Let’s go back to 1887. You enter a bar and you see a new weird-looking thing that you put a nickel in and five drums spin, showing poker cards. There’s nothing they won’t come up with these days, eh? What you see in front of you is the first game machine. It’s a poker machine where you spin the drums to see which hand you receive. There were 50 cards in the machine, and, depending on what you got, you could receive a cigar or a drink (or both). Then, after a four-year gap, the first automated slot machine was invented. It had automatic payout and was a first slot game. There were three reels and five symbols.
Today, almost 130 years later, we have casinos all over the world with 2000+ gaming machines on their casino floor. In fact, slot machines take up about 70% of a casino’s surface. This is thanks to the fact that this game brings in the most profit.
Why’s that? Well, it’s a simple game which asks for no skill or experience. You can play for years on end, yet there’s nothing you can do differently from the first time you walked in. You just spin the wheels by pressing the spin button or pulling the lever and that’s it. You’ll be informed whether you’ve won or not. With such simplicity, rounds take no more than just a couple of moments, and it allows casinos to constantly bring in more money.
In the 1990s, online gaming became a popular novelty, and online casinos started popping up. In the following decade, the online gambling community took off, and now we have thousands of websites offering players to play pretty much every casino game.
Previously, until the 1960s, slot games were mechanical machines which used springs to put reels in motion. But, that’s impossible on the Internet. So, how do online slots work?
Random Number Generator
Video slots work with a Random Number Generator. The RNG is a mechanism which makes sure that every single outcome of the game is genuinely random. It works independently of other factors, making it impossible for players to influence the system or predict it in any way. For instance, no matter if you play with real money or for free, the outcome will be the same. It also doesn’t take into account if you’ve been lucky so far and had several winning rounds.
Here’s how it actually works. The RNG is continuously going through a set of numbers, the quantity of which is determined by how many possible reel combinations there are. The RNG works all the time, as opposed to starting up just when you play with it. This is so because it removes the possibility for players to spot a pattern in its behavior.
When you press the spin button, the game just started for your eyes, but in fact, that’s the moment the game actually ends. Once you press it, the RNG stops on a number and that number corresponds to which position the reels will take up. When the animation stops, you’ll see the result of the spin.
To win a round of slot, you need symbols to align in a certain way to form an active payline. For example, one payline can be the first row, so if three (or five) same symbols pop up in the top row, you’ll get a win. On the other hand, scatter symbols don’t need to show up in a specific arrangement, they just need to be there in numbers. These are special symbols as they can activate free spins, bonus games and special features which increase your winnings.
Return to Player
Return to Player represents the payout percentage of a slot. It shows how much money will go to the player in the long run. It’s the opposite of a house edge, which shows the casino’s profit. For instance, if you play a slot with an RTP of 94%, its house advantage is 6%.
Make sure not to confuse RTP with your chances of winning. If an RTP is 96%, that doesn’t mean you have only 4% shot to lose. It also doesn’t mean you’ll win 96 out of 100 rounds. RTPs are measured over an extended period of time — literally billions of rounds. Consequently, you can lose a hundred rounds in a row and the game can still have a high RTP.
With this in mind, you should check out RTPs as a guide to which slots give you the better odds, but don’t take it as a guarantee you’ll win.
Volatility is another metric you can use to differentiate one slot from the other. This represents how much money a slot will pay and how regularly it’ll do it. High volatility signifies that the slot won’t pay up as frequently, but when it does, you’ll earn big. Alternatively, a low volatile slot throws out winning combinations more often, but not the ones with a high payout.
You should consider volatility when you’re deciding on your betting strategy. If you pick a highly volatile game, you ought to go low with betting and play more rounds as it will give you more chances to get a big win.
Do it Online
When you’re playing online, you have better odds of winning. Land-based casinos work with slot machines that come with RTPs of 85%-90%. Thankfully, online slot games offer better RTP, with most of them standing between 92-97 percent. You can even find some of them with an RTP of 98%.
Furthermore, with more games in offer, you also have more game possibilities. Aside from classic three-reelers and the most common five-wheel slots, you can also come across six- and seven-reel games. Many games offer bonus features which provide extra gameplay and additional opportunities to earn money.
Slots That Pay Out the Most
Among online slot machines, average payouts differ. To find out which slot game pays out the most, you should be on a lookout for their RTP. The higher the RTP, the more winning rounds you’ll spin. The ideal scenario is to find a game with the highest possible RTP and high volatility, as this would make the game pay out often, and pay out big.
Games with progressive jackpots offer the highest payouts. The jackpot rises as you play more rounds and moreover, a lot of casinos run a networked system of progressive jackpots. This means that all players contribute to the same pot, which allows the prize to often be above the $1 million mark.
However, although slot machines with progressive jackpots can bring you a lot of money, you should reconsider playing them. First of all, as there’s a promise of a huge jackpot win, base game payouts are lower than usual.
On top of that, casinos are not charity — they don’t actually want you to hit the jackpot. As a result, the odds of it happening are small, and the situation is only tougher due to the fact that you compete with other players. With as poor odds as they are to begin with, what are the chances of you being that one of all players to hit the gold-bearing vein?
Make the Right Choice
When you’re looking for a slot game to play online, you should do some research. Check out which games offer the best RTPs and play those games — remember, the higher the RTP, the better the chances of winning.
If you manage to find a highly volatile game with a great RTP, you’re set to get the best payout. Progressive jackpots are a thing to consider as they offer great prizes, but be aware of the fact that it’s less likely to get a win.
Anyway, don’t take slots too seriously. They are a pastime activity, and if you worry too much about getting paid, you’ll miss the fun of it. If you think of it as a source of income, the only thing that’ll happen is your ending up in debt. Take care, and good luck!