Understanding Slot Machine Odds and How to Maximize Your Chance of Winning

Gambling is one of the purest luck-based activities in our world right now. From sports betting to casino games, all the components require lady luck to be on your side to see any kind of success.

But not all gambling activities are created equal. In sports betting, the odds are not stacked as high against you compared to casino games. It's simply because, in sports betting, you can research and analyze statistics to get yourself an edge.

It's true for selected casino games too. Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, etc., games depend on your decisions and influence the outcome. But there is no way you can control slot machine odds from stacking up against you.

Slot machines are the most popular type of gambling machine in the world. Despite offering the worst odds to the players, they remain the largest stream of revenue for casinos. Online casinos only fueled this fire.

Have you ever wondered how the slot machine odds work? How do you find slot machines with best odds? Well, you're about to learn in this guide.

What are the Odds?

Before we can speculate slots with the best odds, we should know what it is. In general terms, odds are one of the fundamental concepts of probability that provide a measure of the likelihood of an outcome.

For example, if you consider the odds of rain on a cloudy day, you're considering the probability ratio of raining and not raining.

Besides gambling, odds are commonly used in statistics.

In casino-based gambling, players usually don't have to worry too much about the odds because they don't change. In sports betting, however, understanding the odds is crucial because your payout depends on it.

What are Slot Machine Odds?

Now, if we try to extract the concept of odds and apply it to slots, what do we get? If you look at how slot machines work, it's clear that we want a symbol combination. Combinations that the slot machine manufacturers consider valid for a payout.

In a single payline game, it's just one combination. In multiline games, the number of combinations increases exponentially. Especially in online slots, it's extremely hard to find single payline games these days. There seems to be no cap on how many types of slots there can be.

Slots odds primarily depend on how the RNG is programmed, how many symbols are there in the game, and the number of paylines.

Think about it. When you play a 3-reel classic slot with a single payline, the total pool of variables is pretty small. As the symbols pay on a single line only, the total favorable case is limited to 1. The total number of cases will depend on the number of symbols on each reel.

For the sake of argument, if we consider that there are a total of 100,000 cases, your odds of winning in that slot is 1 in 100,000.

There is a common misconception that you increase the likelihood of winning when you play games with many paylines. It's not the case. Games that offer a lot of paylines also include a lot of additional symbols. It leads to an even bigger number of total cases, rendering your odds of winning slot machine even slimmer.

Factors that Influence Odds in Slot Machines

The concept of odds is very holistic. While the definition remains the same across the board, the actual calculation varies from application to application. When it comes to slot machine odds, certain features of the games take the wheel.

RTP and House Edge

In gambling, both RTP and house edge are commonly used terms. They combinedly make up 100% of your stake every time you spin the reels.

RTP stands for return to player. It's a theoretical projection of how much of the stake you can expect to win back. Slot machines at brick-and-mortar casinos typically offer odds between 80%-92%. For online slots, the number is often inflated to 97% or even more!

If you subtract the RTP from 100, the remainder is the house edge for a slot machine. The house edge is the mathematical advantage a casino has over the players. It's regulator approved and it allows gambling businesses to stay in business.

There is an interesting caveat here. The stated house edge for any slot machine is the minimum value. For example, if a slot has a 4% house edge, you'll lose at least 4% of your be every time.

The RTP, however, is the maximum you can win. It's common knowledge that slot providers calculate the RTP over millions of rounds, giving you a long-term average. In most cases, you're losing way more than the house edge projected in the game.

As you can see, both the RTP and the house edge have a say in how much you can win from a game. This is why the odds of winning at a casino slot machine depend on the RTP and house edge.


According to the traditional definition, volatility is “the liability to change rapidly and unpredictably”. In the slot machine context, however, it refers to how often the machine pays and what is the size of the win.

From what we've seen, there are 5 different volatility levels. They are:

  1. Low volatility
  2. Low-medium volatility
  3. Medium volatility
  4. Medium-high volatility
  5. High volatility

Not all slot manufacturers may follow this exactly. We've seen many providers stick to the 3 main levels.

A low volatility slot pays frequently but the size of the winning is quite small. These games are typically a better choice for new players who are yet to develop the gut feeling to play slots.

A high volatility slot, on the other hand, pays less frequently but offers larger payouts. You may end up playing for hours before you land something good.

As the volatility of casino games has an impact on how much you can win or how often you can win, the slot machine odds depend on it. Low-volatility games usually offer better odds for players.

Hit Frequency

Every time you land a winning combination, it's a hit. How often you hit a slot machine is objectively determined by the hit frequency. We know it sounds very similar to volatility but they're not the same. Unlike volatility, hit frequency doesn't have any impact on how big your winnings are.

Hit frequency is represented in percentages across both physical slot machines and online slots. As you'd expect, higher hit frequency translates to better odds for players.

Does the Number of Paylines Influence Slots Odds?

A payline is a connected string of reel positions that trigger a win. The advent of online slots has unleashed the craze of paylines among players and providers. This is why we see Megaways slots with upwards of 117,649 paylines!

Players often believe that the more paylines there are, the better odds they have to win. Well, it's not true. Paylines determine how many chances you get to trigger a payout, but not the odds.

See, the stake size you choose gets divided across all the paylines. If you're betting $1 on a 10-payline game, each line gets only $0.10. If it's a 25-payline game, it comes down to $0.04. The odds of you hitting a win as well as your stake size remains the same.

Strategies to Improve Slot Machine Odds

It's not uncommon for players to look for ways to improve the odds of winning at slots. For over 100 years, players are trying different tips and tricks to get an edge over the casino.

Let us pop the slot machine myth for you. You can't change the odds of a slot machine no matter what you do. If you've been paying attention, you already know that these games are RNG-driven, making them independent of all strategies.

But it doesn't mean you can't improve your odds of playing a better machine. As long as you choose the right machine, you can make your gambling experience very fruitful.

Let us help.

Manage Your Bankroll

This is perhaps the best way to get an edge at games of chance. Instead of trying to tweak the game settings, you tweak how you use your funds. In gambling, bankroll is your total funds. When you manage it, you eliminate a variable from the equation.

There are various bankroll management techniques that you help with the odds of winning consistently. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Martingale is perhaps the most widely used bankroll management system out there. The theory dictates that you double your stake size every time you lose. When you eventually win, you scale back the stake to its original size and repeat the cycle.

Statistically, Martingale is a better choice for sports betting because the odds remain the same. For slots, every spin is dynamic so there is no guarantee you'll profit or even break even.

You don't have to use Martingale to get the best odds in casino slot machines. As long as you keep your stakes small, your money will go a long way in any game.

The 5 Spin Method

YouTube personality Professor Slots and this 5 spin method have created quite a buzz among slot players. His strategy is to play a slot machine for no more than 5 spins. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose. The key is to switch the game based on the notion that slots offer a “taste” to players early in the game only to disappoint later.

Play High RTP, Low Volatility, and High Hit Frequency Slots

You already know that game specifications like the RTP, volatility, and hit frequency have an impact on the odds. Isn't it better to choose games with favorable conditions?

When you do, you can expect to get more from your stakes, get it quickly, and more often. If this is not one of the best ways to improve slot machine odds, we don't know what is.

What Slots Have the Best Odds

Based on the RTP, experts have identified slot machines with the best odds at both land-based and online casinos. Here is a quick table for you:





Dead or Alive



Reel Rush



Thunderstruck II



Gonzo’s Quest 



Mega Joker



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