How to Win at Penny Slots: Strategy and Tips You Should Know

  By benboland – Last updated 8 Jul 2022

Due to their high payout potential and unique features, slots are unquestionably one of the most popular genres of casino games available. The fact remains though, that most of these games can quickly eat through your bankroll, potentially leaving you rather unsatisfied with the overall experience.

That’s where penny slots come in. These particular slot machines offer much lower coin denominations than traditional games, which invariably allows you to spin at a much cheaper cost, thus letting you play for longer and experience much more of the features on offer.

As such, throughout this page, we decided to highlight the benefits of playing these games and also offer several tips outlining how to win at penny slots. So, if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to read on!

As such, throughout this page, we decided to highlight the benefits of playing these games and also offer several tips outlining how to win at penny slots. So, if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to read on!

What Are Penny Slots?

Previously, we’ve shared our top tips outlining how to win at slots, and whilst much of that information is relevant to the subject of this page, we wanted to move away from traditional online slots and place a greater focus on the cheaper alternatives you can find at both land-based and online casinos.

So, what exactly are penny slots? Well, in essence, these games take their name from their low coin denominations, ditching the higher stakes you would typically wager on each spin for a single penny.

However, in reality, things aren’t quite as simple as that. The fact is, as most slots utilise payline-structured gameplay, you’ll almost always be wagering more than a penny per spin. The reason being is that you’ll almost always need to wager one penny for every active payline, which means a 20-payline slot would require you to wager £0.20 each time you hit the spin button. Likewise, a 50-payline slot would necessitate a £0.50 minimum bet. 

How Do Penny Slots Work?

Like all online casino games, penny slots come with a specific ruleset and a unique math model that combine to dictate the overall gameplay. Of course, all of this plays out behind the scenes, and the end result is the combination of symbols you see on the reels once you’ve hit spin. Ultimately, all you have to do is place your bet, either hit a button or pull a lever and if the right symbol combination lands on an active payline you could win huge amounts.

However, as we’ve touched upon, there’s more to it than initially meets the eye. Every penny slot ever released has a specific volatility rating, hit frequency and return to player (RTP) rate. These are among the key factors that determine whether or not any given spin will result in a payout along with the value of the said payout. Granted, the inner workings may sound rather convoluted but that’s because they are. Thankfully, though, as long as you have a basic understanding of these elements you shouldn’t need to dive too far into the finer details. However, if you’d like to, we suggest you take a look at our slot RTP guide for more information.

Our Top 10 Tips To Win At Penny Slots

Although jackpot slots offer some of the largest possible prizes, you can still potentially earn great returns when playing penny slots. So, if you’re keen to learn how to win big at penny slots, we recommend that you check out our top 10 tips below.

Tip #1 – Decide Whether Or Not A Casino Bonus Is Right For You

Casino bonuses can be a great source of additional funds, and if you’re looking to extend your play time, it may well be worth your time to take advantage of what’s available. Before you make a deposit and claim a particular offer though, you’ll first want to take a look at the terms and conditions to gauge whether or not it meets your needs, which in this case means you can use the extra cash to play penny slots. Certain offers may look appealing at first glance, but inherent restrictions can prevent you from playing specific games. So, be sure to check if your preferred penny slots are listed under the list of eligible games before committing to a deposit. 

Tip #2 – Decide Whether To Max Bet Or Not

Although penny slots offer minimal coin denominations, they also usually grant you the option to wager multiple coins per payline, thus increasing your overall bet. The reason this is important though is because some games offer increased rewards when you activate more coins per line. For example, if you were to hit a line of top-paying symbols when spinning at 1 coin per line, you could be looking at a 1,000x return, whereas if you were to increase it to the maximum coins per line, that same combination could be worth 10,000x; if doing so always remember to play responsibly.

Of course, this isn’t always the case though. Many modern slots have a fixed paytable, so whilst larger bets can yield greater payouts, they’re always comparative returns, irrespective of your stake. 

Tip #3 – Look For Higher RTP Penny Slots

Earlier, we touched upon RTP and how it plays a significant role in estimating your theoretical returns. This is a figure, expressed as a percentage, that indicates how much of your investment you can expect to earn back in payouts over the course of your session, and in most cases the higher it is, the better.

However, because a slot’s RTP is calculated over millions, if not billions of spins, you will likely see deviations one way or the other each time you play. Plus, as penny slots typically have a much lower RTP than most modern online slots, it’s even more important to choose a game with the highest RTP available to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Tip #4 – Learn The Game’s Rules Before You Play

It may sound obvious but this is a tip that very few players actually implement. Information is king when gambling, and understanding the game’s rules automatically puts you in the best position when playing penny slots. By knowing how you can win and which symbol combinations yield the best rewards, you’ll never be left wondering why a certain was unsuccessful.

Furthermore, special symbols such as Wilds and Scatters can lead to larger rewards, special bonuses and free spins, so knowing how they affect the gameplay is key. Finally, in certain situations, the number of coins you wager and the number of lines you play may influence what payouts and/or bonuses are available. Sometimes you may only be able to activate special in-game features if you select the maximum coins and paylines.

Tip #5 – Consider The Number Of Paylines

Expanding further upon our last tip, you’ll want to know precisely how many paylines each penny slot offers as this will dictate the minimum bet you’ll need to place per spin. Although penny slots are so named because they allow you to wager a minimum of £0.01 per payline, it’s something of a misnomer as the true cost of each spin is determined by the number of paylines, and most penny slots have multiple paylines.

So, even though penny slots can be a great source of low-stakes action, they’re not all as cheap to play as you might think – a 10-payline game may let you spin for as little as £0.10 but a 100-payline release will set you back £1.00 per spin.

Tip #6 – Set A Limit And Stick To It

Whenever you choose to gamble, you should always have an endpoint in mind. That means you should decide upon a maximum amount you’re willing to lose before you call it a day and walk away. Even though you may be spinning with much smaller stakes, the losses can still quickly add up. Similarly, should fortune come your way, you should also have a winnings cap. Don’t think that just because you’ve been lucky on the previous few spins that the next few will be just as profitable. Once you’ve reached a certain level, walk away and enjoy your winnings.

Tip #7 – Weigh Up The In-Game Features

If you want to learn how to win big at penny slots, one of the best things you can do is take a look at what in-game features are available. Like with most casino games, there are often several other ways to win, outside of the standard paytable. So, if you’re looking to maximise your payout potential, look for games that offer a range of fun bonuses, free spins, win multipliers and other exciting features.

Tip #8 – Progressive Jackpots: Are They Worth It?

Whilst standard penny slots can offer substantial prizes, you may want to turn to games with progressive jackpots if you’re looking for a chance to land a life-changing win. There are numerous cases where lucky players have won tens, if not hundreds, of thousands from a low-stakes wager and have changed their lives forever. If you choose to play one of these slots, be sure to check the paytable as it will show you exactly what you’ll need to do to land the top prize.

However, there is, of course, a major downside to playing jackpot slots, and we’d be remiss not to point that out. These slots often suffer from having a much low RTP than regular games, so your expected returns are dramatically lower – theoretically, at least. Nevertheless, if you simply play with the intent to have fun, rather than chase the minuscule odds, progressive jackpot slots can be a great alternative.

Tip #9 – Only Play In A Secure Environment

Whether you choose to play online or at a land-based casino, you should always make sure that you’re gambling in a secure environment. In the digital space, that means you’ll only want to play at sites that have acquired licences from governing bodies such as the UKGC to ensure that the casino is committed to meeting the most stringent regulatory and responsible gambling practices. Likewise, if you prefer to play in person, you should only enter reputable brick-and-mortar venues to guarantee a safe and secure experience.

Tip #10 – Don’t Fall For Any Myths Or Misconceptions 

Like with any topic, certain ideas have given rise to a range of myths and misconceptions within the slots world, and the worst thing you can do is believe any of them. There are no special button combinations that guarantee a win, and nobody is sitting in a back room preventing the game from awarding prizes and/or bonuses until the right amount of money has gone into a particular game.

All penny slots are governed by RNG (random number generation), along with specific rulesets that must fall in line with stringent regulations. No outside forces can influence or manipulate the outcome of any given spin. All that you can do to maximise your potential returns is follow our top 10 tips that outline how to win at casino penny slots and hope that Lady Luck comes your way!