Understanding Payout Percentages Of Slots
Slot machines are one of the many gambling games which are based on luck, with many people playing the game purely for entertainment and the thrill of a possible win. While luck is the biggest factor in determining whether a player will win, there are a few other components to the machines which affect the possible return amounts to the players including the payout percentages.
What are the payout percentages?
The payout percentages indicate what percentage of money played will be returned to the player. The catch is that this return amount is not specific to that game, so the payout percentage is returned in the long run. This percentage is determined by programmed softwares which tell the machine how often to payout and how much. So essentially, the machine is programmed so that after a certain amount of money has been put in, the machine must give some money back to the players. This system still ensures that the entire game is random as the payout is determined by the amount of players, the amount of money bet on the game and the time each player spends on the one slot game. However the payout percentage is also determined by the location of the game, the competition, profit and state regulations.
Online slots versus land slots
Now that online slots are taking the world by storm, it is helpful to know whether there is any difference in the payout percentages of online and land slots. The answer is yes. The reason why is because online slots require less man-handling which essentially cuts the costs of maintaining the programs. As a result, the house edge is slightly less than those of land slots.
Players will generally find that online slots offer a 96 to 98.5 payout percentage across the life span of the game2.On the other hand, land casinos will offer between 91 to 95 payout percentages3. To find the payout percentage of each particular slot, players on a land based slot will need to look at the payout explanation card on the front of the machine. Online players will find this information in the help section of the game. If this information is not available, either call over an attendant or ring the customer service line as by law, all casinos must tell their patrons the payout percentages. For all casinos, whether they be online or on land, the main aim of slot games is trying to find a balance between the profit on the payback percentage and the payout percentage to the customer.
There are a number of software platforms that are used in online slots so here is a list of the three main softwares you will find. Microgaming Casino is normally attributed with an eCogra4 seal. The advantage of this software is that they provide annual reports on the payout percentages of their casinos. When using Real Time Gaming (RTG), look for the TST5 (Technical Systems Testing) logo on the bottom of the site's page. Interestingly, RTG casinos are able to adjust their own pay tables on slots however, this cannot be done while a player is on the game and not for individual players. As a major name in online casinos, Vegas Technology (Oddson) uses the Certified Fair Gambling (CFG) seal and carries out audits monthly.
Determining the payout percentage
There are a few aspects to this section. Firstly one needs to determine if it is better to play on a game with a larger payout or one with a larger combination of wins. As an example, slot A has 1000 combinations with only one winning combination which pays 970 coins. Slot B also has 1000 combinations with 970 winning combinations which pay 1 coin each. As you can see, each version offers a payout percentage of 97% however with slot B, the player has more chances of winning even though it may be a smaller amount. Consequently, the higher paying slot machines do not guarantee a win as they are all random.
As the payout percentage is determined over a very long time, there could be as many as 10 million different sessions which are used to determine the payouts. As a result, it is often impossible for players to determine whether they are on a lucky winning streak or if they are actually using skill to play the game. For example, say a player puts $100 in a $1 slot machine. The player may end up with 130 credits at the end of the session which makes the payout percentage 130% (130/100). If the player then puts the winning $130 back into the machine, they might up with $85 after 130 tries. So since playing game they have given the machine a total of $230 and received $215 for a total payout percentage of 93% (215/230). For the player to receive a return amount between 96.5% and 97.5% they may have to play 10 million spins! When selecting a slot game to play, keep in mind that the average .25 cent games over a payout percentage in the 90% range whereas the $1 games will be higher up past the 92% range.
Payout percentage facts and figures
A good fact for slot players to keep in mind is that there is no relationship between the payout percentage and the hit frequency. As a result, high payout machines can have low hit frequencies. Also, the payout percentage is not determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG). It is in fact the reels and reel strips which help to determine the payout. By changing the number of times a symbol appears on a reel, the software is changing the payout percentage for that round. Lastly, casinos are not legally allowed to alter the slot payout percentages, whether they be online or on land. The percentages must be approved by the government which have a minimum payout percentage that all casinos must abide by.