Online Slot Machines - Myths and Truths

As with any topic, the “conventional wisdom” about online slot machines doesn’t always match up with reality and facts. People’s perceptions about slot machines in general—and online slot machines play in particular—are sometimes skewed by incorrect assumptions and urban legends. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common misperceptions, and the real deal about online slot machines.

Myth: A slot machine that just put out a big jackpot isn’t going to pay out again for a while, so you’d better switch to another game. Slot machines, whether online or at conventional casinos, are run by an entirely automated system called a random number generator. Every single play is entirely random, so it’s a matter of statistical fact that you’re just as likely to win on any single play as on any other play, regardless of whether that machine just paid out a huge jackpot, or whether it has been on an apparent “losing streak.” Some players claim they have a “feel” for the machine, or make a practice of watching machines to see which ones are “hot” or “loose,” but in actual fact, each machine has already been set to pay out at a pre-set percentage (over a period of time) and the machine’s recent history has absolutely no effect on what can happen with the next play. Find an enormous selection of slot machines and incredible jackpots at JackpotCity.

Myth: A slot machine that has been demonstrating a slow or losing streak is “due” for a win, so your chances of a jackpot are better if you stay on that game. This urban legend is the reverse side of the one previously mentioned, and it’s just as false for exactly the same reason. A machine that has just paid out a huge jackpot can pay out another on the very next play, and a machine on a slow streak might be continuing in that vein for a while. Again, the statistical and incontrovertible fact of the matter is that every play is entirely random, and every play is just as likely to be a winning one. If a slot machine is pre-set to pay out at 97% over time, it will do exactly that; the element of chance comes in with the fact that a player doesn’t know which plays will be the payout plays… Until you step in and make the wager to find out!

Myth: Conventional casinos place “hot” machines with frequent payouts in positions where the excited winners are most visible to other players, with the hopes of enticing additional players to those games, so a machine on an aisle is likely to pay out more than a machine more removed from public view. People choose their machines based on all manner of different criteria, but this is perhaps the most common myth in leading people to stand in line for a particular game and set their sights on a particular machine. This perception, and the practice of choosing machines based on location, has carried over into the online environment, where the virtual layout of a casino floor allows players to pick a game as they would in a brick and mortar establishment. The myth of placement applies even less in the online environment, of course, since a winner in the online casino isn’t visible to other players to act as an enticement to the games.

Myth: Online slot machines are less lucrative than their counterparts in conventional casinos. On the contrary! Traditional brick and mortar establishments have to consider the costs of overhead, providing lodging and food and drinks to their clientele, along with entertainment to entice potential gamers, and maintenance of the buildings and machines, along with staffing to serve the players at the tables and elsewhere in the establishment. It’s a lot of outlay, expended just to get gamers to the tables and slot machines. In contrast, the online casinos have very little in the way of “overhead” costs, and don’t need to work so hard to bring gamers to them, since the players themselves can access the online casino from anyplace in the world by internet connection, and don’t have to overcome the hurdles of travel expenses and time away from home and work. Online casinos have a lot more room in their budgets to kick back higher percentages of their profits to the players, and online slot machines are set to pay out at significantly higher percentages than the machines maintained by their conventional counterparts.

Every slot machine, whether in an online or a brick and mortar casino, is pre-set to a specific payout percentage, meaning that whatever money is put into that machine, the pre-set percentage of that money will be paid back out to the players in the form of wins and jackpots. (The machines operate on random number generators, so within the parameters of that pre-set percentage, every individual play is as likely as the next play to be a winning one.) While slot machines in traditional casinos typically don’t pay out at a percentage rate any higher than 95% (and in some places are set as low as 70%), the average payout percentage at online slot machines is a mind-boggling 98%! Even if you don’t consider the expense of travel costs to visit the traditional casino, the play at an online establishment is significantly more profitable.

Myth: Slot machines are set to pay out only a percentage of the money that goes into them in the form of wagers; if the house always wins, there’s no way I can come out ahead or make money playing slots. Wrong, wrong, and wrong again! This is the line of argument that gambling nay-sayers will use to point out the futility of playing slots. But consider the following: for just a moment, let’s assume that over the course of your play at a slot machine, you “only” manage to come away with that pre-set average percentage of payout. In an online casino where slots are set to a 98% payout, you still have almost all of your money, and you’ve enjoyed the experience of playing. For that low price of entertainment, you might lose more than that amount of money by taking your family to a movie and buying popcorn and sodas. Find the best payouts at Winner Casino.

Now let’s assume instead that you’re playing strategically, optimizing your winning opportunities as you play the slot machines. Now you’re likely to come out ahead of the house even without a “big” win, since you only have a couple percentage points to “make up” in order to break even. And of course, we have the most exciting scenario, in which your strategic play does result in some significant winnings—now you’re well ahead of the house and walking away with cash (or in the case of online slots, credits) in your pockets. You’ve enjoyed the entertainment of the play, and you earned money doing it. It is hard to beat that. While it’s true that each machine is set to pay out at a certain percentage over time, it does NOT follow that each player can only expect that much money back from their play.

Myth: Since slot machines operate on random number generators, or pure chance, there’s no way to play strategically or increase your chances of winning. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Over the long run, the house profits by a couple percent of the total amount its players wager, but you can bet those profits come from the pockets of people who aren’t playing wisely. A few simple approaches can help you maximize your chance of winning, and prevent you finding yourself in the position of sitting at a machine that just offered up a big jackpot which you can’t collect because you didn’t bet to win.

Take, for example, the category of slot machines known as bonus multipliers. A basic multiplier machine pays out its winnings in direct proportion to the size of your wager. If you wager one credit and win ten, you get the ten back. If you’ve wagered three credits on that same play, you’ll get thirty. A bonus multiplier, however, includes randomly generated bonuses alongside the regular play, and the bonuses are also multiplied in proportion to your wager. (Some of these bonuses, in fact, will only pay out if you’ve placed the maximum wager.) In this case, strategic play means placing maximum wagers when you play a bonus multiplier machine, or you’ll find you don’t qualify for the winnings that do turn up on the machine you’re playing.

Another type of slot machine, called the buy-a-play, adds to the intrigue and excitement of play by spinning several reels with each play, rather than a single one. The player can choose to bet on any or all of the individual reels, and of course the players who chooses not to wager on all of them can find themselves in the position of looking at a winning jackpot on the machine their playing, and realizing that jackpot isn’t on one of the reels they’ve paid to play. Talk about frustrating! Once again, the machine was set to pay out, but the player missed the opportunity by not betting strategically.

Progressive slot machine games are another example where your strategic wagering makes a significant difference in the outcome of your game. A progressive slot machine game essentially connects multiple slot machines to a single jackpot prize, so all the wagers of all the players on all the machines will be going into building that single jackpot. And if they play wisely, all the players who are contributing to that progressive jackpot can also be eligible to win it. Whatever wagers you make in a progressive jackpot game (whether you bet the maximum or not), those wagers will go toward the collective jackpot, but in many of these games your individual play isn’t eligible to win the jackpot if you’re not betting the maximum wager on that play. Imagine the immense frustration of playing for a mega-bucks prize, having your slot machine turn up the win, and realizing that your own bet didn’t qualify you to walk away with the big prize for that win. There are players who make these fundamental mistakes—which is why the house can continue to take its two-percent profit, and wiser players like yourself can walk away with winnings at the same time.

Myth: It doesn’t matter what type of game a particular machine offers, and there’s no reason to read the terms before playing. Actually, the different categories of slot games (buy-a-pay, multiplier, bonus multiplier, progressive) handle your wagers differently, and your ability to maximize your winnings at a given machine depends in part on understanding what type of machine it is, and wagering accordingly. As outlined in the previous point, you could end up walking away from a big win that the machine turned up, but which your bet didn’t qualify you for. The simplest way to avoid this kind of catastrophe is to spend the few seconds it takes to read a machine’s terms and know how best to bet.

Myth: Slot machines are “small potatoes” to the casinos, so the big bonuses and enticements are more likely to be found at high-profile games like online poker. In actual fact, slot machines are the basic “bread and butter” of business for any casino, a fact that holds true for both the online and the traditional establishments. In most cases, the slot machines account for more than eighty percent of a casino’s profits, so you’d better believe the casinos are interested in enticing you to play! Look for bonuses, such as sign-up bonuses when you first become an online casino member, which can be profitably used at the slot machines.

Myth: Wagering money at an online casino is too risky. With a few basic precautionary steps, your money is as safe at your online casino account as it would ever be in the form of cash in your wallet. Some brief research among watchdog groups and gaming forums online can help assure you that your choice of casino is a reputable establishment with a positive and lasting track-record of customer contentment and trustworthy transactions. (There are, unfortunately, some “rogue” casinos out there which scam gamers and disappear with their money—but these can be easily avoided and shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish the name of the online gaming industry as a whole.) Once you’ve chosen a reliable online casino where you’d like to play, such as Spin Palace Casino, you can further protect your money by employing one of the money management services which have been specifically developed to facilitate the online financial transactions between players and casinos. These services enable you to create an account with funds from a bank account or credit card, and then use the online account to make deposits and withdrawals and move money in your casino accounts. The online account itself is heavily protected with firewalls and encryption and user passwords and login, and prevents the additional risk of exposing your personal financial information by using a credit card directly at the gaming establishment. Your player account at the casino is likewise protected by encryption and firewalls and your user account password, and you can remove your funds at any time by making a withdrawal through the online money service you’ve chosen. All in all, your money may be safer in the environment of the online casino than it would be if you walked through a crowded casino with cash in your wallet. The wallet could be lost or stolen, but the online account is a veritable fortress.

Myth: Playing slot machines online isn’t as interesting or rewarding an experience as traveling to a conventional casino. There are elements of conventional casino play that might appeal more to some players—if you prefer the haze of cigarette smoke, noise, crowds, distractions, and dim lighting of a traditional casino, then the online casino may not be the place for you. If, however, you prefer the comfort of sitting in your Saturday sweats at a home computer, or livening up a lunch break with a game on your phone, or entertaining yourself while you wait in line or ride the subway, then the online casino may actually be more personally rewarding than a trip to Vegas. The games themselves have all of the graphic and thematic delights online that you could find in the onsite casino games, and the touch-screen functionality of many smart phones and mobile devices adds to the interactive nature of the gaming experience. Add to those factors the fact that you’ll never have to wait in line for a particular game or machine, you’ll never have to hoof it to an ATM in the middle of play, and you’ll never have to fork out a small fortune for a lousy meal to sustain your play… Well, you may just find yourself voting for “online” as the preferable version of slot machine experiences.