Slot machines are inherently unpredictable. Even the most skilled player has only a minuscule chance of winning any given round. This can be frustrating if you’re looking for some consistency in your gambling experience, but it also makes slot machines perfect for analysis. Let’s take a look at how slot machine pay tables can reveal so much about these games.
What Are Pay Tables?
These tables are the charts that slot machine manufacturers publish to describe how the machine’s software determines payouts and the winning combinations. They are a highly detailed breakdown of the machine’s payouts and can be a great way to learn more about a slot machine.
The pay table is usually listed on the machine’s screen and can usually be found online for every slot machine game too. A pay table is a helpful tool and it can also be a very interesting read, especially when you compare different slot machines. You can see which symbols are more important on a machine, how often people win and how big their payouts are.
Learning From The Payout Percentage
Of all the data displayed in a slot machine pay table, the most important is the percentage listed for each winning combination. This is the slot machine’s payout percentage, or the percentage of money wagered that you will win back through prizes.
The percentage represents the average expected return on every $100 wagered. It’s calculated by taking the total amount paid out to players and dividing it by the total amount wagered. This is not a guaranteed return rate, but an average of outcomes based on millions of spins with many different players for many years.
Deciding Which Games to Play Based on the Payout
The payout percentage on a slot machine is generally between 85% and 98%, with 90% as the average. This means that for every $100 that you bet, you will be able to win between $90 and $98 back.
If you don’t plan to risk any money, that doesn’t matter much, but if you’re gambling, it’s critical information. Obviously, the higher the payout percentage, the better your odds of winning are. But you also have to consider the volatility of the machine.
Understanding a Game’s Volatility by Looking at its Pay Table
Slot machine pay tables also give you an idea of how volatile a game is. The volatility is listed in the columns on the left side of the pay table, usually in terms of the expected number of spins over a long period before any particular outcome is repeated. Volatility can tell you how quickly the overall expected amount paid out will change, both up and down.