Whether you are spinning a slots wheel, playing video slots or virtual online slots, when you pull that lever or hit the button, the reel will spin and land on a random number. Each reel or wheel will land on one random number per spin. The outcome is determined as soon as you hit the spin button. In slots, every random number is represented by a fun image or symbol, this is designed to keep the game interesting. It doesn't matter whether you push a button on your computer slots or pull a lever in a Vegas casino, the outcome is the same. But is it as simple as that? Are slot machines completely random, or are there more factors involved in determining your odds of winning at slots?
Slot Payback Odds
When people analyze slots odds, they often look at payback percentages and choose their game accordingly. Payback percentages basically tell you how much a particular machine or game pays back over time. Casinos calibrate their slot machines according to the rules and regulations of the State or Country in which they operate. Regulated online casinos must follow the same stringent rules as land based casinos, depending on where they are licensed to operate. Therefore, you should only sign up with reputable websites such as Wink Slots. Payback percentage standards typically range from 75-99 percent, however this does not mean that you would win 99 pence on every pound that you put in! The payback percentage refers to the overall payback throughout a machine's lifetime - Not only that, even if a slots machine is set at 99 percent, the spin is still completely random so, at the end of the day, you still have a 50/50 percent chance of winning, like flipping a coin!
Random Number Odds
Slot machines, old and new, are powered by random number generators. In the olden days, when slots machines were mechanical, you may have calculated your odds based upon the number of reels and symbols per machine. For example, 3 reels with 10 symbols per reel would give you a 999 to 1 chance of winning. These days it's really not so easy - there are so many different spins, symbols and complex combinations that you would require another computer in order to decipher a modern slots machine or online slots game.
Hit Frequency Odds
Some would argue that you can determine a machine's or game's odds by looking at the 'hit frequency'. Hit frequency refers to the amount of times a winning combination is achieved. In order to find this out, you would have to play a game hundreds, if not thousands of times, quantifying the amount of wins. Any machine or game that produces winning hits below 10% is considered to be a dud. That said, for every hundred spins that you analyze, the next hundred might yield completely different results, proving that slots are indeed random. On top of all that, it would take a ridiculous amount of time and effort to analyze the hit frequency yourself. If you are still curious about the hit frequency of a particular game, you may find some published results and statistics in online slots reviews.
The one thing that may slightly pre-determine your game odds is your coin strategy. Should you play with the maximum amount of coins? If there is a big progressive slots game coming up, it could be well worth your while to go all in as the incentive is big. For example, say one coin will give you £1,000, two coins will give you £5,000 and three coins will yield £10,000, then it may be worth it to enter your all of your coin budget for that day. Even if the odds of you winning are random or 50/50, at least you will be more likely to win a large prize in the event that all your symbols line up! On the other hand, if there isn't a big jackpot at stake, you would be better off to spread your coins out. So once you have decided what your budget is, say 5 coins, use them as slowly and broadly as possible to spread your chances of winning.
Some people think that timing determines your odds of winning at slots. For example, say you are playing your favourite mobile slots game and you get interrupted by a call, then two seconds later somebody else picks up the same game and wins the jackpot. You might ask yourself, what if I had continued playing - would I have won that jackpot? Did I miss my big chance due to bad timing? Not necessarily, because slots is as random as a roulette wheel. No person or moment in time can determine when or where a roulette wheel is going to stop! So if you miss a win, don't beat yourself up or take it too seriously. In the same vein, you may also ask yourself - Is it a bad idea to keep on playing after I have hit a jackpot? The answer is, not at all! The odds are the same every single time you play, it can go in your favour or not, even if the last five spins happened to hit the jackpot! Of course, a progressive jackpot will be smaller after a big win, but that will not affect your odds of winning.
Concerns About Odds
Some slots players are wary about sticking to one game or casino. They worry that being a loyal customer will affect their odds - Not so, all players whether new or established have the same chances of winning. What about the casino being able to tamper with your game algorithm so as to tip the odds in favour of the house? The technical possibilities do exist however no regulated casino, whether online or land based, would take such a risk. If they were caught partaking in such activities, they would be shut down in an instant. Therefore it is in your best interest to only play with regulated casinos. Licensing and regulation information should be displayed on the casino website.
In the majority of cases, when a player complains about the odds of a slots game, it is because they are upset about losing. Remember that your odds of winning are completely random and it can take millions of spins before you hit the jackpot or winning combination. The theoretical percentage is really that anything can happen. As they say, it's the luck of the draw, so make sure you play sensibly and remember it's just a game so have fun with it!