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What Are the Odds in Online Slots?

“Don’t tell me the odds.”

This classic line from Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars may have been about outracing overwhelming enemy forces, but it can just as easily apply to playing online slots.

Not that all the odds are less than favorable, let’s say, but overall it is not a pretty picture.

The Good News

There are three important statistics to give online slots fans some hope. 

  1. Online slots are much more likely to pay out than their real-world counterparts. The reason for this is because payouts are dependent on how much money is inserted into a machine over a long time. Even the biggest casinos can’t match the millions upon millions of players hitting online slot machines and thereby investing substantially more money into these virtual slots.

  2. Online slots have much, much bigger payouts than real-world slot machines. The reason for this is exactly the same as point 1. More money going into online slots means more money being paid out by online slot machines. Especially if you make use of progressive jackpots.

  3. Online slots have a 92 to 97 percent return-to-player (RTP) chance. This statistic simply means how often a slot machine will pay back something to the player. This  is much higher than the 85% you find in physical slot machines.   

online slots machine

The Bad News

A 97% chance of winning is pretty good odds, is it not? Well, don’t get too excited, because there’s a very big catch with those odds. 

In short, just because you’re almost guaranteed to make money back doesn’t tell you how much money you get back. The truth is that not only do you have a tiny chance of making your money back or even a substantial amount of it back (1 in 5000, and worse the more you play), you have an astronomically tiny chance of winning the jackpot (1 in roughly 34 million)!

Slots have some of the worst odds of all casino games – indeed, if you’re only playing for the big jackpot, it has some of the worst odds of anything happening – when it comes to winning serious amounts of money or even breaking even. Worse, because of the house advantage (even if it’s only 8 to 2 percent, as opposed to the 15% of physical slots), the more you play the more you’re likely to lose.

As such, if you enjoy playing slot games, it’s crucial that you understand that you will probably lose what you put in, especially if you play a lot. Draw up and keep to a strict budget with online slots or you may come to very badly regret it – responsible gambling is crucial here more than almost anywhere else because you’re all but guaranteed to at least win something.

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