Can you make money at this?

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If you’re playing slots games online – is your fundamental starting point one of trying to make a steady profit? If it is – you’re probably barking up the wrong tree – but there may well be better ways of achieving your aims.

No responsible slots provider will tell you that you’re likely to make money over a long period playing these games – because you aren’t. But you may have a lot of fun along the way and if you play knowing there’s a chance of a huge progressive jackpot if you get lucky enough – then there’s no problem. Also, many reputable slots providers give you free introductory cash and bonus games – and keep the whole thing very entertaining.

In other words, we should be playing much more in hope than we do expectation in the same way as we might buy a lottery ticket. We don’t really expect to win the lottery when we buy a ticket, we know the odds are stacked heavily against us (around half of all money staked is returned in prize money so you’re on a statistical loser from the start) but we buy anyway in the longshot hope of a life-changing win.

So if you’re playing any kind of slots game or online casino game on the basis that you’re going to win and that you really need to win – please desist at once.

This is because the house edge works against you and it’s more about having fun. If you want to make money, on the other hand, you should try to pick a market that works in the other way. So try and find something that isn’t a “zero sum game” – and where the overall “universe” of your chosen market is expanding. With stock markets, for example, the whole thing is growing and companies are paying dividends as they grow over time. So if you can pick out the right stocks, you should be able to enjoy both capital growth and a useful income stream.

It’s perfectly possible to make money from stock market trading, and consistently so. But it takes skill, judgement, patience, perseverance and perhaps a little good fortune. But look what Warren Buffett has achieved.

The same goes for many other international markets. But it’s also vital to remember that you may lose money in any market you trade in – there are no guarantees.

So go into this with your eyes wide open and thoroughly trial a trading system first. With the Tradefair platform you can trade over 3,000 international markets and have a 30-day demo-only trial, for example. The same goes for many other trading platforms. Try before you buy – and even then, don’t commit too much money until you think your system has a fighting chance of success. Read all you can about trading strategies on your chosen markets from objective sources and try to build up your stake gradually.

You may not become the next Mr Buffett overnight – but hopefully you’ll be able to follow in his footsteps to some extent.

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