How to Tell If a Slot Machine Is Going to Pay Out

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It’s impossible to predict if a slot machine will pay out at a specific moment; anyone claiming otherwise either doesn’t understand how slot machines work or they work as a casino promoter.

If it were possible to identify precisely when a slot machine is about to pay, then the casinos would lose money, and we are all aware of the fact that it usually doesn’t happen. Internet gaming establishments are well-oiled machines built to provide you with entertainment in exchange for money.

However, don’t close this article just yet. The fact that there is no foolproof way to win money on slot machines every time doesn’t mean that it is impossible.

As you probably already know, the odds included in slot machine games are based on the mathematical probability. So, if you learn how those odds work, you might be able to use these findings to your advantage and make some profit.  

What we’re actually saying here is that with a good strategy in play and a decent understanding of how to recognize (or at least assume) when a particular slot is about to pay out, you can increase your chances of winning.

We’ve done our homework and poured over countless slot machine tips and tricks in order to learn how to recognize the moment when a slot machine is about to pay out. After a lot of digging, we were able to create a list that shows the most effective strategies you can implement to overcome the ‘randomness’ of slot machines.

Play Only Slots With the Biggest Payouts

This piece of advice seems rather obvious but bare with us for a moment. Everyone who has played in either a brick-and-mortar or an online casino is familiar with the phrase ‘house edge’. For those who have heard about this term but aren’t quite sure what it means, we’ll try to clear things up a bit.

The term ‘house edge’ refers to the mathematical advantage that the gaming establishment has over players. This advantage results in a guaranteed percentage that is returned to the online casino over time. In other words, casinos always beat the players in the long run since the odds are stacked in their favor. You must have heard about the phrase ‘the house always wins’? Well, the house in this phrase is a casino, and you can see for yourself why it always wins.

However, don’t fall into despair yet as all is not lost.

Although the odds are stacked against players, it’s still possible to win. In fact, every slot machine has a theoretical return to player based on statistics which is called the RTP (Return to Player).

The average RTP for most slot games is somewhere between 90–96 percent. Therefore, every slot game that has the RTP over 96% is always a good option. A couple of percentage points difference may seem meaningless, but trust us — it makes a lot of difference over thousands of spins. For those reasons, it’s always a good idea to do a little digging before you start spinning the reels.

How to Find the RTP of a Slot Game?

Finding out the RTP of a particular slot game is quite easy. There are plenty of websites which review online casinos and write about their game selection, as well as their respective RTP’s.  

Simply put, you stand a better chance with the higher RTP slot games. This particularly is the case when you’re playing through bonus spins. 

Entertainment vs Big Wins?

This factor is almost as important as the RTP when it comes to choosing an online slot game. Volatility, sometimes called variance, in slot games measures how often and how much you can expect to win during your playing sessions.

Higher volatility slots usually feature long dry strakes with occasional big wins. Since the payouts are substantially higher with high volatility slots, you might sometimes end up clicking the Spin button relentlessly, only to watch your bankroll dwindle. However, when everything lines up perfectly… boom! You’ve hit the jackpot that made the long dry spell worth it! One of the best high volatility slot games is the Book of Ra, created by Novomatic.

On the opposite side of the coin are the low volatility games where payouts are much more frequent but more much smaller. We are not saying that large wins are impossible with these games — far from it. It’s just when they do happen, they are not on the same scale as the ones available with the high volatility games.

It’s really up to the player and his preferences — if you prefer playing games where little wins pop up every couple of spins, then go for the low volatility games. On the other hand, if you are hoping for making the big bucks and are willing to take necessary risks, then we recommend high volatility games.

Online casino platforms aren’t quite eager to hand out the information about the game’s volatility, but it becomes obvious after playing it for a certain time. There isn’t such a thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ volatility — it’s just a question of gambling style and personal preference.

Use the Bonuses in Your Favor

One way to put up a fight against the house edge is by taking advantage of the bonuses. As most of you probably already know, the majority of casino sites offer free spins/free money/ bonuses as incentives to lure new customers. Those bonuses can prove beneficial and turn the odds in your favor.

Of course, don’t expect that the bonuses will last forever. But while they last, you can definitely make the most out of them and clean up some easy cash. On that note, there is no reason why you shouldn’t search around and take advantage of different promotions.

Slot Machines FAQ

Below we’ve answered some of the most frequent slot-related questions. We know that slot machines pose a mystery, and we’ll help you unravel it.

Is gambling on a slot machine really random?

Yes, it is. All slot machines in all online casinos operate by using the RNG, a computer-run program that randomly chooses numbers. A reliable RNG generates numbers that are not related to each other in any way, thus ensuring that your games are fair and random. All types of bonus rounds are predetermined by algorithms, regardless of which slot game you play.

Are slot machines really streaky?

Yes, slot machines are streaky, and they tend to get cold and/or hot. But it’s all the same for you as you have no way of predicting when a slot machine will become hot or cold. These patterns that happen from time to time look like streaks of bad luck or good luck, but they are not based on anything — that’s just the nature of random events.

How can I find a slot machine that suits my gambling style?

It depends on your preferences — if you’re up for cheap entertainment, you should find games that allow a cheap max bet.

If you’re looking to win a massive jackpot, you should concentrate on progressive games and games that feature lots of bonus rounds. These games have high volatility, which means that payouts don’t happen very often, but when they do, they are substantially bigger.

If you just want to have a good time and money isn’t an issue, look for the latest developments. These games feature plots and characters from popular TV shows, movies, sports, and so on, and offer bonus rounds and other fun extras.

Is there a strategy I could implement to increase my chances of hitting the jackpot?

Unfortunately, there isn’t. All possible outcomes are controlled by a Random Number Generator and there is no betting amount or a specific strategy that will make it more or less likely for you to hit the jackpot. However, have in mind that in most online casinos (and land-based for that matter) you have to bet max in order to qualify for the slot jackpot payouts.

What’s a good strategy for playing slot machines?

Before you start spinning the reels, find out the payout percentage of the selected slot machine — don’t play anything that has the RTP below 95 percent. If you are a high roller, go for the high volatile games and chase the main jackpot. Make the most out of the available casino bonuses — they can increase your winning chances by providing extra spins.  Avoid the latest licensed slots if possible because, according to various sources, they are more likely to feature fewer payouts.

The fact that matters is that you can’t use some special skill to outsmart a slot machine and change the payout percentage of it. But you can try certain strategies that can maximize your chances of winning.