Max Bet - Do you need to bet max?

Published : 20th of February, 2002

Slots Q & A

One of the most debated topics regarding slot machines is max bet and whether or not your should always hit that bet max button. There is no definite answer to the question as it really depends on the game you are playing. In this article we take a comprehensive look at all of the game types and situations and give you recommendations on what is the best way to play.

What is Max Bet?

Just in case you are new to playing slots Max Bet or Maximum Bet is the highest amount of coins or credits you can play in a single spin. For example most classic slots let you play up to three coins per spin - a max bet of three coins. This gets a bit more complicated with video slots - see below for details.

Classic Slots

While max bet is not always necessary you will often find that there is a good reward for betting max. For example you might have a game that pays 1,000 for one coin, 2,000 for two coins and 5,000 for the max of three coins. In this case you get an additional 3,000 coins for just one extra coin bet.

If you are playing a game where all of the jackpots are in proportion then it is totally up to you whether you bet max. For example a game which has a top jackpot of 3,000 for three coin play (Max Bet), a 2,000 coin win for two coins and a 1,000 coin win for one coin. Each coin can win an additional 1,000 coins.

There is one type of classic slots that require max bet. These games are known as Buy A Pay slots. Quite simply they have two or three different pay tables. Each coin activates an additional pay table. If you play less than max bet you cannot win any of the top prizes even if you hit the right symbols.

Progressive Slots

There is one type of slot machine that makes playing max bet an absolute must - games with a progressive jackpot. Almost all progressives require that you bet the maximum number of coins to qualify for the top jackpot. If you play less than max you cannot win the top jackpot.

We don't recommend playing progressives unless you intend to play max. You are much better off going for a non progressive slots. This is because you can hit the top winning combo and in some cases get nothing because you are a few coins short. In other cases you will get a small consolation prize but this is always just a fraction of the main progressive jackpot.

Bonus Feature Slots

On slots with a bonus game there is no set rule as to what to bet. In some cases you will be required to play max to win the jackpot and in some cases you will not have to. Before playing any bonus game slot be sure to read the pay out table to find out if max bet is required.

Multi-line Slots

If you are playing a three reel game with more that one pay line then it is always a good idea to play max bet. This is because in most cases each additional coin activated an additional pay line. Quite often the highest jackpots are only available on certain lines. If you play less than max you cannot win them.

5 Reel and Video Slots

This is where things get interesting as there are so many variations. In general you do not have to play max bet on video slots unless there is a progressive jackpot involved. We suggest playing max lines but not necessarily max bet. This is because on many games you can bet more than one coin per line.

For example a 20 line slot with the option to bet 10 coins per line has a 200 coin max bet. Even at the penny coin size this turns into $2 a spin. In most cases you will be fine with just one coin per line and can therefore play for as little as 20 a spin. There is a minor catch - your jackpots won't be as big.

The reason for this is that wins are multiplied by your bet per line so a game with a 10,000 coins jackpot and a max bet of 10 coins per line can pay a 100,000 coins win at max bet. Playing just one coin per line will yield a 10,000 coins jackpot only. This is a trade off between low bets and bigger wins.


One of the most important tips we can give you is to always spend a moment reading the pay table of the game you are about to play. All pay tables indicate whether or not max bet is required for any jackpots or features. Another good tip is that if you find a game where playing max is needed and the game is too expensive for you try to find the same game with a lower coin size.

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