Top 3 Mistakes Every Slots Player Makes

Row of Slot Machines and Man Holding Hands Over Face
Slot machines are popular because they’re easy to play and they offer the chance to win a big prize for a small bet. You can judge how popular slots are by looking around in any casino to see how much floor space is filled with slot machines. The casinos dedicate the most floor space to popular games, and slots dominate most casinos.

The slots also happen to be one of the most profitable games the casinos offer, so the casinos are happy to offer as many machines as they can as long as players keep playing. The same is true for online casinos. They offer as many slot machines as possible, because they know that’s what players want.

Here are the three top mistakes slot machine players make. You can quickly make adjustments and correct all three of them starting today.

1 – You Play Too Many Spins Every Hour

The house edge is higher on slot machines than most other casino games. But this is only part of the problem with playing slots. Slot machine players fall into the trap of not realizing how much they’re risking over time because the amount they bet on a single spin is low.

Slot machines are designed so you can play them as fast as you want. You can hit the spin button as fast as you can and get as many as 600 spins in every hour. This is true whether you play online slots or play at a land based casino.

If you take 600 spins per hour, look at the following information to see how much you’re risking every hour based on the total amount of your bet.

Bet Size Total Wagers Every Hour
.25 $150
.50 $300
$1 $600
$2 $1,200
$5 $3,000
$10 $6,000

As you can see, even if you’re playing on a quarter machine, you’re running a lot of money through the machine every hour when you play fast. If you’re like me and like to chase progressive slots jackpots, many machines have a bet size of $1 or $2 to be eligible for the top jackpot. At this level, you’re really starting to rack up the amount you risk every hour.

With a high house edge, playing slot machines can drain your bankroll faster than most other casino games, even though the bet size is smaller. If you play a table game and bet $20 per hand but only play 50 hands per hour, your risk per hour is $1,000. Compare this to playing 600 spins on a slot machine at $2 a hand. You risk an extra $200 an hour playing slots at a much lower risk per decision.

Once you add in the difference in the house edge between slots and other games, you can see how slots are rougher on your bankroll than most games. Here are some examples for comparison.

Game Approximate House Edge Risk Every Hour Expected Hourly Loss
Slots 5% 600 X $2 = $1,200 $60
Blackjack 1% $20 X 60 = $1,200 $12
Craps 1.5% $20 X 50 = $1,000 $15
Roulette 2.5% $20 X 50 = $1,000 $25

One of the reasons players like to play slots is because they can get lucky and win a big jackpot. The other games on this list generally don’t offer as much upside like slots can. Overall, you lose more playing slots, but you’re never going to win a $100,000 jackpot playing craps or roulette.

One thing you can do to minimize your losses while playing slot machines is to play fewer spins every hour. In other words; slot down when you’re playing slots. You can cut your expected losses in half by playing 300 spins every hour instead of 600. This tactic works for both land based slot machines and when you play online slots.

2 – You Don’t Activate the Bonus Pay Lines

When slot machines started becoming popular, they were much simpler than they are now. They didn’t have as many reels and they only had a few pay lines. Now, with video based slot machines, you can find games with many reels, hundreds of pay lines, special bonus games and games within games, and all kinds of other special features.

Slot machines that offer bonuses, jackpots, and progressive opportunities seem to be available everywhere you can play slots.

One mistake that many slot machine players make is they don’t read the rules when they sit down to play a new slot machine.

Reading the rules is important, especially if the slot machine has any special features like bonus rounds and jackpots. Some slot machines require extra bets beyond the base game wagers in order to activate the pay lines that unlock bonus rounds, bonus games, and jackpots. If you don’t know the rules, you can play a machine and hit what would be a huge jackpot, but miss out because you didn’t have the correct pay line activated.

The easiest way to avoid making a mistake that costs you a big win is to always activate all of the available pay lines. If this makes the bet size too high for your bankroll, find a machine offering a lower maximum bet.

The good news is that many video slot machines are either designed so you can only make one size bet, which activates all of the pay lines, or are designed so you can hit a single button that automatically makes the max bet.

3 – You Play Online Slots Without a Bonus

I prefer playing most forms of gambling live. I’d rather play poker and blackjack live than play online. But one of the few games that are better online is slot machines. You don’t have to wait for a seat to open up at your favorite slot machines, and you don’t have to worry about anyone sitting down beside you and bothering you.

You also don’t have to load up the card and drive to your local casino or the airport for a trip to Las Vegas or somewhere else. Playing slots online saves you time and money, and you have access to a wider variety of slots games than you have in most casinos.

All of the reasons listed above are good reasons to play online slots, but I haven’t even shared the best one yet. When you play slots online you can get all kinds of deposit and reload bonuses that let you play longer.

When you start looking for bonuses when you play other casino games, it can be difficult because many bonuses aren’t for other casino games. But almost every single online casino bonus you can find is designed for slots play.

I’ve seen slots bonuses of $10,000 and higher, and I’ve never had trouble finding a deposit or reload bonus when I wanted to play online slots. If the casino where I’m playing doesn’t offer one, they usually give me one if I ask, but I can play at dozens of other online casinos that do offer bonuses.

Slot machines don’t have the lowest house edge in online casinos, so I only recommend playing them if you’re trying to win a big jackpot.

To have the best chance to win a big jackpot, you need to be able to take as many spins as you can. This is where a big bonus fits perfectly.

If you’re playing a progressive jackpot slot machine that has a $2 per spin cost, you can take twice as many spins with a $1,000 bankroll as you can with a $500 bankroll. And when you get a 100% matching deposit bonus, you’re doubling your bankroll. Some casinos even offer more than 100% bonus on your deposit.

I never play online slots without a bonus, and I don’t suggest you do so either. Just remember to read the terms and conditions of the slots bonus so you know exactly what you have to do to cash out if you get lucky and hit a huge jackpot.


After reading this list of mistakes that slot players make, you might think that playing slots is a bad idea. While I usually suggest new gamblers start with a game with a lower house edge than slots, the slot machines do have some advantages. The minimum bet is small on most slot machines, and few games in the casino give you a chance to win a progressive jackpot like some slot machines.

If you’re a slots player, use the information in this article to avoid making three big mistakes that almost every slots player makes. Don’t take so many spins per hour, make sure you always have all of the pay lines activated, and never play online slots without a big bonus.