Are There Any Real Benefits of Betting Max on Slot Machines?
If there’s one button everyone is aware of on a slot machine, it’s the “Bet Max” button. Oh yes, we know it’s there. The majority of us do our absolute best to avoid accidentally pressing it. We know that it’ could be an expensive wager, but we don’t know – because we were too afraid to try – if pressing Bet Max will immediately set those reels to spinning; (i.e. what if there’s no going back?)
Yes, it’s a scary thought for most. After all, the majority of casino fans are recreational bettors. If you’re not a high roller with a fat bankroll, losing a max bet on a single spin could end your session in one fell swoop. But for those who have enough money in the bank – for the VIPs and high rollers who can afford the risk – there could be benefits of max bet slots play.
We’ll examine these, and also take a quick look at a common bonus rule in which players who are currently clearing wagering requirements may be prohibited from max betting. Click here to skip down to that section.
Benefits of Betting Max on Slot Machines
Most of the time, unfortunately, no – there is no benefit to placing a max bet. On most slot machines, the payout ratio for wins will increase equally with the bet you place. If you wager $1 and win $2, a $10 bet would have won $20, just as a $100 bet would have won $200. But that’s not always the case.
There are some slot machines in which placing a larger bet will actually increase the RTP, or return to player, of a slot machine. If this is the case, the pay table will inform you of this. In fact, the machine should boast it loud and clear.
One example is the Mega Moolah, from Microgaming. It’s the most famous progressive jackpot in the online gambling industry; responsible for paying out more than $450 million in mega-jackpots alone. If you read the pay table on the Mega Moolah Slot, it clearly states:
“The higher your bet the greater your chances of winning the progressive jackpot.”
Now we know for certain that the jackpot can be won on a minimum bet. We know this, because it’s been done multiple times. In 2015, British soldier Jon Haywood famously won £13.2 million – the largest online progressive prize on record at that time – with the smallest possible bet of just 25p.
Are Expensive Max Bets a Misconception?
Here’s the real kicker – not all slot machines will break your bankroll for betting max. Some certainly will, don’t get me wrong. There are machines with so many pay lines, or ‘ways to win’, that a max bet could cost hundreds of dollars. I’ll tell you about a few of these below. But the good news is, they’re not all like that.
Once more, I’ll use the celebrated “Millionaire Maker”, the Mega Moolah Slot, as an example. You would think a famous progressive like this – one that boasts higher odds for higher bets – would cost a lot to play at the max level. However, that’s not the case at all. In fact, it boasts one of the cheapest max bets in the business. This game has only 25 pay lines, accepting just 1 to 5 coins per line. So, if you bet max lines, at the max 5 coins per line, the most you’ll pay to spin the reels is only $6.25 per spin.
No, $6.25 isn’t cheap, especially for casual gamers who like their penny slots. But for a max bet, that’s chump change. As previously stated, most of today’s max bet slots play will cost you somewhere in the hundreds. Only high rollers can afford that kind of game play. Which brings us to…
When High Roller Betting is Worth It
Some slot manufacturers, like International Game Technology (IGT), are known for creating what we like to call ‘Variable RTP Slots’. These are games that start out with a low RTP for small-time bettors, but can progress to a much higher RTP for big bettors.
We’ve actually kept a record of all Variable RTP Slots on British Columbia’s home-grown online casino, PlayOLG. If you’re in Canada, these are the same games found at most provincially-run online casinos, as they all employ the IGT software platform.
One of the better known versions of these games is the Mighty Black Knight Slot, built by IGT-subsidiary, Barcrest. If you bet at or near the minimum of $0.10 per spin, you’ll be playing for a rather abysmal RTP of 94%. If you activate the game’s ‘Big Bet’ feature, however, the pay lines double from 50 to 100, and the RTP increases to a much more valuable 98%. Any avid online slots fan knows that 98% is almost unheard in slots RTPs. But yes, it will cost you.
The good news is, it won’t require a “max bet” to reach the Big Bet activation level. A max bet on Mighty Black Knight would cost you a whopping $250 per spin! That’s not to say Big Bet activation is cheap, but it’s a lot cheaper, at $20, $30 or $50 per Big Bet spin.
The morale of the story here is that you should never play a viable RTP slot machine unless you intend to upgrade the RTP with a bigger bet. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money away.
The Slots Bonus Max Bet Rule
If you’re clearing a slots bonus, deposit bonus, or any other promotional credits, make sure you read the rules as they pertain to bet sizing. Casinos would love to see you betting big. But they would rather you do it with your money, not theirs.
When betting with bonus cash, you’re likely to be prohibited from betting max on slot machines. Instead, they’ll want you to keep your wagers down around $1.00 or less. Bet too high, and it won’t count towards wagering requirements. It could even cause you to forfeit the bonus altogether. Every casino bonus is different, so you’ll need to check the rules each and very time you claim one.
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