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Understanding Slots Payout Percentages

There are plenty of people out there that love to spin the reels on slot machines for the chance at a little extra cash. This is evidenced by the fact that slots happen to be the most popular game available in online casinos. Though it is fun to watch the reels spin and the winnings adding up, what makes these machines so popular is the fact that they have a high payout percentage. But, in order to make the most of these games, it is important to understand what payout percentages are and how they work.

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What is a payout percentage?

Simply put, the payout percentage is the amount of money that a slot is set to payout over its lifetime. It is also often called the ‘return to player’.

There are several factors that go into deciding what percentage any given game should be set at, and when online casinos license these games, the payout percentage has already been determined. Generally speaking, online slots will have a payout percentage set between 96-98% while land based casinos might have a payout percentage of 80-92%. This is one of the many advantages to playing online.

Many people make the mistake of thinking of the payout percentage as the amount of money they can expect to be returned to them while they play. This is not the case. It is the amount of money set to be returned over the lifespan of the game. For example, if you have a machine that costs $1 per spin with a 95% payout the machine will return $950,000 per 1,000,000 spins with varying amounts going to each player that spins the reels. The remaining percentage (in this example it is 5% or $50,000) is known as the hold percentage. This is the money that will go to the operators of the game.

Will you win on a machine with a high payout percentage?

A higher payout percentage does not guarantee a win. This is because slot machines run on Random Number Generators (RNG), making your chances of winning completely random. Plus, there are plenty of other aspects to consider such as the amount of winning combinations available and what they payout.

Online casinos regularly have their slot games tested by companies such as Technical Systems Testing (TST) to ensure that the game’s RNG and payout percentages are working properly. Often times they also hire third party auditors to crunch the numbers of every coin in and out of slot machines on a monthly basis. This helps to ensure that the games remain fair.

There are no guarantees when it comes to slots. Surely this is part of the fun of playing. Though, if you want to win the best tip is to be smart. Understand how the game works and play within your limits. With a little luck you will have a successful night at the slots.