Myths vs. Reality

Can You Win More Often at Max Bet?

Ocean Magic bet panel
Written by Joshua

There are some that believe that you can win more often by betting Max Bet. It’s not the simplest question to answer, so we’ll break it down in a few ways.

Status: Depends on your definition of “Win.”

…On a Given Spin?

Some people think of winning more often in terms of simply having more winning spins. For the bulk of slot machines out there, that’s not likely. But we previously talked about those physical reel, multi-coin machines that can activate new winning combinations with each additional coin. In that sense, you could very well be activating more frequent wins because there are more winning symbol combinations for that higher bet.

Certain symbols and combinations become active on old school physical reel slots. Video slots largely abandoned this practice.

I’m pretty sure this is why many people are under the belief you have to max bet on a machine for best results.

Meanwhile, most video reel slots (especially lower-denomination ones) aim to get you to bet max lines or buy the bonus feature bet so to avoid further confusion they tend to avoid complicating the paytables any further by knocking some winning combinations out at lower bets.

As always, it’s good to read the pay table so you understand how pays are evaluated, and when you’re missing out on bets by not max betting.

…Winning Sessions on a Machine?

There’s more to the nature of max betting meaning you could come out ahead a bit more often, and it’s because aside from the above example of physical reel slots, there are other examples where not betting max can reduce your pays, such as Quick Hit games, where the progressives only pay at max bet.

Major progressive on Dancing Drums at 88 cents
If you don’t bet properly on Dancing Drums you may disqualify yourself from certain progressives.

Bet below max bet and you’re giving back a small portion of the payback, but over time you’re increasing the house hold, and therefore making it harder to have a winning session as your wins have to make up for the difference of what you’re giving up.

If you aren’t betting five gold symbols on games like Dancing Drums, you’re leaving the Grand progressive out of your potential winning options. While the odds of winning it are low, that’s still calculated in the payback. (That said, you don’t have to max bet to have a shot at that progressive.)

Beyond those examples, though, max bet is usually just a proportionally higher win or loss compared to a lower bet. So if min bet is 30 cents, and max bet is $3, you can expect a 10x win or loss, barring any specific differences in the paytable.

Do Your Homework

If I have hoped to instill anything here at Know Your Slots, it’s being an educated gambler. If these questions matter to you, get to know the games you’re playing. Read the paytable, watch YouTube videos or read explanations like I’m posting here. You can at least feel better knowing you are comfortable with the games at hand.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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