Online Slots: Slots and Bonus Strategy

Slot strategy is something that a lot of players will ignore. The random nature of slots means that you could literally win the jackpot from a single spin, with no strategy involved at all. Alternatively you could apply a strategy with absolute precision and lose everything…that is the nature of gambling!

However, we believe you can apply some strategic thinking to your slots play, read on!

General Rules:

  • Set your budget – If things aren’t working out, know when to quit. This is the NUMBER ONE RULE of successful play!
  • Pick a number of lines – You can play just one line, or all lines. This will definitely affect the hit frequency (i.e. the number of wins you get) but as you have more losing lines it really only ‘feels’ like you are winning more because you are playing multiple bets simultaneously.
  • Choose a Denomination  – You can play high or low stakes, as with all forms of gambling. Some slots only pay in full when you stake a specified amount…if your strategy depends on winning in full then you need to be aware of this!

Slot Strategy Explained

In the slot variance section it was explained how slot machine variance governs the riskiness and size of jackpot. This can be summarised as follows:

slot strategy variance

Red Line = High Slot variance

Green Line = Low Slot variance

The higher the slot variance the greater the chance of losing big but the possible returns are much greater and vice versa.


Both machines have a RTP of 90 % so in the long run I would expect to make back 90% of what I bet regardless of variance.


Utilising bonuses


However by utilising casino bonuses we can move these odds in our favour. Let’s use an example. Let’s use my 100 reel machine from previous section.


I am going to take deposit £100 with the casino in match deposit bonus so I will have £200 to bet and I will make 200 spins at £1 per spin.


By playing either machine probability states at the end of my session I will have left


90% x £200 = £180


However in reality I have only bet £100 so I have made £80 profit.

Or I can recalculate the RTP as:

RTP = (Total amount paid out in winnings) / (Total amount bet*)

This will now be real money bet i.e. £100

RTP = (£180) / (£100) = 180%

Surely it can’t be that easy, unfortunately its not, most bonuses will have “wagering requirements”, most commonly this is a turnover ratio, e.g. x20. Therefore in the example above before I can withdraw any money from the casino I need to turn over:

£200 (initial deposit) x 20 = £4000.

If I now recalculate the RTP:

RTP = (4000 x 0.9) / (3900*) = 3600 / 3900 = 92.3 %

*This is the total amount of real money as £100 was free deposit bonus.

So you can see the casino still has the edge.

While the casino still has the edge we can still apply strategy utilising the bonuses available.

So far we have used the assumed long term RTP which is only true in the very long term. In the short we are able to achieve potential large returns, remember the $40m jackpot win.

My utilising slot bonuses with high variance slots (see list) we can target large wins. Slot bonuses are effectively doubling are chances of getting a larger profit. Let’s look at this in practice:

strategy slots

The first shade box shows the profit we would have made after our first 100 spins, effectively a loss, the second shaded box shows the subsequent 100 spins which has now taken us into profit. Now we could have hit a significant profit after the first few spins but the idea here to show how the bonus gives us significantly greater chance of getting to a position of being significantly “up”.


This still leaves the turnover problem. The key here is quitting the high variance slot when we have achieved a significant win or are significantly up. Don’t go chasing those further wins if you have reached a good profit position.


At this point we now need to switch our play to low variance slot machines (see list) till we hit our turnover target. By adopting this tactic we are maximising our chances of walking away with our initial profit from the high stake. If done correctly the profit graph will look like the following.




You can see have utilising the bonus and our knowledge of slot variance we are able to make potential large gains and more importantly withdraw this profit.



This strategy by further be helped by utilising other complimentary strategies:


Martingale strategy, by doubling are bets say every 50 or 100 spins we can more effectively cover losses, this can be a dangerous play though as does eat into you bank roll faster.

REMEMBER: Some casinos will place limitations on the stakes you can use the and the games you can play to complete bonus wagering requirements. You should never ignore these as doing so could see you being banned or your winnings voided.

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