Under The Bonnet Of The Online Slot

The online gaming world is always one step ahead of the rest it seems, and when it comes to online casinos and slots that’s most certainly the case. Developers pump in millions to ensure games are safe, secure and provide maximum entertainment for fans, bringing them thrills that you just can’t get anywhere else. But how do they work? Like every great car, there’s a lot going on under the bonnet, and it’s exactly the same for slot machines.

Random Number Generators

Online slots work by using a random number generator that ensure complete fairness of play. They work by creating random sequences every millisecond which in turn represent what appears on the reels. Every spin is taken on its own merit, not taking into account previous spin, meaning the jackpot is just as likely to be won on one spin as it is the next.

Often referred to as simply RNG, the numbers generated are non-stop and always running in the background, with them displayed via the reels and symbols when a player pushes the spin button in a slot. It isn’t just slots they are used for though, and are found in other casino games such as roulette and blackjack too, working in exactly the same way. All the most trusted online casinos use them, and are required to do so by law. Players will often talk about hot and cold machines, and have a range of superstitions when it comes to slots, but the random number generator ensures this is purely superstition, with no in-built system to produce hot and cold runs, it’s purely random.


There are some things however that do determine the type of payouts and how regular within slots. While completely random, the volatility of a slot is always worth taking note of. Also known as variance, you’ll find low, medium and high variance slots which mean different things in terms of payout. Low variance slots are ones that are more likely to pay out regularly but will do so in smaller fees, whereas looking at what does high volatility mean, that’s the opposite, with less frequent payouts but bigger jackpots when they do appear. Therefore medium variance slots are a balance between the two.

It’s simple to find the variance of a slot and it will often be noted in the help section of a slot, as well as the many reviews which can be found online. There are also tell tale signs in a slot. For example, if there’s a big gap between the payout for matching four symbols and five symbols then the chances are that it’s a high volatility slot. These also tend to have lower maximum bets available.

Return To Player

Another thing to note when it comes to understanding how much you could win is the return to player of a slot, abbreviated often to RTP. The RTP of a slot is a percentage that indicates how much the slot machine will pay out over its lifetime, and therefore insight in how much you could be expected to receive over time. Most RTPs are in the 90s and naturally the bigger the percentage, the bigger the chance of a payout, in theory.

Of course, it doesn’t quite work like that. You aren’t guaranteed to win ‘X’ percent of your stake every time you play a slot. Because they are dictated by random number generators, you could potentially win much more than that and hit jackpots that are worth hundreds of thousands. On the other hand, you may also find you lose all of your stake. There really are no guarantees.

The Maximum Win

The Maximum win is the most you can earn on one spin. Almost daily you’ll find a player having won millions, whether it be online or offline but there are things to note about the maximum win. The big jackpot isn’t simply a case of spinning and matching five symbols, you’re actually required to trigger a number of other features too, with the maximum win taking into consideration the highest number of multipliers being applied, as well as a player placing the maximum bet. If you haven’t placed the maximum bet, then you won’t win the biggest jackpot, but rather a portion of that based upon how much you bet and the other features triggered.

It’s worth noting as very few players actually place the maximum bet, especially when learning how to play slots, so you won’t win the 250,000, or however big the largest payout is. Although you can also still win significant sums!