Nobody likes making mistakes, especially when they cost you money. Out of all the online gambling games, the one that trips people up the most are the online slot machines. By reading this article, you’ll learn about these mistakes and this will make it easier for you to notice where you might be going wrong when you play the online slot machines.
Online slots are the most popular online casino games. People love them. They’re so easy to play that anyone can do it. But the fact that it’s so easy also comes with a downside: players don’t realise that there is skill involved. Instead, they hit the button mindlessly, almost as if the lights have hypnotised them.
Don’t be a mindless slot zombie. Learn where you might be going wrong and how you can fix it. With online slot machines earning more than 60% of the profits for most online casinos, they’re not going to tell you what you’re doing wrong…but we will so read on…
You Haven’t Read the Rules
As I said above, online slots are easy to play. You just hit a button and watch the reels spin until you win. But there’s more to it than that. Slot machines have different rules.
For example, they might activate a bonus round when three-of-a-kind appears across the reels. If you see two of them appear, and you’ve read the rules, you’ll know to hold the two icons for the next spin. Without reading the rules, you’ll allow these opportunities to slip through your fingers.
Other games might have multiple bonuses. Rainbow Riches is one such game; it has three different bonuses and they all trigger with different symbols.
Before you play any of the online slot machines, READ THE RULES
You Spin Too Fast
Slot machines are hypnotising and the fast action and quick wins trigger our dopamine system.
Dopamine is part of our reward system and it gives us good feelings when we get an unexpected reward. Each time you spin a wheel, you anticipate a hit of dopamine, and when you win – no matter how small – it delivers you the sweet nectar.
This means that we can easily sit there spinning the reel faster and faster chasing the winners high.
Unfortunately, by playing so fast, you miss all the opportunity for tactic and strategy. You’re pressing the button unthinkingly and before you realise it, you’ve hit to spin when you should have held a reel or two.
It feels good to spin fast, but it’s a dangerous place to be. I’d liken it to the poker tilt. It invariably leads to losses.
One problem with tilting on the online slots is that you might not notice you’re doing it. It’s mindless and unthinking. To avoid it you need to bring awareness to what you’re doing in the moment – you need to notice that you’re compulsively spinning.
A trick here is to set an alarm for every 20 minutes (give or take 5). Each time it goes off, analyse your behaviour and make sure you aren’t tilting.
You Don’t Use the Online Slot Machines Bonus
Some of the bonuses offered by online casinos are rubbish. Welcome bonuses are often annoying because of the huge wagering requirements you have to play before you can withdraw money and it is true that you should turn down some bonuses.
However, this doesn’t mean you should turn down all bonuses. When playing the online slot machines, because the house edge is so good (i.e. the house always wins, and they win a lot more at slots than any other game they offer), you should NEVER PLAY TO WIN.
Playing online slot machines is always about having fun. The more money you have, the more time you get to play. You don’t want to play with your own money, though, because that can lead to problems.
Take and use the bonuses and never play the slots (or any other gambling game) to win. It’s about fun. Winning is just a happy side effect.
Ignoring the RTP
The return to player (RTP) rate is the amount of money that the casino returns to players. For example, if a slot machine has an RTP of 90%, the casino returns 90% of all wagers to players.
Don’t misunderstand, though. The RTP goes back to all players, not individual players. If 10 players wager £10 each, and the RTP is 90%, one player may receive 45% another 20% and another 25% – that leaves 7 people who didn’t get anything in return.
The game providers calculate the RTP over the long term. In my example, those 10 players may play over a year to see those specific results. Many casinos track their RTP rate against actual wins and losses to ensure they’re accurate. Play with UK casinos because the UKGC licence makes this compulsory – they aren’t allowed to fudge the figures and they must have the games independently audited regularly.
It’s still an important number, though. The higher the RTP, the more likely you are to get something back. An RTP of above 92% is good.
Here’s a list of high payout online slots you can check out.
If you find a game with an RTP in the 80s or less, I recommend that you find a different game to play.
Playing the online slot machines should always be about maximum fun with minimum risk. Avoiding the mistakes above will help keep your gambling fun.
Rachel Pine is our slots expert who has worked in the online gambling industry for 10+ years. Over the course of her career, Rachel has reviewed more than 3,000 slots.