Video slots are the most popular of all casino games, with a large percentage of all casino action, both in live and online casinos actually being slot play. Many casino players have never even given any other game a shot and continue to play video slots for their variety and entertainment value as table games can get quite dull and mundane quite fast.
Despite being so popular, slots are often quite misunderstood. Some casino players believe that slots are rigged to favor the house more than they are supposed to, others think that certain betting patterns will get them the jackpot, while most just randomly push buttons hoping for the top payout to fall their way.
If you enjoy playing slots, keep reading this page, as it was designed to help slot players understand the game better and ultimately get better results. We bust the most popular myths about slots, teach you how to choose the right game and how slots really work, all in one extensive guide for video slot players.
If you have ever met a passionate slots player, especially if he was an older guy down at the local slots joint, you have probably heard many stories about hot and cold slots, betting patterns, switching between the numbers of paylines to scramble the slot’s program and much other nonsense. All these were made up by gamblers who wish they understood how slots really worked, so they came up with some ideas of their own.
The fact is that all slots, especially modern live slots and all online slots, use random number generators, which are complex mathematical algorithms, to determine the outcome of every spin. The way a random number generator (RNG) works is that it is going through millions of different possible outcomes per second, and the moment you press the spin button, it stops! This is a simple fact that anyone who has ever worked in developing slots will tell you, as there is quite literally no other way to make a random number generator at this time and the laws of practically all regulated jurisdictions stipulate that this is exactly how a slot must work.
Once you have pressed the spin button, the RNG has chosen a symbol that will appear on every slot. For this reason, stopping the reels faster or slower really makes no difference, and there are no near misses. A spin is either a winner or it is not, and there is basically nothing you can do about it once you have pressed that button. The only way you affect the game is in deciding when to press the initial spin.
Of course, through history, there have been slot machines that were made with flawed algorithms on purpose and some illegal casinos did use slots that purposely steal money from their players, but if you are playing in a regulated casino, whether live or online, you can be pretty sure that the slot works as intended.
When they are creating a video slot, the software developers instruct the program as to how often it should pay out certain wins on average. While the developer cannot make a slot pay at a certain moment or in any patterns, it can decide how generous the slot will be overall. This generosity factor is known as Return to Player percentage (RTP) and is really the most crucial thing you need to know about a slot.
Every slot, regardless of how well it seems to be playing, is in fact paying back a percentage of every bet made on it, in the long run. This does not mean you are guaranteed to win after someone else has lost a lot, or the other way around. In only means that in the long run, over millions of spins, the slot will return this particular percentage of all the money invested into it back to the players.
Modern slots usually offer well over 90% in RTP, with some games reaching over 98%. The higher the RTP, the less money you will be losing in a game in the long run, but many slots with high RTP also offer low maximum payouts, meaning you won’t have any massive jackpots to look forward to.
When it comes to any form of gambling, proper bankroll management is one of the key factors to success. Video slots offer different degrees of variance, with some machines having high hit rates and others really only paying anything when certain features are activated. For this reason, players need to learn to recognize how high the variance of the slot is and adjust their bankroll accordingly.
If you are playing a slot with low variance, where lots of spins pay back some of the money invested or give you a small win, playing with a bankroll of a few hundred spins worth of cash may be an ok idea. On the other hand, if you are playing a high variance slots with massive jackpots, you may need to stick in there for a while, and a bankroll of closer to 1.000x your total bet will be more appropriate.
Of course, you can always replenish your bankroll if you end up busting it, but if you want to be safe and keep playing with your deposited money for a long time, remember to assess how much cash you need to play the games you want to try to beat. As a general rule, games that have top payouts of 500x or more tend to be pretty high variance, while games that have a lot of paylines and low top payouts often offer high hit rates and lower variance, allowing players to give them a serious shot with a smaller bankroll.
One great way to increase your bankroll when playing slots is to make the best of online casino bonuses which often double or triple your investment. This gives you plenty of wiggle room compared to what you have deposited. Bonuses do come with certain wagering requirements, but if your goal is to really win big, these won’t matter at all.
Over the years, slots players have created dozens of different myths and beliefs as to how the slots work, pay and take money from their players. We have researched some of the most popular myths about video slots and checked out how true they really are. Keep reading and find out why many of the things slots players believe are totally bogus.
While many players do lose some money playing slots, many others win at the same time. Like table games, modern day video slots usually offer payout rates of 95% – 97%, only taking a few cents on every dollar invested. Of course, over the long run, the casinos do win money off of slot players, but this does not mean that slot machines offer low payouts.
In fact, there are many modern slots out there that offer extremely high payout rates of over 98% and playing these games will allow you to play longer with a fairly small bankroll. While you may lose money while playing slots, there is plenty of chance for a big win as well, especially when playing online slots that tend to have fairly high payout rates.
Many slot players believe that increasing or decreasing the bet at some point, tracking how the slot is “behaving” and other similar actions may change the final result. While every action you take will in fact change the course of what happens, it is not because you can fool the system in any way of because the system will fool you, but rather because you will press spin at a different millisecond, and this will result in a completely different set of symbols appearing on the reels.
The real truth is that every spin of every slot, both online and in live casinos, is a completely independent event, which means that no prior action or the outcome of a prior spin will determine what happens in any future spin.
As we already said, every spin of the reels is completely independent, so there is really no telling when you are going to strike gold or hit a losing spin. Every single spin you ever make can be a jackpot spin and every one can be a losing spin, regardless of how it seems you are “running”. The random number generator does not have any bias and multiple independent international organizations are tasked with testing the regularity of the slots developed by all major slot producers, ensuring this is really true every single time.
While there are likely some casino operators who wish they could change the payout rates of their slots and determine who wins or loses, this is not possible for them to do. Casinos do not develop their own slots, but rather get them from casino software developers such as NetEnt, Microgaming or Play’n GO. These companies make it their business to develop slots that offer fair and transparent payouts and once they are delivered to the casinos, there is no chance for the casinos to change the code of the game.
What’s more, even if some online casino could find a way to change the game’s code, casinos are undergoing regular checkups by their regulatory bodies and independent companies tasked with ensuring the safety of online gambling, so as long as you are playing at a licensed casino, there is basically no chance of the casino playing tricks on you.
There is really no such a thing as a hot or a cold slot, either online or live. If a progressive jackpot was hit yesterday, it does not mean it will not hit again today. If it hasn’t hit in a month, there is no guarantee that it will hit today either. All slot machines use random number generators that make every spin completely random, so someone winning or losing at a slot does not make it any more or less likely to pay on the next spin you make.
With hundreds of video slot machines out there, picking the right one for yourself can be a challenging process. After all, there are so many factors to take into consideration, starting with the looks of the game and ending in the much more important RTP and maximum jackpot.
Depending on what you are looking to get from your slot playing experience, you will want to choose either the higher or lower variance slots. Players who are looking to play for many hours with a limited bankroll will definitely want to pick a slot with a high hit rate and a lot of small bonus rounds as this will guarantee a long and enjoyable experience at an affordable price. Yet, winning big with slots like this is not really easy to do.
On the other hand, playing a higher variance slot machine where bonuses come seldom but pay big is probably a great idea for players who are trying to really make it big with slots. The more risk you take, the more chance you will win a major jackpot or hit that bonus round that will pay big time.
You should never play only one slot machine on any casino, as much of the beauty of slots comes from playing multiple games and experiencing the versatility these games have to offer. Switching it up between games can really help you get the most of your slots play, and ultimately, even if you are a bit superstitious, changing the game every now and then certainly can’t hurt you.