The Facts You Need To Know Before Playing Online Slots


Slot machines on the outside may look relatively simple games. And in truth they are. You simply have to spin the real and find out if you’ve won. It’s why they are so popular right around the world, with the likes of Las Vegas and Macau becoming must-visit destinations for any slot and casino fanatic.

And it’s a similar story online. They play in much the same way. But if you’re more than just a casual spinner, then there are a number of things you should know before spinning those reels. While slots do play in much the same way as each other, they are all significantly different and knowing such intricate differences are always worth understanding. Below you’ll find some of the key facts you should get to grips with before becoming a serious slot player…

The Return to Player Percentage

Many casual slot players will simply ignore the key statistics around slots and simply see the size of a jackpot or an entertaining theme and spin the reels. However, it is always worth noting down the Return to Player (RTP) of a slot. What an RTP represents is the percentage a slot will pay out during its lifetime. For example, if an RTP was 96%, over a slot’s lifespan it would payout 96% of the money that was put into it.

Many players will use the RTP as an indicator of how much they are likely to win. While it’s not an exact science it can offer insight into how much you may win during a longer session, and the higher the RTP of a slot, the higher the chance you have of receiving a payout.

You do need to be wary though. Slot machines also take into account volatility (see below) and the fact that they are completely random, thanks to the random number generators used to operate them. Therefore, you may win less than this amount, or indeed significantly more.

Slot Volatility

The volatility of a slot works hand in hand with the RTP of a slot and is another good indicator when it comes to predicting how much you might win. The volatility of a slot provides information on the frequency of payouts from a slot machine. This is broken down into three categories:

  • High: High volatility slots are those which pay out in big numbers but on rare occasions.
  • Low: Low volatility slots are slot machines which pay out much more frequently but far lower sums.
  • Medium: These are a balance between the two, offering relatively large payouts slightly more frequently than high volatility slots.

Reporting Winnings

When it comes to winning, across the world there are different rules on taxes and declaring them. In the UK, winnings are completely tax free, while in the USA you will need to know how to calculate taxes on slot machine winnings.

In the US, you have the option of receiving your winnings by cash or check in offline casinos, while online they will naturally be paid into your betting account and then you are eligible to transfer to your bank account.

Players who win $1,200 or more during a tax year must declare slot and casino winnings using a W2G form. Taxes are at a rate of 25% and within the form you must give your name, address and social security number.

What is also important to note is that you can also deduct slot losses from your tax bill, but only to the same value or lower than the amount you had actually won. So you couldn’t write off $500 for example if you’d only won $250.


There are many huge jackpots available across online slots, often creeping into the millions of dollars. What is worth noting though is that often you can only win these sums if you place the maximum bet.

The jackpot, or maximum win, of a slot is usually the sum that you will win if you play the highest possible wager and all the bonuses, multipliers and wilds fall into place on the same spin. Therefore, if you were to place the minimum bet and you triggered the maximum number of wilds or multipliers, you wouldn’t win the jackpot, but rather a proportion of it based upon the size of your own bet.

Many slots will highlight the jackpot as a multiple of your bet, for example you may see a maximum win of 250x your bet, which you can then multiply by your stake to see the maximum amount you have the opportunity to win on a single spin.


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