Are Slots Worth It? Or Are They a Waste of Money?

Thinking Man With a Row of Slots to His Left

Slot machines can take you on a thrilling ride. They provide the chance to play for big payouts, which can come at any moment.

The drawback, though, is that slots can also quickly drain your money. You may find that your bankroll vanishes faster on slot machines than any other casino game.

That said, you might wonder if playing slots for real money are worth it. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of these games to help you decide if it’s worth playing slot machines.

What Are the Advantages of Slots?

Slot machines have grown in popularity over the decades for a few reasons. You can check out the primary perks of playing these games below.

Easy to Get Started With

You don’t have to expend much effort getting started with slots. In fact, you can begin playing them rather quickly even as a novice.

The only thing you have to do is select the spin/play button. Afterward, the reels will begin spinning and deliver a result.

Of course, you should choose your desired stake size before playing. Depending upon the game, you may be able to wager anywhere from $0.10 to $100 per spin.

You might also consider looking at the info screen. This section will explain the gameplay and how the features work.

You Can Win Big

No casino game has the potential to deliver huge wins like slots. In fact, some slot machines offer multimillion-dollar prizes.

Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, for example, typically features a progressive jackpot that’s worth millions of dollars. One player even managed to win $21 million through this game!

Most slots today offer maximum payouts worth a multiple of your stake, rather than jackpots. Some of the highest-paying games boast prizes worth 100,000x your stake or more. In this case, you could win $1 million on a $10 wager.

Entertaining Features

Bonus features often define the popularity of a slot. The most-popular games today are loaded with explosive features.

For example, a slot may provide a win multiplier, walking wild symbols, cascading reels, and free spins. In this case, you could boost your payouts in a number of ways.

Row of Slot Machines

Even if a game doesn’t have all of these features, it likely provides at least one or two bonuses. Therefore, you can always look forward to some form of extras.

Slots Bonuses & Rewards

You can pick up freebies on the side of your slots play at both land-based and online casinos. The latter actually offer large match deposit bonuses.

For example, a casino may match your first deposit up to $1,000. You can withdraw the bonus itself (cashable) or winnings from the bonus (non-cashable) after meeting terms and conditions.

Both online and land-based casinos give out loyalty rewards. You just need to be a member of the relevant casino’s VIP program to benefit.

Land-based casinos especially offer some attractive comps, such as free drinks, meals, free hotel rooms, and limousine transportation. You just need to sign up for their programs online or in person.

Countless Games to Choose From

The gaming industry has relied on slot machines to be their breadwinners for decades. That said, developers continuously put out new slots.

The result is thousands of slot machines to choose from. You’ll never be at a loss when looking for a new game to play.

The slots industry covers pretty much anything you can think of, from treasure hunting to gems floating in space. You’re bound to find something that’s interesting if you keep looking long enough.

Slots on a Laptop

What Are the Drawbacks of Slots?

While slot machines may be the most popular games in casinos, they’re not entirely perfect. These games have several downsides to consider.

High Volatility

Volatility determines how often you’ll earn short-term wins with casino games. Low volatility indicates that you’ll receive a steady stream of payouts.

High volatility, on the other hand, suggests that your wins will be sporadic. You may hit a large payout and end up with profits, or you could wind up earning very little back on your bets.

Volatile slot machines can be exciting because they usually deliver the biggest wins. They’re not so great, however, for bankroll management. You’re much more likely to lose in the short run with highly volatile games.

Lower RTP

Some slot machines offer high payout percentages. In fact, certain online slots even provide up to 99% RTP.

The average slot, though, delivers lower payback than most casino games. You’re typically looking at somewhere between 95% and 96% payback with online slots. Average payback drops to between 92% and 95% with land-based machines.

This range isn’t absolutely terrible in the grand scheme of gaming. It is, however, worse than plenty of other games, including the following:

  • Video poker – 99.54% (full-pay Jacks or Better)
  • Blackjack – 99.50% (varies based on rules)
  • Baccarat – 98.94% (banker bet)
  • French roulette – 98.65% (even-money bets only)
  • European roulette – 97.30%
  • Pai Gow poker – 97.16%
  • Let It Ride – 96.49%

Of course, some of these games require a good strategy to improve payback. Assuming you can master the strategy, though, then you stand to win more than with the average slot machine.

Tough on Your Bankroll

The lower RTP combined with high volatility makes it difficult to sustain your bankroll with slots. Unless you get lucky and hit a big winner, you’ll probably lose your bankroll faster with slots than any other game.

The good news is that you can at least prepare for this by performing bankroll management. Even still, your money normally doesn’t last as long on slots.

Group of Women Playing Slots in Casino, Pile of Money

The volatility is the big factor that drains your funds. Over time, the lower payout percentages will also have an impact.

No Strategy Involved

Depending upon your outlook, you might appreciate the lack of strategy in slots. You don’t really have to do much besides spin the reels to play.

Of course, you can use a little strategy by looking for high RTP. You stand to win more money when targeting higher-paying games.

If you’re a really strategic player, though, you might not find this strategy stimulating enough. Instead, you’ll be better suited playing complex games like blackjack and video poker.

Highly Addicting

As mentioned before, slot machines make it tougher to manage your bankroll. The fact that they’re really addicting doesn’t help matters either.

Losses disguised as wins are a big part of the problem. LDW’s refer to when you earn a prize that’s worth less than your original stake.

They could fool you into thinking that you’re winning even when you’re losing money. You might keep playing slots longer as a result.

The “slots trance” is another problem that some players run into. This phenomenon happens when the animations, lights, and sound effects draw you deeply into a game. You’ll then keep playing the slot while ignoring your surroundings.

Are Slot Machines Ultimately Worth It? Should You Play?

Your take on the pros and cons will ultimately determine if you find slots worth it. Assuming you’re somebody who wants to win big without putting lots of effort into the matter, then you’ll appreciate slot machines.

These games offer the biggest jackpots in the casino. You can even win six or seven figures with certain slots.

Slot machines also provide exciting features that can result in big payouts. The slots world boasts a large variety of entertaining features.

You can pick up bonuses when playing these games online too. Some slots bonuses are worth thousands of dollars.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

Of course, you also need to consider the drawbacks to slot machines. They’re overly volatile, have lower RTP, and can be brutal on your bankroll.

The volatility makes it tough to win in the short run. You’re often left relying on big payouts to earn any profits.

Slots RTP is generally lower than what most casino games offer. Payout percentages average around 95-96% online and 92-94% live.

These factors make it harder to manage your bankroll. As a result, your money could run out faster with these games.


As for whether slot machines are worthwhile, everything depends upon your individual preferences. Slots are great for winning big, enjoying exciting features, and collecting bonuses.

They’re not so great, however, for winning frequently, consistently enjoying high RTP, and bankroll management. Your money usually doesn’t last as long with slots versus other casino games.

That said, you have to consider what you’re looking for as an individual. Provided you’re okay taking on more risks, you might consider these games in hopes of eventually winning a jackpot.

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