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How to find the best payout slots

Do you constantly dream of winning more on slots? Although slots are a game of chance, it doesn't mean that there's nothing to do in order to improve your chances of winning, especially nowadays when there are so many bonus slots which come with a good winning potential. In fact, we believe the best thing you can do before you play slots for real money is to identify the best payout slots available by analysing some of their features. This article should serve as a short guide to finding the best slots from the thousands of games available online, and also includes a few slot tips to help you with your slot strategy.

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Factors that affect slot wins

Before we start with our tips on finding the best payout slots, it's important to be familiar with a few dynamics that characterise online slots. Slots are programmed differently so that the hit rate, RTP and volatility will vary from one game to another (unless the developer uses exactly the same program for two or more of its slots, in which case these will be exactly the same). It's these differences that you should use to your advantage in your hunt for the best payout slots. The below are the most important factors to consider:

RTP (Return to Player) - the game RTP is the percentage of the money staked that is returned to the players over time following a theoretical number of spins. This percentage is normally over 94% (you certainly shouldn't play slots with a lower RTP!), although most slots have an RTP of 96% or over. If the RTP is 96%, it means that over billions of spins, players will win back £96 for every £100 staked. Of course, this doesn't mean that you cannot lose or win more, since slots are a game of chance; you can win a jackpot after just 2 spins, or lose everything in a couple of rounds if you're not careful! 

To learn about which slots have the highest RTP, we suggest you have a look at our guide to slots with high RTP here.

Volatility - this is a term you'll encounter in all our slot reviews. Volatility, also known as variance, indicates how often players can expect the slot to pay out, and how big the wins can be. A slot with low volatility will award players with frequent wins for small or mid-sized stakes, while a slot with high volatility will provide players with much larger wins but much less frequently. For example, in slots with high volatility, it will be harder to trigger the bonus game, but the rewards when you do activate it will likely be huge and hopefully make up for a previous losing streak.

Hit rate - slot hit rate refers to how often you can expect to land on a winning combination while playing a slot. Some reviews publish this information to give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that slots with a high hit rate normally pay out smaller amounts (which may sometimes be smaller than your original stake) to compensate for this payout structure, whereas slots with a low hit rate will pay out much less frequently but normally award much bigger prizes. Hit rate and volatility are therefore interlinked, as slots with a high hit rate will typically be classified as being highly volatile, and vice versa.

How to find the best payout slots

Now that we've covered the factors that affect how slot wins are paid out, it's time to give you a few tips on choosing the best payout slots. 

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  • As we've already said, it's best to choose a slot with an RTP of over 96%, to ensure that the game is programmed to pay back to the players a decent amount.
  • It's also advisable to choose a game with a free spins round, since once you activate these free spins, you'll almost be guaranteed a profit, given that you don't have to stake anything to win. However, some of the best payout slots are those where free spins come with extra features, such as extra wilds, sticky wilds or multipliers. This will ensure that you'll win big from this round, especially if there's a multiplier involved!
  • Keep in mind that slots with progressive jackpots have higher top prizes but may pay out less frequently, offering lower odds of winning overall. If you're after smaller but regular wins to maintain your bankroll, maybe it's best to go or low to medium volatility slots or for progressive slots that pay out decent amounts besides the jackpot.
  • Be cautious of video slots based on popular movies, or those featuring flashy, captivating videos. These tend to be entertaining and will appeal to fans of those movies, but typically pay out less than simpler games. Check a couple of online game reviews to see what other gamblers think about the slot you're thinking of playing to see if it's worth playing for real money.
  • Look for information about hit rate and bonus frequency. Some slot reviews will share this information, as will tools like Slot Tracker. Ideally, you're looking for a slot with a decent hit rate so you can play for longer and have a better chance of landing on a big win. 
  • Play the slot for free first - this is a great way of determining whether a slot is worth staking real money on and whether it's to your liking. A lot of online casinos offer this option; all you have to do is choose a slot from their list and click on 'play for fun' or 'play for free'. As you play, see whether you're happy with how often the slot pays out, as well as what the free spins round has to offer.

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The best way to identify high paying slots is ultimately to test them by playing a number of free rounds. As we already explained above, you can do this at a lot of online casinos. What's more, some casinos also offer a no deposit bonus, so you can play free slots and win real money! Check out the ones below to get your free spins bonus, and play free slots with no download required!

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Enjoy the best bonus slots and win more with our guides!

Although there are factors to consider before choosing a slot, there's no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to online slots. It all depends on how much risk you're prepared to take (in which case if you like risking for a chance of winning big, you should go for a high volatility slot), as well as on your personal preferences and the level of entertainment you're after. For a few tips on the hottest slots at the moment, we suggest you have a look at our article on new online slots here.

In the end, it' important to enjoy playing a slot game, and not to play simply for the sake of winning. And the good news is, there's plenty of entertainment to be had from online slots today! You'll find differently-themed slots, some of them packed with bonus features, as well as simpler, online fruit machines to remind you of the traditional land-based slots. View our best payout online casino UK list to find out where it's best to play them at the moment and to start enjoying thousands of video slots today, coupled with some good bonuses! 

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