Q & A : How Do Slot Payout Percentages Really Work?

Published : 1st of December 2009

Slots Q & A

In our series of slots questions and answers we take a look at one of the most commonly asked questions - How do payout percentages really work.

We take a look at the basics as well as some extra questions on the subjects of game payouts.

We often get emails with the question - "I played a slot game with an advertised payout percentage of 98% but lost all of my money. How can the casino say the game pays out 98% when I get these results?"

Payout Percentage Information

The advertised payout percentages do not relate to an individual game session but thousands of game sessions. Some players will get much less but some players will get much more. Over time and millions of spins the game will pay out 98%.

Slots would not be any fun to play if every time you put in $100 you got exactly $98 out. While you may have lost your bankroll some other players would have walked away winners - luck is the main factor effecting slot players.

Making Payout Percentages Work For You

While there are no real tricks to playing slots there are some well known fact that can lead you to the best paying machines. In short - the higher the denomination you play the better the payout percentage will be.

It's not hard to see why casinos set there slots in this way. The need to keep a much smaller percentage of a $5 or $1 bet to make money than on a quarter or nickel machine where you will always find the lowest payout percentages.

We recommend always playing the highest denomination game you can afford. A one coin $1 machine is not that much more per spin than say a quarter machine with a three coin max bet but most probably has a higher payout percentage.

Of course even playing the games with the highest payout percentage does not guarantee you walking away a winner. Luck is still the key factor.

What about slots with payouts advertised at 99.9%?

This is more of an advertising stunt by casinos than anything else. Even playing a slot machine with a payout percentage of 100% you would not always win.

Why have I seen a casino with slot payouts over 100%?

Occasionally we have also seen the independent payout percentage reports released by online casinos show a monthly payout on slots of over 100%. This is always due to the casino having a very big winner on slots which skews the results. It does not mean that everyone who played slots that month won.

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