Slots are easily one of the most popular types of casino games. Millions of players all over the world enjoy playing them, both in land-based casinos and online. They have evolved significantly since the early mechanical versions, and some of the latest video slots provide an amazing gaming experience.
Because of their popularity, there are literally thousands of different slots games around. If you walk into any large casino you are likely to see row after row of slot machines, and most online casinos have an excellent range of games available. This is obviously a good thing for slots players, as the variety means you have plenty of choice when deciding what to play. However, it can also make it difficult to work out which are the best games to play.
In many respects, it doesn't really matter which games you choose to play. The basic principle is pretty much the same in all of them, and your choice of game is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on your overall chances of winning some money. There are few things you might want to think about when deciding what to play though, and we discuss these in this article.
All slot games have an expected payout rate. This rate shows how much money a game will pay out over time, in relation to the amount of money wagered. For example, a slot game with a payout rate of 90% will pay out $90 for every $100 wagered. A slot game with a payout rate of 80% will pay out $80 for every $100 wagered.
As you can see from this, it is in your best interests to play games that have a high payout rate. The higher the payout rate, the more playing time you will get for your money on average. Therefore, if your priority is to making sure that your money lasts as long as possible, the payout rate is the single most important factor you should consider. Please note, though, that you cannot always tell what the payout rate of a game is. Many casinos, live and online, make that information available – but not all of them do.
It's also worth noting that a payout rate only applies over the long term, and there is no guarantee that a game will perform precisely in line with its payout rate during the time you play it. A game with a 90% payout doesn't pay out exactly $90 every time you wager $100; it averages out to that rate over thousands of spin. Of course, it is this deviation from the payout rate in the short term that means it's possible to win money.
The cost per spin is definitely something you should consider when deciding which games to play. You usually have some choice about how much to stake on each spin, as you can generally choose how many coins to play per line and how much each coin is worth. However, the range of available stakes will vary from one game to the next.
You should really try to play games that fit in with your budget. For example, a game with a minimum cost per spin of $2 is probably not the right one for you if you have $50 to play with. This could potentially give you just 25 spins, and it is quite possible to go through 25 spins very quickly without getting much in the way of a win. Ideally you want play at a cost per spin where your bankroll can cover at least 100 spins, as this gives you a good chance of landing some wins and should ensure you get some decent playing time for your money.
There is no right or wrong way to go in terms of the number of paylines available, but it is something you should bear in mind. The number of paylines will affect the cost per spin, as the cost per spin is calculated by multiplying the number of coins you are playing by the number of active paylines. It also affects your chances of a winning spin.
As a general rule, more paylines means you'll see more winning spins. This is not an absolute rule, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have a better overall chance of making a profit, but it does make sense. The more paylines there are, the more opportunities there are for a winning combination of symbols.
If you play slot games in the hope of landing a seriously big win, then you obviously need to take a look at the size of the jackpot when deciding which games to play. There are plenty of games with big jackpots, and some progressive jackpots can grow to be worth millions of dollars.
It is worth bearing in mind, though, that the payout rate of many progressive jackpot games is somewhat skewed by the jackpot. One huge payout every now and then can give a game an attractive overall payout, but if you exclude the jackpot then the rate may not be very attractive at all. Don't let that put you off though, as trying to win a jackpot can be a lot of fun even if the odds of winning aren't great.
There are a couple of final points that we should mention. First, it's not uncommon for slots players to think that certain games must be "due a win" if they haven't paid out much for a while. This is a myth, and not something you should think about when choosing which game to play. As we mentioned earlier, the payout rate only evens itself out over several thousand (or more) spins. Just because a particular game hasn't paid out much for a few hundred spins, there is absolutely no reason to assume it will suddenly start spinning win after win.
It's also important, in our opinion at least, to play the games that you enjoy the most. This is arguably the most important factor to consider, in fact, as playing slots is ultimately supposed to be about having fun. We really don't see the point in playing a game that you don't really enjoy just because it has a payout rate that is slightly better. It's much more sensible to play games that you find fun, and just hope that you get lucky from time to time.