How Variance, Payback Percentage, and Bonuses Affect the Chances of Winning in Slots


A slot is a type of machine that spins reels and pays out credits for matching symbols. It is one of the most popular types of casino games and is available in both online and land-based casinos.

A variety of different slot machines exist and each features a unique set of rules, paytables, and bonuses. It is important to understand how these factors affect your chances of winning before you play.


Some slots have high variance, which means they can have long droughts of wins and very low payouts. This can be frustrating and discouraging for players, but if you keep playing the game, you’ll eventually see it reward you with big wins!

Licensed casinos are required to disclose a slot’s payback percentage. It’s a good idea to check this before you play, and be sure to look for slots with the highest RTPs.


A pay table lists the jackpot amounts for specific reel combinations, and can be found on a permanent display or via an interactive series of images that can be activated by a touchscreen. Some of these jackpot amounts are fixed, while others vary by theme.

Max Bet

While many high-limit slot machines accept larger bets before the start of each round, there is a maximum bet that you cannot exceed. If you’re not comfortable meeting this amount before each round, it may be best to stick with lower-limit machines.

Bankroll Management

The first thing to do before you go on a slot adventure is to create a budget for yourself. This will help you to avoid losing money in the process. You should also make a point of breaking your budget into smaller, more manageable pieces before you start to play.

Payback Percentage

A slot’s payback percentage is a measurement of how often a player is likely to win back their initial bet. It’s an important factor for any player, but it’s especially useful for those who are new to the game or don’t have a lot of experience.

Win Frequency (or hit rate)

A high-hit rate game is a good choice for players who want to earn big sums of money quickly. It’s also a great choice for low-rollers who want to bet less but still have the chance of making some large wins.


A tilt is a technical fault that can make a machine fail to pay out. This can occur if a machine door switch is turned in the wrong direction, or if a reel motor fails. It can also be caused by tampering, such as touching or poking the machine’s controls with a finger or other object.

Activated Candle

A lit candle is a signal that a slot machine has alerted its attendant to the presence of an unattended customer. This is especially helpful in areas with a lot of traffic, where it can be difficult for a casino’s staff to find an unattended customer and respond quickly.

When a slot game isn’t giving you any wins, it might be time to change your strategy. If you’ve tried reducing your bet sizes and still haven’t been successful, it might be time to change to another machine that will give you better odds of winning.