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Understanding Payout Rates At Slot Machines

Slot machine payouts are determined by an RNG

Slot machines are among the most popular casino games, with some online casinos offering a choice of over 500 slots. With so many options, it’s crucial you understand the payout rates slot machines offer – otherwise you might pick one with low odds of you winning! 

From how RTP is calculated out to five key truths, this guide will help you understand all the important details about slot machine payouts. 

How Slot Machine Payouts Are Worked Out By RNGs

Some gamblers worry that slot machines are rigged by casinos. However, all slot machines nowadays contain a random number generator (RNG)  

An RNG is a microcomputer that constantly spits out numbers, even when it's not being used. The random numbers that are chosen each time correspond with the position of a slot machine’s reels. 

When you push the spin button or pull the handle, the spinning wheels don’t actually have an effect on whether you win or lose, which happens merely for your entertainment. The push of the button simply tells the slot machine to show you the random number generated reel positions.

This means that each payout on a slot machine, whether in a land-based casino or an online casino, is determined at random  – so you’ve no need to worry about the slot machine at your favourite casino being rigged. 

How Do Casinos Control Slot Machine Payouts?

Slot machine payouts are determined by an RNG, and the RNG computer chips are all programmed to pay out at a certain rate. In the US, slot machines must pay out at a minimum of 75%; in the UK there is no legal minimum payout, only an obligation to display the payout somewhere on the machine. The casino can change the chip that controls the payout rate, but they are required by law to report any of these types of changes to their country or state's Gaming Commission.

Almost all slot machines have a minimum and maximum bet, with wagers in between often allowed too. One way that casinos control slot machine payouts is by only making the jackpot (the highest payout you can get) available to gamblers who make the maximum bet. 

The maximum bet is often incorporated into the slot machine by a ‘Max Bet’ button that automatically makes the highest wager allowed. 

The above is important to understand as it debunks some old fashioned assumptions about slots. It is as random as the roulette wheel, each play being independent. All the action is decided by the precise moment that you push the spin button or pull the handle that selects a set of random numbers. If you would have pushed the button or pulled the handle a split second later, it would have produced a totally different result.

How Do I Find The Payout Percentage On A Slot Machine?

To find the payout percentage of a slot machine, you need to locate the return to player (RTP). This is the amount of money that gamblers win back from casino games over time. Here’s how that works – if a slot machine has an RTP of 99% then it means £99 of every £100 spent goes back to gamblers, meaning that the casino makes a profit of £1. 

Finding the payout of a slot machine is important because it tells you how likely you are to win when gambling at it – picking one with a low percentage means that you have lower odds (in the long run) of winning. 

While locating the payout for land-based casinos can be tricky, many online casinos are obliged to publish the win ratio of their slot machines – whether they have to or not depends on which organisation they are regulated by. Below we give an example of how you can find the payout percentage on a slot machine for a top-rated online casino.  

Bet365 is one of the UK’s most highly regarded online casinos. It’s renowned for sports betting but has a range of slot games. In keeping with gambling regulations, Bet365 publishes the RTP of every slot machine that you can play on its website. To find the payout of the slots on offer from Bet365, all you have to do is search “bet365 slots rtp.” This then takes you to Bet365’s Fair Payouts page, where you can see the percentages of its slot games. 

While not every online casino makes it as simple as Bet365 to locate the payout of its slots, many do make it this easy to find the win ratio of their games. 

Of course, if you can’t easily find the payout for a casino’s slot machines, then you should take this as a warning sign – as many casinos are obliged to publish their win ratios, if one makes it difficult for you to find, then you might take it as evidence that it offers an uncompetitive payout. 

Payout Rates At Land Machines Versus Those At Online Slots 

We made the point earlier that it can be tricky to establish the payout rate for the slot machines of a land-based casino. The simple reason for this is that not all land casinos are required to list their payout (UK land casinos are obliged to clearly display the RTP, however, this may not be the case if you play in casinos outside the UK) while many online casinos have a legal obligation to. 

What land casinos have to do is to provide reports to their regulator which show the average payout percentage for their slot machines – this is measured per coin denomination. The regulator then publishes this information independently of the land casino(s). 

Although the payouts for land casinos are available for gamblers to see (in theory, at least), finding this information can be tricky. When comparing the two types of casino, you may be getting a better payout rate from a land machine than an online slot — or you may not. But the chances are you won’t know the answer to that without really working for it. 

Online Casinos The With Highest Slot Payout Rates 

We review the top casinos, looking at a range of different factors when deciding which ones we like and which ones we don’t. One of the most important factors we consider is the RTP of a casino, and slot machines are no exception. You can find up to date reviews of the leading casinos on the web by heading to our reviews section

While many casinos offer slot machine payout rates of around 95-98%, the best way of knowing which ones have the best payout rates is by reading reviews published by reputable sites. 

We've written extensively on slot machines, from the rules of playing them to the history of the machines. In our reviews of the UK’s most reputable casinos, we look at the different payouts of the slot machines on offer to gamblers. 

5 Key Truths Behind Slot Machine Payout Rates 

There are a lot of myths about slot machines. To help you separate the fact from the fiction, we’ve listed some of the important truths about slot machines below. Warning: They won’t all be things you want to hear! 

Slot Machine Payout Rate – Truth Number 1

A slot machine, including online slots, is never "due to hit". The payback % and win frequency can only be measured in the long term.

Slot Machine Payout Rate – Truth Number 2

A machine, including online slot machines, can sometimes go for days on end without one single decent payout.  On the other hand, there is no reason why it can't have 2 big payouts in a short period of time.

Slot Machine Payout Rate – Truth Number 3

It is not true that playing faster will increase your winning chances. The RNG will keep producing hundreds or thousands of numbers in between the spins of even the quickest gamer. The only reason that faster players seem to win more, is that they have made more spins. 

Slot Machine Payout Rate – Truth Number 4

You cannot affect the number generation by the number of coins you play.

Slot Machine Payout Rate – Truth Number 5

It is not true that there is any difference in the results, whether you press the "Spin" button or pull the handle.


Do Casinos Pay Out Big Winnings? 

The level of payout you get from a casino depends on the individual casino – some smaller casinos may offer fairly modest payouts, while the world’s biggest ones (such as those casinos found in Macau or Singapore) give gamblers the chance to win millions. 

Can I Avoid Paying Tax On My Casino Winnings?

The amount of tax you pay on your casino winnings depends on the country you are gambling in. For example, the UK is considered one of the best places to gamble because there is no tax paid on gambling winnings. In contrast, gambling winnings in the USA are generally subject to a flat 25% tax

Do Casinos Keep Track Of Your Winnings? 

Casinos are obliged to provide their revenue records to their nation’s financial regulator. However, it’s less clear whether they decide to keep a record of the winnings of individual gamblers – some casinos advise that they keep a record of how long you bet for, while many gamblers are convinced that casinos do keep track of your winnings.