How to Play Slots
On this page, you'll find a comprehensive overview of how to play slots. We take a look at everything from finding the right slot machines to play to the best slots strategy and even slots cheats. If you're new to slots, our helpful guide to playing slots games will get you up to speed and help you feel right at home playing any of our free slots in no time!
Finding The Right Slots Machine
So you're ready to play slots games but there are thousands of slots out there and how do you go about finding the games that are right for you? There are a number of ways you can quickly & easily narrow down your options, for example a slots player might:
1. Look for games with a specific number of paylines: Some slots players choose games only after subjecting the paytables to much scrutiny and finding out how many paylines there are, as well as other factors such as the cost of a "max bet" (covering all paylines with the maximum amount of coins that can be wagered on any one spin).
2. Look for jackpots: Some slots players will prioritize slots games that have a progressive jackpot and then further prioritize things based on which slots games have the biggest jackpot prize pools up for grabs.
3. Look for budget specific games: You might want to choose games based on your budget. For example, if you're starting off with a small amount of cash in the pot then why not opt for a penny slot type game and get plenty of spins for your money?
4. Look for a game by a particular developer: Many slots players have a slots developer they prefer such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment or Betsoft. However, finding games by specific developers assumes you've already got some knowledge of what types of games each developer creates (Betsoft are famous for their brilliant 3D slots games). Different casinos offer games by different developers and our recommended casinos listings let you easily see which developer (or "software type") powers the games at each casino.
5. Look for a game with a suitable theme: Some players prefer exciting themes featuring things like robots, monsters, ninjas or even all 3 at once! While other players gravitate to games that are more tranquil, cuter, more cartoony or perhaps more glamorous - games themed on shopping, luxury items and fashion for example.
6. Look for games with a specific feature: Many players "mix up" their slots play opting to try different types of slots games as their mood takes them, however, some slots players will focus play only on the slots games that they deem to be the most important including games that offer specific special symbols (Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers etc) and games which offer specific features such as bonus games, gamble games and free spins. Many players are of the opinion that the more special features a game has the better!
7. Look for a specific type of slot: If you're totally new to slots games then you can't go wrong with the classic slots as a way to dip your toe in the water, however, there are many more options on the menu apart from Classic slots of course so you might want to choose from the video slots options, 3d slots or more.
Here at Free Slots 4U we group our games by type so you can easily find a specific game type listed in our menus, for example we have listings for Bonus Slots, 3 Reel and Classic Slots and Progressive Jackpot slots games.
8. Look at a game's payout rate: Another factor many players look out for is a game's payout rate. When you're playing slots at a casino or online, you should be able to see the payout rate (typically between 82% and 98%). Be aware, however, that a payout rate of, say, 98% does not mean you are guaranteed to win 98% of the time. We explain why and cover payout rates in more depth in our Slot machine guide.
Whatever methods you use to pick your slots there's always the option to play games for free in demo modes so you should certainly take advantage of that and try out lots of different games without spending a dime!
The options available to you when it comes to betting will be determined by the game you are playing. At its most basic, on the simplest 3 reel classic slots games, you will only have the option of deciding exactly how much to wager before you press spin. This could be anything from one penny/cent up to whatever the maximum amount of money the machine accepts is (different jurisdictions impose different limits).
When you start playing 5 reel multi-payline slots things become a bit more interesting as not only can you decide how much to wager but you can also decide how many paylines to wager on so, for example, on a 25 payline game you might decide to wager $1.00 on 20 paylines, making your total bet for that spin $20.00. Obviously, the more paylines you have a wager on the greater your chance of hitting a win, the trade off being that you're risking more money with each additional wager.
On many multi-payline slots you'll find a Bet Max button which automatically lets you wager the maximum amount (coins * paylines) simply by hitting the one button. Remember that the button has been put there by casinos for a reason and that's to tempt you to spend the maximum amount as quickly as possible!
On our multi-payline slots games you'll find buttons that let you easily determine how much you want to wager and on how many paylines plus there's a Bet Max money (with the added advantage in our games that you're not spending real money!)
Where to Play Slots
It was only a few decades ago that slots players had to actually leave home to play slots games or pokies at a real location such as
a casino or bar. However, now of course there's the option to play slots online via your computer or even to play slots almost anywhere at any time via a mobile phone - it's never been easier to access slots games.
When it comes to deciding where to actually play slots games the rules are pretty simple: you need a well established, safe and trusted casino that's offering you something in return for your time and money be that free chips, welcome bonuses, loyalty program or other rewards. Highest on your priority of potential places to play should probably be anywhere offering a no deposit bonus - this means you can login and try out the games for free (terms and conditions usually apply so watch out for any wagering requirements and small print!) You can see our current recommended casinos, and their bonus offers by taking a look at our casino reviews.
While we all enjoy playing slots for fun, the dream is to get that spin that hits the jackpot of course! Jackpots tend to come in one of two types: a main, predetermined jackpot that is won when a player gets a specific combination of symbols on the reels, and a progressive jackpot that builds up over time and can either be won by hitting a specific combination or can be won at anytime by any player (a random progressive jackpot)
All slots games have a paytable or other type of instruction screen that will tell you all about the jackpot(s) available and what you need to do to win them. As an example, you might be told that you can only win a jackpot if you wager a certain amount or make it through a multi-stage bonus game.
Progressive Jackpot Strategy
If you're playing a progressive jackpot game it can make sense to look for one with a random jackpot - this means it can be won at anytime by any player regardless of their wagering history or even the symbols on the reels. This means the odds are the same for everyone. With other types of
progressive jackpots the jackpot may only be rewarded when certain conditions are met, such as if a player has opted to Bet Max - this can favour those with the bankroll to finance several or even constant maximum bets.
You can't go wrong with our very own Progressive Jackpot games as you can play for free but still win a cash prize if you hit the jackpot!
There are no guaranteed way to win at slots games - and don't believe anyone who tells you any different! However playing slots games with the right frame of mind and some knowledge about what you're doing certainly doesn't do any harm and using the strategies below can tip things in your favor.
Good slots money management is the key to enjoying slots so first and foremost, remember to never wager more than you can afford to lose. This is such a vital and basic strategy to commit to from the off but, sadly, people still neglect to take it on board.
Second, don't be tempted to chase your losses - if you've had a run of bad luck it can be tempting to go "all in" or to double or even quadruple your wager to try and get back on track as quickly as possible. Many a slots player finds out the hard way that this can be a fast route to running out of credits.
Third, take frequent breaks. We all love slots games but if you're playing for long periods at a time without breaks it's easy to get sucked in or, even worse, addicted! Frequent breaks mean you can enjoy your slots, then relax and if necessary cool down before continuing to play.
Make sure you claim any no deposit bonuses, free chips etc as soon as you see them - these are fantastic as they let you play slots games for free but still win prizes. You should always claim as soon as possible simply because casinos are in the habit of removing no deposit bonuses and free chips when they think it's hitting their bottom line - if thousands of people are profiting from a $10 free chip on Monday, it could vanish on Tuesday! We list both the latest No Deposit Bonuses and Deposit Bonuses so that you can take advantage of all the latest offers.
Tip: When claiming bonuses don't forget to pay attention to any wagering requirements.
Loyalty Programs are another essential tool in the slot players arsenal - different Casinos have different loyalty programs in operation but the basic principle is much the same: as you wager you will collect loyalty points and move up the ranks or tiers of the loyalty program which allows you to access special benefits, bonus offers and rewards.
Getting 10 free spins because you've had 100 wagers might not sound like much but one of those 10 free spins could be the one that reaps big rewards! Most online casinos have a policy of automatically enrolling in their loyalty programs so you don't have to do anything to participate but do check with your own online casino to make sure as you really don't want to miss out.
Slots Tournaments Strategy
Slots tournaments can provide a chance for strategic play in that a healthy selection of slots tournaments at your online casino of choice means you can pick and choose the best tournaments to enter - the holy grail is to find a tournament with a big jackpot that only has a few players thus increasing your chances of winning. Obviously, if you're playing in a tournament against 5000 other players then your odds of winning are lower. Keep a look out too for freeroll tournaments - there's no entrance fee and every cent you save means more money to spend on the slots themselves.
If you want to get started with slots tournaments there's no better place than right here at Free Slots 4U as every month we run free to enter tournaments with cash prizes courtesy of some of the biggest online casinos.
Some online casinos offer players protection with a loss limits feature. This means you can lock yourself out of your own account when your losses for your day or session reach a certain level. Pretty much every player believes themselves sensible enough not to need to use any built-in safety systems however the fact this isn't true is borne out by the fact that lots of gamblers walk away from games knowing they've lost much more money than they'd intended.
We highly recommend that if there's an inbuilt loss limit system in your casino software that you opt to use it! If no such tools exist then you should definitely put in place your own system - be aware of how much you can afford to lose in any one session, keep an eye on your spending and stop when you reach your limit.
Slot Machines Cheats
Sadly while there's no foolproof way to win money at casinos, there are a million ways to lose it!
We're sure that attempts to find ways to beat slots machines are as old as slot machines themselves and it's something of a controversial subject. Are there cast-iron guaranteed ways to beat a slot machine? If there are, we've certainly never come across any!
There are some amusing and interesting tales of players stumbling across and exploiting bugs in slots games, however "the house always wins", as they say, so if you do somehow manage to find a glitch to exploit don't be surprised if the casino refuses to pay out that multi-million pound jackpot and if you're a more dedicated cheat with some super secret slots game hacking technique up your sleeve, don't be surprised if law enforcement agents request a word with you when you try to claim your winnings!
Really, when it comes to playing slots, the best thing to do if you want to come out on top more often than other players is to stay in control and be sensible - never gamble more than afford to lose being the most obvious but also the most sensible advice you'll ever hear.
Now you've read our guide on how to play slots, you might also like to read our guide to the slots types you can play, check out our history of slots games and learn more about slots machine symbols.