Anyone that is new to online slots and is a little suspicious about how they payout, you’re certainly not alone as we have all been there in the past with the same thoughts.
Most of us would have wondered how do online slots payout and is the software that decides when it does payout, to be trusted.
Many of you might be used to the land-based slots that you have seen in the many bars, clubs and casinos.
Well, these are actually run by software as well, yet the physical aspect of these machines often leads to people forgetting that on the inside is hardware and software.
So actually, there is not much difference between playing a slot whether it is online or offline, as it is all controlled by similar RNG (random number generator) software that determines the machines randomness.
Random Number Generators
Each and every online slot will have what is known as an RNG or random number generator.
This is a piece of software which is used to create completely random sequences in millisecond intervals.
When you as a player clicks spin on an online slot, the RNG will come up with a completely different series of numbers.
This RNG software is used at each and every online casino for each and every online slot that they provide.
Simply put, the RNG software is what determines the result of each spin and that each spin is completely random.
No spin whether it was before or after your current spin will be irrelevant to the outcome of your current spin.
How RNG Actually Works
What you first have to realise about RNG is that it has no idea of what went before it, it has no idea whether you just won or lost on a spin and it has no idea that you have either won absolutely nothing all day or just a few spins earlier hit the jackpot.
Simply put, much like a goldfish, RNG has no memory.
As we mentioned earlier, RNG software is constantly throwing out random series of numbers at the speed of a millisecond for each one.
The very moment you hit that spin button, whatever series of numbers was just generated is what is going to determine your result.
While it is always a little difficult to trust software, especially when it’s for an online casino that is there to try and win your money, it is completely random and there has never been any pre-programming to determine the result in either direction.
The only aspect of what you do that determines how the result will be is the millisecond that you click the spin button.
As you do not know which millisecond is one that will be a winner for you, it makes no difference what second you press it.
It all comes down to chance and luck as to when you click that button.
Are RNG’s Regulated?
This is where any doubt that RNG software for online casinos is ever manipulated by the trusted online casinos.
Each casino will have to obtain licenses from regulatory authorities to be able to operate under certain jurisdictions and offer their products and random testing of RNGs is a major part of the regulations they will have to adhere to.
If we were to use the UK Gambling Commission as an example, they will not issue a license to any online casino that does not agree to have their RNG software tested and regulated to ensure that it is completely fair and random.
Any casino that is found to be advertising online slots that have a return-to-player percentage that is not found to be correct from the RNG testing, is susceptible to having their gaming license suspended or revoked completely.
There is far too much at stake for an online casino to even consider messing around with the RNGs.
Who Handles the RNG Testing?
To ensure that there is no chance of any kind of corruption, the Regulatory authorities do not actually handle the testing of RNGs themselves.
They usually send in a request to associations such as eCogra, who will be able to have a third-party RNG testing house perform the tests.
eCogra is a testing agency from London that has always worked incredibly hard to ensure that online gambling is completely fair for the players that enjoy it.
They are so renowned for what they do that they are something of a seal of approval for online casinos.
If an online casino is eCogra approved, you can are guaranteed that the RNG and all other aspects of fair play at your choice of online casino are adhering to all regulations.
What Is Return-to-Player Percentage?
Working alongside the RNG of an online slot machine is something called RTP or the return-to-player percentage.
This is essentially how much a slot will pay out for a set amount of money it has taken from however many players in a period of time.
You will generally see slot machines with an advertised RTP of between 90 to 99%.
This essentially means that for every $100 that the online slot has taken, it will pay out its RTP percentage on average.
The rest goes to the house as essentially, this is the house edge, which is expected at all online casinos as they are there to make money from the service that they are providing you.
Some slots have a higher house edge than others.
Let’s use Starburst as an example, easily one of the most popular online slots at the moment.
This has an RTP of 96.1% which could be worse but could also be better.
Of the $100 that has been put into it by various players over time, it should be paying back out (on average) $96.10.
Where chance and luck and RNG comes into it, however, is that the $96.10 is spread out among the players that were putting the money in.
So, some players might not have won anything, others might have got small payouts and some will have got lucky and would have taken in some bigger wins.
Ever Heard Of Hit Frequency?
So we know what random number generators are and what a return-to-player percentage is, but did you know that hit frequency is another statistic that can be used for each and every online slot out there.
The hit frequency is basically the percentage of how often it is likely to bring a win of some kind.
Others label this hit frequency as variance or volatility of an online slot and the higher the variance, volatility or hit frequency, the more often this online slot will deliver you a win.
Now, while this might sound great if you find a hit variance slot of let’s say 70%, it means that seven out of ten of your spins are going to bring you wins.
However, on a high variance slot, these wins are going to be smaller on most occasions to balance things out.
On the other hand, an online slot with just a 10% hit frequency is going to bring you one win out of every ten spins on average.
While it is still possible that this win could be small, there is at least a much higher chance of it being substantially bigger.
Experienced players will all have their preference on what sort of hit frequency they prefer, whether its a high frequency with lower average pays, a much lower frequency with the chance of bigger payouts or somewhere in the middle of the two.
Generally, those with patience and a large enough bankroll will often go for the low variance slots that could just bring in some good payouts.
Choosing an online slot to play should be down to a mix of the RTP and the hit frequency of the game.
In our opinion, a higher RTP is the more important number but the hit frequency should also be considered depending on your playstyle.
Just remember that RTP is not a guarantee of how much YOU will get back, its guarantee on how much the slot will payout across all players from its takings.
Which player gets what is completely random.
Five Slots With High RTP
All online casinos have to make money from their online slots right?
However, while a slot with 99% RTP is still making that 1% markup over time, it is hardly as much as you would imagine they would want to be making from their games.
Well, there are actually only a very small amount of online slots that offer such a high RTP, with the rest being anywhere between 90 – 98%.
Even that is quite a small margin when compared to bricks and mortar casinos that offer their slot machines at far lower RTPs that would be lucky to reach any higher than 80%.
Online casinos have that edge over land-based casinos simply because they do not have the obvious overheads that a land-based casino does.
The many different dealers, croupiers and all other staff in the casino need to be paid and you then have the huge utility bills that would obviously be created.
An online casino barely needs much more than a server, some software, a small support team and you’re pretty much good to go.
Anyhow, we have found a few online slots that have broken that 99% RTP barrier and are therefore the most likely to give you most of your investment back on average.
You will be able to find these online slots at dozens if not hundreds of online casinos on the internet and if you like to be tight with your RTP, you should be checking them out.
1. Nemo’s Voyage
The first 99% RTP slot that we would like to recommend.
Containing 5-reels, 40-pay lines and allowing bets between 0.40 and 200.00 per spin, this entertaining slot by WMS comes packed with lucrative bonuses and features.
2. Tropic Reels
The next slot on our 99% list and the Playtech title is a highly entertaining one that could just pay out a jackpot of 2,500x your original stake.
Using a max bet of 500.00, you can just imagine what doing the math is going to do for your adrenaline levels.
3. Mega Joker Jackpot
NetEnt is one of the biggest names in the gambling industry so it is no surprise that we have one of their titles on this list.
Mega Joker Jackpot is one of their most popular progressive jackpot slots and we can see why with that excellent RTP of 99%.
4. Goblin’s Cave
Playtech has featured once again but this time with an online slot that has the highest RTP we have ever seen.
Goblin’s Cave actually has a return-to-player percentage of 99.3%.
Even better is the fact that this is a classic slot that does not confuse things with too many bonus features.
5. Ooh Aah Dracula
Ooh Aah Dracula is the 99% RTP slot to finish off this list and the Barcrest title is another great little slot for you to enjoy.
5-reels, 10-pay lines and a wide betting range, you could also unlock a lucrative free spins round.
Each of those titles has always been popular at the online casinos and we have a slight feeling that their RTP’s might be a large reason for that.
Do you blame the players though?
Of course, a player is always going to be looking at any advantage they might be able to claw back from the house.
Despite this lower house edge, however, the casino always wins and you should always be aware of that.
This is why it is important to always gamble responsibly and to not go chasing any losses with money you should not be gambling with.
So anyway, hopefully, we have answered your question on “How do online slots payout?” in as detailed a way as possible.
You should now be armed with the knowledge to know that all is above board and how RNG, RTP and hit percentages are what determines your chances at the online casinos.