how often do slot machines hit jackpots

How Often do Online Slot Machines Hit Jackpots?

Since jackpots online and offline have been in existence, people have asked themselves the eternal question, how often do slot machines hit the jackpots?

It’s been a question inviting both hope and trouble. We’re here to discuss the odds of slot wins and look under the hood of how big slot wins online and offline work, and more importantly, how often they occur. There’re several key aspects of the experience to consider before you can make an informed decision. The main things you should be looking into when it comes to playing slots are:

  • The Return to Player (RTP) rates of the game
  • The slot volatility, i.e. frequency of payout
  • The actual probabilities of landing a big slot win

Before we delve into the essence of how often slot machines payout, we must be perfectly honest with each other; we can’t distil the nature of slot payouts to a pristine formula and no matter how good we are at understanding the why behind these games, there will be a substantial part that will depend on pure luck alone, even if you play at the best paying slots sites around.

Slot Machines: The Basics

Each slot machine comes with a randomised outcome thanks to the technology in the very crux of it – the Random Number Generator (RNG). RNGs are cutting-edge algorithms that guarantee the “complete randomness” at a casino. The RNG is needed to help computers create randomness, as they are programmed to predict an outcome and don’t understand “random” the same way you and we do.

How Often do Online Slot Machines Hit Jackpots?

When it comes to actual casino play, there is absolutely no way of knowing when a jackpot will arrive. The average pay cycle for each game will vary. It’s worth logging your spin outcomes as it can help you determine when the jackpot window has a more probable chance of being open. However, the complete randomness of the RNG makes it impossible for anyone, be that a supercomputer or a mathematical wiz, to determine the outcome or be able to call the exact time a big jackpot will actually hit.

Tempted by the idea of imminent big slot wins, many players have been persistent in their determination to spot the patterns.

Progressive Jackpot Patterns in Slots

It’s worth spending more time observing rather than playing yourself. In 2016, the win cycles for Mega Moolah happened every 70 days, give or take, but it’s worth noting that there were only four payouts the entire year.

Mega-Moolah-Payouts-2016
Mega Moolah 2016 payouts. Photo Credit: MegaMoolah.com

The payouts started early in April and continued through late November. In 2019, we’ve already witnessed slightly more hectic results that haven’t followed a particular pattern so far. The first win came on January 30th, 2019, followed by another one on March 5th and then another one on March 6. If the wide-spread trend repeats itself, we can expect the next jackpot to hit 33 days from March 6th, around April 8th or before that.

This would be a fair observation. In 2017, the space of each was at least a month, but not exceeding two months. There were 13 wins in total, the game’s largest number on record.

Mega-Moolah-Payouts-2017
Mega Moolah 2017 payouts Photo Credit: MegaMoolah.com

Does capturing historical statistical data help determine when a mega jackpot is likely to payout?

The answer is – not really. While there is some evidence to suggest that payout cycles happen in a window of one or two months, we have no way of knowing how many slots wins there are going to be on any given specific year.

There is a reason why certain games never manage to amass a multi-million jackpots, this has to do with the return to player (RTP) rates and the volatility.

Consider the RTPs in Slots Online

Just because an outcome is random, doesn’t mean we can’t pick the games statistically more likely to payout. Whether it’s a progressive jackpot or a fixed jackpot, the Return to Player (RTP) will tell you a little something about what to expect.

Now, here’s the thing about RTPs. They are accurate, but in order to get them right, you will need to play around 10,000 spins. Anything below that, and you may end up with deviations. Playing less than 10,000 RTPs can still turn out accurate, it’s just for the most accurate results, you will have to play through towards that figure.

It’s like flipping a coin 10 times vs flipping it 1000 times, you can certainly expect that 50-50 outcome to be more accurate after 1000 times than 10 times when a freak outcome of 80-20 is more probable. RTPs don’t factor the bonus amount, so when considering them you must keep that in mind and regard them as something that will help you extend your stay at a casino and keep a healthy budget.

If you do avoid the progressive games, you can guarantee yourself a slightly more controlled type of play and less risk in exchange for more frequent returns.

Slot Volatility: Pay Attention

‘Volatility’ in slots and other casino games refers to the payout frequency a slot has and how much is paid. Again, this is more applicable to your regular slots wins rather than the big slot wins you want to get by landing a mega jackpot. And yet, volatility will help you plan your bankroll just a little bit better.

Playing high volatility games means that the payouts will be bigger, but you will also have more cold streaks when the spins won’t get you any return. With low volatility, you will enjoy frequent payouts, but not really big winnings.

dead-or-alive-slots
Dead or Alive Photo Credit: NetEnt

There are trade-offs and depending on your budget, you will find both slots applicable. When it comes to jackpots, Mega Moolah, which we used as an example here, is definitely on the high-end of the volatility spectrum. So don’t be too disappointing if you have a run of 10 or 20 spins with no payouts at all, that’s just the nature of a high volatility slot game.

If you are looking for low-volatility jackpot games, you can opt for a game such as Dead or Alive by NetEnt. The standard jackpots payout around 200-1000 coins a payout, making this game a perfect pick for those of you who enjoy slot machine jackpots but don’t have a larger bankroll than you need to play through for the mega jackpots.

Staying on Top of Your Bankroll

If you are keen on getting some decent slot wins, you needn’t necessarily go after the highest-risk games. It’s quite possible to build slot wins incrementally, indulging in games that have steadier, even if somewhat smaller payouts.

Jackpot hunting is a tough game and while quite a few people report big slot wins you will have to remind yourself that luck has no small part to play in the final outcome. Only after realising this can you use the other information you have learnt here to better your odds at securing a hefty prize.