10 Tips to Find the Best Online Slot Games: Part 2
In Part 1 of this series, we explained how online casino slot games challenge players who want to win. Here’s Part 2 of the iGamingPlayer quiz, leading you to the best casino slot games, live and online.
Part 1 of this two-part article explained the differences—and similarities—between online slots and those you’ll find inside a real casino. (Read that article here before going on to Part 2).
Slot machines in casinos are NOT the same as slots you play at home in your PJs. But there are similarities. Remember, slot games are programmed to ensure that the casino wins a percentage of the money played. The term “payback percentage” is actually the reversal of a term casinos use: the “win percentage.” So let’s say a casino sets a win percentage of 6 percent. The payback percentage in that case is 94 percent. Sounds pretty good, but the casino will take that 6 percent every day. So to get back at least 94 percent, you have to play smartly and knowledgeably.
Here are the final five questions in our 10-point quiz. They may help clear up some of the confusion among slot players when deciding on which games, both online or inside a physical casino.
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6. What’s a random number generator?
The random number generator (RNG) is the heart of the slot game. For the player’s purposes, this little computer program determines how much the machine pays out by constantly cycling through numbers and producing combinations that comply with the payout percentage set by the casino. In a machine, the RNG is a computer chip located on the motherboard of the computer that runs the game. Online, it’s programmed into every game you play.
Why is the RNG your friend? Because it guarantees the casino will pay out the selected percentage, which is always well above the legally required minimum payout. In most cases, the payout percentage online is above that of a land-based casino, because the land-based casino has to build overhead into its percentage—maintenance, staffing, real estate, taxes and more. Since online casinos have none of these factors with the exception of taxes, they can generally set a higher payback percentage. And that, of course, is to the players’ advantage.
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7. Aren’t players’ clubs just a way for the casino to make sure you don’t win too much money?
Players clubs have little to do with winning or losing, and a lot to do with rewarding a casino’s loyal players. Whether you’re playing at a bricks-and-mortar casino or online, sign up for the players’ club. That way, you won’t miss out on any off the perks that casinos are more than willing to give you.
When you sign up, a card reader tracks your online play. It tells the casino how much you play, what denomination you play, how many coins per pull you deposit, and yes, how much you win or lose. Your wins are not the issue here however. Casinos know that, statistically, they will set a win percentage from each player over the long run—and they mean the l-o-n-g r-u-n. A player could beat a casino every day for a year and it wouldn’t change how the casinos treats that person. The players’ club is used to determine how many goodies—rooms, meals, shows, cash-back, free spins—a casino can give individual players as a reward for their loyalty. It only makes sense to register for the players’ club before you play, so you qualify for the incentive programs.
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8. Shouldn’t I always play max coins?
If you want to win the top prize, yes, you should always play max coins.
But there’s caveat to that. You must understand the game you’re playing. If you want access to bonuses and the highest jackpots, yes, playing max coin is important. But there are some games that allow you to unlock bonuses for less than the max bet. The answer is to read the fine print on the games before playing. Peruse the pay table to see how jackpots are distributed, depending upon the level of bet made. Sometimes there are descriptions of the payouts on a separate page. Dig down and you may be able to find a way to win without throwing out the max bet every time.
9. What’s the best brand of slot games to play?
To be assured you’re getting the best of a slot game, play video poker. Not only can you tell which games have the highest payback percentage, but you can guarantee you’ll achieve that payback percentage by playing the game correctly. The cards you keep and discard are crucial, and a few mistakes can cost you points on the payback percentage.
The best site to learn about video poker is https://www.videopoker.com. There are pages of advice on how to play video poker plus a list of games and a guide to playing them correctly. It’s a great site to refer to when you’re playing online, because you can plug in the hands you’re dealt at the online casino and determine how to best play that hand. You can also sign up for professional training at a very reasonable fee.
So if you’ve always wanted to get a better edge when you’re playing slots, video poker is the only way to go.
10. How can you tell when a machine is due to hit?
The word “due” should not be part of any slot player’s vocabulary. No machine is ever “due.” The RNG constantly cycles. Conceivably, it could pay out two top awards in the space of two pulls, then not pay for another four years. The only way to get an idea about individual games is to scout them over an extended period of time. Keep mental or written notes about which game you seem to win on again and again. The games that pay out consistently are the ones to concentrate on.
No, it’s not an exact science. But even a little knowledge can go a long way.