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How to Pick a Good Slot Machine
With slot machines being the most played game in both land based casinos and online casino in New Zealand, it’s no wonder that they bring in the most revenue for casinos. But at the end of the day, what’s good for the casino is not good for your wallet!
Whilst some people would advise players to steer away from slot machines and to stick with other casino games such as table games, this isn’t necessary – you just have to know how to pick a good slot machine and have a clue about how to actually win at slots with some handy slot tips.
If you’re one of these people, be sure to read this blog post, as we’re going to discover not just tips on how to pick a slot machine, but the different types of slots there are and how to determine the volatility of slot machine games.
Instead of just writing out generic tips about playing slots, we’re going to focus on the proven methods that actually improve your odds and help you win at slots when you play.
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Slots With The Best Odds of Winning
A lot of new players at online casinos play slots without the knowledge that every slot game is a little bit different, and assume that all slots are just the same game with a couple of minor differences such as bonuses or theme.
When you play on slot machines at a casino, you want to make sure you’re playing on a good slot that has the best chances of winning. When many people ask about what makes a good slot machine, most of the time the answer will be the one with the highest chances of winning. When it comes to picking and choosing a winning slot machine – in fact, every time you look to play slot machines – you want to keep the Return To Player (or RTP) in mind. This simple rule applies to both online slots and slot machines you find in land based casinos.
What Actually is RTP?
The Return To Player (or RTP) is a number that represents the amount of money a player would get back from their wagered money over a long period of time. Some players refer to a high RTP slot as a ‘loose slot’.
An example would be if you played on a slot machine with an RTP of 96% and you wagered NZ$100 on that machine. Over a huge number of spins, you would get back NZ$96 on average.
This RTP isn’t the guaranteed number of money you’ll get back – it’s just an average that’s calculated over hundreds of thousands of spins! Most slot machine games you find will have an RTP of between 92-97% and we would advise picking a slot which has an RTP of 96% or higher.
How to Find the RTP of a Slot
The best way to find out the RTP of slots and casino games you want to play is to simply search it online. Most online casinos that you play at will also list the RTP either next to the game you want to play or in a piece of content they publish such as a review of the game. Otherwise, the company who actually publishes the game will list the RTP on their site. Either way, you’ll be able to find the RTP quite easily.
The Different Types of Slot Machines
You’ve got different types of slot machines that you can enjoy in your hunt to pick a winning slot machine for you. The two most common that you’ll see are video slot machines and progressive jackpot slots.
Video slots are the most common type of slot machine and you’ll find them both online and on the casino floor at land based casinos in New Zealand. They comprise of computer software that display eye-catching graphics and animations whilst you’re playing the slot.
The big difference between video slots and your standard reel slots is the fact that reel slots can only offer up to 5 different pay lines – video slots can have hundreds! They also offer a much wider range of interactive bonus games over your typical couple of free spins – including staged rounds with plenty of free spins, winnings multipliers and more!
Another popular slot machine type, progressive jackpot slot games are a group of slot machines that are joined together that have a linked jackpot. This shared jackpot amount gets bigger every time a player places a bet on one of the linked machines. This jackpot just gets higher and higher until some lucky player hits the right combination or gets through some sort of bonus round and wins the entire pot.
You can find progressive slot machines in both online casinos and in land based casinos, and if you want to pick a winning slot that gives you the chance of winning millions, then these are the types of slot for you.
Other Types of Slots
There are also other types of slots you can find including: single coin slot machines, wild play slot machines, touch screen machines and ‘Big Berthas’ – big slot machines that are usually placed near the entrace of a casino to attract players in.
How To Determine The Volatility of Slot Machines
When it comes to trying to help you win at slots, another very important aspect of picking a great slot machine to play at is finding out the volatility of the slot. The term volatility is often also swapped out with variance by some people, but both mean the same thing.
When speaking about the volatility of a slot machine, you’re simply talking about the level of risk when you play that particular slot machine with real money. This is incredibly important for when you pick which slot machine to play at as the level of volatility will determine exactly how you win at that slot game! The type of machine you play at could be seen as more important than random slot tips.
Low Volatility Slot Machines
Playing slot machines with low volatility means you’ll have higher chances of winning and that managing to land a winning combination when you spin the reels is easier. But on average when you win at slots with low volatility, your wins will be smaller, so these winning combinations won’t be worth as much in terms of prize money.
High Volatility Slot Machines
The chances of you landing a winning combination on a high volatility slot are smaller than the low volatility kind, but these slot machines pay out bigger wins. You’ll need a bigger bankroll when playing these games – but if you approach them with sound strategy and a couple of tips then you can find these slots a bit more rewarding.
Which is Best?
There is no best type of volatility for all players and both types are popular with people. Picking one of the two volatility types is mainly down to personal choice and whether you want smaller wins more often or want to try and win big. Your best bet would be to try out any free play modes these slots offer or use a casino bonus for some free spins to see how that particular slot machine game feels for you.
The only advice we can give is: when it comes to high volatility slots, it’s best to have patience and a big enough bankroll to invest in a longer session with some sort of slot machine strategy ready. These casino slots pay more in the long run, so the longer sessions could be more profitable.
Higher volatility slots are also a bit riskier to play than low volatility slots, so if you don’t want the risk it may be better to go for a low volatility slot machine game.
How to Find the Volatility of a Slot
Finding the variance or volatility of a slot is a bit harder than finding out the RTP, as most casinos don’t display the variance of the casino games as openly. The easiest way is to simply search ‘the name of the game’ plus the word ‘variance’ into a search engine and you should be able to find it out.
If that method doesn’t prove fruitful, then you can take the longer route of trying to figure out the variance of the slot game yourself. If you end up playing the slot game yourself for a long period of time, you should be able to work out roughly how often you’re managing to hit a winning combination and the size of your winnings.
If the wins of the pokie are a bit rarer but the amount is higher, then you’re most likely playing a high volatility game. If you’re winning more often but the amounts aren’t that big then it’s pretty much safe to say you’re on a low volatility game.
Using a casino bonus like no deposit free spins or a deposit match bonus is a great way to find out more about which slot machines are for you in terms of volatility. Using these options will give you insights into a game that simply reading a review won’t.
The Highest RTP Online Slots to Play
When choosing the best paying online slot machines to play, you again have to take a few things into consideration. Like any sort of casino game, when you play online the number one best slot machine for you to play is one that has the perfect combination of the volatility you want, the best RTP, suitable betting limits and fun bonus rounds you look forward to triggering.
The first thing to do when you want to play slot machines online is to take a good look at the RTP and pay table and the different stakes for that machine – all of these statistics will help inform you and improve your chances to win at slots. The only way to improve the slot machine odds when you play online slots is to take a long term approach, picking a slot machine with a good RTP and only spending money you can afford to lose.
The highest RTP slots are:
- Ooh Ahh Dracula by BarCrest – up to 99% RTP
- Monopoly Big Event by BarCrest – up to 99% RTP on Big Bet Mode
- Mega Joker by NetEnt – up to 99% RTP
- Jackpot 6000 by NetEnt – up to 98.86% RTP
- 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick – up to 98.60% RTP
- The Catfather by Pragmatic Play – 98.10% RTP
- Blood Suckers by NetEnt – 98% RTP
- Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix by BarCrest – 98% RTP
- White Rabbit Megaways by Big Time Gaming – 97.77% RTP
- Jack Hammer 2 by NetEnt – 97.10% RTP
6 Tricks to Help Pick A Slot Machine
Now that you know about the RTP and volatility of slots and the importance of them in picking out the right slot machine for you, we’ll delve into some slot tips and tricks that can help you beat the slot machines!
1. Don’t fall for the penny slots at casinos
Penny slots can be a big draw for some players – the option of getting to play for such a little amount with a chance to win good money is an alluring concept. But slot machine gambling on these styles of slot can be a bad idea as you usually have to bet your money on multiple lines and often times you won’t be allowed to bet on a single line. This adds up to you risking at least a dollar or more.
These slots also have a much lower payback percentage, again adding a reason why you should probably stay away from them and stick to slots with a slightly higher minimum bet.
2. Sometimes new slots don’t mean good ones
Some of the best slot machines that you can play on are actually quite old. Many of the newer games come with a whole suite of extras including flashy bonus rounds with bells and whistles. And whilst these may be good on the eyes, they can mean the RTP of the game will be lower. The added wild symbols and multiple paylines add more random chance into the game, pushing the RTP down by default – something that we don’t want!
3. Normal slots can be better than progressives
As we explained in the earlier section, when you win the jackpot on a progressive slot machine, you’re going to win big. This is what makes progressive pokies so popular with players. The thing is, your chances of winning the huge progressive jackpot prize are actually very small.
On top of the fact that your chances of winning that huge prize are low is the simple fact that to make up the jackpot, a small part of each bet made on the machine is taken and deposited into the pot, making the jackpot grow. This is money out of the casino’s pocket, so to make up for it, progressive jackpot slots often have lower RTPs – some of the lowest RTP percentages out of all the casino games out there.
This simple fact about the lower RTP and low chance of winning the grand jackpot prize makes some of the best slot machines you can play on just boring old standard slots. They have a fixed pay table, meaning they can have a higher RTP, which is good for when people play slots online on casino sites or in land based casinos.
4. Play slots online carefully
The most competitive scene in the slots space isn’t Las Vegas – it’s the online casino space. Online casinos have a huge audience they offer their games to, and thanks to the amount of people who enjoy playing on casino sites, there’s a lot of them!
This is great for choice, but inevitably leads to some ‘bad eggs’ showing up in the form of casinos which pay out slow or scam players out of their hard earned cash.
It always pays to do a bit of research on whatever casino you plan on playing the slots with that you’ve had your eye on. Online gambling forums and reviews are always a good place to look, since they commonly have players who will shine a light on any problems or complaints they’ve had with the casino.
You may wonder what this has to do with how to win on slot machines, but managing to strike it lucky and bag a big win doesn’t mean anything if you can’t withdraw your winnings!
5. Loyalty programs won’t affect your chances
Many casinos – both online and land based – have some sort of loyalty system where the more you play or deposit money, the more loyalty points you earn. This is a great way to rack up some nice bonuses and freebies for when you play, but ultimately these bonuses dont actually affect how often you win.
6. Slots based on movie & TV licences usually have lower RTPs
With so many new slots coming out, it’s hard for games to stand out from the rest of the other games that are launching. To combat this, many casino software developers get rights to intellectual properties and create branded slots to draw players in, because they can see their favourite big screen heroes and actors whilst they play and get immersed in the slot game even more.
Whilst it sounds great to play games like these on paper – you can find slots for favourite superheroes, TV series and even bands – the creators of these games have to pay to use the brands that they create the games from.
So where do the creators get the money from for these branded slots?
The RTP and pay table of the casino slot games in question!
That’s why it’s almost always better to play a slot game that isn’t tied to any sort of big movie or TV series – or intellectual property at all. This ensures that when you play, you aren’t having your potential winnings eaten into by the costs of playing on a branded game.