Slots Odds - Understanding the Chances of Slots Winnings

There are a large variety of slot machines and slot games available. Each slot machine, or group of slot machines will have their own slots odds.

Odds are Controlled by a Computer Chip or Software

All land-based slot machines which are found in large casinos today are regulated by computer chips that are programmed by the manufacturer. The slot machine's RNG (Random Number Generator) selects where the virtual reels will stop spinning as soon as you press the button to start each play. Because of this, it should be understood that casinos cannot easily change the payout percentages on their slot machines. Usually, the slots odds on a particular machine will stay the same.

Online slots, on the other hand, have slots odds controlled by their software. The software developers use subroutines in their programs that are the equivalent of the land-based games’ RNG. Since there’s no physical machinery to be changed, it’s much easier for the online casinos to adjust the odds based on consumer taste and marketing demands.

Virtual Reels

No matter whether it’s in a computer chip or in a program that you download from the internet, the RNG is meant to do the same thing: it simulates the spinning of the old one-armed bandit’s reels. These reels are called “virtual” because they don’t physically exist. By law, however, they have to operate in the same way. If the reel in a given game has one chance in twenty of coming up with cherries, then the virtual reel for that game should also produce cherries one time in twenty, on average. The slots odds should be the same whether there is a mechanical reel turning or virtual reel “spinning” inside an RNG.

Betting Doesn’t Affect Slots Odds

A common misconception is that how much players bet affects the slots odds. The odds for a game are fixed when you start to play it, and unless the casino has done something special, they will be the same odds when you play that same game in that same casino next week or next year. The slots payouts are affected by how much you’ve bet, but not the basic odds of winning. For example, in a progressive slots game, you have the same chance of hitting the big jackpot if you bet one coin or if you bet the maximum number. However, if you do win, you’ll only get a small, fixed jackpot if you bet a single coin. If you bet two coins, you’ll win double that amount. You have to bet the maximum amount in order to qualify for the much larger, progressive jackpot. In any case way you’ll win, but the difference is how much.

Reels Don’t Have Memory

There’s a famous saying, that “dice don’t have memory.” It means that the odds of a single die turning up 6 are the same no matter what happened the round before, or the round before that. Even in “loaded” dice, where the odds of a certain face is more likely than for “clean” dice, those odds don’t change from turn to turn. This is just as true of the “reels” in a slots game. Each spin has exactly the same chance of coming up with any particular combination as the spin before it, or the spin after it. The slots odds are the same each time. The common misconception that you need to play a certain number of spins before winning is just that - a misconception.