Slots Frequency vs Payback of Slot Machines

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When it comes to playing on slot machines there are two phrases that slot players are usually concerned with, at least seasoned players, and that is frequency vs. payback.


Let's talk about payback first. Payback refers to how the machine will pay out to the player in the long run. The number is usually somewhere between 75%-99% but that span of 24% really is huge. But how is this determined? The manufacturing company that makes the machine is the one that sets this up but the casino makes the request beforehand. Certain states add their regulations as well which is usually the minimum payback that a machine can return. If you hear players talk you will often hear them refer to machines as loose or tight and what they are talking about is the machines that have a small payback are usually the tight ones and the ones that have a larger pay back are the loose ones. However, if you hear someone call a machine cold this usually indicates that the machine barely ever pays at all.


Now, frequency is the number of spins that a player must play to get anything at all. It is calculated by the number of symbols on the reels and how often a winning combination will occur. Low frequency would likely be a hit every ten spins and a high frequency machine would likely hit for something every few spins. The thing is that while high frequency machines do hit a lot, they usually payout very small wins. It is the machines that hit infrequently that generally pay higher jackpots. Understand though that frequency and payback are not related to each other.

The difference

The high frequency machines are generally the multi line slots but usually do not payback even enough to cover what the player has invested. The major thing to consider though is that no one can determine the payback of a machine because it was programmed when it was built. You can, however, get a good idea of the frequency by just studying the pay table for that machine. Numerous winning combinations return smaller wins.

The final choice ends up being yours. Do you want to hold out for the big jackpot or would you like to have fun winning more frequent but smaller amounts? Take the time to study the pay table, it won't take very long. Anything can happen.