Can You Use Strategy to Play Slots?

By Stan Rogers on March 5, 2018

Can You Use Strategy to Play Slots

Playing slots, including the Wheel of Fortune slot, can provide many thrills – from the excitement of winning to the variants and themes available to play. But many don’t consider slots to be a game that relies on strategy. Indeed, we’re not going to argue that chance does not play a large part in how slots works and whether you win – and indeed how much you can win. However, there are some elements of strategy at play too. Identifying this kind of strategy, and learning how to use strategy for a larger payout can be crucial to having a lucrative game of slots.

How Do You Win at Slots?

Slots are won through probability and differ depending on the reels of the slots. Three-reel slots have a greater likelihood of hitting a winning combination, statistically speaking. To identify how many combinations you can spin, the probability of each combination can be calculated. Raising the number of different symbols to the power of however many reels you are playing with can give you the number of total combinations. So a three-reel slot with six symbols would give 216 combinations (63). Some symbols occur more than once per reel to slash the probability of landing on one. The RTP (return to player) advantage can give some indication as to how often the machine pays out – and therefore how likely it is that it will pay out for you.

Bankroll Strategy

By considering their approach combined with the reels and symbols on each slot, a player can work out which strategy would work best. Initially, players should know the amount of money they aim to and can spend as their bankroll. Choosing a slot game whose bets match the bankroll you intend to spend can ensure that the game lasts long enough to recoup some winnings. Keeping generated winnings separate from stakes can also help ensure that players can ensure funds break-even in the worst case scenario. The book Smart Slot Strategies suggest that stake should allow players to make 10 wagers at an average bet even if they do not generate a winning, in order to maintain funds. Progressive slots are known for taking higher bankrolls, so this should be adjusted for accordingly.

Strategy and RTP

The RNG (Random Number Generator) plays a role in helping a player understand their slot’s payout. According to experts, including Atlantic City Weekly, it is absolutely impossible to “fool” the RNG on a slot machine. However, understanding slot payout is key to form a winning strategy, according to Betway. Slots have no memory, and the RNG in place in each one is independently verified in order to ensure it pays out fairly. By understanding how much you can win for a winning combination, as well as knowing the likelihood of hitting a winning combination, you can have a greater idea as to how much to bet in order to keep with your bankroll strategy.

Three-Reel vs Five-Reel Slots

With three-reel slots, you can achieve the biggest payout with the maximum bet. But with five-reel slots, you can achieve a greater payout with a lower bet. The catch? The likelihood of getting the payout out is lower with five-reel slots. Employing sound strategy here can help you win a greater payout. Luck does play a role, but by analyzing the likelihood of winning and of what you may get for each bet, you can decide which slot would be better to play and therefore how many reels that slot may have. Some betting requirements state that you can only achieve the highest payout if you place a larger bet.


Paylines also play a role in determining slot strategy. Paylines refer to the horizontal straight line that your winning combination makes. But, with advancements in slots, paylines no longer have to solely be based on one horizontal line. Trapezium shapes, diamonds, and even diagonals can play a role in paylines. Depending on the payline chosen, the amount that can be paid out can change and the likelihood of winning can change. Most games have a payline table that shows the payouts and helps you to calculate the odds of each combination. Some wins lead to prizes, others to bonuses, free spins, and multipliers, all of which can make a difference in the end result of the game. Most opt for five or less paylines, while those playing progressive jackpot slots opt for more paylines. Choosing paylines depends on the other factors that contribute to the slot strategy.

Progressive Jackpots

When it comes to progressive jackpots, you want to ensure that the amount you bet gives you eligibility to win the bigger jackpots, which is the entire point of progressive slots. A percentage of each bet is added to the ultimate jackpot, so making sure you are eligible for what may have been part of your wager is crucial. Video slots often have a tiered level of progressive slots, ranging upwards. Aside from the progressive jackpots on these slots, the other payouts are usually less to counteract the large payout for the machine.

Overall it can be seen that a dedicated slot strategy can be applied to give yourself a greater chance of victory. By understanding the slot you are playing, how the RTP and RNG work, and how strategy can be applied for each specific combination of slot, you can improve your odds to combine with your luck in order to win on slots. Choosing paylines based both on the amount they can pay out and the likelihood of winning with them can also aid in the slot strategy. There are many sources of information on how to properly strategize when it comes to online slots. Ultimately, the bankroll should be consulted in order to determine which additional strategy should be employed. Good luck!