Since online slot machines are strictly a thing of luck, it goes without saying that most slots fans aren’t strategizing in hopes of coming away with a small profit but are instead dead set on either getting a big win or busting. Whether you’re one of these jackpot chasers or just a casual puller with strict limits, anyone planning to play slots online would do well to understand how the payouts are really determined.
Many slot players’ first impulse is to find the game with the highest jackpot, but it’s important to remember that the higher a jackpot is the harder it is to hit. You can increase your winnings in the meantime and stretch your bankroll hours longer by finding a machine that offers a good payout percentage.
What is a payout percentage? It’s the amount of your initial wager that you can expect to get back from the machine. Payout percentage doesn’t apply to every spin but rather is a long-term average. It’s important to note that the less time you spend on a machine, the more your results will deviate from its posted payout percentage. Still, choosing an online slot game with a high payout percentage is the best (and perhaps only) advantage you can give yourself. It’s not hard to find online slots with a payout percentage of 97% or more – playing a game that offers anything less is basically throwing your money away.
Hit frequency is a red herring. What this number basically refers to is how often a machine hits any winning combination. While an online slot with a higher hit frequency may be more exciting, this number has no correlation to payout percentage. In fact, the slot machines with the highest hit frequencies tend to have the lowest payout percentages; they keep players betting with small wins but ultimately offer far fewer large payouts.