The Math That Makes The Money On Slot Machines

Slot machines are easily the most important games on the floor of any casino, online or off. Casinos will generate anywhere from about 65% to 85% of their overall profits from the slots. Every single day, players all over the world put down millions of dollars to spin those reels and take their chances on hitting a big win.

As far as gambling goes, it really doesn’t get any easier than playing slot machines for real money at an online casino . The players simply have to insert their money, decide how much they want to bet on each spin, and set the reels in motion. From three-dimensional animated video slot machines to three-reel mechanical classics, there are games for every taste. No matter which you like to play, with the exception of video poker which is a slot machine variant, all winners are chosen purely by chance.

It’s that chance aspect of slot machines that makes them so attractive to so many people. No skill required. The playing field is level. It doesn’t matter if the guy sitting next to you has been playing for 20 years and you just played your first game yesterday. When you put your money into a slot machine and spin the reels, you have just as much chance to win as anybody else.

For the casinos, slot machines are the most stable money-maker they have. As long as the players keep playing, the casino can count on a steady, regular revenue stream. To understand why they are so important to the gambling industry’s bottom line, you just have to understand the math behind them. It’s all about the math.

Casinos measure how every single one of their games performs compared to all of the others. When they are looking at the performance of slot machines, the most basic number they are interested in is what’s called the drop. The drop is the total amount of money deposited in any machine by players.

After the drop, the casino will be interested in “the handle”. The handle is the total amount of money that is actually bet on a machine. For example, if a player puts in $75 and wins $25, but then plays until he hits a $0 balance, he made a drop of $75 and the handle was $100. He bet with his original $75 plus the $25 he won.

Finally, what’s left in the machine after the players have played and the machine has paid and the jackpots have been won is called the casino’s win—in other words, their revenue.

How Slot Machine Winners Are Determined

Slot machine wins are based on statistics. Each machine contains a random number generator and a programmed percentage of the time that each win and payout amount will hit. Every time someone presses the spin button, the random number generator acts on an algorithm that determines if the spin is a win or a loss, and if it’s a win, how big the win is. Each game has a particular pay table and a set percentage of money taken in that it will hold for the casino.

The pay rates determined by the algorithms also determine the volatility of a slot machine. Low volatility machines will pay off smaller amounts more often. High volatility machine, like those with big progressive jackpots, will pay off less often, but usually in much higher amounts when they do hit. When you play the slots you’ll have to decide if you want the chance at sky-high wins offered by high volatility slots, or the usually longer play time afforded by low volatility slots that will give you money back more often.

Can The Player Get An Edge?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the slots, there is no way to get a definitive edge against the house. There’s no getting around the math. The statistical advantage afforded to the casino is built into the game and no player can beat that—at least not without doing something illegal like tampering with the machine.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t win, however. Many people do win on the slots. And as we said earlier, you have just as much of a chance of winning as the next guy. It’s just that over time, through thousands and millions of trials, the casinos will always grind out a positive win for themselves. You can also take advantage of many online casino features to help improving your odds.

One thing is certain. If you’re a slot machine enthusiast, you’ll never have trouble finding the games you love to play. The casinos love the slots just as much as you do, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. Here you can find the links to the best online casinos to play slots in your area:

Enjoy!

LauraK

Blogger and Casino Fan, originally from Argentina.

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