How to choose your bet size when playing slots

Playing slots is the ultimate form of casino entertainment and it’s no wonder that slots are the #1 most popular game in the casino – in the real world and online.

Slots are designed to be easy to play and it’s very tempting to just keep hitting the Spin button, chasing those wins. But although the big wins are fantastic, you're looking to enjoy the experience, even when the wins aren’t coming in! To do that, you need to stay in the game, which means you need to manage your bankroll to ensure you can keep playing for longer than 10 minutes!


Session Limits

Whenever you're gambling, whatever games you're playing, we encourage you to set a limit to your session – either a number of bets, a time limit, or an amount of cash you can afford to lose.


Bet size

The major decision you have to make when playing slots is how much you want to bet on each spin. There are three factors involved in this - the coin size, the number of coins, and the number of paylines.

Every spin will cost you a Bet amount which can be calculated as follows:

Bet = Paylines x Coins x Coin size

In most games you can adjust one, two or all of these.

Let’s work through an example by looking at Barcrest’s ever popular Rainbow Riches. As a traditional slot, you can control each of the three elements as shown here:

Choosing bet size on Rainbow Riches

In games like this, the calculation is done for you – just adjust the number of paylines and / or the bet per line and the total bet is worked out for you. This makes it really simple to stay within your limits and manage your bankroll.


More modern games take a slightly different twist. For example, Net Ent favourite Starburst fixes the number of paylines but uses the concept of levels to multiply your bet:

Choosing bet level on Starburst

Level 1 is a 10x multiplier, Level 10 (the max) multiplies by 100. Your bet is then controlled by adjusting the coin size – from 0.01 to 0.05, meaning a total bet size of anywhere between 10p (0.01 at Level 1) and £5.00 (0.05 at Level 10). This again gives you plenty of control to stay within your betting limits.


Other slots make it even more simple. For example, Microgaming’s Immortal Romance keeps the number of lines and coin size fixed and allows you to easily adjust the overall bet size via a slider:

Selecting a Quick Bet on Immortal Romance

And if even sliding a slider is too much like hard work(!) they allow you to click on a range of preset bets using their Quick Bet options.

If you’re not a fan of maths, this is a simple alternative.


Bankroll management

As we describe above, ankroll management is especially important when playing Slots, as your bet size can increase very quickly if you don’t keep your eye on things.

As a rule of thumb when playing slots, we’d suggest working out how long you could keep playing for if things don’t go your way and you hit a long losing streak. This will then give you an idea of how much you can bet on each spin.

In simple terms,

Bankroll / Bet size = Number of spins

It's clearly very important to choose your game wisely, so that each spin offers the maximum chance to win, but stays within your betting strategy and session limits.

How you want to play slots often comes down to what kind of a player you are: someone who wants lots of regular, but perhaps small wins, someone who’s happy to wait, spinning until bigger wins come in, or someone who’s in the middle – patient, but not too patient!

Your playing style is therefore suited by choosing games that have the correct ‘volatility’ for you. We explain Slots Volatility in this article: choosing your perfect slot.


Staying in control

Incidentally, if ever you feel that your gambling is no longer under control and that you may be spending more than you can afford to lose, we highly recommend that you seek help before you get deeper into trouble. Our Responsible Gambling site has loads of helpful articles on the various tools we provide to allow you to set safe limits and keep gambling as an enjoyable leisure pursuit. It also provides links to organisations like Gamstop who can help you when the fun stops being fun.

Please, don't suffer alone. There are people out there who can help to keep it fun.