10 Reasons Slot Machine Payout Won’t Matter

Row of Slot Machines on Top with a Pile of Money on Bottom

Slot machines remain the clear-cut most popular games in the casino. For slots players, the most crucial factor of the game came down to payout percentages or the return to player.

The return to player boils down to the percentage of every dollar that the casino pays out on a slot machine. So, if you’re playing a slot machine with an RTP of 90%, the casino will average a return of $90 for every $100 played on the game.

Slot machine RTP varies significantly in the casino. It is affected by things like where you’re playing and the denomination you play for on the game.

However, there are several factors that could negate your need to focus on slots RTP. Here are 10 reasons slot machine payout won’t matter.

1 – You Are Playing Too Fast

Slot machine RTP is vital to the slot machine player. I know slots enthusiasts who will research slot machines’ various RTPs at a casino for days and weeks ahead of a casino trip.

Unfortunately, they merely look at the RTP and fail to ever account for how fast they’re playing the games. Many gamblers see RTP and make loose assumptions that they’ll expect the house edge to be their hourly losses based on a deficient number of spins.

Let’s assume you’re playing the quarter slots with a decent RTP of 93%. The average casino gambler will spin between 500 and 600 times an hour.

We’ll use 500 spins for our purposes here, which works out to $125 per hour. Of course, that’s assuming you’re only playing a single line, which we know isn’t the case.

So multiply that by 5x, and you’re up to $625 being played every hour. With a 93% RTP, you’ll be losing close to $44 per hour.

2 – Chasing Comps Is Killing Your Chances

Players can sometimes get wrapped up in chasing the freebies offered by the casino. Casino comps provide unique gifts and rewards for the players.

The rate at which comps are earned is based strictly on how much a player is gambling and not associated with whether you’re winning or losing.

Casino Slot Machines

Players sometimes get in the habit of staying at the machines to move closer to getting these free gifts and rewards. This seems like intelligent shopping to many, but the reality is that you’ll never win as much as you spend getting the free gifts.

3 – In the Near Future, You May Not See the Effects

Slots payout merely gives players a long-term percentage that the machine will payout. It makes little consideration for the immediate effects you’ll experience when you sit down and slide in a crisp $100 bill.

First, there’s volatility to consider. The volatility is the rate at which a machine pays out the RTP. For some devices that are referred to as low volatility, the games payout reasonably consistently.

You’re not going to see your bankroll vanish quickly on a low volatility machine. Still, you are less likely to see significant wins either. You’ll typically lose your money slowly or squeak out a small profit.

High volatility machines will pay out the RTP when they are good and ready, not a moment before. Players on high volatility machines will lose much more quickly. Still, the lucky ones will see significant wins to put them in the black.

There’s no way to look at a machine and determine volatility, but gamblers love to talk. Look at the local casino forums before your trip to gain insight into the volatility of different games.

4 – You Play the Wrong Games

Most players miss the importance of RTP completely. They cruise the casino floor looking for a machine that stands out to them and makes a straight line for the game.

The RTP won’t matter for many players because they don’t take its importance into consideration or don’t know what it is.

I can admit that I made several casino trips before anyone ever clued me into RTP. Research the games before you make the trip, and you’ll find the best games.

Woman Sitting at a Slot Machine

Don’t overlook the importance of the denomination you’re playing for on slot machines. The general rule is the higher the denomination, the better the RTP.

So, it’s usually best to play the highest denomination that you can comfortably afford.

5 – How Quickly Your Losing Is More Important than Percentages

One thing I always look at before playing a casino game is my units lost per hour. If you’re gambling for entertainment and hoping to make a little cash, units lost are vital.

The longer you can play the game, the more fun you’ll have and the better your chances of winning a little money.

So, I encourage recreational gamblers to gather the RTP, average bet amount, and spins per hour to determine how far they’ll bankroll will take them.

You’ll have an overall better experience by focusing on these things instead of merely the bottom line.

6 – You’ll Fall Into the Slots Trance

One thing that every slot machine enthusiast must constantly be on guard against is the slots trance. I’m sure most of you have seen at one point players sitting on a stool, mouth slightly agape, with a glazed-over expression, little life in their eyes, while mindlessly spinning the reels.

That is the slots trance, it turns players into zombies, and it negates even the highest RTPs offered in the casino. How is that so?

Column of Casino Slots

Because players will absent-mindedly burn through their entire bankroll and any winnings when they are in a trance. Their sole focus is on seeing another bonus round or just watching the reels spin.

I can only speculate on what they’re actually thinking about. Still, I am sure it ranges from incredibly interesting to downright disturbing.

7 – RTP on Progressives Are Tricky

If you’re playing progressive slots focused on the RTP, you may not be playing progressives for the right reason.

Progressive slots are meant to drain players’ bankrolls while offering a potentially huge payday. They are traditionally poor for players trying to squeak out small wins.

That’s because the RTP on these games accounts for the massive payouts. Suppose you have a nickel slot with an enormous jackpot of over $200,000; that’s a lot of nickels someone is going to win.

That $200k will also factor into the game’s overall RTP, which means there’s less to spread around to other players.

When you decide to put money in a progressive slot machine, it may be best to approach the game with the lofty goal of hitting it big or walking away empty-handed.

8 – You’re Playing in the Wrong Casino

If more slot machine players were focused strictly on the RTP, the casinos wouldn’t be nearly as full.

That’s because the best RTP games are in the online casinos. Online casinos offer ridiculous RTP when compared to their land-based counterparts.

In a land-based casino, anything over 93% is considered an excellent RTP. That wouldn’t fly in an online casino where RTPs regularly go over 98%.

California High Limit Slots

Online casinos have a much smaller footprint and far less overhead than brick-and-mortar casinos. So, they can afford to take a much smaller piece of the pie and still enjoy incredible profits.

So, the RTP really doesn’t matter much in a land-based casino because if it did, you’d be gambling from your computer.

9 – For the Most Part Slot Machines Pay Out the Same

The biggest argument I have against the importance of slot machine payouts playing the most significant factor in the games is how tight they are from game to game.

In the grand scheme of things, a few dollars likely won’t bankrupt any of you. That’s what we’re talking about a few dollars or even pennies.

Most slot machines have an RTP within a few percentage points of one another. They typically range from 88% to 95% in land-based casinos.

That’s a slight variance that gets even smaller when broken down by denomination. So, how much of a difference are you really going to notice between a machine keeping 11 Pennines of every 100 and 10 out of 100?

Yeah, same here. Slots payout often gets overblown by the advantage gambling blowhards that scrutinize every penny spent in the casino. If you are that tied up to your money, play a game that gives you an opportunity to win.

10 – The Casinos Lie to You

Casinos don’t make a habit of blatantly lying to guests. However, they are prone to giving only parts of the whole truth.

I see signs in the casino and online advertisements about insanely high payout on slots all the time for land-based casinos. Sometimes these payouts are promised up to 98%.

Slot Machines at Harrah's Reno

There is little chance for the casino to pad their wallets with such a high payout. What the casino isn’t telling you is that only one machine needs to pay that highly.

So, before you go rushing to the highly-marketed area of the casino floor, proceed with caution. The actual payout of the machines may be much lower than you’re lead to believe.

Our Final Thoughts

Slot machines are an entertaining way for casino gamblers to spend hours in the casino. Don’t get so caught up in the RTP that you paralyze your ability to have fun.

Pay attention to the 10 reasons slot machine payout won’t matter. You may actually win more by not tying yourself down chasing the highest payout machines.