Before deciding to play any slot machine, it’s important to think about the odds of winning. Unlike a traditional casino game, slot machines don’t have universal odds. Rather than thinking about odds, think about payback percentages. This is the first and more important factor when it comes to deciding which machine to play.

The payback percentage is the amount of money the slot machine is designed to return over the course of time. This time could be tens of thousands of spins. It’s important to not think that the machine will perform optimally over the course of your session, which is a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Remember, not all slot machines are created equal. It’s not uncommon to see a 98% payback machine next to a 94% payback machine or cluster.

A common mistake of many slot players is assuming if they start with $100, that the machine will give back X percent. The payback percent of a slot machine is not based on your session, but of every dollar run through the system. Let’s take a look at how a 95% payback machine might function if it was running at a constant 95% payback. For this example, we will drop $100 in the machine and keep spinning those reels.

Round 1: The first $100 in play is completed and we have $95 left.

Round 2: We run the $95 through and now have $90.25 left.

Round 3: We run the $90.25 through and now have $85.75 left.

Round 4: We run the $85.75 through and now have $81.50 left.

Round 5: We run the $81.50 through and now have $77.25 left.

You see how the money keeps going down? Even though we are still using our original $100, we are losing much more than 5%. A great idea would be to play 1-2 cycles in a machine and move if it’s not hitting.

In short, always play the machines with the best payback percentages you can find. If you don’t see the payback percentages listed, like in a virtual casino, ask someone. It’s not wise to play any slot machine without knowing the payback percentage.

Good Luck!