Should You Bet More or Less With Online Slots?

Man Thinking Bet More Or Less Online Casinos

Online gaming is the wave of the future. I can’t imagine that there will ever be a time when brick-and-mortar casinos aren’t an option.

But the ability to sit at home and gamble on your favorite casino games is very appealing.

Online gaming’s growth has far surpassed traditional casino gaming, as more and more players decide to log on, rather than walk in, when it comes to getting in on the action.

In my opinion:
No game plays better online than slot machines. Online casinos do their best to try and mimic brick-and-mortar casino games, and while I do think that online versions of blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette can be a lot of fun, none of them offer as genuine of an experience as online slots.

There just isn’t a big difference between sitting in a casino and watching a slot machine screen and sitting in your living room watching a slot machine screen on your computer, phone, or tablet.

In fact, you could argue that online gambling slot games are even better than in-person slots!

As many of them offer lower household, bigger progressive payouts, and the ability to play from the comfort of your own home.

If you haven’t had a chance yet to play online slots, I suggest that you check them out, as they offer many of your favorite games from the casino, and with better perks, payouts, and odds, online slots are a great alternative to brick and mortar slot machines.

If you are looking for ways to get in on the action to play online slots, make sure that you check out TheSportsGeek’s online casino slot’s page, where we show you the top-rated online casinos where you can play slots for real money.

Play Online Slots

Any time that you are trying something new, there is always going to be a little apprehension, as it takes a while before you are fully comfortable with how to play a new game.

But don’t worry, as we here at TheSportsGeek are going to take all of the guesswork out of it for you, and answer some of those burning questions that you may have when it comes to playing online slots.

One question that seems to come up a lot when it comes to how to play online slots, is should you bet more or less with online slots?

To get to the bottom of that questions:
We are going to take a look at the pros and cons of betting more or less, so you can make an informed decision when you start to play.

But before we jump to the answer, let’s first take a step back and define what betting more or less when you play online slots actually means.

How To Play Online Slot Machines

I know this might sound a little bit silly for those of you out there that have played a lot of slot machines, but understanding how to properly play a slot machine is actually really important. And who knows, maybe even you veteran slot players might learn a little something new as well.

In order to better define what playing more or less means, when it comes to playing online slots for real money, we are going to first break down how to bet on online slot machines by defining some key terminology.

  • One major advantage to playing online slot machines is the ability to change the denomination of the credits that you are wagering. In a brick-and-mortar casino, if a game is a penny machine and you want to play for nickels instead, you are out of luck.But online, nearly every game that the casino offers has multiple denomination options available, allowing you to bet the amounts that you are most comfortable with. Standard online slot machines denominations can spread anywhere from pennies to hundreds of dollars.
Number Of Lines
  • When slot machines first hit the market over 100 years ago, they were very simple machines that had 3 reels and just 1 pay line. But nowadays, those games are long gone, as modern-day slot machines are digital, and they regularly feature lots of options when it comes to betting lines.A typical online slot machine is going to have up to 1,024 lines, a far cry from their humble 1-line beginnings, to say the least.
Credits Bet Per Line
  • We already touched on the denomination of your credits and the number of lines that can be played, now we are going to look at the final piece of the betting equation, how many credits per line you want to bet.The minimum for credits per line is 1 but can go up to as high as 100 per line on some higher limit machines. This is where the total amount of your bet can vary wildly, as there is a huge difference between betting one line or a thousand!

Why Should You Bet More?

We have already established all of the ways that you can bet more on an online slot machine.

  • You can play at a higher denomination.
  • You can play more lines.
  • Or you can bet more per line.

Multiple Slot Lines

Each of those will increase the total amount of your bet, but they absolutely aren’t the same thing.

Please Note:
Knowing the difference between them, and how to maximize your winning potential, is key to winning when playing online slot machines. On most modern slot machines, if you aren’t playing the max number of lines, you can’t win the jackpot. If you play one of those games that has 1,024 lines, which are increasingly popular, particularly online, and bet let’s say 32 lines, you have no chance to win the top payout. You must avoid this at all costs!

That’s not to say you have a worse chance of winning the jackpot, you literally won’t qualify to win it! If you aren’t comfortable playing that many lines, then you should find a game that has fewer lines to bet, as playing a slot machine without any chance to hit it big makes no sense!

We all want to win:
If you want to win, you MUST play all of the available betting lines on your game of choice. Betting all of the available lines is a requirement when you play online slots. With how games are designed, it is imperative that you cover all of the lines if you want a chance to win big. But what isn’t a requirement, is how many credits per line you are playing and at what denomination those credits might be.

There is essentially no difference between playing a penny machine at max bet and a nickel machine at max bet, when it comes to what you are eligible to win. As long as you are covering all of the lines, you have a chance to win the top payout.

Now, obviously:
The actual payout for a nickel machine is going to be higher than a penny machine, but that is just because you are betting more money on each spin. The only real exception to this rule is when there are progressive jackpots that are denomination specific. The way that a progressive slot machine works, is that on each handle pull, the meter goes up a little bit.

As that meter is tied to an actual betting amount, you are going to see some variations between the denominations. But make sure you look at those closely, as depending on how long it has been since it has been hit, you could see a lower denomination progressive pay more than the higher denom!

Credits Per Line

The final piece of this puzzle is the number of credits per line you bet. This one is a little bit grey, as some machines force you to bet the max per line to win the top award, whereas others don’t.

If you take a popular game like Megabucks for example, if you don’t bet the max per line, and you hit the jackpot, it will pay $100,000 not $10 million! If you are playing on a game like that, you MUST bet the max per line. But that isn’t always typical and with most non-progressive machines, they don’t require you to take the max per line bet.

At that point, it is going to be a personal decision on how much money you want to play per spin, and that decision isn’t going to materially affect your chances of hitting it big!

More Value For A Bigger Bet?

One last note on online slot machines is that depending on how high of a denom that you want to play, you can actually get better odds and pay tables for your money. The casino wants you to play as much as possible, so they entice you into playing more money, by offering better odds.

We see this a lot in video poker, where a game that you are betting $25 cents per hand will have one set of pay tables, and that same game played at $25 dollars a pull, will have substantially better pay tables.

If you aren’t sure if denom is making a difference in the pay tables of the game you are playing, you can always go into the game options and take a look. If that ends up being the case, you don’t have to play higher, but you should use that information as part of your decision on exactly which game to play.

Why Should You Bet Less?

In terms of return on your investment, there really isn’t any case to be made to bet less on online slots. But as just about everyone out there knows already, if you play slot machines long enough.

They are going to take your money, so return on investment isn’t always a major factor when deciding how much you want to bet. Players know going in that they are likely going to lose their money when they play a slot machine. What is a major factor for most players, is how much fun they have while playing!

Online slots can be very entertaining and exciting, and they can offer a shot at jumbo payouts for small upfront wagers.

Microgaming Mega Moolah

The less that you bet, the longer you can play on the same bankroll, maximizing your fun and excitement.

Please Note:
As long as you aren’t handicapping yourself by not playing all of the lines or playing a game where you have to bet the max to actually have a shot at hitting the jackpot, you can bet smaller amounts and get more bang for your buck.

For many casual players, finding the sweet spot between max value and max entertainment is the key to having an enjoyable experience playing online slot machines.

As a general rule:
If you are looking to bet less, you want to find the machine that offers the smallest max bet available and play that game, rather than finding a higher denom or lines game, where you would play the same amount of actual money, but not have a chance to win the top award. Instead of playing $1 dollar a pull on a single line on a dollar machine, play that same $1 dollar a pull on a penny machine, where you have all of the lines bet and action covered!

It ends up being the same price per pull, but you are going to get way more value from your money.


If you have ever asked yourself, can you play slots for real money? The answer is yes!

Online slots are booming right now and if you haven’t given them a try, you are missing out on a lot of action! The first step is finding an online casino that offers slots, which you can find right here at TheSportsGeek’s play for real money slots page, and now that you know whether or not you should play more or less on online slots, you are ready to start winning some money!

Thanks for reading and good luck playing your favorite online slot machine!


About the Author
Rick Rockwell profile picture
Rick Rockwell
Sports/Casino Writer
Blog and News
Rick has been a professional writer for over 14 years with an extensive resume spanning projects and clients from around the world. But, his passions have always been sports and sports betting. Whether it’s being a credentialed media member to major sporting events, climbing into a racecar or a pro wrestling ring, Rick’s sports and sports betting knowledge, passion and versatility is on display with each article he writes for TSG.

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