Slot machines are among the most popular online games (not counting Flappy Bird, of course) – they are played by millions of gamers through the internet (and not just casino players hoping to win – Zynga’s Hit It Rich is played by over 1 million users every month, and that game surely doesn’t come with any real wins).

Slot machines always come with the promise of big wins and sometimes with incredible progressive jackpots that can change a person’s life. But the huge wins are not the only thing that makes them popular (actually I don’t know what does). One thing’s for sure: slot machines are the casino games people play most for fun.

Many people search for winning strategies for slot machines – and for their disappointment I have to say that there is no such thing. The chances of any winning combination on a slot machine are not too big, and the odds of hitting a jackpot are even smaller. The progressive slots I have played (and I have tried quite a few) all require not just a special combination of symbols on the reels to pay out the progressive jackpot, but also to win a specific side game – usually a “wheel of fortune”, a “guessing game” or such.

So, let us do some math. A usual slot machine has five reels, each reel has at least 10 symbols, so the number of possible combinations is close to 100,000. Out of these, only a restricted number of combinations is winning, and several of them pays less than the initial bet placed by the player. So, the chances of making profit off the slot machine are rather slim.

Battlestar Galactica slot machine

Instead of speaking of strategies that will allow players to win on slot machines, I guess it would be better to speak about ones that can minimize their losses. Slot machines are only profitable for their operators in long term, and for the majority of players (those that win a huge jackpot are hundreds of times fewer than those who don’t). So, the best possible strategy to avoid losing on slot machines is not to play them at all. This would be hard, though, as slot machines are really fun to play.

So, instead of not playing, it would be better to follow two simple rules to make the game worth playing.

First of all, set limits – decide how much you can afford to lose, and stop playing as soon as you reached that limit. The same goes for wins: decide how big an amount would be a satisfying win, and cash out as soon as you reach that limit. Any further spins mean losses.

Another simple rule: choose a game that’s fun for you to play. If you don’t enjoy playing on a slot machine, losing your money will upset you even more. I for one enjoy playing the Battlestar Galactica slot machine the most, because of its graphics, atmosphere and its special game modes that make it more exciting.

A final word: never start playing the slots with the idea that “today I will win a lot here” – always play for fun, so you won’t be disappointed. After all, the quality time spent with playing your favorite game is rewarding in itself.

By James