Tips for the Conservative Slots Lover: Do I have to bet max to win big?
Having played, studied and documented my experiences in the online gambling community for well over a decade now, I get asked a lot of questions. Some are no-brainers. Others are far more complex. Over the weekend, I was asked a rather smart question that I believe deserves a thorough answer.
The question was this…
Do I really have to bet max to win big on the slots?
Casinos would love for you to believe that betting max coins is the only way to produce a big win. After all, slot machines are their bread and butter. Land-based casinos devote the majority of their real estate to these games, knowing that players will flock to them, despite knowing these games are among the worst-paying amusements on the floor.
Online casinos aren’t so bad. They have endless virtual real estate and far less overhead. As such, they can afford to deliver a low house edge on their slots, and often do, average 96-97% returns (as opposed to 88-92% on land).
Either way, we know there are a lot of players that get lucky. Every week, there’s another news story somewhere about a fortunate player who hit a jackpot, winning some life-altering sum of money. Whether it’s a 4-figure jackpot or an instant millionaire maker, we would all love to pocket that kind of cash. The flowing tips should help you decide whether it’s worth betting max coins, or sticking to a longevity-driven bankroll budget.
The Real Deal on Max Betting Slot Machines
The truth is, you don’t have to bet max coins to strike it rich on the slots. Some machines will require a max bet, but not all – not most – not even half! It all boils down to what game you play, and your ability to read the information on a paytable.
If a slot machine’s info sheet states outright that you must bet max coins to qualify for the jackpot, don’t immediately count it out. How many coins is max, and what’s the lowest denomination per coin. If the game has 20 paylines and starts at $0.01 per line, max coins is only $0.20. That’s a decently cheap rate per spin in today’s day and age.
On the other hand, if the lowest denomination is $0.05 with 40 lines (min. $2 per spin) or $0.10 with 25 lines (min. $2.50), that kind of cost can decimate a $50 bankroll in a matter of minutes.
I’ve come to prefer games with a fixed number of paylines and $0.01 per-line minimums, or all-ways slots with a fixed minimum rate, usually starting around $0.10 to $0.40. These games always offer up their biggest prizes to anyone willing to pay to play.
Considerations: Anyone Can Win on Fluctuating RTP Slots
Another thing to look for in the rules are fluctuating RTPs. Some manufacturers will make the biggest slots jackpot available to any real money player, but provider a higher chance of striking the jackpot for betting a larger amount. Microgaming‘s Mega Moolah (aka Millionaire Maker) is perhaps the most famous of all slots machines that employ this payout strategy. If that sounds like a negative feature, it’s really not.
The instant-millionaire jackpot has paid out 55 times to date, averaging $5.5 million per strike about every 9 weeks. Many of its winners were betting between $0.25 and $0.50 at the time of their win. In 2015, British player Jon Heywood set a world record for his €17,879,645.12 jackpot while playing the Mega Moolah on his mobile device, all while betting the bare minimum €0.25.
As for the pros and cons, I’d have to say the only pros is that your odds of striking a bigger payout might be oh-so-slightly increased. Any increase is a good thing, but we’re still talking extremely slight. The glaring con is that it’s going to cost you more money, digging deep into your entertainment time.
If you happen to be a high roller, then its worth taking the extra plunge. Otherwise, stick to games that offer their biggest prizes to all, maximizing your entertainment value along the way, because the fact remains there will be far more losers than winners. And if fun isn’t your primary reason for playing, you probably shouldn’t be playing at all.