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How Much to Wager on Online Slots

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Online slots offer a variety of bet sizes. Many games allow you to wager anywhere from $0.20 to $100 per spin.

This range satisfies most low and high rollers. The common $0.20 minimum stake also lets pretty much anybody enjoy online slots.

Of course, with so much variety in the betting range, you might have trouble deciding on a wager size. You may worry that you won’t win enough with small bets, while you’ll run the risk of losing too much with larger wagers.

Luckily, you can choose the bet size that’s right for you with the proper knowledge. The following guide covers what to consider when deciding how much to wager.

You Should Consider Various Factors

When figuring out how much to wager on slots, you need to think about multiple aspects. Each of the following factors go a long way towards helping you determine the perfect stake size.

How Long You Wish to Play

Online slots are supposed to be about entertainment above all. The longer your money lasts, the more you can enjoy these games.

Considering that the house holds the advantage with mobile slots, your chances of playing longer reduce with higher bets.

Here’s a comparison to show how much longer you can theoretically play for with a smaller wager:

Example #1

  • You play a slot with a 4% house edge (96% RTP).
  • You bet $10 per spin.
  • You perform 500 spins an hour.
  • 10 x 0.04 x 500 = $200 in theoretical hourly losses
  • You have a $100 bankroll.
  • 100 / 200 = 0.5
  • Your bankroll will theoretically last for half an hour.

Example #2

  • You play a slot with a 4% house edge (96% RTP).
  • You bet $1 per spin.
  • You perform 500 spins an hour.
  • 1 x 0.04 x 500 = $20 in theoretical hourly losses
  • You have a $100 bankroll.
  • 100 / 20 = 5
  • Your bankroll will theoretically last for 5 hours.

What Prizes You Hope to Win

Smaller bets may allow you to get more entertainment out of slots, but they also reduce the win potential. This is especially the case when considering that most maximum payouts these days are based on your stake.

In the past, many games offered progressive jackpots that could be won with any bet size. Mega Moolah is a blast to the past because it allows you to chase a multimillion-dollar jackpot for as little as $0.25.

Guy Wondering About Slots

Most modern slots, however, determine the maximum win based on your stake. For instance, you might be able to win up to 10,000x your total bet.

If you’re wagering $10 per spin, then you can win up to $100,000. Assuming you’re betting $0.20 per round, you can only win up to $2,000.

Volatility Rises With Bigger Payouts

Huge slots prizes are always fun to chase. Generally speaking, though, larger maximum wins increase the volatility.

You might love the thought of being able to win up to 50,000x your stake. However, your chances of winning such a payout usually range in the billions (e.g. 1 in 10 billion odds).

High volatility reduces the size of common payouts that you’ll win. It lowers the hit frequency in many cases too.

You should consider lowering your bet size on volatile games. Meanwhile, you may think about raising your wagers on less-volatile slots.

Maximum Bets with Active Bonuses

Online casino bonuses come with terms and conditions. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a deposit bonus or free spins, you must adhere to these T&C’s.

A maximum bet requirement is one of the most-common terms. It refers to when you can’t wager over a certain amount with an active bonus. If you do over-bet, then you’ll lose out on whatever potential bonus you’re seeking.

A gaming site may cap bets at $10 until you meet playthrough. In this case, you have no choice but to wager at $10 or less, unless you want to lose the bonus.

Perform Calculations

Once you know all the factors that go into picking a bet size, you should proceed to doing the math. You can plug numbers into different scenarios to figure out how long your money will theoretically last.

Here’s a look at how to calculate your stake size:

  • Your bankroll is worth $250.
  • You play online slots for around half an hour every day after work (roughly 250 spins).
  • You play slots with a 4% house edge (96% RTP) on average.
  • You start the calculations with a $5 average bet.
  • 250 x 5 x 0.04 = $50 in hourly theoretical losses
  • 250 / 50 = 5 hours
  • 5 / 0.5 = 10
  • You can theoretically play slots for 10 days (half an hour apiece) before your bankroll runs out.

Now, assume that you’re not happy with these calculations and want your funds to last a whole month. Here’s another example that achieves this goal.

  • You redo the calculations with a $0.50 average bet.
  • 250 x 0.5 x 0.04 = $5 in hourly theoretical losses
  • 250 / 5 = 50 hours.
  • 50 / 0.5 = 100
  • You can play slots for 100 days (half an hour apiece) before your bankroll runs out.

Of course, not every variable can be measured with calculations. The volatility, for instance, is just something that you need to have a feel for.

If a slot has a 9/10 or 10/10 volatility rating, then your calculations will be even more theoretical. After all, your winnings will be skewed much higher or lower than the given payout percentage.

That said, you need to consider the volatility when running the numbers. If the math shows that your bankroll will last for 20 hours on a 10/10 volatility game, then it might actually only last for 10 to 15 hours.

On the other hand, you could win a huge payout and enjoy a huge bankroll boost. In this case, you can play for 100 hours or more. You could also simply bank the profits.

Realize that No One Bet Size Fits All

If you’ve read up to this point, you can see that I haven’t given a specific recommendation on how much to bet with slots. The reason why is because no one wagers size fits everybody.

You might like chasing big payouts on extremely volatile games. In this case, you may want to stick with wagers worth anywhere from $0.20 to $5. This way, you can still enjoy slots without losing everything within a few minutes.

On the other hand, you may be loaded and have all kinds of money to play with. With a big bankroll, you can comfortably consider wagering over $5 per spin.

The key is to understand the different factors at play and apply them to your situation. You should also consider the specific slots that you’re playing when choosing a stake.

It’s safer to place large bets on less-volatile games. In contrast, bigger wagers can drain your bank really fast when volatility is high.

You also have to consider maximum bet requirements with active bonuses. If you’re a high roller, you’ll want to stifle bets until the bonus is cleared.

Of course, choosing a wager size doesn’t confine you to the specific amount either. You can always switch up bets as you see fit.

Set Up a Bankroll Management Plan

Upon settling on a bet size that fits your situation, you should also perform bankroll management. As seen below, a bankroll plan provides multiple benefits.

Decide How Much You Can Afford to Lose

The biggest priority with bankroll management is to decide how much you can comfortably risk. After all, online slots are negative-expectation (-EV) games.

You could win five, six, or even seven figures through slots. More than likely, though, you’re going to lose in the long run.

Piggy Bank Slots

You can certainly keep those dreams of winning life-changing money alive by continuing to play. When doing so, though, you should only risk spare money.

The best way to determine this is by going through your monthly finances. The idea is to figure out how much spare cash you have each month. Out of this amount, you can allocate a certain percentage to online slots.

If you have $500 to spare each month, for example, you might put between $100 and $200 towards gaming. Of course, you can risk more with additional spare money.

Pick a Bet Size

You don’t necessarily need to choose a hardline bet size and stick with it. After looking over the factors covered earlier, though, you can at least come up with a rough estimate on your stake.

The goal is to have some idea on the average wager in order to perform bankroll calculations. Of course, you can always perform multiple calculations using different bet sizes.

Here’s an example on how to plan out your bankroll using different average wagers:

$0.20 Bet

  • You play a slot with a 3.5% house edge (96.5% RTP).
  • You perform around 500 spins an hour.
  • You wish to play for approximately 1 hour per day.
  • If necessary, you plan to reload your bankroll each month.
  • 500 x 0.2 x 0.035 = $3.50 in hourly theoretical losses
  • 30 days (month) x 3.5 = $105
  • You’ll theoretically need a $105 bankroll.

$1 Bet

  • You play a slot with a 3.5% house edge (96.5% RTP).
  • You perform around 500 spins per hour.
  • You want to play for approximately 1 hour per day.
  • If necessary, you plan to reload your bankroll every month.
  • 500 x 1 x 0.035 = $17.50 in hourly theoretical losses
  • 30 days (month) x 17.50 = $525
  • You’ll theoretically need a $525 bankroll.

$5 Bet

  • You play a slot with a 3.5% house edge (96.5% RTP).
  • You perform around 500 spins an hour.
  • You wish to play for approximately 1 hour per day.
  • If necessary, you plan to reload your bankroll each month.
  • 500 x 5 x 0.035 = $87.50 in hourly theoretical losses
  • 30 days (month) x 87.50 = $2,625
  • You’ll theoretically need a $2,625 bankroll.

Skip the Feature Buy

Some developers provide the opportunity to trigger a bonus rounds immediately with feature buy (a.k.a. bonus buy). This option lets you enjoy the bonus at any time by spending a multiple of your stake.

Here’s an example on how to feature buy works:

  • You’re betting $1 per spin.
  • Bonus buy costs 100x your stake.
  • You spend $100 to immediately trigger the feature.

The benefit to bonus buy is that it could help you win a huge prize at any time. Assuming you don’t win much in the feature, though, then you’ll be losing lots of money overall.

Unless you’re a loaded high roller, you should skip this option. If you’re going to use future buy, make sure you’re betting a stake that lets you use it for $20 or less.

Conclusion

Most players choose slots bets based on feel. They may start out wagering $0.50 to $1 and either lower or increase their stake from here.

However, you can use a more-accurate approach that takes your bankroll and specific situation into account. You just need to plug numbers into the math examples covered in this post.

Choosing the right bet size goes a long way towards helping you with bankroll management. It’ll also ensure that you get to play slots for around the amount of time that you’re hoping for.