slot machine

Choosing the right online slot when playing for real money is key to maximizing your chance of winning big. If you believe most of the online guides and review sites out there, RTP (Return to Player) is the single most important metric when picking an online slot. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’ve done a deep dive into the world of online slot machines with surprising results.

A slot’s RTP rate is overrated

To be clear, the percentage a slot machine returns to its players is important and shouldn’t be neglected completely. However, once you understand how RTP is calculated, you’ll quickly understand not to contribute too much weight to this factor.

RTP stands for Return to Player and expresses the percentage a slot game returns to all of its players over time. For example, if a game states an RTP rate of 96%, you should expect to win $96 back for each $100 wagered. The important bit here is ‘over time,’ though.

The algorithm behind slot return rates is trained to be true after a long period of time; we’re talking about thousands or even millions of spins. For that reason, you cannot rely on RTP rates at all in the short term. You might win more after 20 spins playing a slot machine with 94% RTP than one that states 98%.

That being said, it’s still advisable to keep an eye on player return rates when choosing a game, but it’s equally important not to emphasize that metric.

The site Online Slots Pilot is probably the single most comprehensive slots guide for the English market, so we highly recommend taking a look to learn about the ins and outs of slot machines. For those that prefer a brief summary, keep on reading this article.

Most Modern Slots are of Medium to High Variance

One of the most impactful features of modern online slots is their variance, also referred to as volatility.

Variance is categorized into low, medium, and high variance and gives crucial pre-game feedback on how your slot of choice will behave.

In a nutshell, low volatility means that an online slot game will payout small wins quite frequently but is unlikely to return any bigger sums. On the other hand, high variance slots won’t payout that often, but if they do, the amounts will be much larger.

Players, therefore, can make an educated choice on what type of game they prefer to play and directly influence their chance of success. As a rule of thumb, if you’re playing for pleasure, you should opt-in for low to medium volatility slots. If you have an eye on the grand prize and can financially sustain a longer period of losses, choose a high variance slot.

Unfortunately, if you want to play the latest slot games, your choice of low variance games is limited. For example, one of the trending slot developers, Push Gaming, only launched two low volatility slots out of nearly 40 games. The same is true for NoLimit City, which has a single low variance game in their portfolio of around 50 slots.

Features like Multipliers Can Make the Difference

So, you’ve learned that RTP is overrated, and your choice of variance is pretty much limited to medium and high games. What else is there to keep an eye on when choosing a slot machine on the Internet?

Well, the game’s unique features are surely a vital asset to any slot. While wild and even scatter symbols are pretty much the norm these days, not every game offers respins and multipliers. Especially the latter can be a real game-changer.

Think about unlocking an x15 multiplier, spinning the reels, and hitting a winning combination that would make you win $45. All of a sudden, your casino bankroll doesn’t increase by $45 but a whopping $675. Now that is a serious amount of cash!

As you can see, a game’s subtle feature can make all the difference on whether you walk home on debit or credit.

By the way, the Respin feature can be just as important. Imagine how often you’ve played a slot machine and almost hit a winning combination. If you had only hit one more correct symbol, right!?

Well, the respin feature gives you a second shot. You’ve almost scored a winning combination and triggered a respin before? Perfect, just give it another go and see if you’ve better luck the second time. 

The Magic Formula to Beat Online Slots

Besides RTP, volatility, and other features, plenty of online guides will tell you about magic formulas to ‘beat the house.’ The most widely described secret is the so-called hit rate. If an online slot has a hit rate of 25%, it will payout money on every fourth spin. Unfortunately, the hit rate and other ‘secrets’ couldn’t be further from the truth.

All modern online slots are games based on pure luck utilizing technologies such as standardized randomizers to make wins and losses completely unpredictable. For that reason, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of any spin at any game safely.

Metrics like RTP, variance, or multipliers are good indicators of how likely you’ll make your money back or walk away with a profit, but it’s far from a guarantee. Whether in Las Vegas or online, Casinos are known for making huge profits, and you should never expect to win more than you spent.

Therefore, as a rule of thumb: never spend more money than you can afford to lose, and if you find yourself on a losing streak, don’t try to wager more to win your lost money back. Instead, take a step back, cool down, and push for better luck the next time.

For those of you who feel that your gambling habits have spun a little out of control, please know there are countless organizations that help control your spending and assist you in self-excluding yourself from online casinos and sports betting websites.