There are thousands of online slot machines available today. Some of them are simpler, others more complex and fancy. Some of them retain the classic format and interface, others explore new forms and are filled with side games and bonuses. Choosing the one that’s best for you can be tricky at times. But there are a few things most slot machines have in common – and knowing about them will help you find the one that’s best for you, no matter if you want to play an HTML5 game at a social app or a real-money slot at your favourite Vietnam casino.
As we said before, slot machines come in all shapes and sizes – and the most important difference between them is volatility, also called variability. This is a metric that expresses, basically, how often the game hits.
Slot machines with high volatility will hit less often but the payouts associated with every winning spin will be higher. On the other hand, slot machines that have low volatility will pay out much more frequently, but you can expect the payouts to be lower. Casino game developers usually make it clear on which side their game is on – high, low, medium or anything in between.
Why is this important? Well, because these games are perceived differently by their players.
A high volatility game will be more boring for the casual player because it doesn’t trigger the sense of accomplishment very often but will be actively sought out by those with a high bankroll because of the generous wins associated with it. On the other hand, a low volatility game will be less attractive to those playing for the win but much more satisfactory for the casual player just looking to have some fun while spinning the reels.
“Return to player” or RTP is a theoretical metric associated with slot machines that expresses… well, pretty much the amount you can expect to lose when playing a slot machine over a large number of spins. Most slot machines have an RTP of 96% or above – those under this value are considered to have an RTP below the industry standard.
Don’t be shocked to hear about losses – casinos are businesses that expect to make profits, so you can’t expect them to hand out cash, can you? But they are not greedy either. When playing slots for a long enough time, you’ll end up with around 95% of your cash in your pocket (theoretically, that is). This means that if you play $100 on a slot machine with an RTP of 95%, you can expect to end your gaming session with $95 still in your pockets. Theoretically, of course, because the RTP is calculated over a large number of spins – hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more.
So, how do I choose the right slot machine?
If you are looking to make money, and you have the budget for it, it’s best for you to choose a slot machine with high volatility and high RTP.
But if you’re looking for fun, go with a slot machine with low volatility – that pays out smaller wins more often – and forget about the RTP: choose a slot machine that you enjoy playing.