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Online Slots Odds & Payout Percentages

Written by

Rudie Venter
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Every casino game has a payout/payback percentage be it at online casinos or land-based casinos. In fact, you could argue that any form of risk, including the financial markets, has such a figure attached to it. We call the ‘payback percentage’ of any game in the casino the amount of money a game pays back in relation to the amount of money the player pays in.

So if we had a new casino game and it had a payback percentage of 50%, the player could expect returns of 50 cents for every 1 rand spent on the game. No game has a payback percentage of 100% or more as this would stack the odds in the player’s favour as opposed to the casino’s or house’s (as people prefer to say) favour. The game of Roulette features the famous Green 0 outcome where the house wins all so that the game is always stacked in the house’s favour. Some games can be beaten in such a way that the payback percentage can be in the player's favour, and some classic examples of this are the so-called biased wheel at roulette or card counting at blackjack. However, no casino's game payback percentage causes more myth and mysticism than that of the slot machine.

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Online Slot Payout Rates Explained

The average slot machine payout percentage is around 90%, but no player ever sits at a slot, puts 1 rand in and gets 90 cents back by the last spin; slots simply aren’t made that way. A slot game works because a few players win big, hence the amazing Progressive Jackpots available from some machines, while many players simply lose. This is because the wins appear in streaks or raves of spins, where the player will accrue many wins. Slot jockeys all over will talk of a machine being ready to pay or “Hot” while they feed more credits into the slot machine.

So, as you may have guessed by now, it’s not the slot’s payout/payback percentage that causes the myth but rather the way the game pays. Players have tried many ways to influence machines going on streaks, including mythical stories of button combinations which could be tapped into a slot machine to get it to enter a development mode where the payback percentage is greater than 100%. Another popular myth around slot games is the belief that new machines have software that cranks the payback percentage up for the first couple of weeks the machine is in service. This is supposed to have the effect of making players play it for weeks afterwards, still remembering those golden days; however, of course, this story is untrue.

Payout Percentage Myths

Perhaps the most comedic interpretation of the payback percentage can be seen in our local pubs or shops, where the slot game will usually be a fruit machine. Players will treat the machine almost like it’s alive. This has led to players believing the fruit machine is almost like an organic entity and when it’s paid its big Jackpot, they believe the slot machine, much like a man after sex, is spent and will not payout again for at least another 20 minutes.

So, what’s the truth behind all this myth? Well, it’s simple. When you win on a slot, you’ve got to judge whether you’re going to keep going because the streak’s going to continue or whether to cash out as you’ve maxed your winnings. So how do you do that? Well, if we could tell you that, we’d be millionaires.

Understanding Casino Payout Rates

Now that we have explained online slot payout percentages, let us tell you more about casino payout rates. While looking for an online casino to sign up with, you will notice that different gambling sites have different payout percentages. They typically range between 95% and 98% and if an online casino boasts a payout rate of 97%, it doesn’t mean that it grants winning 97% every time you place your bet. That is a rate at which the casino pays back to players based on all bets.

Percentage payout reports issued by independent auditors are the most reliable source of casino payout rates and individual games’ average return to players (RTP) percentages. Keep in mind that each slot machine also has a theoretical RTP which is typically disclosed by the game’s provider as a result of testing the game and not monitoring players’ casino activity.

A casino payout rate depends on all the games offered by a certain casino and all bets placed over a period of time. This rate can help you decide whether the casino is worth your time and money or not. Casino payout rates should not be mixed up with cashouts, which are cash withdrawals from your account.

Winning with Higher Payout Rates

When it comes to slot machines, we all know that there is no real winning strategy that can be applied. The outcome of every spin is random and there is not much you can do about it. However, by choosing slot games with higher payout rates, you will improve your winning chances theoretically and the rest is pure luck. Look out for titles with RTPs over 95% and you will have better odds of winning.

The same goes for online casinos. Higher payout rates indicate that a gaming venue promises a rewarding gaming experience. However, you should keep in mind that elusive progressive jackpots also contribute to the overall payout rate of a certain casino. They are huge and may distort the real payout percentage the casino has. Remember that the most important thing is to choose a gaming venue that is fully regulated and licensed by a trustworthy gaming body. Once you find a trusted casino with a payout rate of 95% or higher, apply proper strategies depending on the games you play and manage your bankroll well.

Good luck.

Rudie Venter

Rudie VenterVerified

Senior Content Writer

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Rudie Venter is a seasoned iGaming expert with eight years of industry experience. Holding a degree in Psychology, he combines academic insight with practical knowledge to offer expert advice on real money online casinos and how to gamble responsibly. Rudie's commitment to ethical standards ensures that his recommendations are trustworthy and informed. On his time off, Rudie loves a good old braai and watching the rugby with a naughty Klippies & Coke (in moderation of course).

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