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Choosing a suitable slot is and will always be a challenging task, as your income is directly affected by your decision. There are many ways to do this, but we have narrowed them down to just 5 main indicators: RTP, variance, paytable, paylines, and betting range (or denomination).
So, what is RTP? RTP stands for Return to Player, a theoretical percentage in which the player receives that maximum value on average compared to how much they have wagered, if they win. For instance, an RTP of 96% indicates that for every $100 put in the game, a maximum of $96 will be paid out. However, there are a few conditions to this. Since this is a theoretical number, the actual figure will almost be lower, depending on how many times players have bet in this game. The other condition is that the RTP can only be applied if the players win the game many times, or if many players win at once (that's why we put the term “on average” there). For more details, take a look at what RTP is and how RTP works.
An RTP is considered to be high if it's over 96%, and that's the goal players should aim for. Higher RTP means higher prizes, and who doesn't love some big bucks? However, there's more to think about than just the RTP, as the RTP only indicates how MUCH you would win, not how OFTEN you would win. And that's where variance shows up.
Variance, as the name stated, indicates how much A varies from B. In this case, A and B stand for the small wins and big wins, or the low risk and high risk, whichever way you decide. There's a saying in economics: “High risk high reward”, meaning that in order to gain more, you must sacrifice more. The same rule applied to gambling: to land on some big wins, you must offer something in exchange, which is your time and money in this situation. Low variance means you will gain more time to play with a lower wagering cost overall (small bet) at the expense of frequent small wins, and vice versa. Feeling dizzy yet?
Let's loosen up with some eye-catching gemstones from Starburst slot's paytable.
Is there anything special here? Why are all the payouts quite close to one another? What does that mean?
There is a faint connection between paytable and variance. The small wins (or low payouts in this image) make up a majority of the paytable, meaning that most of the time your prizes will come in trivial amounts, which also serves as an indicator for the low volatility of the slot. However, the variance can be determined by many other factors such as how many symbols are there, what are the differences between low pay group and high pay group, what are the in-game features and bonuses; the list goes on. Since the developer does not indicate the variance directly in their games, looking at the paytable is a good way to guess how often you will grasp that big and juicy jackpot.
The paylines are your paths to glory, and your keys to Santa's gift boxes. Payline - You will get paid if the symbols land on a line. That's how it used to work. With the more advanced and complex slot games, the definition has changed. Players no longer need to line up the symbols anymore, instead the paylines can come with various patterns. We have categorized them into 3 groups: the conventional ones, the all-ways and the megaways.
Conventional paylines are the ones that come with a small amount, usually smaller than the maximum paylines possible, i.e. 20, 25, 40 and so on
All-ways is the maximum paylines possible in a slot game, namely the 243 ways, and it can land from either left to right or right to left
Megaways is a new type of paylines, and it always comes with a changeable-reels slot
The last category that we want to mention is the betting range and denomination. You cannot bite off more than you can chew, and that's why these aspects are so important to every gambler. So what are those, and why do they matter so much?
Betting range is the minimum and the maximum that you can wager in a slot game. A wide betting range will account for most slotters and their bankroll limits, while a narrow one will leave players with fewer options to choose from. If your bankroll limit is $1000, will you go for ten $100 spins, or one hundred $10 spins? Of course it's up to your liking, but this is still something to be considered about.
Denomination, on the other hand, is the price of your entrance ticket. The higher the denomination, the more costly your bet will be, but the overall prizes will also be larger. There are 5 main denominations for slot games in circulation, specifically the penny, nickel, quarter, dollar and high limit.
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