Payback Percentages in Online Slots

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What are Slot Payback Percentages?

mega moola screen shotOnline slots are the most popular games that are played at online casinos nowadays and it’s not hard to see why this would be the case. They have gone from being 3-reels of sevens or bars to complex and very entertaining games in just a few years. Add to this the opportunity for life-changing jackpots and we have a very attractive gaming genre.

But even with their immense popularity, there still seems to be some confusion as to how the online slot machines actually work in terms of overall payback percentages – which covers the average amount paid out to players for each game.

Many players have heard individual pay out percentages of 90% or 95% but what does it all mean? This article will take a look at online slot payback percentages in layman terms and introduce you to the concept of variance and how it varies depending on the online slot game that you're playing.

Factors Contributing to Slot Returns

There are several factors that can contribute to an online slot player’s returns in any single online slots playing session. These include the slots overall payback percentage as well as the overall variance of the slots game, which is another important factor for online slots players to take into account.

For example, would you prefer playing an online slot machine that gave you lots of small wins but rarely a big one, or would you rather play a machine that that paid out fewer wins but when it did they would tend to be bigger? This is known as variance, with lower variance machines paying more frequently than their higher variance equivalents.

Online Slots Payback Percentages Explained

Whether they’re physical machines or the ones you can play at online casinos, this is how slots actually work. For every $1 that you bet, you can expect to see somewhere in the range of $0.94 and $0.98 back from the online slot machine you’re playing. Obviously, each spin is a random event and has no dependency on the spin before, so you should think of the slot payback percentage as basically the long term return that the machine will pay out.

So over the course of time, the online casino will be generating somewhere in the range of $0.05 and $0.02 from each online slot machine for every dollar that is fed into the virtual machines. Generally speaking, the payback percentages that you can expect to receive when playing online slot machines are generally much greater than the payback percentages offered by land-based slot machines.

Understanding the Concept of Variance

Aztecs Millions Realtime Gaming IconWhilst payback percentages is talking about the “long term”, variance on the other hand focuses more on the “short term”. The random nature of online slot machines and the winning and losing streaks you will be susceptible to when playing these games will be greatly influenced by variance and how lucky/unlucky the online slots player’s short term results have been.

So even though a certain online slot machine might only be paying back $0.95 for every $1 put into the machine, this doesn’t mean that it can’t go on a hot streak and pay out upwards of thousands or millions of dollars from a jackpot after a single spin. And this is what keeps slots players coming back to play.

Variance when it comes to playing online slots games can have considerable impact on the amount of money won or lost by the player. It can take millions of spins to reach a game’s theoretical payback percentage, so what the machine pays out over the course of a week or even a month will not pay out anywhere close to the actual payback percentage listed for that specific online slot machine.

One important point that is also worth mentioning is that there are no strategies you can use to increase the payback percentage for any online slot machine you are thinking of playing. The Random Number Generator (RNG) which is used by every online slot machine to determine the pay-out percentage is regularly tested for its accuracy and the payback percentage never changes. This is true even when a player has just hit a huge jackpot on a machine. So, regardless of how much you’ve won or lost playing an online slot in a single session, every future spin will be a completely random event and there is nothing you can do to impact the chances of winning money when playing a specific machine.

Now that you are more informed about exactly how online slot machines work in terms of pay outs and the associated variance component of playing these games, you should consider playing at one of the casinos we’ve reviewed on our website. Always look to take advantage of any slots bonuses offered to new players when you sign up and make a deposit at the online casino.

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