When to Bet: should you bet one coin or the maximum coins?

When to Bet Max: should you bet one coin or the maximum coins

This is a question that comes up amongst slots players time and time again and it's not difficult to see why. For decades, casinos and gambling experts have agreed and touted the fact that in order to earn the highest possible payout rates when playing slots, players should be betting the max coins.

In recent years however, this point and way of thinking has been challenged thanks to the advent of video slot games. The aim now is to cover all of the paylines and many of the new video slots don't give players the option of playing fewer lines. This means you'll find 40 line slots where you're able to play 40 cents, 80 cents, $/£/€1.20, $/£/€1.60 and $/£/€2 with no option of playing one line per spin. Yet, some players still wonder if they should still be betting the max.

In the majority of games, the answer is no, when it comes to betting a single coin or the max on video slots, there's not much difference. Here's why...

When it comes to video slots, betting larger sums will not increase the number of winning combinations you encounter, this is because the Random Number Generator (RNG) works in the same way regardless of the number of coins wagered, and the proportion of winning combinations remains constant regardless of the size of your wager.

This differs from older slots with three mechanical reels that required players to bet the max in order to attain the higher jackpots. For example, in these games a single coin wager might earn you a 1,000 coin jackpot, and a two coin wager would double this to 2,000 but if you bet the max at three coins, this would payout at a massive 5,000 coins - so it was well worth betting the max here.

The majority of Video Slots don't work like this and if you examine their paytables you'll find that the payouts are proportionate throughout. If the jackpot is 1,000 coins for a single coin wager, it will be 2,000 for two coins and 3,000 for 3 coins and so forth. There is no massive disproportionate jump, so your average return per coin remains constant regardless of the size of your wager, as does the payout percentage.

Coin denominations

The coin denomination you select on a slot game will reflect the value that each coin you bet will hold, whether it’s 0.01 or 1.00 (or sometimes even more), that is the value of each coin. Think of it as a penny, nickel, dime, etc. If you select a coin denomination of 0.01, then you can consider each coin you play to be equivalent to a penny. Slots that offer 0.01 coin denominations are often referred to as penny slots.

Coin denominations allow for a wider range of slot limits, thus, accommodating a wider range of players’ bankrolls. The value of the coin applied to the number of paylines you’d like to bet, and the number of coins you’d like to wager on each line, will give you the total of your bet amount.

A maximum bet is an optimized bet of all possible paylines wagered at the highest number of coins per line possible. A true Bet Max is set at the highest coin denomination offered. Be careful though as sometimes a max bet can be as high as several hundred dollars per spin, though this is more common in online slots.

Why bet max?

Bet Max simply means the maximum amount you can bet on a spin. Online slot games players also refer to Bet Max as Maximum Bet or Max Bet. There are many slot games nowadays that incorporate a Bet Max button or tab that automatically places the maximum bet with 1 click.

The reason that betting max is important in video slot games is because there are numerous games in which the Jackpot or the progressive Jackpot feature can only be won when you bet the maximum.

This can dictate though, whether or not you can afford to play that slot in particular, because if your budget for a slots session is $50 and the maximum bet is $5, you’re not going to get value for money, as unless you run very hot, your kitty will be empty in no time.

You should always bet max when there is a possibility of getting to the free spins or bonus rounds. You should also bet max when you have the sole aim of hitting a progressive jackpot.

A bigger slice of slot pie

High denomination slots have a higher fixed Max Bet than ordinary slots. More so, high denomination slots have higher payouts.

Some slot machine games pay out better when you play max bet. For example, on some 3-reel slot machines, if you hit a line of the top-paying slots symbols you might win (for example) 1,000 credits if you are playing a credit per line. However, if you had been playing maximum credits per line (for example, 3 credits), then the top win might rise to 10,000 credits.

Not betting max is often a big mistake

Generally speaking, it is always best to play the maximum bet when you play slot machine games, whether it's online or in real world casinos. Wins normally pay out at higher multiples and many progressive jackpots can only be won via a max bet. If you have a smaller bankroll, rather than betting less lines or less coins, you should look for games with lower max bets. In the long term, this will be a far more profitable strategy.

That said, this doesn't mean that there are no incentives to place larger wagers when playing video slot games, especially on certain types like progressive jackpot slots. In these games you have to ensure that you are eligible for the progressive jackpot prize, and this can mean needing to place an additional wager. The base game will offer a set payout percentage regardless of the number of coins that you play, but you often won't be eligible for the grand prize if you don't place the additional wager.

Of course, not all progressive video slot games work in this way, some offer eligibility for the jackpot on any bet, even the minimum, but this only occurs in the mystery jackpot format, where the winner is the player wins a randomly generated jackpot amount. That said though, even in these formats, players will earn extra chances of winning when placing higher bets.

Besides progressive and mystery jackpot slots, video slot games don't generally require you to play the max to earn the max, which is great if you're on a tight bankroll.

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