Remember how frustrated you got when you arrived at your favorite casino and made a beeline for your favorite slot game, only to find that it had been moved—or worse, removed altogether?
You’d wander down long aisles in search of your game. If you never found it, you’d settle for one that wasn’t as fun or as generous.
These days, casinos offer a nice variety of new games. Often, however, they rotate them so quickly you can’t gauge their popularity or profitability.
The solution? Go online. Why? Because the online casino business, particularly the slots, is very competitive. They offer sign-up bonuses, cash back to better players, and perks that make the land-based slots seem like pikers.
The other advantage for slot players is the incredible variety of slot games. Not only do online casinos offer games for the recognized companies that produce games for the land-based casinos—the IGTs, Aristocrats, Konamis, AGSs, Light & Wonders (formerly Scientific Games), Ainsworths, and all the other mainline slot machine companies of the world, but there’s also a large selection of innovative games you would never find in casinos. All told, most online casinos offer hundreds of different slot games you can find with just a click of your mouse.
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So how can you find a game you love from this long selection of choices? Here are a few tips.
Online slots have a similar gameplay as physical slot machines.
Players trust physical slot machines because they can see the payouts. But online slot machines work in exactly the same way.
Remember that each spin is completely independent of the last. No matter how much money you’ve deposited in a game, there is no guarantee your next spin will be a winner. Random number generators see to that.
But online you have an advantage that you do not have in a casino. Simply click on the “information” tab on each slot game. It will tell you if it was verified by a testing lab such as the eCOGRA or the Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) logo.
These labs test the random number generators the casino uses. That ensures that the odds of win remain the same for all players. These certifications are accepted by all regulatory agencies that insist that no game favors the casino more than is determined by the house edge.
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And the great thing about online games is that the casino tells you how much it pays back to the players in its RTP declaration.
RTP stands for “return to player” with the RTP percentage showing how much of the money the players invest that is returned as winnings.
The rest is kept by the casino as profit. Physical casinos have a house edge, as do online casinos. But online, they’ll actually tell you what that return is, while the land-based casinos keep it a secret.
But because you’re playing a virtual slot machine, which only costs the casinos the price of the game, but not the cabinet, the signage, the chairs, the tickets, the electricity, and the human resources, most online slots have a much higher RTP than you find at a physical casino.
Some online slots offer a payback percentage or RTP as high as 98 percent. That means that just 2 percent of the money played on the game will be kept by the operator.
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In the land-based gaming sector, regulations require casinos to pay back a certain percentage. Nevada’s is just 75 percent. In New Jersey, it’s 83 percent. Other states have similar requirements in that neighborhood. But because there’s not the high overhead percentage of the land-based casinos, and because in the highly competitive online gaming market, the online slot games are much more generous.
And you can easily find your favorite games from your favorite slot makers. You can also experiment and examine the information page on games you may not recognize. You can also alter the stakes, so if you find a game that is intriguing but you’re not really sure, play a lower stake. With online slots the odds remain the same no matter what denomination you play.
And definitely no more slogging those buckets of nickels back to the cashier.