Understanding Slot Machines And Payback Percentages

By: Ryan D

Slot machines are dead easy to play, but understanding what slots payback percentages mean could increase your chance of winning.

Slots are by far the most popular casino games, and it is no different online. Most people play slots for the entertainment value they offer, or for the promise of winning a life changing jackpot. Not many take much notice of slots payback percentages, and how understanding them could improve their winning opportunities. It is definitely worthwhile for every slots plays to understand these.
Payout percentages determine the percentage a slot machine will pay out in relation to the take, or the total amount wagered on the machine. The payback percentage of a slot machine game is directly related to the house edge, or the expected casino net win off that game. As an example, a slot machine that advertises a 94% payback percentage has a 6% house edge. The house edge for all online casino games are well know and published, including table games like blackjack.

There is however, a slight difference though in how a slot machine's payback percentage applies to the player's expected win when compared to the house edge of a table game. Let's say for example you are playing a 5-c slots game, with a starting bankroll of $50, and after one playing session you end up with 60 credits on the machine. Your payback percentage during this session was 60/50=120%. Now lets say you continue to play with your $60, and you end up with a bankroll of $38 after 60 spins. From the point where you started playing, the slot machine game has taken in ($50 + $60) and paid back ($60 + $39) which equates to a payback percentage of 99/110 or 90%. Now if you keep on playing with your remaining balance of $39; and end up with a balance of $35, the payback is calculated as (60 + 39 + 35) / (50 + 60 + 39) = 134/149 = 90%.

You will agree that this example is quite realistic if you play slots, and even more so as slots are quite a lot more volatile in most cases. Unfortunately with slots, you could keep on playing and actually experience a much lower payback percentage than in the example, and your back roll will diminish over time. This does of course change as soon as you hit a jackpot, as the payback percentage will rise and could go well over 100%. The golden rule for slots players is to stop playing when this happens, which is of course very hard to do. Most people will believe that they are on a roll, and keep spinning away, based on the expected payback percentage of the game, you will invariably lose, the longer you play. People who make money from playing slots are those with discipline.

But the popularity of slot machines lies in this volatility, because there will always be players who hit a big jackpot The downside is that the volatility will have the opposite effect for most players who cannot exercise discipline. Sometimes you will play through your bankroll and lose the lot, but if you play regularly, you will probably make small wins as often. Most people just keep going and that is why the casino just loves the slots games. Ultimately most of us who loves slots play them for the great entertainment they offer us. Why not play cautiously and over the long run protect your bankroll and hence increase your chance of hitting a bit jackpot?

Ryan is the editor of New Online Slots, a leading online slots guide.

More Slot Related Articles...

Slot Machine Characteristics

Gamble with your eyes

A Look at Casino Slot Machines

Slot In the News
Live Action Games With Personal Touch
More Phuket And Some Pimpage

Blackjack Headlines