US Slot Machine Reviews: Best US Online Slot Games

A huge part of what this site has focused on over the years is slot machine reviews. I began this site to cover the most popular slot games that I came across in brick-and-mortar casinos. Even when Slots Guy moves in other directions, I always come back to slot machine reviews.

Now, I’ve decided to add a section focusing on all types of reviews, including casino reviews,  land-based slot machine reviews, and online slot reviews. As we refocus, we discuss our philosophy of slot reviews and why we love slots in the first place. To assure players we mean business, I also include 30 slot machine mini-reviews below. These should help US online slot players start to learn about online slot games from scratch.

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How We Rate Slot Games

First, let’s take a look at how we review slot machines. Whether it’s our individual slot machine reviews or the thirty online slots we rate below, we take into consideration the following six factors.

High-Quality Downloadable Software

Even better, some games have instant-play versions that don’t require a download. In either case, we highly rate games where the gameplay and graphics are seamless.

The Option to Play for Free

If an online slot can’t be played for free, we downgrade our rating. Plain and simple, real money slots should have a practice mode, so you can see whether you like the game and avoid wasting your hard-earned cash.

Return to Player Stats

While an online slot doesn’t have to have a high RTP, most of the games we rate highest have an RTP of 96% or higher. Big jackpots and fun themes also get high reviews, but your odds of winning are important to us.

Incredible Progressive Jackpots

If an online slot doesn’t have good odds, it should at least offer a high progressive jackpot to the lucky player who wins. There’s a tradeoff with slot machines, but slot machines should offer players something for their trouble.

Fun Themes

Like people, personality goes a lot way. If a game has a fun theme, we’ll at least give the designers props for a good idea. Most online slots need world-class good odds or world-class jackpots, but we occasionally review a game for its pure entertainment value.

Fair Play

Whatever the case, slot games should offer players a fair chance to win back their bet. Slot providers don’t set policies at online casinos, but we expect slot providers to associate themselves with legitimate online casinos.

The Best Slot Providers of 2023

These are our favorite slot providers here in 2023. Since Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech work mainly in the international online slot niche, we’ll focus our reviews below on the top three American software providers: RTG, Rival, and Betsoft. If you want to learn about games from international providers, follow the link to their pages.

Types of Slot Machines

Many types of slot machines exist: video slots, progressive slots, licensed slots, and cinematic 3D slots. We’ve explained those categories before, so today we’re only covering the broadest of slot machine definitions. Below are three broad types of online slots you’ll need to know for the slot reviews on this page.

  • Video Slot Machines: Video slots are the games with the best graphics, which include interactive bonus games and video game-style cut scenes at times throughout the game. Often, licensed slots include soundbites and clips from the movies and tv shows that inspired them.
  • 3-Reel Slot Machines: From the time of the Liberty Bell Slot Machine, the classic slot machine setup is the 3-reel slot. Often called 3-reel classics or 3-reel spinners, these have fewer paylines, smaller jackpots, and higher return-to-player (RTP) stats. As you’ll notice in the slot reviews below, some these days have a bonus 4th reel.
  • 5-Reel Slot Machines: Most video slots are 5-reel slot machines. More reels mean the jackpots can be bigger because there are more winning combinations (and losing combinations). Those who want the biggest jackpots should seek out 5-reel slots (or the rare 6-reel or 7-reel slot machines).

Slot Machine Payouts

Slot machines have different type of jackpot payouts. These might trigger in the main game or as part of a bonus game. Scatter symbols or wild symbols might be the key factor. You might even spin the Bonus Wheel for these prizes, though usually, it’s from the rarest symbol appearing on the rarest payline.

  • Fixed Jackpot Slots: Most land-based slot machines and online slots have fixed jackpots. These can be large — often 500x to 5000x the stake — but aren’t as huge as progressive jackpots.
  • Random Progressives: This triggers when scatter pays to appear at random locations on the reels. Random progressives aren’t huge like wide-area progressives but offer big jackpots at random times in the game.
  • Progressive Slot Machines: Whole groups of slot players seek out the biggest jackpots available. In land-based casinos, that means MegaBucks Slots. In online casinos, that’s often Mega Moolah. In US online casinos, that might be Jackpot Pinatas, Megasaur, or Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold.
  • Bonus Rounds: If a game doesn’t have a huge fixed jackpot or progressive jackpot, then its bonus rounds should offer big potential payouts. You can’t rely on five of the top symbols always, so look for games with wild symbols, free spins, respins, and multipliers.
  • Playing Slots: When you’re playing online slots, remember that most of the time is spent playing the main game. Scatter symbols appear to trigger bonus rounds. These are important but the main game should be fun, entertaining, and rewarding, too.

Top 10 RealTime Gaming Slot Machine Reviews

Rudolph's Revenge Slot from RTGRealTime Gaming, often simply called RTG, started in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia. RTG was the first major US online slot game developer and its online presence grew from 1998 to 2006. That’s when the UIGEA crackdown on US online gambling sites began, forcing operators offshore.

RTG moved to Heredia, Costa Rica, where its influence continued to grow. A full 25 years after RTG’s inception, it powers more US online casinos than any other software developer.

RealTime Gaming is known for its Real-Series Slots, which include lots of features, improved graphics, and random progressive jackpots. RTG also is known for online progressive slots like Aztec’s Millions, Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold, Jackpot Pinatas, and Megasaur. We feature a handful of those below, but RTG slots include much more than big jackpots.

Texas Tycoon Slot Review – RTG

With its devotion to the Texas oil industry, Texas Tycoon is inspired by IGT’s world-famous Texas Tea Slots. Texas Tycoon is a 5-reel, 25-payline online slot with two bonus games that also mimic Texas Tea. The oil well scatter symbols unlock one bonus game, while the Texas Tycoon symbol triggers a big bonus similar to the Oil Dividend in Texas Tea.

Aztec’s Millions Slot Review – RTG

RTG’s most popular progressive slot might be Aztec’s Millions. It’s a sequel to Aztec’s Treasure, which came out in the first wave of RTG online slots. Aztec’s Millions is in many RTG online slots, mainly due to player demand. The progressive jackpot has a minimum value of $1 million and triggers when five wild symbols appear on the top payline. It also has scatter symbols that trigger a free spin bonus mode.

The Three Stooges Slot Review – RTG

Along with games like The Big Bopper Slot, The Three Stooges Online Slot is the rare licensed slot from RTG. Like several of the RTG slots we feature, The Three Stooges is a 5-reel, 25-payline slot with a small maximum bet of $0.05. The game has a random progressive triggered by five wild symbols. It also has a free spins bonus round and multipliers during the bonus mode. The Three Stooges Slot might make this list because of my love of the mean-spirited but funny movie shorts from the 1930s, but I love the Three Stooges.

Naughty or Nice Slot Review – RTG

Naughty or Nice Slots is a rare Christmas-themed game with bikinis. This 5-reel, 50-payline slot has wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, and multipliers. As you might have guessed by now, RTG slots tend to have many of the same features. The good side is RTG picks excellent features to replicate. Once again, Naughty or Nice has a random progressive jackpot that hovers around the $50,000 range.

Jackpot Pinatas Slot Review – RTG

Players should not overlook Jackpot Pinatas, which is the rare RTG online slot that gas a wide-area progressive jackpot. Jackpot Pinatas’ minimum jackpot begins at $250,000 and is known to reach the $1.5 million to $2 million range. The game has 5 reels, 20 paylines, and fixed bets of $0.25. In short, bet $5 a spin for a chance to win a million dollars or so. With bright graphics and fun sounds, Jackpot Pinatas steps up the game for RTG.

Goblin’s Treasure Slot Review – RTG

Goblin’s Treasure Slots is similar to Betsoft’s Greedy Goblins, which barely missed making this list. When you play Goblin’s Treasure, you’ll enjoy a 5-reel, 25-payline slot with free spins and multipliers. The game has two wild symbols to unlock many winning combinations, while the scatter symbol triggers the free spin bonus. The game has two progressive jackpots, including a Minor Progressive and a Major Progressive. Both are random progressives, so the payouts are substantial but not earth-shattering.

Cleopatra’s Gold Slot Review – RTG

Cleopatra’s Gold is a 5 reel and 25 payline slots inspired by Ancient Egypt, which is one of the most popular themes in all of slot machine design. This online slot has a free spin bonus round with a 3x multiplier on all prizes. Players also will find an RTG game called Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold, which has a progressive jackpot ranging between $250,000 and $1 million (most of the time).

Mid-Life Crisis Slot Review – RTG

Mid-Life Crisis Slot is a 5-reel, 9-payline slot based on…you guessed it…a typical American man’s midlife crisis. That’s right — the Mid-Life Crisis Slot’s reel symbols include all the accouterments of a middle-aged man overcompensating for his age with luxury items: motorcycles, hot tubs, wads of cash, and golden necklaces. One symbol is a balding man in a business suit, while another one appears to be a bottle of Viagra. You get the point. Mid-Life Crisis has a random progressive, a random progressive, and multipliers.

Shopping Spree Slot Review – RTG

Shopping Spree Slot is one of RTG’s underrated games. It’s a true progressive slot that gets overlooked because it’s outshone by Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold and Aztec’s Millions. The graphics are somewhat basic, but the game has a massive multiplier and a huge jackpot. Again, players should not overlook Shopping Spree when they find it in an RTG casino.

Rudolph’s Revenge Slot Review – RTG

Rudolph’s Revenge is a fun Christmas-themed slot with an interesting premise. After all the abuse heaped on Rudolph by the other reindeer — and Santa Claus’s seeming neglect — what if Rudolph decided to get revenge instead of helping Old Santa? The game has 5 reels, 50 paylines, and bomb reel symbols. It also has a bat-wielding Rudolph as the wild symbol, along with a bonus game that has 7 free spins and 2x multipliers. Players who like Rudolph’s Revenge can play its sequel, a game called Santa Strikes Back.

Where Can I Play RTG Slots Online?

Because RealTime Gaming is so popular, the answer seems to be most US online casinos. If you want to try out some of the RTG online slots reviewed above, we recommend you try sites like Las Atlantis Casino, Planet 7 Casino, Slots of Vegas, Comic Play Casino, or Slots Empire. Las Atlantis Casino has a huge $9,500 welcome bonus right now, while Planet 7 Casino is an established site with a good reputation and a $25 free bonus chip.

Slots of Vegas features Betsoft, Nucleus Gaming, and Arrow’s Edge slots in addition to Betsoft slots. Meanwhile, Comic Play Casino is a new site with over 30 reload bonuses and special offers for VIP players. Slots Empire is an older site that offers a sleek design, easy navigation, and a streamlined selection of the best RTG slots.

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Top 10 Rival Gaming Slot Machine Reviews

Cosmic Quest Mystery Planet SlotsRival Gaming is a major rival to RealTime Gaming, and along with Betsoft is RTG’s main rival in the US gaming market. Rival Gaming doesn’t have a lot of big jackpots like RTG and Betsoft, but Rival packs its games full of interesting features. If you like bonus games, free spins, multipliers, and wild symbols, then Rival slot machines are for you.

Cosmic Quest Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Cosmic Quest: Mystery Planets is a game we’ve featured on Slots Guy before. That’s because Cosmic Quest is the Rival Slots game with the best return-to-player (RTP) percentage of them all: 98.95%. Frankly, that’s the best RTP of any online slot in the US gaming market — whether it’s at licensed or offshore online casinos. That alone is enough to play Cosmic Quest: Mystery Planets, but the game also has cool graphics, expanding wilds, scatter symbols, and a Jetpack jackpot symbol. Don’t get this game confused with Cosmic Quest: Mission Control, and good luck winning the Mystery Bonus Round.

Costume Party Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Costume Party Slot is a 3-reel classic that lets you pick one of three characters to serve as your avatar: Cowboy, Astronaut, or Chicken. The winning combinations are when these characters’ various body parts match up. The wild symbol replaces the central body part, which makes Costume Party a particularly wild online slot. While it’s not Rival Gaming’s best slot game, Costume Party is one of the most notable ones.

Pigskin Payout Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Pigskin Payout Slot is a game inspired my favorite sport, American gridiron football. The wild symbol is a cheerleader, which substitutes for all other symbols and doubles the prize amount on winning combinations. Pigskin Payout Slots also feature up to 25 spins, which is something any slot player will love: Jackpot Can’t Lose Spins. That’s right — you get 25 free spins that are assured of paying out something. I love football.

Rock On! Slot Machine Review – Rival Gaming

Rock On! is another game we’ve featured on Slots Guy, but it once again bears repeating. Rock On is a rock-and-roll-themed game with an RTP of 98.00%. The game has 5 reels and 20 paylines, plus reel symbols inspired by some of the most famous rockers over the decades. One reel symbol features the “sign of the horns”, while other symbols include punk rockers and groupies. Rock On! Slots is a fun game with a big payoff.

A Switch In Time Slot Machine Review – Rival Gaming

The “A Switch In Time” Online Slot is a game based on Madeleine L’Engle popular “A Wrinkle in Time” children’s novel, which inspired films in both 2003 and 2018. In both the book and the online slot game, time travel is the theme. Reel symbols include cyborgs and T-Rex dinosaurs, as well as time machines and anachronistic items from across the timestream. The reason I feature this game is it offers up to 78 free spins in a bonus game with 9x multipliers. Hit the bonus game and you’ll be taken on a wild bonus ride.

Jolly Roger’s Jackpot Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Jolly Roger’s Jackpot Slot takes the graphics game up a notch for Rival Gaming. It’s a 5 reel and 50 payline online slot game with a pirate theme and 5000x the stake jackpot payout. Inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, Jolly Roger’s Jackpot includes expanding wilds and up to 50 free spins when the female pirate symbol appears. When three pirate ships appear, a bonus round begins that allows you to seize Jolly Roger’s treasure.

Reel Crime: Art Heist Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Reel Crime is one of Rival Gaming’s online slot series that show up in a lot of Rival casinos. Other versions of Reel Crime are Reel Crime: Bank Heist and Reel Crime: Stealing Christmas. In this version of the game, Remy and Raoul are would-be art thieves. Steal four art masterpieces to trigger the interactive bonus game, which includes free spins and multipliers. This 5-reel, 15-payline game has wild symbols and a 96% return to player, so it’s a game worth slot players’ time.

Scary Rich 3 Slot Review – Rival Gaming

Scary Rich 3 is another of Rival Gaming’s most popular online slot series. The theme is a rich family living in a haunted mansion. Reel symbols include frightened family and friends, along with the ghost of Baron Bluhdsteyn who haunts them. Wild symbols have multipliers of 2x, 5x, and 10x the base game payouts. Also, Scary Rich 3 Slots offers up to 666 free spins, so it’s an exciting moment when free spins trigger in this game.

As The Reels Turn Slot Review – Rival Gaming

As The Reels Turns is the rare soap opera-themed slot machine, and it’s been a big hit for Rival Gaming. You’ll find 3 different slot games in the As The Reel Turns series, which borrows its name from the famous American soap opera, As The World Turns. Reel symbols include classic soap opera archetypes like Chrissy, Matt G., the Casino Manager, Ivan the Piranha, and (my favorite) The Don. As The Reel Turns Slot includes several scatter symbols, a Bonus Chip, and the Counterfeit Chips bonus round. The Tommy Wong Feature Act bonus game also includes free spins with a 3x multiplier.

Where Can I Play Rival Gaming Online Slots?

Rival Slots are featured in a lot of US online casinos, including Super Slots, DuckyLuck Casino, PureCasino, Spin Dimension Casino, and Golden Lion Casino. Our recommended choice for playing the games above is Super Slots, which features both Rival Gaming slots and Betsoft slots.

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Top 10 Betsoft Slot Machine Reviews

Good Girl Bad Girl Slot from BetsoftBetsoft Games is one of the most popular slot providers in the US offshore online casino market. In my opinion, Betsoft has better graphics than RTG and Rival, though RTG has bigger jackpots and Rival Slots have more features.

Finally, Nucleus Gaming is a design house associated with Betsoft Games.

Good Girl, Bad Girl Slot Review – Betsoft

Many US online slot players search for Good Girl, Bad Girl due to its progressive jackpot. The game, which has 5 reels and 15 paylines, gives players a choice between play the “good girl” or “bad girl” mode. Duality is the sub-context here, which explains the gamble feature (“Double Up”). Anytime you win a prize, you can choose the 50/50 gamble feature to double your prize (double or nothing). Also, Good Girl Bad Girl includes a “Click Me” bonus feature, which offers gift boxes. The Money Wheel feature triggers one of two progressive jackpots. Good Girl, Bad Girl Slots has a fun theme and great graphics. Combined with the huge jackpot, it’s no wonder so many people search for this Betsoft slot.

The Golden Owl of Athena Slot Review – Betsoft

The Golden Owl of Athena is one of Betsoft’s most popular online slots. The game, based on the Greek Goddess of Wisdom & Defensive Warfare, is a 5-reel and 10-payline online slot. The Owl symbol acts as a scatter symbol, which unlocks between 8 and 20 free spins. The jackpot is 500x your stake, but the free spins and respin feature makes this lucrative when you get lucky.

Wild Drops Slot Review – Betsoft

Betsoft’s Wild Drops Slots is reminiscent of NetEnt’s Starburst Slots, though the graphics on this Betsoft slot are better. Wild Drops has a huge game screen, as it plays out on a 5×8 grid. The slot has 16 fixed paylines, plus a top jackpot of 4440x bet ($88,800). Wild Drops has a free spins bonus when you find the 5 hidden coins, while you trigger a win when 3 or more matching gems appear on a horizontal line. Besides the free spins, Wild Drops has a multiplier that goes up to 10x the payout.

Birds! Slot Review – Betsoft

Birds Slots from Betsoft is inspired by the Angry Birds phone game that was so popular from 2009 to 2011. The game, launched in 2016, is a 5-reel and 25-payline slot with an RTP of 96.48%. Birds! features cascading reels, cluster pays, and the free flight bonus feature. It’s maximum jackpot is 25,000x the stake, while it has up to 20 free spins when the scatter symbols fill the tweet’o-meter.

88 Frenzy Fortune Slot Review – Betsoft

88 Frenzy Fortune is clearly inspired by 88 Fortune Slots from Bally Technologies, though it takes inspiration from other great slots. For instance, the koi fish symbol is borrowed from Aristocrat’s famous 5 Koi Pokies. Despite its borrowings, 88 Frenzy Fortune is an original game. For one, it’s the rare 4-reel slot, while its single payline is rare these days. So is the game’s RTP of 96%. 88 Frenzy Fortune Slot’s maximum jackpot is 2368x the bet, while you’ll find a multiplier of 8x the prize. This is an excellent online slot, though it appears derivative at first glance.

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7 Fortune Frenzy Slot Review – Betsoft

7 Fortune Frenzy is quite similar to 88 Frenzy Fortune. Once again, we have a 4-reel slot — or a 3-reel, 1-payline slot with a 4th bonus wheel. We love bonus wheels here at Slots Guy, so bonus points for this game element. 7 Fortune Frenzy has a space theme and a frenzy bonus round that includes several great features. This includes standard multipliers between 2x and 8x, an instant coin win that pays out 8x to 18x the stake, and a respin feature with a 4x multiplier.

Lava Gold Slot Review – Betsoft

Lava Gold is a 5-reel video slot full of volcano wilds, free spins, and multipliers that go up to 10x the payout. The game has a dinosaur and Jurassic Era theme. Its volcano Cluster Pays signal big winnings, though it’s the combination of free spins and multipliers that makes this game from Betsoft so lucrative.

Jungle Stripes Slot Review – Betsoft

Jungle Stripes is a 5-reel, 10-payline online slot game with an RTP of 97.03%. The game, which has an African jungle theme, is packed with wild symbols, scatter symbols, and up to 10 free spins. The Jungle Stripes bonus game includes respins, which means the bonus game is especially lucrative. With a max jackpot of 500x the bet or $50,000, players should love this Betsoft game.

Mr. Macau Slot Review – Betsoft

Mr. Macau is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot with sticky wilds and up to 7 free spins. With the theme of a Macau high roller, Mr. Macau is a nod to the biggest gambling destination of the 21st Century. With its triple-7 scatter symbols and RTP of 97.07% is worth playing anytime you find it online.

ChilliPop Slot Review – Betsoft

The ChilliPop Online Slot reminds me of RTG’s Jackpot Pinatas, which we feature above. Chillipop has better graphics than Jackpot Pinatas, though it lacks the huge progressive jackpot. It uses cluster pays that were innovated by Big Time Gaming, but it combines these with cascading reels. Chillipop offers a free spins bonus round with up to 26 free spins, a wild symbol, and an increasing multiplier. It also has a Mule Trail bonus feature, which transforms the 5×3 game grid into an 8×8 grid.

Where Can I Play Betsoft Online Slots?

Play Betsoft slots at great casino sites like Super Slots and Wild Casino, which are two of our favorite casinos. Super Slots boasts a number of great slot providers, including Betsoft, Rival Gaming, Nucleus Gaming, Magma Gaming, and Arrow’s Edge. Wild Casino focuses on Betsoft slot machines but has a $5000 welcome bonus for new players. Both are great places to try some of the Betsoft slots above.

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Slot Machine Reviews FAQ

Which slots have the biggest payouts?

Progressive slots have the biggest payouts. Most slots have a fixed jackpot. It stays the same no matter when you play it. Progressive slots are different because each spin without hitting a jackpot combination feeds the jackpot. As the jackpot accumulates, it can grow into millions of dollars. Therefore, progressive slots are a lot like a Mega Millions or Powerball lottery.

Keep in mind that non-progressives can have huge payouts. Some slots don’t need a big jackpot prize, in fact. If an online slot has a bonus game with lots of free spins, respins, and multipliers, it can produce 6-figure prizes without a jackpot.

Can I play slots with a casino bonus?

Absolutely, you can. In fact, most casino bonuses are tailored for online slots. Most of the time, slot games contribute 100% to a casino bonus’s wagering requirement. Table games and video poker contribute a mere fraction to the requirement. Often, you’ll see welcome bonuses and reload bonuses that only apply to slots, or perhaps keno and scratch cards alongside slots.

Can I play new slots on mobile phones and tablets?

In the age of HTML5 game design, this is becoming more common. Back when most players played on a desktop computer, you had to wait on the mobile casino version. It had to be converted to a casino app. Now, it’s common for new games to be designed with Android and iPhone play immediately. Because more people play using mobile phones and tablets than desktop computers, games are designed for mobile these days.

What slot machines have the best chance of winning?

Slot machines with the highest return-to-player (RTP) have the best chance of winning. Conversely, slot machines with the lowest house edge have the best chance of winning. Both are a measure of how much of the bet the slot machine is expected to pay back to the player. If you want a rule of thumb, there’s a simpler way to gauge slot machines.

Though it’s not set in stone, slot machines with the lowest jackpots tend to have the best chance of winning. If one slot machine has a 2000x top jackpot and the other has a 10,000x top jackpot, then it takes fewer losing sessions to offset the 2000x jackpot. Thus, that machine is more likely to offer a winning session at any given time.

Many factors go into a slot machine’s pay table. Maybe the secondary and tertiary jackpots on the 2000x are much higher than the same jackpots on the 10,000x machine. Or maybe the game with the lower jackpot has cool features like free spins and multipliers that throw off the equation.

What slot games pay out real money?

Any slot machine that accepts real money bets also pays out real money. The question is how volatile the machine is and what the expected return is. For instance, airport slots pay out sometimes. Slot machines in grocery stores pay out, too. Yet gambling experts will tell people to avoid airport slots and grocery store slots because they have a terrible expected return.

Both might have an RTP between 85% to 88%. The average slot machine might pay out at a 92% to 94% rate, while the best slots pay out at a 95% to 98% rate. Imagine the difference between 85% and 95%. For every $100 wagered, it means winning an extra $10 back.

How do you find a slot machine that will pay out?

Read the specs on slot machines and learn which has the highest return-to-player (RTP). As a rule, the most popular slots tend to have one of two things: (1) the highest return to player or (2) the biggest jackpot. Buffalo Slots and Texas Tea Slots aren’t popular because they have great themes and excellent graphics. Year after year, they’re popular because they offer big jackpots with a high RTP.

Thus, popular slot machines are often popular for a reason. That being said, it’s a good idea to find the games with the best RTP. Whether it’s land-based slots or online slots, we publish “Best Of” lists according to published RTPs. Keep reading our site to learn more.

Do slot machines ever pay out?

Yes, they do. Slot machines pay out every day. In fact, they pay out every minute of every day. Casinos have an edge every time you play, but it’s a slight edge. Often, slot players would do better to avoid the flashy slot machines and find a nice gaming machine tucked away from the rest.

For instance, I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so the Oklahoma casinos are the nearest venues. Every time I go to the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, I like to walk slots row and put some money in a few slot machines. I research slots. Generally speaking, I know which games have the best odds. And yet, caught up in the moment, I often think it would be nice to put some cash in a Wheel of Fortune slot machine and win a few hundred thousand dollars.

Thus, I end up putting money in a machine that’s less likely to pay out. It’s the thrill of anticipation. But if I didn’t know that I was choosing a game with worse odds, I might think that slot machines never pay out.

What should you not do at a slot machine?

Honestly, there are a lot of things you should never do at a slot machine. Firstly, you should never get greedy. If you get lucky and win a big jackpot, don’t assume the game is hot. Play like you have a “win goal”, take the payout, and lock in your winnings.

Second, spread the money around. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that a slot machine is about to pay out. Walk the casino. Experience many slot games. Keep it light, and don’t pour all your money into one gaming machine.

Third, don’t use betting systems. These things don’t work any better than flat betting, because they don’t change the house edge or RTP. Of all things, don’t use progressive betting systems like the Martingale system. On slots row of all things, you’re going to have streaks with lots of losing spins in a row, so progressive betting will lose you a lot of money.

Is there a way to tell if a slot machine is going to hit?

No, you can’t tell when a slot machine is going to hit. In the old days with mechanical reels, maybe reel symbols would begin to line up. Now that reels are simple electronic graphics and RNGs determine results, you cannot tell when the reels are starting to align.

Electronic slot machines (and online slots) use a random number generator. RNGs produce thousands of results per second. The instant you hit “Spin”, the RNG spits out the latest result. The reel symbols align to show this result, and you either win or lose. But a split second later and it would have been a totally different reel combination. You simply can’t tell when a modern slot is about to hit.

How long should you stay on one slot machine?

Slot sessions should be fun, so it’s about your enjoyment level. Players should never gamble when they are tired, hungry, thirsty, irritated, need a restroom break, or bored. If any of these emotions or states of being hit you, then you should walk away from the slot machine. Only play when the game is fun and you feel good.

Do casinos monitor slot machines?

Yes, they do, but not in the way you might expect. Land-based casinos have security cameras in all corners of the casino. They have attendants and waitresses and other employees that walk the casino floor. Casinos train these people to keep an eye out for cheats and fraudsters, and states have serious gambling laws against jacking with the machinery. Assume that your eyes are on you the entire time you’re playing slot machines.

That being said, casinos don’t monitor slot machines to change the odds at given times. That’s a myth with certain slot players. State laws dictate that casinos cannot change the odds of a slot machine for several minutes before and after a person plays on the machine. They simply can’t change the odds during your slot session, so don’t worry about such skullduggery.

What is a must-hit slot machine?

A must-hit slot machine is a progressive jackpot slot that pays out no matter what as long as you hit a specific value. For instance, when you play a must-hit slot and don’t hit a jackpot, the value of the jackpot increases like it would with a normal progressive slot. But when that value hits a certain number, the slot must pay out.

Must-hit slots are great because they have better odds, a growing jackpot, and offer a great plan for long-term players. They are not great for short-term players who have a limited bankroll and can only hit “Spin” a few times. If you’re a short-term player, you’re likely one of those feeding the jackpot for another player.

What is the best time of day to hit on a slot machine?

No “best time of the day” exists to hit on a slot machine. It’s a casino myth that slot machines hit on certain days of the week or certain times of the day. As the logic goes, casinos want players to visit at non-optimal times. Thus, they offer better odds on Tuesday morning than Friday night, because they want people to visit for better odds. Or they want to rake in more cash on Friday night, so they change the odds when more people are likely to visit.

In truth, casinos don’t change the odds on slot machines all the time. In the electronic age, they can be programmed to have different payout rates, but state law prevents casinos from changing the odds on the fly. Besides, it doesn’t pay to offer better odds on Tuesday if the casino doesn’t advertise that fact. Casinos have the psychology of gambling down to a science, so they don’t depend on dubious word-of-mouth to get the word out on the best time of the day to play.

Should you bet Max on a slot machine?

Absolutely, you should. In most cases, the max paylines are what unlock the biggest jackpot. Even on 3-reel classics with smaller fixed jackpots, the 5-coin bet means you’ll get a bigger jackpot if you win. In a classic scenario, the payout might be 200x for a 1-coin bet, 400x for a 2-coin bet, 600x for a 3-coin bet, and 800x for a 4-coin bet.

In this scenario, you might expect a 5-coin bet to lead to a 1000x payout, but most slot machines offer a 1200x payout in this case. It’s there to encourage a 5-coin bet. Thus, unless told otherwise, you should bet the “Max” on a slot machine. If you can’t afford the 5-coin bet, drop down to the next coin denomination and bet the “Max”.

How much should you bet on slot machines?

Bankroll management suggests a formula for a typical bet on slot machines. This requires a player to determine their bankroll first. By definition, the bankroll is the amount of disposable income you have set aside for your visit to the casino. A bankroll isn’t all of your disposable income, and neither is it all the money you have in your wallet (or bank account). The bankroll should be an amount that you can comfortably afford to lose.

Once you have a bankroll amount figured, any given bet on a slot machine should involve only 1% to 3% of your bankroll. Aggressive players might bet 3% to 5%, but 1% or 2% is a more appropriate amount. The idea is to stretch your bankroll through a whole vacation and spread your cash around the casino. That’s complicated and might take some of the fun out of the trip, but bankroll management lets you enjoy every single day of your vacation.

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