With more slot sites than ever available to players, there’s a huge amount of choice when it comes to picking your casino site. In fact, it’s become a matter of too much choice for some people, so how do we find the right place to play?
Here are 10 things you must do before you click play on anything!
1 – Check the site is legal!
The first step to playing slots safely is to play only at legal sites. Make sure you know what the laws are in your jurisdiction and that the site you’re looking at complies with them.
2 – Check that you are legal!
Please don’t try to play games or on sites that you’re not legally allowed to play on. If there’s an age limit in your country or if a certain site is banned then, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to stick to that. Once you start breaking the rules yourself you put yourself in a position where you will have no come back if something goes wrong.
3 – Check your bank balance
Gambling addiction is a real problem. You should make sure that you think about gambling in a way that is honest and healthy: that means acknowledging that most gamblers lose money (usually relatively small amounts) and that gambling is entertainment and you’re going to pay for it. If you don’t have money to spend on gambling – spare money, that is; not money for something else, or gambling in order to turn the money you have into more money – then don’t log on.
4 – Check your health
Gambling in order to deal with difficult emotions or to escape from real-life problems is more likely to be unhealthy. Gamble for fun, when it is fun. If you’re feeling sad or upset or if you’re intoxicated then you’re not going to make good decisions and you should save your slots session until you feel better.
5 – Set a budget
The best way to keep your gambling safe is to set strict limits and stick to them. If you have a problem with doing this it’s a pretty good sign that your gambling is starting to cross the line into unhealthy territories. Most sites now allow you to set spending limits, and you can also read up on how banking and payment methods can be brought into play to set stricter spending limits.
6 – Set a timer
Time is as valuable as money, so set a time limit on your play and stick to that too. Have a look at the site you use and you may well find that they have some great tools to help you set time limits, and if you feel that you’re spending too long at a site there should be a way of taking a break and enforcing it with a block.
7 – Know your tastes
It might sound silly, but it’s a waste of time to play games that you don’t enjoy! If you go to a site with nothing in mind beyond browsing then you’re going to end up looking at an endless scrolling screen full of titles and just clicking on the one with the prettiest picture on it. That’s not how to have a good gaming session. If you have a site with thousands of games it helps if you know the genres and developers that you enjoy playing and that can be a good place to start your search.
8 – Know the figures
If you’re playing with an eye on your budget – as you should be – then you need to understand how the mathematics of slot machines play out. There are three figures you might see in relation to slots and you need to know what they mean. The theoretical return to player – usually written as RTP – is the percentage of the total money spent on a game in millions of simulated spin that are returned to the player. The higher this figure the more money it is likely to return to the player. A game’s variance or volatility is a ratio between the size of prizes it pays out and the frequency of those prizes.
So, a game that is said to be high variability will pay out larger prizes less often; low volatility games are the opposite. This sort of information may also be expressed as a hit rate, which will give either a percentage rating or a single figure. The percentage will tell you what percentage of spins are likely to be won, the figure will tell you how many times you should expect to spin to hit a win. None of these figures are exact, perfect predictions of how a game will perform, but with the three of them, you can get an understanding of how a game performs.
9 – Read the rules
Most slot games are very simple. You can play one and you’ll be able to find your way around pretty much any other. However, you should take the time to read the rules of any game you play. They’re simple to remember so it won’t take long. Knowing how bonus features work, and what symbols are worth won’t help you win, and it will probably be explained to you on screen, but there’s absolutely nothing bad about being informed about a game before you click to spin.
10 – Check if you feel lucky
This is not a guide on how to win on slots. Any such guide is either a scam or mislabelled spam. Any guide that asks you for money for this secret is definitely a scam. There is no technique to slots and accepting that is the best way to play these games. It is all about luck – if it isn’t, then, the game may even be breaking the law – so don’t stress too much, don’t think that you can influence things too much, and don’t fall for fallacies like the Gambler’s Fallacy that convinces you that a game is “due” to pay out because you’ve been spinning it for 20 minutes.