How to Play Slot Games with Maximum Betting

Whether you’re playing slots online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, every game has a “Max Bet” button waiting to launch you into a world of maximum payout potential. Most casual slot players don’t know what this button is for since there’s no clear explanation on the paytable, and that blind spot could be costing you money. We’d like to change that so that you can maximize your potential payouts with every single spin.

This slot games guide was designed to explain the ins and outs of max betting and outline the top scenarios that call for a max bet. As you’ll come to learn, there are many merits to max betting, such as access to progressive jackpots, but you’ll need to take into account the size of your bankroll when tailoring your approach, along with the incentive for betting max. Once you know how max betting works, you’ll be able to incorporate it into your slot gaming approach strategically (while taking advantage of our top casino promotions) and hit the slots section of Bodog Casino with the swagger of a seasoned slot player.


Understanding Max Betting

A common misconception with beginners who are just learning how to play slot games is that a “max bet” means you’re betting the most money possible on a round, but that’s not the case. A max bet entails betting all of the possible paylines in a slot, with the maximum number of coins possible. This could be 3, 5 or even 10 coins per line—it depends on the slot you’re playing. Where you get a say in the matter is with coin denominations; most online slots let you choose your coin denomination, and whether you go with penny coins or $5 coins doesn’t matter—you can still bet max.

5 Reel Circus, for example, has a Bet Max button at the bottom-right of the game screen (beside the AUTO button). When you use it, you’ll be betting five coins on each of the game’s 15 paylines for a total of 75 coins per spin. The coin denominations include: $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50 and $1. We’ve broken down how much a max bet would cost for each denomination so you can see how wide the range is in terms of cost per spin:

Coin Denomination Cost Per Spin
$0.01 $0.75
$0.05 $3.75
$0.10 $7.50
$0.25 $18.75
$0.50 $37.50
$1.00 $75.00

With a range from $0.75 to $75 per spin, max betting can accommodate large and small bankrolls alike, as long as you’re playing slot games that let you select your preferred coin denomination. As a rule of thumb, smaller bankrolls should stick to slots with fewer paylines, while bigger bankrolls can go for the larger 25, or 50-payline slots, which often require betting 10 coins per line in order to bet max.


Reading the Table

A slot game’s paytable has the information needed to decide whether or not a max bet is warranted. The payouts listed on any given table are based on one-coin wagers, so when you bet more than one coin per line, the payout is multiplied by the number of coins you bet. For example, in Rise of Poseidon, landing three Octopus on a payline, starting on the first reel, pays 15 coins; however, if you bet the maximum 10 coins per line, the payout is multiplied by 10X giving you a 150-coin payout instead of a 15-coin one.

Multiplying standard payouts by the number of coins bet per line isn’t a big incentive to bet max since the payout scales up and down to match your wager, but there are some instances where a max bet unlocks a bigger payout than normal. To illustrate this scenario, we’ll use the progressive slot, Food Fight.

Food Fight has six food-themed game symbols spinning through the reels: pudding, pie, pasta, a tomato, pizza and a burger. Each of these symbols has a payout listed for every possible number of coins wagered, from one to five; however, the payout listed for the five-coin bet (for landing five matching icons) is higher than what you’d expect by simply multiplying the base payout by five, and that’s the case with all six game icons. Let’s take a look at the Tomato icon to explain what we mean:


Tomato One-Coin Bet Two-Coin Bet Three-Coin Bet Four-Coin Bet Five-Coin Bet
Five Icons 100 200 300 400 625
Four Icons 50 100 150 200 250
Three Icons 3 6 9 12 15

Landing five Tomato icons pays 100 for a one-coin bet. As you bet more coins, the payout gets multiplied by number of coins bet per line, with double the payout offered for two-coin bets, 3X the payout offered for three-coin bets, and 4X the payout for four-coin bets. When we get to the five-coin bet, however, the payout is more than 5X—it’s 625 instead of 500. That’s a good incentive to bet max.

Max betting in Food Fight doesn’t just affect the payout offered for landing five matches, it also makes you eligible to win the game’s progressive jackpot. Unlike random progressive jackpots, jackpots that are awarded for landing the top line (as is the case with Food Fight) almost always require a max bet to be eligible. With Food Fight, landing five Pudding icons while betting a total of 45 coins per spin triggers the game’s progressive jackpot, which is $989K and growing as we go to press. This information is listed on any slot game’s paytable, so be sure to check it out when you see a jackpot advertised.


The Downside of Not Max Betting

When it comes to foregoing the max bet, the worst-case scenario is landing that elusive top line and then missing out on a jackpot. The amount of money you’d win from a standard payout can never compare to a juicy progressive jackpot, so if betting max is needed to be eligible, it’s the best bet, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to break the bank.

Let’s return to Food Fight for another example. A max bet of five coins on each of the nine paylines is needed to be eligible for the progressive jackpot that’s handed out every time someone lands five Pudding icons. Betting 45 coins per spin may sound like a lot at first, but you can adjust the coin denominations to suit your bankroll. The coin values include: $0.01, $0.05, $0.25, $0.50, $1 and $5. With this flexibility, anyone can bet max, as betting five $0.01-coins per line would cost less than betting one $0.50-coin per line. If you moved up to $0.05 coins, a max bet would cost just $2.25 per spin—while enabling you to receive the progressive jackpot, should you get that elusive top line, along with access to all of the top-tier payouts reserved for five-coin wagers.

Not all slots work exactly like Food Fight, so you’ll need to read all of the game rules before determining if a max bet is warranted and whether or not your bankroll can accommodate it. After a little while, you’ll quickly learn which games offer the greatest potential outcomes for max betting, and at what cost, making it clear how to give yourself the best chance possible to receive the ultimate prize: a progressive jackpot.