How to Win at Slots Online: Can you pick a Winning Slot Machine?
Trying to figure out how to get better chances to win when playing real money online slots, but you still don't know how to improve your odds? You are not alone.
Instead of focusing on the generic tips and tricks you find on all online casino guides, it focuses on proven ways to improve your odds when playing online slot games, including using a casino bonus, and playing progressive jackpots.
Our top real money slot guide includes:
- The Best Online Slot Game to Play
- The Top Winning Online Slots with the Best RTP
- Finding Online Slots with the Best Odds
- Finding the Volatility of Slot Machines
- How to Win at Slots
- Where to Play the Best Real Money Slots
…and lots more!
In other words, if you are trying to discover how slot machines work, and how to find the best slot machines to play online, you'll love this guide.
Important Notice: If real money gaming is not available in your location, we have applied special filters to some of the links on these pages to send you to a site with free-to-play alternatives. Always check your eligibility to play.
The Best Online Slot Games to Play
In this section we’ll provide you with tips on how to pick the best real money slot games online, including those with the highest Return to Player (RTP), slots with the best odds, and where to find the best progressive jackpot slot games.
Want the list of the best online slots in available in your location? We’ve listed them below!
Winning at slot games requires time, dedication, and the right mindset. So, are you ready to change the way you play, and learn how to improve your chances to win real money at slots?
The Top Winning Online Slots with the Best RTP
Knowing how to pick a slot machine is more than guessing when a slot machine will hit. The best real money online slots to play come with the right combination of volatility, Return to Player (RTP), limits, and casino bonus.
What is Return to Player (RTP)?
The Return to Player (or RTP) is a percentage of all the wagered money that a slot pays back to its players. The RTP is calculated on a scale from 1 to 100. Most slots have an RTP between 92-97%.
The RTP is not the amount of money you'll get back when you wager on real money slots and it doesn't indicate whether you have fewer chances to hit a bonus round or not.
Always choose an online slot machine game with an RTP of 96% or above. This is the best slots strategy to follow every time you play – since a high payback percentage indicates that you have a better chance to win a spin.
Based on their RTP alone, the 12 best slot machines to win are:
Finding the best slot machine to play is the one secret all the most experienced players swear by.
That's because although you can't win at real money slots every time, picking an online slot game with a decent RTP, is a way to let the casino do the ‘hard work' for you.
Many online casino strategies tell you to stay away from popular slot games, as these have the worst payout percentage among all those on the casino floor but this isn’t true.
We looked at over 25 types of slot machines across the PA Online Casinos, MI Online Casinos, WV Online Casinos and NJ Online Casino Sites, as well as the Ontario Online Casinos, and found that the payout percentage has little to do with the games' popularity.
In fact, the best slots games to play are popular amongst real money slots players precisely because they are machine games that appear on gambling news websites many times.
If you're not lucky enough to be resident in a US state with legal online gambling, you can check out our Free Online Games section to see where to play slots for free online right now, including the best games from Chumba Casino and Luckyland Slots.
UK casino players can head to our slots guide to find the best games available to you right now.
Slots with the Best Odds of Winning
Finding the slot machines with the best odds, and how to improve your chances to win at slots is the dream of everyone playing on online casinos.
The slots with the best odds are the games with the highest Return to Player (RTP). While you can't be sure to win at these slots every time you play and you can't tell when these slot machines are ready to hit, these are the ones with the best slot machine odds.
When you play slots on online casinos for real money or for free, you need to know how to pick good slot machine games.
A lot of beginners play online casino games thinking that all slots are similar and they only differ in graphics, features, and bonus rounds, but this is a mistake.
If you want to know how to get better chances to win at slots, you need an online slot game that pays out more than the other ones. And to know which one is an excellent slot to play, you need to care about the Return to Player percentage.
How to Find the RTP of a Slot Machine
The quickest option is to search for it online. If you use Google, you can type the following command to see all the online gambling pages that mention the RTP of the type of slot machine you are about to play:
When you browse an online casino you'll usually be able to see the RTP listed with each slot game, or sometimes you'll need to click to read more details about a particular game before you can see it.
You’ll also find them on PokerNews, as well. Every online slot game review we publish includes the payout percentage, with easy-to-understand info about the games, frequent payouts, and whether one is a loose slot or not.
If this is your first time on our site, read this guide to picking a winning slot to improve your chances, and then these related articles which will help you playing real money slots online:
- The Best Real Money Slots - US
- The Best Real Money Slots - UK & Elsewhere
- The Best Penny Slots
- The Best Mobile Slots
How to Find 'Loose' Slots
A ‘loose slot’ is one that, simply put, has an RTP over 96%. That doesn’t mean these slots have a higher chance of winning however.
Everyone would like to play loose slots with the perspective to win every time the reels spins. While this might not be always possible with online casinos, all the games listed below have an above-average RTP that translates in higher than usual chances to win.
Need help in finding a good slot machine to play? Have a look at Himalayas: Roof of the World. This fun-to-play game by Barcrest is the perfect example of a great combination of sophisticated gameplay and good RTP.
Play Himalayas: Roof of the World Slot Game
We’re highlighting this slot due to a combination of volatility and RTP that plays in favor of the players and that come from underdog developers.
Also, Himalayas: Roof of the World offers good odds of winning on slots!. The game features an RTP of 97.75%, which is above average.
The Best Progressive Jackpot Online Slots to Play
Another important aspect of playing slots is playing progressive jackpot slots. These are slot games where the jackpot prize builds over time and every spin that is wagered contributes to the total.
The big real money prizes on tap make jackpot slots almost appealing…at least on the surface. But on average, progressive slots feature the lowest RTPs in gambling so you don't have great winning odds. On top of that, you always need to bet the maximum to access the top jackpot prizes – meaning you might end up spending more money than you can afford to lose before you get even close to a win.
The list below shows you eight of the most popular slot machine games with a progressive jackpot. Compare their RTPs with those of the non-progressive games above and you will see why playing for a jackpot is not always the best choice.
Determining the Volatility of Slots
Another critical factor to consider when you want to pick a slot machine with better winning odds is the slot volatility.
Many games and gambling news sites refer to the games' volatility as their 'variance.' Here on PokerNews, we like to call it the ‘risk level'.
The volatility of a slot machine game measures the risk involved in playing a particular slot for real money. One of my favorite tips for playing slots is to consider it the 'risk factor' of the game you are about to play. That's because volatility determines how you win at slots.
- Low Volatility Slots: Your odds of winning at these slots are high, and it's easier to strike winning combinations when you spin the reels, but your wins may be smaller.
- High Volatility Slots: The odds of winning at these games are smaller, but the wins pay more. These games can be more rewarding, if you can invest the time and money to play for longer.
Pick the slot machine time that feels right for you. But keep this in mind:
To play high volatility slots, you need to be patient, have enough money to invest in a long online gaming session. If this isn’t you, low volatility slots may be a better option.
High volatility slots are a bit riskier, too. You never know how much time and money you need to invest to hit a lucky spin and celebrate yet another day of winning money on slots.
How to Find the Volatility of Slots
Online casinos don't make the variance of the games as accessible as the RTP numbers, partly because they don't want to help you improve your odds.
An easy way to choose games with the right variance is to use Google to do the hard work for you, like this:
- Open Google.com
- Type "Mega Moolah variance" in the search bar
- Analyse the search results
Alternatively, you can explore the games and figure out their variance yourself. If you play the same slot for long enough, you should be able to see how often the game pays out and what kind of winnings you get. Using a casino bonus to discover this is a good idea.
If successes are rare but significant, it’s a high volatility game. If you win often, but the wins are small, it’s low-volatility.
A Popular High Volatility Slot to Play: King of Atlantis
King of Atlantis is a high volatility slot by IGT. The game plays on five reels and 40 paylines. It doesn't have many features (even if you bet the maximum). The only 'special feature' you get, is a round of eight free spins that activates when a trident symbol lands next to Poseidon.
The symbols featured in this game include seashells, gold rings, gem-encrusted crowns, mermaids, dolphins, and the almighty god of the sea – Poseidon.
A Popular Low Volatility Slot to Play: Hotline
Hotline is one of NetEnt's most popular slots.
This game is based on the cult TV series Miami Vice and beating the slot means you'll have to help the two detectives catch a jewelry thief.
Hotline is a low volatility game where wins are frequent but small in size. If this is what you are looking for, pick this slot machine and enjoy the adventure!
How to Win at Online Slots?
Online Slots are a game of chance. As such, you can never be guaranteed a win. But the below tips will help you improve your chances when finding a real money slot to play online:
How to Win at Online Slots – Find the Right Casino
No matter how impressive an online casino is, you need to do some research before you start to spin reels if you want to get any chance to win at slots.
All online casino sites (like all poker sites, want your money. They offer free spins or deposit bonus codes to get you onsite and then have you play as much as possible.
It’s great if you can afford to play real money on slots, but just make sure the site you choose is a legitimate and regulated online casino.
Regulators like the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) work hard to eliminate rogue operators from the online gambling industry. You should check that an online casino holds a license by a regulated body in your location. For the US, each state has a body dedicated to regulating online casinos, such as the New Jersey Gaming Commission.
These organizations are there to help you play online slots on sites that use audited Random Number Generators and have fair payouts.
You find a full list of all the online casinos allowed in your country on this page.
How to Win at Online Slots - Trust Other Players
Unlike a game like Poker, when it comes to playing slots at a live casino, you can trust your fellow slot players and look at how people play.
Use the information available on casino blogs and casino sites to your advantage. Browse through forums, join Facebook groups, and spend some time on Reddit to read what Las Vegas and Atlantic City players say about each game.
How to Win at Online Slots - Take Advantage of Free Spins
Free spins are one casino bonus that everyone can agree are worthwhile. A casino that offers a bonus feature on their slots, can usually be relied on to regularly update their slots offer, allowing you to play on real money online slots, without needing to make a deposit. Of course, you should always read any terms and conditions attached to these bonus features, in particular the wagering requirements (more on that below).
If you’re particularly keen on playing online slots, and you are researching new casinos, you can sometimes find that a casino will provide a welcome offer that includes free spins on a particular game or a specific range of games. This offer may require you to sign up and make a deposit, but in some cases you may find a no deposit bonus, which allows a player to sign up and get a bonus without the need to also deposit funds. This can be in the form of free spins or sometimes, a cash bonus deposited into your account with the casino that allows you to play casino games using those funds.
How to Find Free Spins for Online Slots
Most casino bonuses for slots will let you play for free only a specific selection of slot machines. The following online casinos are the ones offering the best free spin bonuses for online slots right now (check the terms at each site before you sign up):
The Best Casino for Free Spins in the US – PokerStars Casino
Right now for US players who are lucky enough to reside in a state that allows real money casino games, PokerStars Casino are offering 250 Bonus Spins for any new players that sign up using our exclusive link which you can find below:
The Best Casino for Free Spins in the UK – 888casino
For UK players, industry giant 888casino is the place to be for Free Spins and standout slot games. Right now, you can get 88 Free Spins with their No Deposit Bonus offer for new casino players!
The Best Casino for Free Spins in Canada – 888casino
Canadian players can also get in on the 888casino action, with their own 88 Free Spins bonus! Like the UK casino site, this is part of their main No Deposit Bonus for new players so well worth a look for Canadian casino enthusiasts.
Don't Forget Free Spin Wagering Requirements!
When playing online slots using free spins, you might often see ‘wagering requirements’ in the terms & conditions. But what does this mean?
Essentially this is a requirement that you must wager a minimum amount before you can withdraw any winnings, even if you’re playing with a bonus. Wagering requirements can take the fun out of playing slots with free spins but you can sometimes find free spins bonuses that can be worth your while, and these are wager-free casino bonus offers.
On a limited number of online casinos you get ‘wager free spins’ with no deposit required when you register. There is no cap on winnings, you can cash out anything you want, anytime you want, and there are no wagering requirements. How good is that?
Best Slot to Play with Free Spins: Pyramid Quest For Immortality
Travel the world with slots...and use your free spins welcome bonus as your ticket!
The Pyramid: Quest for Immortality slot features five reels, 720 paylines, and an RTP of 96.4%. This game takes you to ancient Egypt and brings you to explore the hidden and mystical world of Pharaohs, Gods...and pyramids, of course.
How to Win at Online Slots - Is It Better to Stop a Slot Machine?
In a word, no - you shouldn't stop a slot machine. While this might have been a good trick to win on old fruit machines, stopping the reels will not help you win more.
Some players believed that if you can stop the reels quick enough on a fruit machine, you can control the outcome of your spin as soon as you see a winning combination about to come up but in fact, on an online slot it could lead to bigger losses, as you reduce the 'time of spin' (TOS), making the game go faster, like this:
- A slot machine takes about 10 seconds (on average) to complete a spin. This is the 'TOS'.
- If you stop the slot machine, you can reduce the TOS to three seconds.
- Depending on the TOS, a 30-minute session can range from a minimum of 180 spins to a maximum of 600 spins.
Are Slot Machines rigged?
Are Slot Machines rigged? A question that is often asked. And the answer is simple. No, Slot Machines are not rigged. All slot machines will, of course, have a house advantage, expressed as return to player (RTP), but all online slots go through rigorous third party testing to ensure that they are fair.
Can you trick a Slot Machine to win?
There have been many different attempts to trick slot machines over years, but our advice is to play by the rules and enjoy playing slots the the right way. Indeed, there are plenty of tips, tricks and hacks on this very page that can help you get the most out of your slots play.
How to Improve Your Chance to Win at Slot Machines
The best way to improve your chances to win at real money slots at an online casino is to ask the right questions and look for the right numbers. There are hacks, slots tips or tricks to winning, but if you want better odds to win on slots, you need to:
- Choose the slots that have high payouts
- Choose the slots with the correct volatility level
- Choose the slot with the highest Return to Player
- Read reviews of slot games on casino sites, forums and Reddit
- Sign up to get a bonus with low wagering requirements
- Play on a licensed online casino site
While this might not be enough for you to pick the winning slot machine every time, it could help you increase the odds of winning more often!
Where Can I Play Slots Online?
If you're looking to start playing the best slots right now, then let us direct you to our list of the best real money casinos! . This list will show you the best real money casinos to play online slots depending on your location. You can read our comprehensive casino reviews for specific brands, or jump straight into playing!
Play the Best Online Slots in the US
If you are in the United States, slots are available to play in real money online casinos only in regulated States such as:
Top of the list right in the US right now are FanDuel Casino, and their wide selection of online slots. You'll find the usual favorites such as 88 Fortunes, Cleopatra Gold and Bonanza, as well as popular Slingo and Megaways games.
For real money online slots, as well as casino bonuses, we also like the offering from PokerStars Casino, who provide a compelling range of progressive jackpot slots, classic video slots, and exclusive casino games.
Play the Best Online Slots in Ontario
For Canadian slots players, particularly those in Ontario, there is also a great selection of real money online casinos who offer slot games. We love what Jackpot City Casino ON are bringing to the (casino) table, and their range of slots needs to be experienced first hand. For those favoring an old-school slot machine vibe, we can recommend Royal Vegas Casino ON, and there are honorable mentions here for Spin Casino ON, Ruby Fortune Casino ON, and NorthStar Bets Casino ON, all of whom are starting to make a splash in the Ontario casino market.
Play the Best Online Slots in the UK and Elsewhere
For players based outside of the US, there are many options for online casinos where you can play slots. For the UK and many European locations, we recommend the following:
Elsewhere in the world, there are also many real money casinos to choose from such as:
Looking for the best slots guides and slots content?
- Learn everything you need to know about Free Slots with our complete guide including top social casinos like Luckyland Slots.
- Find out what the Best Jackpot Slots are and your guide to top slot themes like Starburst, Buffalo Slots, or Monopoly Slots.
How to Pick a Winning Slot Online FAQs
Is there a trick to slot machines?
The best trick to get better odds to beat slots is to pick games with a theoretical Return to Player above 96%. You find a list of the 12 best slot machines to play right on this table.
Which slot machines pay the best?
With most slots featuring a Return to Player of 92-96%, any games with a Return to Player above 96% (like these ones) is a good choice. In terms of win-size, progressive slots are the slot machines that pay the best – but they are also the ones with the lowest winning odds.
How can I increase my chances of winning on slot machines
Pick high volatility slot machines with a Return to Player of 96% or more that allow bets of 0.20 or less. This way you will get more spins for the same amount of money and you will have greater chances to use the combination of volatility and RTP to win more.
Are slot machines rigged?
All the slot machines on this list are hosted on licensed platforms and are certified by third-party independent authorities. The games are not rigged.
A: To pick a winning slot machine and get better odds to win when you spin the reels, you need to choose games that offer the right combination of betting limits, volatility, Return-to-Player, and wagering requirements (in case you play with a bonus).
What casino game has the best chance of winning?
In general, Blackjack is the casino game with the best odds. In terms of slots, the best choice is to pick a game that offers a return-to-player over 97% like the Slot Devil's Delight (RTP: 97.7%).
Can you win real money on slot machines?
Of course. Just like any other casino game, slots offer a possibility to win real money. No one can guarantee you wins because slots are a game of chance, but you can certainly get an upper hand if you use the winning slot tips from this article.
How do you win the jackpot on a slot machine?
When you're picking your winning slot machine, keep in mind that those with smaller jackpots usually pay out more frequently, so there is a slightly larger chance of landing that big win. Other than that, manage your bets well, understand the payable and hope that today is your lucky lay - after all, slots are completely random. Also, you want to make sure you play at a casino that has a huge selection of jackpot slots.
Which online slots machines have the best odds?
What you want to look at is RTP (Return to Player). That's basically the way in which the house edge gets displayed for slots. No matter how you look at it, in the long run, the casino will always come out on top. However, the short-term outcome of slots is random, so you have the best slot machine odds if you play a slot that has an RTP of 97% or higher.
How can you tell when a slot machine is ready to hit?
There is no sure way of telling when a slot machine is about to hit. Slot machines are governed by Random Number Generators, which ensure a completely unpredictable outcome each time you spin the reels.
This article was first published on July 14, 2018, and has been updated since its publication. Last update: July 17, 2023