How to Win at Slots Online

How to Play Guides
Reviewed by James Haynes
Updated 12.01.2023

Any gambler that has visited an online casino has probably wondered how to win at slots online. While playing online slots is straightforward, coming out on top is a different beast altogether. We won’t hide the fact that it mostly comes down to luck. However, that does not mean that there aren’t many steps you can take toward significantly increasing your odds of winning. Between them, our expert editors have decades of gambling experience and have tested every strategy they stumbled upon. We’ve made sure to omit generic strategies that you can find everywhere on the internet, and instead, we will focus on proven methods that worked for us.

Join us while we guide you through the most important aspects worth considering, including choosing the best online slots, what casino bonuses are worth claiming, and tons of other tips and tricks.

How to Win at Online Slots – Best Game Choices


In terms of popularity, there aren’t many other online slots that can match Starburst. The famed iGaming provider NetEnt developed the video slot in 2012 and quickly rose to legendary status. The reasons for Starburst slots popularity are obvious: it has low volatility, the grid pays both ways, it has excellent graphics, and solid payout potential. Starburst has a standard five reel with three rows grid, ten paylines, and an above-average RTP percentage of 96.09. What sets Starburst apart and places it at the very top of the slot machine winner list is its incredibly lucrative bonus feature. To understand just how engaging the Starburst Wild feature (with expanding wilds that pay both ways) can be, you have to try it out!

Mermaids Millions

Mermaids Millions is one of the first titles from the famed iGaming developer Microgaming portfolio that came out in 2008. As such, the graphics are pretty basic, some might say even outdated, but don’t let that keep you away from this incredibly lucrative video slot. What makes Mermaids Millions a winning slot machine is the potential to win x7,500 times your initial bet if you score five King Neptune symbols on a pay line. Mermaid’s Millions slots free spin feature is also nothing to scoff at, especially since another three Mermaid symbols can retrigger it while it also multiplies your wins by x3. With an average RTP percentage of 96.56% and 15 pay lines, Mermaid Millions can be an excellent choice if you plan on winning at slots.

Thunderstruck II

Four different bonus features? Medium volatility? Insanely high win potential? Norse mythology? If you are like us, you find all the above incredibly appealing, and they are all neatly packed within the Thunderstruck II video slot from Microgaming. Thunderstruck slots logo acts as a wild symbol and will double your wins if part of a winning combination. One of the secrets to winning on slot machines is to find a video slot with as many bonus features as possible, and Thunderstruck II is one of the best choices. Stormy Feature can trigger randomly during every spin, filling most of your screen with wild symbols. Next, you have the Loki, Odin, Thor, and Valkyrie bonuses that will reward you with free spins and huge multipliers if you advance in the Great Hall of Spins. Thunderstruck II has an RTP percentage of 96.65 with 243 ways to win, firmly placing it in the 3rd place in our online slot guide.

How Do Slot Machines Work?

If you want to find out how to win on slot machines every time, you must first figure out exactly how they work. In terms of popularity, slot machines are the most sought-after type of casino game, far outranking table games or bingo. The outcome of a spin on a video slot is influenced solely by chance, meaning that all players work with the same odds. All you have to do is spin the reels, and if you score three or more symbols on the same payline, you get a payout according to the video slots’ paytable. Software uses a Random Number Generator software (known as RNG within the industry) to determine your spin’s outcome. Each spin of the reel is entirely independent of the previous spins, and your last wins or losses won’t influence your future spins.

How to Win on Slots – Our Top Strategy Tips

  • Prioritize high RTP. First in our list of tricks is to ensure that any video slot you play has an RTP of at least 96%. This means that for every CAD 100 you invest, pay back will be at least CAD 96. Worth noting that this does not consider any progressive jackpots you could win along the way.
  • Make your choice between Classic, Jackpot, and Progressive Jackpot games. The most common type of online video slots that do not have any jackpots are known within the industry as “classic slots.” Such games tend to have the lowest possible variance, so you can expect small but frequent payouts. Jackpot has a set-in-stone jackpot that you can randomly score during every spin – making them medium volatility. You should look into progressive jackpot if you are after a substantial win and are not afraid to make a hefty investment.
  • Look for bonus features. Bonus features or free spins can further increase your odds of winning big while also making the whole gambling experience far more enjoyable. Free spins, re-spins, bonus multipliers, and jackpot rounds are features you would rather have in a video slot than not. To find out if the game you plan on playing has such features, you should always consult the “Paytable,” which should describe what symbols you need to trigger the bonus features.
  • Hit Frequency vs. Payout Size. Another strategy conducive to winning on slot machines is to find the perfect balance between hit frequency and the possible spin win outcome. Unfortunately, you cannot have both. The choice depends mostly on your desired strategy. For example, a streak of small wins can immerse you in the gambling experience. On the other hand, you could opt for an enormous win that will need several spins to happen.
  • Avoid investing heavily in Progressive Jackpots. Online slots with progressive jackpots collect funds from all the online casinos that feature that specific game. Unfortunately, you will win far less during your regular spins. High-rollers are fully aware of this situation and are willing to go for long periods without any significant wins. However, such a slot strategy won’t work if you are on a budget. The small but frequent wins will allow you to gamble and enjoy yourself over extended periods.
  • Familiarize yourself with Random Number Generator. An essential aspect of online gambling is that every spin is not influenced by previous or future spins. All online slot machines function based on an algorithm frequently inspected by industry experts so that winning combinations appear randomly. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing you can do to influence the outcome.
  • Collect Bonuses. Some iGaming software providers have launched online slots requiring the gambler to enable bonuses manually. Whenever you collect the three symbols that will trigger the bonus, you have to click on them. Although rare, these online slots are also known as “pick’em bonuses” they do require your full attention because if you click on “Spin,” you will lose the bonus.
  • Choose Free Spin rounds. Within our ideal slot machine strategy, we advise our readers to prioritize online games that have free spin bonuses. While such slots might have a lower win frequency, they more than make up for it when you trigger bonus features. In most cases, you will have to collect three “Scatter” symbols, so make sure that your bankroll is sufficient.
    Ensure that you are betting enough so that all features are enabled – Some online slots will require a specific bet amount to allow you to stand a chance at triggering the bonus features or winning the jackpot. It would be an absolute shame to play such a game on a minimum bet and not be aware that you cannot win big. To avoid this beginner mistake, you should always consult the paytable before your place bets.
  • Implement Loss Limits. When playing slots, you will inevitably run into a dry spell. Whenever that happens, the last thing you want is to deplete your gambling bankroll. Our expert advice is to implement loss limits: if you aren’t winning on a specific slot, head over to the next one. Session loss limits, daily loss limits, weekly loss limits, and even monthly loss limits are all tools that should be an integral part of your gambling strategy. Experienced gamblers prioritize minimizing their losses over maximizing their wins.
  • Consult reviews. If you have stumbled upon an online slot with great bonus features and an attractive theme, you should scour the internet and see what other gamblers say about it. As the saying goes, intelligent gamblers can learn from the mistakes of others. Reddit, gambling blogs, Facebook groups, and our website’s slot review section are all excellent sources for such information.

Slot Paytables Explained

Whenever someone asks how to win at the casino slot machines, the first thing we advise is to always consult the paytable before spinning the reels. It doesn’t matter if you are playing on the best online gambling sites Canada; if you don’t know what is required to trigger the bonus features, you will have much lower chances of walking away with a win. Paytables have great design and are highly interactive, so you will only need a few minutes to gather all required information.

Slot Symbols Guide

Online slots have anywhere between ten symbols up to even twenty symbols. Every symbol comes with an expected value if you can collect three or more on the same pay line. Consulting the paytable, you will know which symbols are worth the most, and you will get to visualize all possible paylines.

Slot Machine Odds and Multipliers

Within the paytable, you will also find information regarding wild symbols and if these wild symbols come with a win multiplier. Additionally, you could have multipliers within the bonus feature or during free spins.

Scatter Symbol

This symbol rewards you with the best feature an online game offers. You will only encounter this symbol if your chosen game has such a bonus feature. Scatter symbols also work differently from regular symbols since they do not have to be on a pay line to trigger the bonus features – usually on the 1st,3rd, and 5th reels.

Jackpots and Progressive Jackpots

Previously, in our slot machine tips section, we advised against progressive jackpots if you are on a budget. However, if that is not the case, you can find all the information regarding possible jackpots and how to trigger them within the paytable. Most online slots will have various jackpots, from mini and medium, to the grand jackpot.

Special Features and Bonuses

Given the insane competition within gambling industry, iGaming development studios release hundreds of new games every month. Unsurprisingly, they are continuously innovating and adding unique bonus features to stay ahead of the competition. Expanding wilds, wild multipliers, sticky wilds, win multipliers, cluster pays, gamble features, and many more will have thorough explanations within paytable.

Online Casino Bonuses Explained

Welcome Bonus

When it comes to online casino bonuses, you can expect to get the most bang for your buck from the welcome bonus. This type of bonus is available exclusively to gamblers who do not have an account at a specific online casino. They come in many forms, including high-deposit bonus matches, free spins, or cash-back. If you were wondering how to win online slots, the answer is to ensure that you claim an advantageous welcome package.

Free Spins

Undoubtedly, the most common and also the most popular type of casino bonus. Online casinos are well aware of the free spin bonus’s popularity and are more than willing to reward their loyal players. You could score such a bonus simply for visiting your favorite casino, but more often than not, you can expect free spins when you deposit. Make sure you claim a free spin bonus only if you are familiar with and enjoy the online slot on which they will be available.

Cashback Bonuses

Gamblers that want to avoid clearing wagering requirements can always play with a cashback deal. Cashback promotions can come in many shapes and forms, but the standard deal will have the casino return a certain percentage of your deposit if you did not manage to score a win. Some more complex deals could have you receive a much higher percentage for all deposits you’ve made during an entire week of gambling if you don’t win slots wagers.

Online Casino Bet Management

Single Payline

Most newly released games will allow gamblers to adjust the number of pay lines. You can select how much you want to bet for each pay line and how many pay lines are active during the spin. Some specific online slots, for example, Wolf Gold from Pragmatic Play, have strategies revolving around triggering the bonus feature that you can do using a single pay line.

Multiple Paylines

Far more common than the single pay line slot winning strategy is to play with all possible pay lines active. As a rule of thumb, the number of pay lines also increases your chances of scoring a win. For that very reason, Megaways feature has grown in popularity, and you can find a broad range of pay line structures, including 243, 720, 1,024, or even 100,000.

Multiple Sessions

While the slot pay line strategy is fundamental, you must also manage your bankroll over multiple sessions. Opting for a single-pay line approach on selected games could allow you to stretch your gambling bankroll further. However, if the game is not paying properly, you should take a break or head over to the next slot.

Gambling Bankroll Management

Manage Your Bets

Similar to all the other casino games, on machines, you have a wide possible range of bets. The bets start as low as a penny, and some online slots let you wager up to CAD 100 per spin. What you want to avoid is running out of cash before you hit the bonus features or free spins.

Set Time Limits

During our gambling experience, we have learned that sometimes it pays dividends to take a break if things aren’t going our way. In our slot machines how to win guide, we recommend you dedicate no more than half an hour to a specific online slot. Alternatively, you could also see great results if you limit your gambling sessions to one per day. That way, you have the perfect entertainment balance while diminishing risks of running out of cash.

Know When to Call it Quits

During your gambling career, you will invariably have periods where things won’t go your way. You need to be prepared for such events and have a strategy in place so you won’t deplete your gambling bankroll. For example, it is time to log off if you’ve wagered CAD 100 and didn’t have a single bonus feature. Of course, you should place limits depending on your bankroll, but you should never stick around in hopes of winning back the cash lost. Any seasoned gambler can tell you that’s the perfect receipt for disaster.

Prioritize Smaller Jackpots

Let’s face it, going for the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot that currently sits at over CAD 10 million might be a mistake. The odds are not in your favor, even with a massive gambling bankroll. Our slot tips are that instead, you could focus on slot machines with jackpots in the thousands of Canadian dollars, which you have a decent shot at collecting.

Online Vs. Brick-and-Mortar Slot Strategy

Slot machines you can find at land-based casinos are identical to those available at your favorite online casino. The only genuine difference is that you can play far more titles online since you don’t have to walk around the casino floor from machine to machine. Take full advantage of this fantastic perk provided by technology and only spend time on slot machines that are worth it. Of course, a trip to your local casino is charming in its own right, and if time allows, you can reserve them for weekends.


Winning at online gambling comes down to chance. While you cannot directly influence lady luck, we hope the tips and tricks in our exhaustive slots guide will come in handy. You can use some of the strategies we have presented above. Instead, focus on the ones that best fit your current bankroll and play style. Alternatively, you could bookmark this page and return once in a while to refresh your memory.


  • Are there any tricks to slot machines?

We’ve presented more than a dozen tips and tricks within this article. If there’s one that we value above all others is to ensure that the slot machine you are playing has an RTP percentage above 96.5.

  • Which slot machine has the potential to pay the most?

Regarding the highest possible payout, you would be hard-pressed to find anything that can match progressive jackpot titles. However, if those aren’t your cup of tea, we recommend Book of Dead from Play’n GO due to its insane bonus feature.

  • What can I do to increase my chances of winning on slots?

Prioritize online slots that have lucrative bonus features or free spins. Thunderstruck II, Mermaid’s Millions, and Starburst are all excellent choices that we have discussed at the start of this article.

  • Are slot machines rigged?

No, all slot machines available at reputable online casinos are regularly tested to ensure they are genuinely random. Most likely, you are just going through a dry spell and should either take a break or switch to a different slot machine.

  • Which casino games have the best chance to win?

Winning chances are directly correlated to slot machines’ RTP percentage. For example, Money Cart 2, Book of 99, and Gold Digger Mines have an RTP above 98%.

  • Can I win real cash on slot machines?

Absolutely, if you are wagering real money, you will always have a chance to win real money. No tips can guarantee a win, but if you do win, it will be real money.

  • How can I collect the jackpot on a slot machine?

We are often asked how to win slots jackpot, and we always advise our readers to aim for small or medium jackpots.

  • What online slot machine has the best odds?

The machine slot odds depend entirely on the Return to Player percentages. We’ve mentioned a few titles above that have excellent RTP.

  • How can I tell if the slot machine is about to pay?

Unfortunately, you can’t. Slot machines use RNG to ensure that each spin is not influenced by previous or future spins.

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James Haynes
Author: James Haynes

James is a content manager. His main task is to ensure that every gambler visiting the site gets as many interesting facts and information about the process as possible.

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