Penny Slots Guide

Written by: Jon Ridehalgh
Fact checked by Ross Timmins  
Updated: March 25, 2024

Best Penny Slots

Penny slots allow you to bet a penny per pay line, making them the most affordable slots out there. They are ideal for players who enjoy long gaming sessions and players who want to make a decent profit without breaking the bank.

In today’s time, penny slots are everywhere. You can find them in brick-and-mortar casinos as well as reputable online casinos. The best part is that you even have the option to play free penny slots or play them for real money.

But what exactly are penny slots, and more importantly, how do they work? Stick with us to find out everything you need to know about penny slots — we’ll go over the basics, show you some of the most popular penny slots out there, and even give you a tip or two on how to win at penny slots.

What Are Penny Slots?

Penny slots are precisely what the name suggests — they are slots that you can play by betting pennies. Well, at least on paper, since the name might be just a tad misleading.

Most penny slots don’t allow you to actually bet a single penny per spin. Instead, you can bet one credit or one penny per payline. If the slot has multiple playlines, let’s say 5, for example, you’ll be betting 1 cent per payline, which translates to 5 cents per spin.

Some penny slots even have adjustable paylines where your total bet is determined as the correlation between the active paylines and your bet value.

Penny Slot

If you’re new to online slots, don’t worry about it too much. We’ll cover paylines and betting options in detail later in the article.

Even though you can play online penny slots dirt cheap, there are several downsides to them. Namely, penny slots pay much less than your traditional online slots. On top of that, they tend to have a smaller RTP on average, which may affect your payouts in the long run, if ever so slightly.

How Do Penny Slots Work?

Believe it or not, it won’t take you long to learn how to play penny slots.

In fact, penny slots work just like your traditional slots — you place your bet, spin the reels, and wait for the outcome. The only real difference between the two is that penny slots allow you to place much smaller wagers than your standard online slots.

The only bit that may confuse you regarding penny slots is the fact that some casinos use credits instead of actual money to display how much you’re betting per spin, so it may be tricky to know whether you’re betting pennies or if your wager is much higher.

Not to worry, though — once you have a better understanding of paylines and betting options in video slots, you’ll have no issues calculating exactly how much you’re betting with each spin, making it much easier to manage your spending.

Different Types of Penny Slots

Just like your traditional online slots, penny slots come with various themes, features, paylines, and more. If you’d like to add a little more variety into the mix and try new things out, there are several common types of penny slots you can try.

  • Classic penny slots often come with three reels and one payline. They are one of the oldest slots around and have basic symbols you would normally find in traditional fruit machines: fruits and bars.
  • Free penny slots are available at sweepstakes casinos. Even though you can play them without spending any real money, you will still have to use gold coins to play them or even sweepstakes coins, which you can exchange for real cash prizes.
  • Progressive penny slots are slots that are linked to a progressive jackpot system. These slots allow you to bet small while still having the opportunity to land a progressive jackpot.
  • Bonus feature penny slots are modern slots that usually have 5 reels or more and come with a bonus feature or two. These slots often include mini-games you can trigger, free spins, and more.
  • Branded penny slots have specific themes that are often tied to popular TV shows, movies, music bands, or many other references from pop culture. The design of these slots can vary from one theme to another.

Fruit Frenzy Slot

Of course, that’s just some of the most common types of penny slots. As you may know, there are thousands of different slots you can play for just a few pennies from dozens of different providers, so you’re unlikely to ever run out of options or new penny slots to try.

Popular Penny Slot Games

🎰Slot Name🔢Grid Layout⭐Best FeaturesWhere to Play❓
Starburst5 Reels, 3 Rows
10 Paylines
Free Spins, Both Ways PayPulsz
Dragon Kings5 Reels, 3 Rows
10 Paylines
Free Spins, JackpotsWOW Vegas
Domnitors5 Reels, 3 Rows
9 Paylines
Bonus Game, Adjustable PaylinesSweeptastic
Energy Coins5 Reels, 3 Rows
5 Paylines
Hold and Win, JackpotsMcLuck Casino
Gold Gold Gold5 Reels, 3 Rows
20 Paylines
Free Spins, Gamble FeatureFortune Coins
Fruit Cash5 Reels, 3 Rows
5 Paylines
Free Games, Hold ‘n’ LinkTaoFortune
Chaos Crew5 Reels, 3 Rows
15 Paylines
Free Spins, Wild Multipliers, Bonus
Big Bass Bonanza5 Reels, 3 Rows
10 Paylines
Wild and Scatter Symbols, Free Spins, Highly VolatileVegas Gems
Wild Cash X99905 Reels, 3 Rows
10 Paylines
Bonus Symbol, Bonus
Book of Nile: Lost Chapter5 Reels, 3 Rows
10 Paylines
Free Spins, Expanding Symbol, Double BonusNoLimitCoins

How to Win at Penny Slots?

As we mentioned earlier, playing penny slots is not all too different from playing traditional online slots. However, if you’re late to the party and have never had the opportunity to play slots before, we’ve got your back — our team of seasoned casino experts has prepared a few simple tips and tricks for beginners to show you how to win penny slots and make a profit.

Learn the Basics

Before you place any wager, the first thing you should always do is to quickly cover the basics. Now, slots aren’t that complicated to play — you spin the reels and wait for the results. What we mean by that is to simply access the slot’s paytable.

Starburst Slot Winnings

That way, you can learn everything you need to know about the slot before even playing it. You can learn the slot’s RTP, the number of paylines it has, special symbols, features and how to trigger them, and much more.

Stick to Low Volatility Slots

Slots can be divided into two groups: low-volatility and high-volatility slots. High-volatility slots tend to pay much more, but they do it a lot less frequently. If you’re on a budget, you may run out of coins before you even land a single win playing high-volatility slots.

On the other hand, low-volatility slots pay much less compared to high-volatility slots, but they tend to pay a lot more often. Even so, you can still win a nice amount by playing low-volatility penny slots, as long as you’re patient enough and can wait for big wins.

Adjust Paylines

The number of paylines varies from one slot to another. The more paylines the slot has, the easier it is to land a winning combination. To balance things out, software providers either add extra symbols, making it harder to land a win, or they simply make it costlier to spin the reels.

However, did you know that some slots allow you to change the number of paylines you want to use with each spin? While it does somewhat decrease your chances of landing a winning combination, it also significantly reduces the cost of each spin.

So, to make the most out of each gaming session and to squeeze in the most spins, you should check if the slot has adjustable paylines and find a sweet spot — add enough paylines to increase your chances to win but don’t go overboard so that you can stay within your budget.

Try Progressive Penny Slots

Normally, we advise new players to stay away from progressive jackpot slots. Jackpot slots are often worse in virtually every regard than your traditional online slots. They have unfavorable RTPs, fewer features, lower-paying symbols, and much more.

Bonus Game Jackpots

However, if you’re absolutely set on chasing after that life-changing jackpot, then the best way to do it is by playing progressive penny slots. Just make sure to remember what we mentioned earlier and check the slot’s paytable or the casino’s policy and see if you can trigger the jackpot by betting small.

Play Free Penny Slots

If you ever want to learn more about a slot and test some of its features, then you’re in for a treat. Most online casinos and sweepstakes casinos allow you to play free online penny slots. That way, you can learn everything you need to know without spending a dime and see if the slot suits you.

Once you get the hang of it, simply switch to the sweepstakes coins mode or play online penny slots for real money. And, of course, make sure to use your newly founded knowledge to your advantage.

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Can You Win Big on Penny Slots?

The answer to that question mainly depends on the type of penny slot you’re playing and the casino itself. Most penny slots online pay significantly less than their traditional counterpart. After all, the smaller the bet, the smaller the multiplier.

Despite that, you can still land nice winning combinations that will net you a couple of hundred or even a few thousand coins if you’re lucky. While it may not sound like a fortune, it counts as a massive win when you consider it costs you only a few pennies to spin the reels.

Another way to win big on penny slots is by playing progressive jackpot slots. However, there are several things you take the plunge. For starters, some slots or casino operators require you to play with the maximum wager to be eligible to trigger certain features or jackpots.

In some cases, you may be eligible to land smaller jackpots, but the largest ones are usually reserved for players who bet big. Similarly, some casinos have a limit on how much you can win per spin or when playing specific slots, so make sure to read the fine print before you get your hopes up.

Understanding Paylines and Betting Options

Paylines are lines that determine winning combinations. Every slot has them. Some slots have as little as one, while others can have thousands of paylines. When it comes to penny slots, most of them have 1 to 5 paylines, while some may have up to 25.

Paylines cross the reels from one symbol to another, starting from the left side of the slot to the right. Some slot machines even pay both ways, which means they have paylines that go from the opposite side as well.

Paylines And Rules

A payline can be represented by a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line. When it comes to more modern slots, you can also find paylines that go in zigzag and many other complex patterns. As we mentioned earlier, you can always access the slot’s paytable and check the number of paylines and their patterns.

When placing a wager, your initial bet is multiplied by the number of active paylines, which determines the final wager. If you are betting 5 credits per active payline on a 25-payline slot, your final wager would be 125 credits.

Can You Play Penny Slots on Mobile?

Even though most penny slots are vintage-themed, the vast majority of penny slots work flawlessly on mobile devices. Modern-day online casinos are all about accessibility, so you’ll have no trouble finding a platform offering a wide range of free penny slots no download games.

The same goes for sweepstakes casinos. Most of them place a high emphasis on mobile experience, so you’ll find plenty of free penny slots for Android and iOS devices you can play without having to download anything or via apps from Google’s Play Store or the App Store.

Pros & Cons of Playing Penny Slots

Penny slots are affordableMost penny slots require maximum bets to trigger jackpots
Excellent for beginnersPenny slots usually have lower RTP than traditional online slots
There are many types of penny slots with unique themesPenny slots generally have fewer features than standard slots
You can still win big playing penny slots
You can play penny slots on mobile


  • Can you win money on penny slots?
    Penny slots work like traditional online slots, so yes, you can win money on penny slots. You can play penny slots for real money or you can play them for free at sweepstakes casinos and exchange sweepstakes coins to win real cash prizes.
  • Are penny slots worth it?
    Even though they pay less than traditional online slots, penny slots are still worth it. Each spin costs significantly less when playing penny slots and comes with a nice potential to land a big win.
  • What is considered a penny slot?
    Penny slots are slots where you get to bet a penny or a few pennies per active payline. While it may cost you up to a dollar to spin the reels, these cheap slots are often referred to as penny slots for their extremely low betting limits.
  • How do you hit big on penny slots?
    You can win big on penny slots by triggering a variety of features, such as free spins or cascading wins that come with multipliers. You can also win big playing penny slots by landing a jackpot, as long as you're eligible to trigger it by betting the minimum.

Jon, our resident sweepstakes expert with over two decades of experience in online slots and a masterful understanding of sweepstakes casinos and games. With intricate knowledge of slots, Jon swiftly deciphers RTP and ensures fairness in the unmonitored sweepstakes space. Whether you’re seeking guidance on sweepstakes slots, casinos, or games, Jon is your trusted source for maximizing your gaming experience, offering insights into the nuances that make this style of social gaming popular.

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