Slot machines are a genius invention and the genius lies within the simplicity of use. Feed the machines a few coins, make a bet, and hope to be lucky. It is for this reason, among others, that they are one of, if not the most, popular games in casinos today. In 2018 there were 958,735 slot machines found in casinos, as of 2020 the number has risen by 182,008.

Other reasons for these machines being so popular include an extremely wide variety of games as well as the affordability of play. However, there are some tips to follow to make the most out of playing for the first time. But one thing is for sure if it’s your first time playing slots you should make sure to make use of the welcome bonuses offered by casinos, Japan 101 covers some of the best ones available online here.

Plan ahead

Something that can eliminate a lot of frustration and increase the enjoyment of the experience is setting a budget. There are a few factors to think about before doing this though, such as considering the reason for playing slot machines. Are you doing it for casual enjoyment, to pass time, or to win big? Winning big requires a bigger budget, playing casually or passing time requires a smaller budget. You will also need to determine how much you will be wagering for each game.

For example, if you will be setting a budget of $20, wagering $5 a roll will result in only 4 rolls. Another factor is how much time you will be spending at the casino. Setting a time limit and reminders on your phone will help you to play for the specified time. Since there are no clocks or windows in almost any casino, it is easy to spend more time playing than intended and as a result more money.

Do your research

Once the budget has been drawn up, it is worth doing some research on the slot machines you are intending to play. Every slot machine has different payback percentages. This is the amount that has been wagered on a game by all players, which will be paid out over time. Some machines have a payback percentage of 95%, while some may have a percentage of 90%.

To add to the complexity, certain games based on the wager have higher percentages than others, such as a dollar game may have 96%, while a penny game may have less than 90%. It is important to note that the payback percentage doesn’t determine the frequency of payouts. Another reason to research specific games is that some slots have more symbols than others which may reduce the chances of winning. The more symbols a machine has means potential combinations.

Small starts

The more experienced players have learned that the best way to start playing a new game is to start playing with smaller amounts of money. The benefit of doing this is that it gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the machine and provides the opportunity to try other machines. The alternative to this is playing with a large amount of money on a machine you aren’t familiar with and then losing all of the money really quickly by placing large bets.

It is a catch-22 as machines with larger wagers have a higher payback percentage compared to smaller wager machines, however, you will have a higher chance of winning over a longer period of time than you would be spending all of your money in 4 rolls.


Playing slot machines can be quite confusing at first with all of the calculations and percentages going on behind the scenes, which makes it difficult to form a strategy to win. Truth be told, there is no strategy to win at slot machines as they use RNG (Random Number Generator) software. However, creating a budget after deciding why you will be playing, as well as doing research into the machines you have chosen to try out will help prevent you from spending more money than necessary.

Understanding the payback percentages in different machines, and on which machine you should wager higher or lower will increase the amount of money you will win if you do win. Setting reminders will allow you to keep an eye on the time and starting small will allow you to see how all of these factors come together.  

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