How to Improve Your Slot Game with a Twist

Black and White Spiral Background, Slot Machine Icon
It’s hard for me to feel much loyalty to any slot machine game. I’ve played quite a few of them and few gave me much reason to be excited.

Not many slot games allow you to improvise a strategy.

Should you bet the minimum or the max?

Should you pick a bonus game with 25 free spins or the 10 free spins with a X3 multiplier?

I watched a woman playing a slot game one called Great Wall. The bonus round picks from 15 spinning gold balls. She mentioned casually that she never picked the same positions that were awarded big prizes in the previous round.

That’s a strategy but I don’t see how it matters. The prize positions are determined randomly for each bonus round.

Gamblers love to share their tips for winning. Slot machine players have their playbooks of tips and strategies just like everyone else. Most of the tips are routine.

As long as you take any slot game strategy with a grain of salt a lot of them are worth trying at least once. You’ll laugh when you see the reason why I say that.

I’ll explain what makes this worthwhile at the end. Meanwhile, here are some of the more unusual tips I’ve come across that make a little bit of sense.

I’m not saying these strategies work. I’m just saying they are worth trying.

Only Play Progressive Games with Large Jackpots

I first heard this tip from a person I’ll call a lifelong player. If you’re feeling skeptical right away you have good reason to be.

Every spin is resolved independently of all the others. There is no point where a slot game is “due to pay off”. It doesn’t become more likely to pay just because the game hasn’t hit the jackpot in a long time.

Even so, sooner or later a progressive game should pay a jackpot. Given a choice between a slot machine with a $1000 jackpot and a slot machine with a $10,000 jackpot (same game, different machines), you should always pick the machine with the higher jackpot.

Your chances of winning are equal but if you’re going to win why not win the larger prize?

Jackpot Text with Cherries, Stacks of MoneyI’ve heard people talk about buying jackpots. That is where you sit at the machine and keep putting money in until it pays off. This is an expensive way to play slots.

There is a story on Quora about a team of gamblers who took over a bank of networked progressive slot games at a casino in Australia. They spent $11 million to win (buy) an $8 million jackpot.

I don’t recommend trying to buy a jackpot but if you want to go for a jackpot, pick the largest one relative to the game you’re playing. If the progressive jackpot on a $1 machine is $3000 and the progressive jackpot on the $5 version is $12,000 then go for the $1 game.

Not everyone agrees with that strategy. Some players argue that the higher value machines are programmed to pay more often. If you believe that, then go for the jackpot on the highest denomination machine you can afford to play.

Watch the Credits

This is one of the crazier strategies I’ve ever seen a player use. The guy sat staring at the credits displayed on the game he was playing. He reminded me of the movie “Men Who Stare at Goats”.

Was he trying to drive the credits up with mental telepathy?

I had to say something to him so I sat down casually started a conversation with him. He responded with “yes” and “no” to my questions about the game. He wasn’t rude and seemed willing to talk.

I finally said, if you don’t mind my saying, you seem very focused. Am I bothering you?

He said he was just watching the credits.

He explained he never played a game that took more than 15-20% of his money. I don’t remember the exact figure.

He wasn’t trying to drive the credits up. He was just watching for the balance to hit his loss limit.

I asked him what he did if he kept winning. In that case he raised his loss limit. So if he started with $100 and won another $100 he would leave the machine if the new $200 balance dropped to $160.

He also said he felt less anxious when he watched the credits rather than the reels. It had something to do with a mesmerizing pattern in the game.

I thanked him for his time and walked away. A few weeks later I thought, why not try it?

I don’t know about mesmerizing patterns but I did win money on the slots that night.

It just seems a very boring way to play a slot machine game. And I thought there wasn’t anything that could make them more boring.

Leave Any Machine That Doesn’t Pay a Big Win in 10 Spins

Why 10 spins?

I never could get anyone to explain the magic number to me but I’ve seen people use this strategy many times.

The idea is as simple as any slot gaming strategy gets. You spin the reels 10 times. If a Big Win appears you keep playing the game. You stop when you go for 10 spins without a Big Win.

What’s a Big Win?

Obviously on some games the machine tells you “Big Win!” What really matters is if you win enough to boost your balance well above where you started.

Slot Machine Showing Reels Spinning, Hand Holding Cash Out

I think 10 spins is setting a very high expectation. You could lose 10 spins in a row and that would be perfectly normal. But people who play by this strategy won’t hang around a machine that keeps taking their money.

I guess that’s good advice if you’re spending time with toxic people. But in slots every spin is treated as equally likely as the last.

I know the random numbers are supposed to change constantly. This strategy isn’t based on a loss limit. It’s based on an unpaying spin limit.

Adjust your limit up or down as you see fit. I don’t know any reason why it must be 10 spins.

Always Choose Left or Right

My mom – of all people – taught me this strategy. I’m ashamed to say it took 2 lessons for me to figure it out.

We treated my parents to a night at the casino. Mom loves to play the slots and she has her favorite games. She invited me to watch her play one.

The bonus round prompts the player to choose an avatar or something on the left or right side of the screen. After the 3rd bonus round I realized Mom always chose the left side.

When I asked her why she did this she said – literally – always choose left or right.

Casino Slot Machine, Green Arrow Going Left and Right

I couldn’t see that it made any difference but she said he didn’t like the way the right side of the game plays. I wasn’t taking her seriously and I should have listened.

I found another machine with that game and started playing it. When I finally got to the bonus round I picked the right side just so I could see how it looked. It was a little different from the left side game Mom preferred.

As I sat there playing the game Mom came over. I won another bonus round and picked Right again. Don’t do that, she said. The Left game pays better.

So we got into an argument about how slot games work. To shut me up Mom brought up the help screen and showed me how the two sides of the game have different rules.

This is why I like to playing blackjack games. Slot games are just crazy.


I’ve only barely scratched the surface of all the crazy slot game strategies people use.

Do they really make a difference?

If it feels good do it. But here is why I say it’s worthwhile to try these different strategies. It makes slot gaming more interesting.

If you’re like me you think most slot machine games are kind of monotonous. If it’s not wolves howling at the moon it’s coyotes. Or buffalo are stampeding across the plains or something.

Spaceships, aliens, monsters, gerbils, and every creature imaginable will charge at you, jump off cliffs, fish for prizes, and repeat the process endlessly.

If you add the experience of testing different strategies just to see what happens you won’t miss playing your favorite game quite as much. And it gave me a reason to talk to my Mom about something other than my baby pictures and embarrassing moments I’d rather forget.