Bankroll Management for Real Money Slots

Real money slots are incredibly fun. But that’s really all they are – fun. They aren’t a way to make a consistent income. In fact, we can expect to lose the average session we play. Because of this, it’s a good idea to exercise a bit of bankroll management. That way, we can stay in the game for longer – and thus have more fun!

There’s tons of misinformation about bankroll management for slots out there, which results in players having less fun, not more. Following bad advice can turn you broke very fast, and I hate seeing fellow slots fans getting fleeced. So in this article I’d like to debunk the three most common slots bankroll management myths. That way, you can stretch your slots account to the max. More play, more money, more fun! Let’s dive right in to our first slots bankroll myth.

1 - You should always bet the maximum, because your expected return will be higher.

This one is common on forums and internet discussion boards. Some players claim that betting fewer than the maximum coins per spin is a complete waste, and you should never do it regardless of your total bankroll. The logic is that betting 1 or 2 coins as opposed to the maximum is giving up profit you’d otherwise make betting maximum.

It is true that some land-based slot machines offer an incentive to bet the maximum. For example some machines might pay out a 100-coin jackpot for 1 coin, a 200-coin jackpot for 2 coins, and a 500-coin jackpot for 3 coins.

However in most cases, online slot machines do not pay out like this. Rates are flat across the number of coins bet. That means you have absolutely no incentive to bet the maximum, unless there are extra features that require a max bet to activate.

If you’re practicing good bankroll management for slots, my advice is to avoid machines with top-heavy payouts. Playing a more even fixed slot will stretch your playing time a whole lot longer than playing a jackpot slot. So even if there is a small incentive to bet above and beyond your comfort zone, it might not be worth it in the long run. Always bet an amount of coins you feel comfortable with, because the benefit to betting the max is often negligible, if it exists at all.

2 - You should loosen your bankroll requirements when a machine is due for a score.

There is no such thing as a machine that’s due to pay out. Every spin of the reels is completely independent of any other spin of the reels. Slot machines have no memory, and previous spins have absolutely no bearing on the outcome of future spins.

That’s why we need slots bankroll management in the first place: because we can’t predict how the symbols will fall. The idea is to provide yourself with a cushion to withstand unpredictable swings. Have a regular bet size that’s tailored to your preferred playing time and level of risk, and never deviate from it. Fluctuating your bets because of a “due machine” is terrible bankroll management for slots.

3 - Progressive slots have higher potential payouts, so you should always bet larger.

Some players say you should only bet huge when playing big-jackpot slots, because you won’t win life-changing money if you don’t. News flash: following this line of thought is how most gamblers go broke. Horribly, terribly, living-on-the-streets broke. It is the worst slots bankroll management advice you could ever follow, without a doubt.

It’s true that you’ll win life-changing money by betting big at online slots. But it’s also true that winning a huge jackpot is an incredibly rare thing. When you’re managing risk, you want to be more conservative when the odds are worse – not the other way around.

It’s fine to play progressive slots, if you like them. But know that they pay out less frequently than fixed slots, so your variance will be higher. That means you need more bets in your bankroll to cover losing streaks, not fewer. So either allocate more funds than usual to your bankroll when playing progressive slots, or lower your average bet. That way, you’ll stay in action – maybe even long enough to hit the big-time!