Do You Know How Frequently Online Slot Machines Pay?

Online Slots - Hand Holding a Mobile Phone

Online slots aren’t exactly the most generous casino games when it comes to payout frequency. They pay rather inconsistently will take your bankroll on a volatile ride.

As a result, you may wonder how often online slots pay out. After all, you don’t want to be left in the dark regarding your odds of winning.

The matter of slots payouts, however, is somewhat complicated. It contains different definitions for what exactly “paying out” means and also involves other factors.

Nevertheless, you should come away with a clearer understanding of exactly how often online slots pay out after reading this guide.

Two Main Definitions of “Paying Out”

When gamblers want to know how often an online slot pays, they’re commonly looking for one of two things:

  1. Hit rate
  2. Odds of winning the jackpot

The following info explains more on these concepts and how they both correlate to when a slot pays out.

Hit Rate

Hit rate (a.k.a. hit frequency) refers to how often you’ll win at least one prize on a spin. If a slot features 22% win frequency, for example, then it’ll deliver one or more payouts on 22% of the spins.

Some online developers list hit rate in the info section. In this case, you can just visit the info area and find out the win frequency.

Assuming this figure isn’t listed, though, then you’ll just have to guess based on the average slot. After all, the developer is the only party that has this info.

The average online slot features somewhere between 20% and 25% hit frequency. These percentages translates to winning either 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 times.

Of course, many mobile slots vary from these figures. Some games offer just a 15% hit rate or lower. Meanwhile, other slots have win frequency worth 30% or higher.

Generally speaking, though, you’ll be looking at somewhere between 20% and 25% hit frequency. You can rely on these percentages as a rough guideline when the proper information isn’t available.

Jackpot Odds

The jackpot odds indicate your chances of hitting a game’s top prize. For example, you may face 1 in 500 million odds of winning a game’s biggest payout.

Jackpot odds can be all over the place. One game may deliver its top payout on 1 out of every 10 million spins, while another might only offer its jackpot on 1 out of every 10 billion spins.

As with hit rate, some developers list your odds of winning the jackpot in the info screen. This figure lets you know your exact chances of hitting the biggest payout.

If no figure is given, then you’ll have a tough time guessing on the jackpot odds. Again, these numbers are all over the place when looking across the industry.

Which Concept Best Indicates When Slots Pay Out?

Only you know what you, as an individual, are thinking of when it comes to slots paying out. Personally, though, I think of hit rate when it comes to how often online slot machines pay.

Sure, it’s also nice to know how long you’ll theoretically wait for a jackpot to come around. The odds on slots jackpots are so long, though, that I don’t really think much about them in the short run.

Instead, I’m thinking about how often they deliver any payout. Hit frequency best answers this thought.

It shows how often you can expect to get something back from your bets. If you’re playing a slot with 35% win frequency, for example, you’ll be winning more frequently compared to the average slot.

The Volatility Factor

Many slots players mistake hit rate as a great judge of volatility. However, high/low hit frequency doesn’t necessarily indicate high/low volatility.

The latter is a measure of how much money you can expect to win in the short run. It goes beyond just considering the percentage of times that you’ll win on each spin.

Here’s an example to explain this concept:
  • You’re playing a slot with 33% hit frequency, which is pretty high.
  • You’re betting $1 on each spin.
  • Most of your payouts/hits are only in the $0.15 to $0.30 range.
  • These low payouts indicate high volatility.

Simply put, volatile slots see you win less short-term money on average. A high-volatility game with 96.5% RTP is less likely to live up to its payback in the immediate future. Instead, it’ll put you through more ups and downs.

Meanwhile, a low-volatility game with the same RTP will pay with more consistently. You won’t hit the 96.5% mark exactly, but you can expect something more along these lines with less volatility.

The RTP Factor

Return to player (RTP) Is one of the most important concepts in online slots. It determines how much a game pays out over the long run.

Therefore, you could consider RTP as another way to express how often slot machines pay. After all, payback directly indicates how much money you can expect to win from a game.

However, no online slot pays right around its RTP on a consistent basis—even the low-volatility ones. Payout percentages might take hundreds of thousands of spins to reach their mark.

That said, you should consider RTP as a long-term figure for expressing how often slots pay out. RTP isn’t a great method, though, for determining what you’ll win in a single session or series of sessions.

How Does Everything Correlate?

As you can see, the subject on how frequently mobile slot machines pay is complicated. I’ll recap all of the different elements here to clear everything up.

Hit Rate Indicates How Often You’ll Win

Depending upon how you view it, hit frequency is the best way to determine the rate at which slots pay. It indicates how frequently you can expect to earn a payout per spin.

Common win rates for online slots range between 20% and 25%. These rates are rather low in comparison to the gaming world.

For instance:
The baccarat banker bet wins at a 50.68% rate (minus 5% commission on wins). As another example, even-money wagers in European roulette win 48.65% of the time.

Nevertheless, slots hit rates are good for comparison against each other. Any win rate above 25% indicates a slot that pays with an above-average frequency.

RTP Shows Long Term Winnings

BetOnline SlotsRTP is definitely worth checking out before you choose a slot. After all, it shows how well a game pays in the long run.

Payback, however, isn’t as valuable with regard to short-term winnings. It’s a figure that can take countless spins before realizing its value.

Of course, you’ll win more slots money over time by consistently choosing games with high RTP. If you always play slots with over 96% payback, for example, then you can eventually look forward to above-average payback.

Volatility Impacts Short Term Winnings

Volatility is a nice concept to use in conjunction with hit rate. If you’re playing a low-volatility game with a high hit rate, for example, you can look forward to more consistent payouts.

In contrast, when you’re playing a high-volatility slot with low hit frequency, you’re not going to win as often. Such games won’t pay anywhere near their RTP in the immediate future.

Some slots developers provide volatility ratings on their games.

For instance, they might rate the volatility at anywhere between 1-5 or between 1-10. In such cases, you just need to visit the info screen and check out the rating.


Hit frequency is the first aspect you should consider regarding how often mobile slots pay. It shows what percentage of spins you’ll win with on average.

You should also consider volatility in conjunction with hit rate. High or low volatility will impact the size of your wins.

RTP provides a nice long-term indication of your slots’ winnings. However, it’s not as helpful when you want to know how much you’ll win now.

If you’re wanting to know the chances of hitting a jackpot, then you should also check the jackpot odds. This way, you’ll have an idea of how likely you are to win big with a particular game.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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