Slot machines – everyone who’s had even a passing exposure to casinos knows about them. Nothing could be simpler – pull a lever, watch three reels spin and hope to line up a combination of identical symbols in order to win. However, in the last few years, there has been a rise in popularity of a game loosely based on the classic slot model – video slots (which can be played at a variety of online casinos, like betatcasino.com, in every country around the world). Whilst in principle they are the same as your regular slot machine, they come with some pretty important differences. For a start, they (usually) have five reels, rather than three. Secondly (and most importantly) they come with more than just the single pay-line in the middle of the screen – they can have as many as 100! BETAT Casino, like most online casinos, has a variety of online slots to suit the needs of every player!
Which Is More Profitable – Land-Based Slots or Video Slots?
There are two variables that need to be assessed when determining how profitable a slot machine is – the Return to Player (RTP) and the Hit Frequency.
The RTP is the percentage of total money bet that is paid to the players over the life of the machine. It cuts through the emotion of how long a particular player has been winning/losing or how a machine has been paying out over a certain day. The higher a machine’s RTP, the more profitable it is to play from. Land-based slots, by design, have a much lower RTP than online slots. Online slots have an RTP of between 90 and 95%, whilst land-based slots can have an RTP as low as 70%.
Luckily, it is easy to find out the RTP of a game online. Simply click the “I” or “?” button on the main screen. It is compulsory for an online game to display its RTP.
Hit frequency refers to the percentage at which a game will pay out based on one of the winning combinations. Hit frequency is also measured in percentage terms. A slot machine with a hit frequency of 15% will generate a winning combo better than one in every 7 spins.
The hit frequencies of online games vary wildly, usually within the 10 to 30 percent range.
Remember, when working out the profitability of a slot machine, a high hit frequency alone won’t be enough, as the payouts, even if they’re happening often, may be only a small percentage of the total.
Pay-Lines – What Are They?
A pay-line is the line in which your combination of symbols is determined. In regular slots, there is only one pay-line, in the middle of the machine, from left to right. Video slots have many more, starting at around 25 and going up to 100. These pay-lines can go from up to down, right to left, diagonally and even not in a straight line.
What does this mean? It means that with each spin on a video slot machine, you have numerous additional opportunities to hit a winning combination. This means that video slot machines usually have more action than a normal slot machine. Even if the overall winnings are comparable, it is far more engaging to play a game where action is taking place regularly, rather than spinning over and over again with nothing happening.
Online slot machines usually allow you to choose how many pay-lines to bet across – determined by the number of bets you make. Thus, in order to bet across 25 pay-lines, you can sometimes need to bet 25 times.
- Wild Symbols – Wild symbols are one of the best aspects of video slot machines. Ordinarily, you would need to hit a combination of consecutive symbols in a row (or whatever the configuration of the pay-line is) to win a jackpot. However, video slot machines come with an added possibility for winning – wild symbols. Wild symbols replace missing symbol(s) in your pay-lines to complete the required combination! The wild symbol, therefore, acts as a joker in card games. Wild symbols are different for different slot machines and will be designed according to the relevant theme.
- Scatter Symbols – Scatter symbols are another great part of video slot machines, increasing the action of each spin. Every slot machine’s scatter symbol comes with its own selection of outcomes. Some offer players free spins; others access to bonus games and still others instant payouts. In addition, hitting a scatter symbol win usually also activates a multiplier, increasing the amount of any other wins made.
Scatter symbols, much like regular winning combinations; require you to hit a certain number before being awarded the relevant prize. However, they don’t require you to hit the scatter symbols in order – they need only appear as part of your spin (hence the name: scatter!)
Sad news: you won’t be able to use one or more wild symbols to complete a scatter symbol quest.
Setting Your Bets on Video Slot Machines
Two steps stand between you and placing a bet on a video slot machine:
- The first step is choosing your bet amount. The majority of higher-end video slot experiences do not accept bets in a specific currency – instead, your bets will be placed in “coins”. Bets can be placed, usually, from a minimum of .5 to a maximum of 100 coins. This experience is the same whether you bet for free or for real money.
- The second step is to, as set out briefly above, decide how many pay-lines you wish to bet on. This is the biggest tactical distinction to make when first playing video slots – the “Bet Amount” refers to each pay-line being bet on. So if you select 2 coins and 4 pay-lines, you’ll be betting a total of 8 coins every spin.
Once you’ve made your selections, you’re ready to bet! You can choose to spin manually or select autoplay, which will spin for you until you reach a certain amount of money won/lost.