Virtual slots continue to dominate the iGaming market, with this genre accounting for 64.5% of the online GGY in the year ending September 2018.
This dominance is arguably due to the popularity of slots amongst casual gamers, who can benefit from a host of low-variance titles and clearly defined return-to-player (RTP) rates.
Not only do these RTP rates offer a unique insight into how much players can expect to recoup in relation to every £1 that they spend, but they also reveal the precise house edge that’s associated with every single slot game.
Unfortunately, these figures don’t tell us anything about the best time to play slot games, which is an important but often overlooked aspect of any successful strategy.
We’ll address this below, while asking what things you need to keep in mind before accessing your favourite slot.
1. Play When your Bankroll Permits it
While low-variance slots tend to deliver frequent base game returns, these are often modest in their nature.
In contrast, high-variance slots include progressive jackpot games, and these are the best titles to target if you’re looking to secure the biggest prizes.
The only issue with this is that players are required to place the maximum stake when pursuing progressive prizes, and this can quickly exhaust your bankroll if you operate indiscriminately.
To negate this risk, you need to develop a betting strategy that helps you to make the most of your bankroll and bonuses, while also making allowances for the individual requirements of each game.
This will ensure that you only ever play a specific game when your bankroll allows this, as well as equipping you with the best possible chance to claim the biggest prizes.
To begin with, you need to review your chosen game’s paytable and governing rules to determine how much of your bankroll you’re required to risk in pursuit of a jackpot prize.
This will help you to identify how spins you’ll be able to play with your existing capital, at which point you can either join the game or come back when you have a little more money.
In contrast, you could seek out one of the few progressive jackpot games that allows players to compete with a smaller stake. However, this type of slot typically offers a low probability of success, and this must be given careful consideration regardless of the size of your bankroll.
With this type of strategy, you’ll be able to identify your preferred slot games and the titles that offer the best value in relation to your bankroll.
You’ll also begin to understand the best times to play these games, based on the amount of money that you have to wager and some of the other factors that we’ll discuss below.
2. Play When the Jackpot has Grown, but not by too Much
If you’re a regular frequenter to online casinos, you’ll know that many publish details of their rolling jackpots and progressive prizes as they continue to grow.
While the sheer size of these jackpots are often enough to compel us to play, these numbers don’t tell us a great deal about when to join the game or how an increased level of demand impacts on your chances of winning.
In simple terms, the magnitude of progressive jackpots is dependent on time and volume, with these two factors combining to create potentially huge jackpot amounts.
To put this into some form of context, one lucky player won 18,915,721 Euros on the iconic Mega Moolah slot last September, after the progressive cash prize had grown for a significant period of time.
This means that once the cash prize reaches a certain sum and begins to go viral, the game sees a growing number of players join in the pursuit of the jackpot.
This translates into a higher number of spins and diminishes your chances of winning markedly, while it’s usually at this stage that the big hitters and gambling syndicates make their move.
With this in mind, it may make a little more sense to play your chosen slot game as the prize increases incrementally.
This way, you can join the game before the prize has begun to grow at an exponential rate and attracted the attention of serious gamblers, helping you to strike the ideal balance between the size of the jackpot and your probability of winning.
To achieve this, you’ll need to keep track of the jackpots of relevant slot games over a concerted period of time, while also reviewing the progressive prizes associated with software developers such as NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming.
This will enable you make informed decisions and join a game at the optimal time, while also helping you to identify recurring trends that occur in specific jackpots.
3. Play When you have a Clear Mind
The concept of luck is at the centre of much controversy in the iGaming market, particularly with numerous state authorities in the U.S. continuing to ban so-called “games of chance”.
However, it’s interesting to note that the world’s most successful gambling professionals and slot players embrace the concept of good fortune, while leveraging this to actively increase their chances of winning.
An understanding and an appreciation of good fortune should inform your gambling activity, not least because this reveals an intrinsic link between our underlying mood, the decisions that we make and how this can influence the level of luck that we experience during a game.
For example, let’s say that you’ve experienced a frustrating day and remain in a bad mood.
By choosing to gamble in this state of mind, you’re far more likely to make poor and impulsive decisions in terms of your stakes and bankroll management, which will impact on your chances of winning and create an underlying sense that you’ve been unlucky.
Conversely, wagering with a clear mind that has a strategic outlook and an ability to listen to your instincts can really optimise your quality of gameplay, helping you to “earn” your good fortune and capitalise on opportunities as they arise.
So, while you should never rely solely on luck, you must remember that slots are largely games of chance and your prospects of winning can be heavily impacted by your mood and decision making.
By recognising this, you can choose to play slots when you’re in the best possible mood and reap the incremental benefits of this!