Online Slots: How to Play Smarter

When it comes to playing online slots, just because there is no set system or strategy that can be employed help you to increase your payouts, doesn't mean that there is no skill involved at all.

In fact, there are a number of decisions that you will be required to make that will have an effect on your overall returns both in progressive and non-progressive slots play.

Here we'll take a look at a few of these options and how you can maximize your effectiveness when playing these exciting casino games.

Paylines Matter More than you think

New generation video slots offer multiple paylines and you'll often be presented with the option of playing dozens of lines per spin. When it comes to budget management techniques, you'll probably find that you are seriously tempted to limit the number of paylines you play, playing 20 or 25 out of the 50 available.

While this may seem like a practical way to stretch your budget and give you more longevity in your game play, it is not a wise decision. The reason for this is that on many slots, dropping paylines will disable the bonus features and scatter symbols in the game, severely affecting the payout rate and returns. The smarter option if you want to lower the amount that you are wagering is to reduce the coin size while still playing the maximum number of lines.

Volatility and Swings

While volatility does not affect your payout rate over the long term, it may result in some pretty severe swings in a single game play session, and if you hit a down swing, it can quickly affect your bankroll, depleting it before you get to take advantage of the upswing and benefit from the returns.

This can often cut your game play abruptly and significantly detract from your overall experience, so if you're playing a high volatility slot, always ensure that you lower your bet to compensate for this factor. In doing so you will minimize the losses caused by negative swings, which will prolong your game play and allow you to take advantage of the positive ones where you can then bet more and benefit from greater returns.

Progressive Jackpot Tracking

Many slots players love the thrill of playing progressive jackpot slots due to the fact that they can lead to life-changing wins. If you want to increase your odds of being the next online casino millionaire, then jackpot tracking may be something you want to try.

To do this make a list of your favourite progressive slots ‐ try to include six to ten of these and then make a note of their starting value for the top jackpot prize. If the slot features multiple progressive jackpots which games like Playtech's Marvel Jackpots and Microgaming's Mega Moolah slot series do, then focus only on the largest one. This list will help you to ascertain which are the best and most profitable titles to play and this will take the guesswork out of game selection.

If you want to take this a step further, then go through the list and take down the current jackpot value for each game and compare it to the starting value (i.e. The minimum jackpot figure which the machine resets to after a big payout). Once you have this information, you will want to play the machine that has the highest jackpot relative to its starting value.

For example, if Slot A has a starting jackpot prize of $50,000 and a current prize of $200,000, it would be better to play this than a game with a starting value of $100,000 and a current jackpot total of $250,000 due to the relative values at play. The jackpot in the first slot will be five times the starting value, where the second one will only be two and a half times the starting amount.