How often slot machines hit the jackpot varies, depending on various factors that include the following four:
Factors that Determine Hit Frequency of Slot Machines
1- Return to player (RTP) rate of the slot machine
Before talking about RTP, let’s understand one thing: all slot machines use random number generators (RNGs) to generate the winning jackpot combination. You can do nothing to force the RNGs to produce a jackpot win. Similarly, there’s no strategy you can use to help in pushing the RNGs to pay a jackpot.
RNGs are designed to ensure jackpot wins are random and come at unpredictable times, giving every player the same odds of winning. As such, slot machines can hit the jackpot twice a row.
The opposite is true – the jackpot may not hit at all for 30000, 70000, or even 1 million slot machine spins.
However, the average rate at which the slot machines produce the jackpot depends on a theoretical payback percentage called the return to player (RTP). This figure is advertised or labeled on the slot machine by the manufacturer, designer, or the casino itself. The RTP is usually found in the slot machine’s pay table, which tells you the expected percentage return of money you spend playing a casino slot game.
For instance, the stated RTP of the popular progressive slot game Mega Moolah by Microgaming is around 90%, meaning you should expect to get roughly $90 back for every $100 you bet on it over a long period of time. That means the expected loss is $3 for every $100 put into the slot game over an extended period of play.
The RTP can also indicate the probability and how often you can expect to win the jackpot. More specifically, a slot machine with a higher RTP tends to pay out the jackpot more often than one with a lower return to player percentage.
And that is evident in reality. For instance, Mega Fortune, with an average 96.6% RTP, usually pays out its jackpot more frequently than the Arabian Nights slot, with a reported RTP of 95.22%. Although the two progressive jackpot slots come from the same developer, NetEnt, Mega Fortune holds the Guinness World Record for producing the most prominent online jackpot payout of €2.6 million in mid-2020.
2- The volatility of the slot machine
While the return to player percentage will give you a rough idea about the probability of the slot machine paying out, volatility will tell you the expected time it takes for the jackpot to hit. Essentially, the concept of volatility is used to determine the short-term risk involved in playing a particular slot machine. That is because the risk involved (how much money you will lose before winning) in playing slot machines increases with their volatility.
Unsurprisingly, the size of the jackpot prize becomes bigger as the volatility increases.
When you think about it logically, that means slot machines with smaller jackpots tend to pay out more often – and they have lower volatility. At the same time, if the volatility of the slot machine is higher, its jackpot usually will pay out less often.
That being said, you can rely on the volatility to tell you how often a particular slot machine will likely hit the jackpot. The lower the volatility, the more frequently the slot machine will theoretically hit the jackpot.
3- The variance of the slot machine
Variance and volatility are often considered the same because they determine a slot machine’s winning probabilities. However, there is a slight difference between volatility and variance.
Whereas volatility indicates the win probability of the slot machine in the short term, variance tells us about the overall risk involved in playing the game over a long time. For example, a low volatility slot is considered a frequent payer of the jackpot, but the payout size is smaller, while a low variance slot machine carries a more negligible risk in the long term.
So, how does variance affect the rate at which the slot machine hits the jackpot? It is simple: a low variance slot machine will hit a minor jackpot more often than a high variance game.
On the other hand, a slot machine with high variance will produce bigger jackpots in less time than a low variance game.
4- Type of the jackpot
There can be two, three, or more jackpots of varying prize pot sizes within the same slot machines. For instance, a slot machine game like Microgaming’s progressive slot Mega Moolah has four different sizes of jackpots: mini, minor, major, and mega jackpot. The last one is the biggest and what everybody is after.
Obviously, the time it takes for the slot machine to pay out a mini jackpot is less than that for the minor jackpot, which pays out more frequently than the major and mega jackpots.
Moreover, there are many slot machine jackpot types, and their payout rates vary depending on the specific type…
- Local jackpots – As the name suggests, local jackpots pool together money spent by players playing the slot machine within the same casino. If no one plays the slot machine in that casino, the size of the local jackpot won’t grow. For that reason, the jackpot is more likely to hit when many people play the slot machine in that particular casino.
- Fixed jackpots – This type of jackpot helps solve the primary issue of local jackpots: lack of popularity. Instead of the prize pot expanding depending on the number of people playing the slot machine, the amount of the jackpot is decided at the start and remains the same until it is won. The jackpot stays fixed at $50,000, $250,000, etc., regardless of how many players put money into the slot machine.
- Progressive jackpots are the most common and widely available slot machine jackpots, found both online and at land-based casinos. A small percentage of the bet amount is put into the jackpot prize pot each time someone wagers on the progressive slot machine. One progressive jackpot can be found in different types of slot machines so that the prize pot can balloon quickly to the millions.
- Network jackpots – This kind of jackpot pools bets placed by players on the same slot machine across many different gambling sites and casinos. For instance, all of the bets on Mega Moolah across all casinos with slot machines will contribute to the prize pot.
How often do progressive jackpots hit?
How often progressive jackpots hit depends primarily on the slot game. Some progressive jackpots hit weekly, while others are won only a few times in any given year.
For instance, the Mega Fortune progressive slot by NetEnt pays out an average jackpot of €3,950,534, and the payout frequency is every 11 weeks.
Meanwhile, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah pays out its mega jackpot after an average of every two months (or after around every 61 days).
Funnily, some progressive jackpots could take months, if not years, before they hit. For example, there was a slot machine in Las Vegas whose progressive jackpot didn’t hit for a whopping two decades. That’s 20 years of players waiting for the progressive jackpot to hit!
How Progressive Jackpots Work
You probably are aware of how progressive jackpot slots work. Even if you are a newbie trying to cut your teeth in the world of slot gambling, you can learn the nitty-gritty of progressive slots jackpots in a matter of minutes. We don’t want to dive deep into the inner workings of progressive slots, as it is probably not what you came here for. But if you aren’t sure, we shall briefly go through the nuts and bolts.
First, progressive jackpot games are video slots with odds that come in many different sizes and shapes. You can scoop a minor jackpot of roughly twice your stake up to a million-dollar mega jackpot.
So, that is possible a good return on your investment or enough funds to keep your bankroll for years to come.
As far as how progressive jackpots work is concerned, that depends on the type of slot game. Some progressive slots pay a lucky player a vast jackpot when an RNG randomly identifies them as the winner. Meanwhile, other progressive slots will give the maximum payout to a punter for landing a present number of symbols in a specific payline.
More often than not, these progressive slots have a jackpot shared across different online casinos. But this isn’t always the case. Some jackpot games only increase within a particular casino or group of casinos owned by the same operator.
For the most part, these games require the bettor to bet max in order to qualify for the top prize. Both online and land-based slot games with progressive jackpots have gained immense traction with those pursuing big payouts.
This is because these progressive slots can pay out a massive sum of money when you land the jackpot. For instance, a lucky punter landed nearly a whopping $39 million on the popular jackpot game Megabucks in 2003.
How often does a slot machine hit the jackpot?
How often a slot machine hits the jackpot varies, depending mainly on the type of slot machine. Some slot machines hit the jackpot as often as every day, while others may take several weeks, months, or even years before they pay out the jackpot.
The frequency at which a slot machine delivers the jackpot will differ based on three core factors…
- RTP of the slot machine – Slot machines with a high return to player percentage usually hit the jackpot more often.
- Volatility & variance of the slot machine – If the volatility is high, the slot machine will hit the jackpot less often. Likewise, a low volatility slot machine will frequently pay out the jackpot.
- Size of the jackpot – Smaller jackpots tend to hit more often than larger jackpots. For instance, the hit frequency of the mini jackpot in Mega Moolah is more than that of the minor jackpot. Also, the Mega Moolah’s major jackpot hit more often than the mega jackpot.
Why don’t they use $10 bills in casinos?
People don’t use $10 bills in casinos because the bill cassettes and cash hoppers in the slot machines and other gaming units do not have the space required for them. Besides, $10 bills are easily confused with $100 bills, which can be a massive nightmare for casinos when controlling and accounting for winnings.
The same goes for dimes and sometimes $50 bills. Game developers and casinos build cassettes and hoppers for the most popular denominations for change, such as nickels, quarters, and $20 bills.
From past statistics, casinos have noted that players don’t use $10 bills and dimes as often as they do nickels, quarters, and 20-dollar bills.
How often does a slot machine pay out?
There is circumstantial evidence that a slot machine is designed to pay out the maximum win every 30 to 60 days. Maximum payouts can take up to 219 days to occur in some slot machines. Note that game developers and gaming authorities don’t support this claim. They maintain that a legal slot machine is truly random and any day is good for max payout.
What are the odds of winning a progressive jackpot?
The odds of winning a progressive jackpot do vary from one jackpot to the next. However, on average, the odds of winning a progressive jackpot like Mega Moolah or Mega Fortune are 50 million to 1.