The Ultimate Slot Machines Guide

  • Beginners Guide to Slots
  • Slots FAQ
  • Advanced Player Tips for that Extra Edge
  • Compare Slots House Edge

Getting Started with Slot Machines

Our beginner's guide to slot machines is an introduction into one of the world's most popular casino game.

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Wizard Slots

Michael Shacleford and Angela Wyman on frequently asked slots questions.

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Slot Machines for Advanced Players

Serious slot machine players who are looking for ways to take the advantage away from the casino and put themselves on top.

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Recommended Slot Machine Casinos

The Wizard presents the best slot machines available to play online.

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Getting Started with Slot Machines

Introduction - How The Game Works

When it comes to gambling, the easier a game is to understand the worse the odds usually are. This is certainly the case with slot machines. Playing them is as easy as pressing a button. However, between the high house edge and fast rate of play, there is no quicker way to lose your money in a casino.

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Online Casino Jackpots Tracker

Virtual slot machines are not as easy to categorize as table games with easily knowable house edges and low volatility. Slots can be all over the charts in terms of return-to-player percentages (RTP) and volatility. Add to that the fact that the RTP on a single title can be different from one jurisdiction to the next and it’s easy to see why they are such a wild beast to tame in terms of being “best”.

Dead or Alive is a case in point. This 5 reel, 3 position western-themed game was released by NetEnt way back in 2009 and it has a strong following to this day. That is most likely not due to the RTP which is only 96.82% (3.18% house edge), but more likely due to the game’s high volatility and top prize.

It’s possible to win 12,000x your bet on Dead or Alive and it happens more often than you might think thanks to the game’s massive fan base. However, many players leave the virtual casino with empty pockets after a grueling session of trying to crack the variance/volatility nut.

Below we list progressive jackpots with a known break-even value, allowing you to identify and play progressive jackpot games with a RTP of close to 100% of even more.

Jackpot Value Break-even RTP  
Major Moolah $2,500 $19,981 94.96% Play
Strike Gold $5,000 $76,717 94.23% Play
One Million Reels BC $4,093 $66,085 94.14% Play
Shopping Spree $2,564,803 $5,467,358 % Play
Jackpot Pinatas $1,364,241 $1,557,930 % Play
Jackpot Cleopatra's Gold $1,624 $26,643 % Play
A Night With Cleo $4,013 $756,752 % Play

While players should probably look at their entire gambling “careers” as a single session and realize that any game played with a high house edge lowers their overall returns (mathematically) most slot players simply don’t see things that way. They seek thrills, and games like DoA provide just what they are looking for.

With that being said, it is possible in some online lobbies to use filtering tools to determine the most volatile slots and in others to sort for the games with the highest possible RTP. It would be a thrill for many players to find a lobby with both filters available along with a bonus system that didn’t restrict play on the games that have both attributes. Good luck with finding that site!

Online Casino RTP (Return to Player / House Edge)

Slot Name Reels House Edge  
Book of 99 5 1 Play
Ugga Bugga Multi-Spin Slot 30 1.26 Play
Chess Mate 5 1.28 Play
1429 Uncharted Seas 5 1.5 Play
Classic Cinema 5 1.53 Play

Additional Resources

  • LCB: An up to date list of slots bonuses (many exclusive) sorted by most beatable.

  • CasinoListings: Online casino jackpot tracking for over 500 different progressives.

  • CasinoSlots: Reviews of online casino slots from many different software companies.