Online slots have come on an awful lot in recent years and they’re now almost unrecognizable compared to the classic slot machines that they were originally based upon. These days, slots feature graphics to rival the best video games in the world, while even the gameplay on offer has developed a lot, again drawing influence from other types of video games.
But while the exterior of games may seem very different, under the surface they tend to operate very similarly, particularly when it comes to slot odds, payouts and return to player (RTP) rates. In the following sections, we’ll explore in more details the mechanics of online slots and look at what the chances are of winning while playing these games.
Slots Are Games of Chance – About RNG
Despite what you might have heard, slots are games of complete chance and every single spin has the same chance as any other of being a winner. There are no set structures or patterns when it comes to determining when a slot game will pay out as every spin is completely independent and the result is produced using RNGs.
Indeed, the way slots generate results is very similar to that of rolling a dice (although with different odds). On any single roll of a dice, the chance of hitting any number in particular is 1 in 6, regardless of what any of the previous rolls of the dice have been. Slots are essentially the same, but with many more variants.
Slot games feature many symbols, with millions of potential outcomes and combinations of symbols. However, not all online slots have the same odds or pay outs, as this is dependent on how the game has been structured. Slot odds are calculated by the Hit Frequency, which shows the probability of any combination happening.
So while on a dice, any number has a 1 in 6 chance of appearing, the symbols on a slot machine can have varying chances of appearing, which can therefore affect the odds of it happening – and thereby determining how much you can potentially win.
To demonstrate this point, we’ve come up with our own fantasy slot. Let’s call it “Lucky Aquarium”. To make things simple, it has five different symbols: treasure chests, golden fish, purple fish, yellow fish and red fish. The pay out table make look something like this:
|Five treasure chests||2500||0.001%|
|Five golden fish||1000||0.015%|
|Five purple fish||400||0.05%|
|Five yellow fish||50||0.5%|
|Five red fish||5||7%|
As you can see, finding five treasure chests would pay out significantly more than finding five fish, even though they both require the same number of symbols aligning. This is because there are effectively less treasure chests to be found, making it a less likely outcome (hence the low hit frequency) but also why you’d be rewarded with a much bigger pay out.
Players should note, though, that all slots have different values in terms of both hit frequency and pay outs – so just because you know the numbers for one game, doesn’t mean you know it for others. As a general rule of thumb, though, you’ll find each spin on a slot will have about a 40% chance of hitting a winning line, although the value of this payline can vary massively.