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A Guide to Penny Slots, Live and Online

I am sure that most players would love to be spinning $3, $5 or even more each time on slot machines. The reality is that bankroll considerations mean that this is out of reach for most of us – at least for now. This means that finding good penny slots is an important consideration. These are slots which do not cost a huge amount to play - though still have the potential for a big payout if things go your way.

This guide to penny slots looks at this topic from several different angles. First of all, I define what is meant by a penny slot, and look at the lowest costs per spin. Next some of the different types of slots are covered – highlighting which are the best types for penny slots fans. After that live and then online penny slots are discussed, and at the end of this page some pointers about the importance of managing your slots bankroll can be found.

How is a Penny Slot Defined?

There are no slots which I know of which will spin for an actual penny. The smallest spin amount is 10c, with 25c being much more common. This name comes from the cost of your line bets. Many slots have multiple lines, with 30 a common number and 50 very popular. You can spin these machines for a penny per line, which adds up to 30c or 50c. You’ll still get a chance at a big return, though you will essentially be playing for pennies.

It can be tempting for players with a small bankroll to cut down on the number of lines to save money. I do not recommend that you do this, what you will find is that those wild symbols become less effective. Where one in the right place (towards the left) can hit 5 or more lines, cutting down could mean it only hits one or two.

Traditional 3-reel slots can work for pennies, though when it comes to ‘coins’ you’ll often find a minimum of 25c here. Playing these games for 1 coin is never a good idea. This is because the biggest payouts are for the max coins, usually 5. Once you take the potential for this jackpot out of the math, you will find that playing these games comes with a huge house edge.

Different Types of Penny Slot

I touched on the main distinction between 5 reel and 3 reel slots above. This is just the very highest level of distinction between slots games, which has become a varied and complex genre.

Video slots are hugely diverse, and range in complexity from games with 20 lines and a ‘free spins’ round feature, to truly interactive games with complex video features which take you out of the normal game completely. There are even multi-player games which can include shared group bonuses. If getting some entertainment value for your money is important to you, then these machines will really give you bang for your bucks. They can be played for pennies both live and online, though you should normally budget for 50c per spin.

Traditional slots are the 3-reel games. These can be played for pennies online, though the live versions usually require a dollar or more to play. There are a number of games which include some features, for example a second set of reels for a jackpot game. These aim to bridge the gap between the traditional and the more modern games.

Penny Slots with Big Payouts

If you are looking for the biggest payouts for your pennies, then the video slots are almost certainly the way to go. These will allow you to play for 20c and up, and still have a shot at the big one. Your chances of winning will be proportional to your stake. At the same time, the knowledge that you could be walking away with $1,000,000 or more is often enough to add excitement to the game all by-itself.

What you will find on the video slots games is that payouts for the bonus rounds are usually proportional to the line bet amount. You could win a 1000x prize for a 20c spin, which would be based on the 1c line amount, giving you $10.

Live or Online Penny Slots?

Live casinos have much bigger overheads that their online counterparts, and are far more likely to have a minimum outside for the pennies range on their jackpot machines. Online, where everything is run by software, you’ll find more penny game opportunities. I strongly recommend that you read the rules of each game - you can still find instances where you need to play for over a certain amount in order to participate in the jackpot.

Bankroll Management and Penny Slots

Finally, even if you are playing for pennies, you need to manage your slots bankroll. You are looking to hit the dual goals of giving yourself a chance of a decent win, and not going broke. I recommend 250 spins for any one session, if you win you can move up to bigger bets, and if you lose you could drop down. Remember the golden rule of enjoying slots games is that you should never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose.