure it’s a part of your strategy and stick with it. Maybe you’re opting for fewer lines and playing more conservatively, maybe a more aggressive approach is what you’re after.
More lines can always be entertaining, just as long as you make sure it’s done sensibly!
4. Colourful themes and fancy graphics can trick you
It’s no shock just how much time and effort companies put in to maximise themes and graphics to entice customers and keep them coming back – but they’ll still hook you if you let them.
A single slot machine can make as many as 400 discrete sounds with the goal of making sure you’re spending more time spinning the reels. The careful use of noise (in the pleasant tone of C) is one of the biggest triggers for hooking you into the game and with less than 4 seconds between plays, it’s only natural to keep pressing the spins.
I have no problem with people choosing different slots based on the themes and graphics, the aim of the game should be to have fun after all – but keeping wary of the techniques used by casinos to reel you and keep you playing is vital.
5. Always know what you’re getting yourself into
Last, but not least, is to know exactly what you’re getting your into.
This goes for all forms of gambling, but again is particularly well suited to slots. Reading wagering requirements (they’re not always what they tell you), checking bonus offers and paying attention to how much of your bankroll you’re dropping on spins is imperative. You should always know where you are, what you’re doing and what the associated risks are.
Keeping your wits about you and know what you’re getting yourself into is by far the very best thing you can do when going in to play slots. Keep it fun and when the fun stops, stop.