5-Minute Guide to Slot Machines for Non-Gamblers

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Slot Machine Guide for Non-Gamblers

If you don’t usually gamble but want to risk a few bucks for the chance to win some money, slot machines might be just what you’re looking for. You can play slots in most places for $1 or less per spin. And if you get really lucky, you might just win a big jackpot.

You don’t need to learn much to start playing slots, but you can save yourself quite a bit of money by following a few simple steps.

Use this five-minute guide to slot machine play for non-gamblers and make sure you get started on the right foot.

1 – Online or Land-Based Slot Machine Games

The biggest decision you need to make when you want to start playing slot machines is if you want to play in a land-based casino or in an online or mobile casino. In this section, I’m going to cover the pros and cons of each option.

Land-based casinos are where most people start playing slots, but many of them switch to online play. Some of the popular slot machine themes are only available in land-based casinos, so if you want to play them, you can’t play online.

You can also sign up for the slots club at the casino where you play. This is a club that gives you rewards for your gameplay, like a free meal from time to time. This might not seem like a big deal, but a free meal is better than getting absolutely nothing from your losses.

Online slots are the same as land-based slot machines. The main difference is that you don’t have to travel to the casino to start playing. The speed of the games are about the same whether you play online or in a live casino.

The main benefit of playing online and mobile slots is that you can claim a bonus. Almost every mobile and online casino will give you a bonus when you first sign up to play slots. This bonus makes your bankroll for slots play much bigger from the get-go.

At the end of the day, the choice of whether to play in a land-based casino or play slots with an online or mobile casino is up to you. The differences pretty much even out, so there’s not really a right or wrong way to go. Do what is best and most convenient for you!

I’ve played both and prefer online play over land-based slots play. But this doesn’t mean that you’re going to prefer online play as well. Try them both ways to decide best suits your needs.

2 – The Truth About Penny Slots

As someone who doesn’t gamble, it’s possible that you haven’t heard of penny slot machines. And if you have heard of penny slot machines, the odds are that you have the wrong idea about exactly what they are.

When you hear the term “penny slot machines,” most people think that it means there are real money slot machines that you can play for a penny. But this isn’t what it means at all.

Penny slots are slot machines that let you play for a coin size of one penny. The problem is that just because you can play for a penny coin size, it doesn’t mean that you can play for one penny a spin.


These machines won’t let you play for a single coin. You have to bet so many coins per line and use a minimum number of lines. Some penny slot machines have a minimum bet of $2 or higher.

The term “penny slot” always irritates me because it’s misleading. This is the main reason why I refuse to play on these machines. It’s not that they’re always worse than other machines, but I don’t like it when things are misrepresented. Instead of looking for a good penny slot machine, I look for a good machine that lets me play for a quarter or $1 that has a decent jackpot.

But plenty of people play on penny slots. If they didn’t, the casinos would stop offering these machines and replace them with machines that people played more often.

3 – Strategy Doesn’t Matter

The most important thing you can do when you play most casino games as a non-gambler is find out what the best strategies are and use them. But strategy isn’t important when you play slot machines. The reason for this is because there isn’t a slots strategy that can change the house edge or return percentage.

However, there are a few things I can share with you that can help you as a new slots gambler. None of these things are going to make it so you can win in the long run. This is because there’s nothing you can do to beat the slot machines in the long run.

The first thing you should do is only play on slot machines that have a decent jackpot. This can be anywhere from $50,000 up to millions. The main reason why I suggest this is because if you get really lucky and win big, then you want to win as much as possible.

The second this is that you should try to find machines that offer the chance to play for a low bet amount. I try to stay with $1 or less per spin, with a quarter machine being my favorite. You might have to look around to find a machine with a low cost and high jackpot, but they do exist. I cover more about this in the next section.

The third thing you need to know is that how fast you play directly impacts how much you lose. I cover this in the last section of this article.

4 – Bet Size Considerations

Slot machines are really simple when you understand exactly how they work. Modern slots games are run using computer programs, and these programs are designed to pay back some of the money you bet and keep the rest.

Everything that happens when you play slots is directly dictated by the programming. The program tells the slot machine how much money it keeps, and the program follows the instructions.

What this means to you is that each machine is going to make a set profit percentage no matter what you do. If you can find a machine that pays back a higher percentage, it’s good, but you usually can’t access this information.

Slot Games

It also means that the more money you put into the slot machine, the more money the program is going to keep. So, the best plan is to bet less money.

The first way to bet less money is to make smaller bets. The other way is to play slower, which is covered in the next section.

This is why I always recommend playing on the slot machines that cost the least amount to play. Try to find a machine that lets you bet a quarter on every spin.

5 – Control How Fast You Play Slots

When you play most casino games, the dealer controls how fast the game plays. But when you play a machine based game, or play in online and mobile casinos, you have control over how fast or slow you play. This gives you a great deal of power over how much you lose.

In the last section, you learned that if you bet more money, the slots programming keeps more of your money. This is also important when you consider how fast you’re playing.

For example, if you make 460 spins in an hour at 50 cents per spin, you risk a total of $230. But if you only take 200 spins, you only risk $100.

If the slots program is designed to keep 10%, you lose $23 at 460 spins, and only lose $10 at 200 spins. This is why how fast you play is important.

When you find a slot machine that lets you bet a small amount on every spin and play at a slower rate, then you lose far less money than when you make larger bets and play faster.


Slot machines are the easiest game for beginners and non-gamblers to jump into right away. And if you’re careful, you can gamble without risking too much money. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, then you can quickly burn through far too much money that you intend.

Find the right slots game that has a small bet size, and don’t fall into the trap of playing too fast. You can’t use strategy beyond controlling your rate of play and bet sizes, so you might as well play the games you enjoy the most.

Online slot machine play isn’t much different than playing in your local casino, but you can play with a bigger bankroll when you play online.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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