People play online slots for a variety of reasons, including entertainment, dreams of winning big, and wanting to try the latest games. But few players stop to think about bankroll management and how it can improve their slots experience.
Online slot machines are the most-volatile games in the casino. Volatility refers to how much your results can vary from the average payout.
An internet slot may be programmed to pay back 95 percent on every dollar wagered. But your payback in a single session can be anywhere from 10 percent to 300 percent of that value.
It’s only when a player’s bankroll quickly disappears that they become interested in bankroll management. They may even become frustrated with a losing streak and log off feeling angry.
This is the exact opposite of what you want to experience in an online slot session. Therefore, it’s important to understand all the facets of bankroll management so that you have a better time at NJ online casinos.
We’re going to cover how you can get the most out of your bankroll. This discussion will include bankroll management strategies, game selection, New Jersey slots bonuses, and how to manage your emotions.
Slots bankroll management strategies
The first thing to consider with slots bankroll management is your strategy. Having a plan in place lowers your risk of ruin, which will be discussed next.
There are multiple different strategies that you can use to maximize your bankroll’s play time. Neither of the strategies that we’ll discuss is foolproof due to the volatility of slots, but you’ll still have a much better chance of hanging onto your bankroll.
What is a risk of ruin?
Risk of ruin is the chance that you’ll lose everything on a gamble. If you have a 25% risk of ruin, for example, then there’s a 25% chance that you’ll lose your entire bankroll.
Calculating risk of ruin manually is a difficult process, especially with online slots. But there’s a calculator available from DigDia that you can use to simplify the process.
This tool lets you input variables like the bet size per spin, play rate, volatility, payback percentage, and your bankroll size.
Here’s an example of the variables you can enter:
- Bet per spin = $1
- Play rate = 12 spins per minute (720 per hour).
- Payback = 95%
- Volatility = Medium
- Bankroll = $300
- Result: Bankroll will last 8 hours and 20 minutes on average.
The calculator doesn’t offer a risk of ruin percentage. But it does show that you can expect to last a little over eight hours on an internet slot with these variables.
The good news about New Jersey online slots is that they pay more than slot machines in land-based casinos. However, you must still be prepared for the possibility that you could lose everything.
Decide how much you can afford to lose
The first rule of online slots is to never bet more money than you can afford to lose. Therefore, it’s smart to consider how large of a bankroll you can comfortably deposit at your online casino.
Everything begins with deciding your personal income and expenses. You can use these factors to determine how much disposable income you have available.
Here’s an example:
- You earn $3,200 per month after taxes.
- Your combined bills and expenses total $2,000 per month.
- You have $1,200 in disposable monthly income.
It’s unwise to dump the entire $1.2k amount into your slots bankroll. After all, you never know when you’ll have an emergency that requires savings. But you can take a portion of this to get your bankroll started.
Let’s say that you use $600 for your starting slots bankroll. You can then use a percentage of your monthly income and add to this each month.
For example, you could deposit an additional $400 into your account every month. This is enough to enjoy yourself without going overboard.
Strategy #1: Manage your bankroll with estimated losses
Now that you understand the risk of ruin and how to properly build a bankroll, the next step is to come up with a strategy. And the first one involves using estimated losses to manage your funds.
This strategy begins with deciding a unit size, or your average bet per spin. If you’re betting one penny on a 25-payline game, then your unit size is 25 cents.
The next step is to use this in combination with average hourly losses. Of course, the number of units you lose per hour varies based on volatility. But a rough estimation is that the average slots player loses 300 units per hour.
You can take this information and do the math to figure out how long your bankroll will last:
- You have a $600 bankroll.
- Your unit size is 25 cents.
- 600 x 0.25 = 2,400 units
- 2,400 / 300 units = 8 hours
The benefit to this strategy is that there’s not much math involved. You simply multiply your bankroll by the unit size, then divide this figure by 300 units.
The downside is that this is only a general guideline that doesn’t account for play rate, volatility, or how much a game pays. Those who want a more-detailed plan should pass on the first strategy.
Strategy #2: Manage your bankroll with theoretical losses
A better way to manage your bankroll is to focus on theoretical losses, which is a calculated average of how much money you stand to lose.
Theoretical losses take more factors into account than the first strategy, including volatility, payback, and play rate. I’ll discuss these aspects in more depth later, but let’s look at an example right now:
- You have a $500 bankroll.
- You’re betting $1 per spin.
- You’re performing 700 spins per hour.
- 700 x 1 = $700 in hourly bets
- The online slot has 95 percent payback, or a 5 percent house edge.
- 700 x 0.05 = $35 in losses per hour
- 500 / 35 = 14.28 hours (14 hours and 8 minutes)
If the slot machine has low volatility, then $35 in hourly losses is fairly accurate when compared to a high volatility game.
This strategy is more involved than the first one we discussed. And you can never guarantee that things will play out like the math suggests, even on a low-volatility slot. But using theoretical losses gives you a strong assessment of how far your bankroll can go.
Slots selection guide to minimize losses
The good news about playing slots in New Jersey’s regulated online gaming market is that you have several casinos to choose from. Three NJ online casinos that we highly recommend for slots include Golden Nugget online casino, Betfair NJ online casino, and Virgin online casino. All these casinos are good in terms of both slots bonuses and game selection.
Of course, choosing an online slot game is about more than just knowing where to play. You also have to consider other factors, such as return-to-player, hit frequency, and slots providers. Here’s more on how you can choose slots based on these aspects.
What is RTP?
Return-to-player (or RTP) is the amount of money players can expect to win back on their bets. RTP is expressed as a percentage, which you can see in the example below:
- You’re playing NetEnt’s Jack Hammer 2.
- This slot offers 97.10 percent RTP.
- You bet $100 on this game.
- 100 x 0.971 = 97.10
- You can expect to win back $97.10 for every $100 wagered.
The math on RTP gets slightly more complicated when dealing with uneven bets, such as $532 or $457, for example. But most people shouldn’t have much trouble multiplying a number by RTP.
Most modern internet slots have 95 percent RTP or higher. Few online slots go above 98 percent in payback because this leaves little profit for the casino.
Why is RTP important?
Return-to-player is crucial with regard to determining your long-term chances of winning with online slots. In fact, RTP is one of the first things that experienced players look at when choosing games.
You can easily conclude that a game with 98 percent RTP gives you better odds of winning than a game with 94 percent RTP. Winning an extra 4 percent of the time makes a big difference over a large sample size.
But keep in mind that RTP doesn’t guarantee anything. You can win or lose far more than the payback figure suggests. This is what keeps internet slots exciting because you can hit a big payout and win far more money than you’d expect based on the RTP.
Nevertheless, you should always look for payback figures whenever possible. RTP offers a good indication of your odds of winning.
Remember that RTP doesn’t account for a game’s volatility
The downside to RTP is that it’s not the best indicator of your short-term odds of winning. This figure only alludes to your long-term chances of earning money.
Most online slots aren’t programmed to reach their true RTP until hundreds of thousands of spins are made. You’d have to spend months playing the same slot to reach the true payout percentage.
The typical scenario is that you’ll only play for a few hundred spins before trying a new game. Therefore, you’re highly unlikely to reach the stated payback within this short sample size.
Some online slots offer a volatility rating in their help screen. Certain guides can also offer you insight into the least and most-volatile slots. For example, this guide lists the aforementioned Jack Hammer 2 as a low volatility game, meaning you’re unlikely to encounter severe losing streaks. It’s just a coincidence that Jack Hammer 2 also has a great RTP at 97.1 percent.
Drive Multiplier Mayhem is the opposite because it pays out on a more limited basis. You’re heavily reliant on triggering the bonus round with three scatter symbols to win. Payouts are slim pickings until you get the bonus and earn large prizes in this round.
Hit frequency is more important for measuring volatility
Hit frequency refers to how often you can expect to win in each round. If an online slot has 15 percent hit frequency, then you’ll win a prize on 15 percent of your spins.
This concept is a more-predictive measure of your short-term winnings. Players with small bankrolls can appreciate slots with high hit frequency because they offer a good chance to play longer.
Meanwhile, an online slot with low hit frequency won’t pay very often. These games are bad for anybody who needs frequent wins to keep their bankroll stable.
The main drawback to hit frequency is that slot machines don’t offer stats on this. You’re left guessing on how often a game will pay out based on several factors.
Here are the aspects you should consider:
- How large is the jackpot? A big jackpot takes away from the frequency of smaller payouts.
- How many small prizes are there? The more the better if you’re looking for a high hit frequency.
- The number of paylines? A large number of paylines means more possible wins per round.
- The number of bonuses & multipliers? More bonuses mean fewer payouts during the main game.
You’ll need to look at the pay table and jackpot meter to figure all of this out. It’s important to do so if you want the best chance of winning in the short run.
Progressive slot machines generally offer low hit frequency. This is especially true of games with large jackpots. If a gaming provider has to seed a jackpot with $100,000, you’re guaranteed that it won’t pay out as frequently as a game with a $1,000 starting jackpot.
Another thing to consider is that progressive games tend to have lower “base RTP” than non-progressives. The base RTP is how much a game pays back with the starting jackpot value included.
Progressive slots RTP grows along with the value of the jackpot. But if you don’t win the top prize, then you’re only looking at the base payback. Therefore, you should always concentrate on the base amount and act as if you won’t win the jackpot.
Online slots with standard jackpots or small progressive prizes usually hit more often than games with big jackpots. This is because there’s no huge payout to seed, allowing the slot to offer more-frequent prizes.
Get to know new Jersey Online slots providers
New Jersey online casinos license their slots from different companies. Knowing these providers gives you a leg up in figuring out RTP for each game. Furthermore, you can also choose which casino(s) to deposit at based on the slots providers they use.
The top New Jersey online casinos such as Golden Nugget, Betfair Casino, and Virgin Casino all license slots from NetEnt and IGT. NetEnt features some of the highest-paying games in the online slots industry, including Spinata Grande (98.60% RTP), Bloodsuckers (98.0%), Secrets of Atlantic (97.07%), Steam Tower (97.04%), Reel Rush (97.0%), and Butterfly Staxx (96.80%).
IGT, meanwhile, offers lots of games with an older feel that don’t pay as well. Some of their most-popular online slots include Cleopatra (95.02% RTP), Coyote Moon (94.98%), Family Guy (94.25% RTP), and Wolf Rising (94.04%). The solace here is that IGT slots tend to have fewer bonuses than NetEnt games, meaning they offer higher hit frequency
These are just a couple examples of providers that you’ll find in the New Jersey online gaming market. But you can see that both providers offer their own individual characteristics in terms of RTP. Some of the other slots providers in the market include 888, Ainsworth, Bally, High 5 Games, Lightning Box, NetGen, and WMS.
How casino bonuses affect your bankroll
One overlooked aspect regarding online slots bankroll management involves NJ online casino bonuses.
New Jersey casinos offer these rewards as incentives for new players.
The standard deal is that you make a deposit and become eligible for a bonus worth a match percentage of your bonus. One example is Golden Nugget, which offers a 100% match on your first deposit worth up to $1,500. If you deposit $600 under this deal, then you’ll be eligible for a $600 bonus.
Virgin Casino has a different style of welcome bonus that’s based on the cash back. You can earn up to $100 cash back if you satisfy either of the following conditions:
- Lose more than 90 percent of your first deposit within the first seven days. You’ll be paid an amount equal to the losses up to $100.
- Lose less than 90 percent of your first deposit and do not return a profit. You’ll be paid an amount equal to your net loss up to $100.
The obvious benefit to deposit bonuses is that they offer free cash to pad your bankroll and increase your play time on any slot you choose to play. But there are other aspects you need to be aware of before receiving your free money.
Look at the Terms & Conditions for the deposit bonus
You should always look at the bonus terms and conditions before depositing at an online casino. Doing so lets you see the stipulations behind earning bonuses.
Here are stipulations on the Betfair bonus as an example:
- 100% match bonus up to $2,500.
- Minimum deposit of $10.
- Bonus must be wagered 20 times on slots.
- Roulette (40x) and all other table games (200x) unlock the bonus at a lower rate.
- You have 90 days to meet the wagering requirements.
You can see that there are multiple factors to consider before trying to unlock this bonus. I’ll discuss the wagering requirements next and the math behind them. Also, pay special attention to the minimum deposit and timeframes on earning the bonus.
Meet wagering requirements
Casinos require you to wager a certain amount of money before withdrawing bonuses. This prevents players from making a deposit just so they can get a bonus and quickly cash it out.
Standard casino bonus wagering requirements in the online casino industry are 20x the bonus plus deposit amount. But New Jersey’s top internet casinos have friendlier requirements of 10 times the bonus plus deposit amount. This means that you only have to wager half as much to receive your bonus.
Here’s an example from Golden Nugget:
- Golden Nugget Casino offers a 100% match bonus up to $1,500.
- You deposit $500, making you eligible for a $500 bonus.
- 10 x (500 + 500) = $10,000.
- The $500 bonus will be yours after you bet $10,000 total.
Such lenient wagering requirements make New Jersey casinos particularly friendly toward players looking to maximize their bankroll’s play time.
How much money must you spend to meet wagering requirements?
Many players want to know how much they stand to win or lose when chasing bonuses. The answer depends upon the wagering requirements and slots RTP.
Here’s an example using the same wagering requirements covered above:
- You’re playing a slot with 95% payback (5% house edge).
- Your bonus is worth $500.
- You must wager $10,000 to meet 10x (deposit + bonus) wager requirement
- 10,000 x 0.05 = $500 in theoretical losses
- 500 bonus – 500 losses = break even
Again, many internet casinos outside New Jersey offer bonuses where they still make a profit when the average player meets their wagering requirements. But you need only play an online slot with 95 percent RTP to theoretically break even in this situation.
Playing any slot above 95 percent payback would give you a realistic chance to profit off the bonus deal. And this makes it tempting to look for the best-paying slots when unlocking your bonus.
But online casinos can exclude certain slots or feature larger wagering requirements on them. The reason why is that they don’t want to get burned through games with high RTP.
You can find excluded or higher-requirement slots in the terms and conditions. For example, Golden Nugget lists more than two dozen slots that only contribute 20 percent toward meeting requirements. In other words, you must wager 50x the bonus plus deposit amount with these specific games.
Examples include Bloodsuckers (98.0% RTP), Vampires vs. Werewolves (98.0%), Starmania (97.87%), and Jack and the Beanstalk (96.3%).
The casino would be at an obvious disadvantage if these slots counted 100 percent toward requirements. But you can still look for other games that offer more than 95 percent RTP to have a theoretical advantage.
Regardless of whether you play slots that give you an edge, collecting bonuses is a nice way to sustain your bankroll. And you should take advantage of these opportunities whenever possible.
Look for other promotions to boost your bankroll
The problem with welcome bonuses is that they’re only good for your first deposit(s). You must seek out additional rewards in order to continue adding to your bankroll.
Some of these offers include deposit (reload) bonuses, free spins, and VIP rewards. You might even receive a no-deposit bonus, which is awarded just for creating an account.
No-deposit bonuses are always worth getting if you have any interest in a casino. This is free money that the site hands you to try their games. The Virgin Casino no-deposit bonus is one of the best in all of internet gaming. Virgin Casino offers $30 free to new sign-ups, and you only need to meet a 1x playthrough requirements before the money becomes yours.
Browse the promotions section of any New Jersey online casino you’re interested in to see what they have to offer. You can also check out our NJ online casino reviews to speed up the process.
Promotions can change on a regular basis. Here’s an example using some of what Golden Nugget offers at the time of this writing:
- Half Million Dollar Race: Earn loyalty points and win leaderboard prizes.
- Weekly Missions: Different bonus deals and challenges.
- VIP Rewards Club: Collect loyalty points and earn bonuses based on your VIP status.
- 44 percent match deposit bonus.
- Cashback on deposits.
Each of these offers represents a chance for slots players to win free money and build their bankroll. If you’re going to play online slots anyways, you should take advantage of any offers you find can find.
Slots tilt management strategies
What is slots tilt?
Poker players have coined the term “tilt,” which refers to the point of frustration where you’re no longer making rational decisions. For example, a skilled poker pro might become fed up with poor luck and start calling bets when they shouldn’t.
While tilt originated in poker, it can apply to any casino game. This includes slots, where bad decisions lead to poor bankroll management.
Slots tilt is an emotional state where you’ve had such bad luck that you continue playing longer than previously planned. Here’s an example:
- You plan to stop playing if you lose $200.
- You have bad luck and quickly lose this amount.
- You’re angry and continue playing.
- You don’t stop until your entire $500 bankroll is gone.
Nobody wants to get to this stage. This is why it’s important to have strategies in place to keep yourself from tilting in online slots.
How can you minimize or prevent slots tilt?
Following the advice that we’ve covered on bankroll management will give you a solid foundation for preventing tilt. Having a bankroll plan and understanding theoretical hourly losses take away the surprise when you’re not winning.
It also helps to thoroughly know volatility and how it affects short-term results. Slots with progressive jackpots and/or multiple bonuses are among the most-volatile casino games. You need to accept a fair amount of short-term risk when choosing these slots.
Of course, knowing bankroll management and volatility isn’t always enough to keep you from tilting during a lengthy losing session. A simpler trick is to take 3-5 deep breaths.
When doing so, really concentrate on inhaling and exhaling each breath. This helps take your focus away from the game. It may sound cheesy, but it really does make a difference.
You can also take a 15-20 minute break from your PC or smartphone when you start to lose it. Your break could consist of a walk, getting lunch, doing household chores, or anything else that gets you away from slots.
One more way to keep yourself from tilting is to set a stop-loss limit for a session. A stop-loss limit is the number of losses that convince you to stop playing upon reaching. An example is a stop-loss limit of $100 per session.
It’s not always easy to stick with these limits. If you struggle, try only depositing the amount of your single-session limit. Alternatively, check to see if your NJ online casino offers tools that allow you to set a stop-loss at the software level. If enabled, your session will be terminated automatically as soon as the limit is reached.
Final thoughts on maximizing your slots bankroll’s play time
Slots players often begin sessions with dreams of winning big. But it’s important to remember that online casinos always have a slight advantage over players. Therefore, you must prepare for the times when the reels don’t favor you.
This starts with defining strategies for how you’ll manage your bankroll. The two strategies that we covered here include using either an average number of hourly losses (e.g. 300) or theoretical losses based on calculations.
Another important step is to choose the right games based on RTP and volatility. Slots with high RTP pay more back over the long term. But you must also consider volatility because this affects how much your short-term results will vary.
Be sure to factor deposit bonuses and other rewards into your bottom line. These bonuses can give you a large boost, especially when dealing with the low wagering requirements at New Jersey’s top online casinos.
As long as you keep your cool and avoid tilt, you should have a good time with slots and avoid going over your budget.