Online slots, like the slots you find littering the floor of any casino, are the textbook example of gambling games that are specifically designed to make sure that the house always wins. Not because they’re rigged or because of some wild conspiracy, but because all casino games are designed with “house edges” that ensure that casinos don’t go broke no matter how much their games payout.
In brick-and-mortar casinos, slot machines are probably the most popular games on offer, but they have some of the worst house advantages of all. Usually around 20%.
What is a House Advantage?
A house advantage, to be clear, does not mean the casino has only that chance to win, but that on each bet where the odds are theoretically 50/50 (like betting on red in roulette), the odds are shifted to favor the casino. So, in the case of betting on red, the inclusion of a green zero segment on the roulette wheel is specifically to make sure that rather than the player having a 50% chance to win, they will instead have only a 47% chance. That might not seem like such a huge difference but that advantage really starts to add up with multiple spins.
Obviously, with slots, there are no 50/50 bets, but a 20% house advantage means that the slots will only pay out 80% of the time. Again, that probably sounds like a good deal, but it means that out of all the money that’s played on all the machines in the casino, only 80% of that will be paid back in total. It also means that even if the machine you’re playing on pays out 80% of the time, it may (and usually does) only pay back a fraction of each dollar played.
How Online Slots Are Different
The one big difference between online slots and their real-world counterparts is that they have a much, much higher payout rate. Whole real-world slots have house advantages of 20%, online slots usually only have house advantages of 3 to 10 percent. This is because online casinos will always have more customers feeding money into them than any brick and mortar casino will ever have.
But beware: the chance of losing thousands upon thousands of dollars is even worse online because of its easy accessibility.
Can You Turn a Profit on Online Slots?
All of this is not to say that you have no chance of winning on online slots. It is possible to come out on top. You just have to pay smartly and responsibly.
Here are 3 crucial things to keep in mind if you want to end up in the black when playing online slots.
- Set a budget and stick to it. If you need help with this, make sure to tell your significant other to control your bank account – but if you have any sort of predilection towards addiction, best not to play at all.
- Quit while you’re ahead. If you happen to win big, do not put that money back into the game, but put it aside instead. In fact, playing only with the money you budgeted and not with winnings is a good idea.
- Accept that most sessions won’t end in big payouts and will often end in losses. If you should quit while you’re ahead, it’s 10 times more important to quit while you’re behind.
Do these three things and you aren’t just more likely to not lose an unacceptable amount of money, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time in the process.