How to Choose the Perfect Slot Machine

The first slow machine was a simple device, yet a marvel of engineering for its time. It was capable of functioning without human intervention, which was an important feature at the end of the 19th century. No wonder gaming machines became the most beloved form of gambling for operators and players alike. In 2023, slot machines turn 129 years old. What started with the Liberty Bell has grown into a massive industry with thousands upon thousands of games to choose from.

Today, we’ll give you a few tips on how to choose the perfect slot machine depending on what you plan to do: play for fun or win money.

Forget the return to player

If you look at the slots section at an online casino South Africa, you’ll probably see two metrics listed next to slot machines: return to player (RTP) and volatility. These are the two metrics specialists use to differentiate between slots. But only one of them is important to you.

A video slot machine’s return to player (RTP) expresses the theoretical percentage of the money you can expect to win (or rather lose) when playing a slot machine in the long run. The keyword here is “theoretical” – the RTP is calculated based on a very large number of spins – often hundreds of thousands of them. The exact formula is not disclosed by the developers.

In any case, the RTP is a metric that is based on the number of rounds no sane player will ever play – so it is irrelevant to you as the player. Today, the industry-standard RTP today is around 95%, with slight variations up and down.

Instead, you should focus on the other metric

Volatility or variability

The metric that’s relevant to you, as a player of slot machines, is volatility or variability. It basically tells you how often you can expect the game to pay.

A high-volatility slot machine will pay less often, but the payouts will generally be bigger. A low-volatility slot machine in turn will pay often, but the vast majority of the payouts will be small. As such, a low-volatility slot machine is more fun to play, as it will give you a win – and a small dopamine boost – much more often than a high-volatility game. On the other hand, if you have a big bankroll, a lot of patience and time, and your goal is to win money, you should choose a high-volatility game. While you’ll still be at the mercy of chance, you are more likely to win big if you play one of these games.

Mind the theme and the features

But let’s forget the technicalities for a bit and focus on the most important thing: fun. Slot machines, like all other casino games, are supposed to be entertaining. So, choose one that has a format and theme that appeals to you.

Some people enjoy playing classic fruit machines, while others would rather go with modern cluster slots.

Plus, there is the matter of special features. Pretty much every video slot machine has a free spins feature, that can be triggered by having 3 or more “scatter” symbols on the screen. There are, in turn, a few that come with mini-games and other bonus features that add to the overall entertainment factor.

In conclusion

When looking for the perfect slot machine for you, always choose one with a theme and special features that you enjoy playing. Don’t mind the return to player – it is a metric that is unlikely to affect your gameplay in any way. In turn, take a look at the game’s volatility or variability, and choose a game that fits your needs.

Finally, don’t forget that you play the slots for fun – play them responsibly and avoid excess!


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