Head to any casino in the world and you’re guaranteed to find a whole bunch of people on the lookout for ‘loose’ slots. As the name quite rightly suggests, loose slots are those which for any given reason are more likely to pay out than their counterparts.
The allure of loose slots is self-explanatory. Precisely why you don’t have to look hard to find people ghosting around casino slots areas, on the lookout for machines that are (apparently) going to drop any minute. Some people salute their efforts, while others consider them to be the scourge of the casino floor.
Nevertheless, the only question that really matters is – do loose slots really exist? And if they do, is it possible to find them online?
The Loose Slot Paradox
Looking at how things go down in a traditional casino, everything about the subject of loose slots is paradoxical. On one hand, the fact that slots are controlled by completely random number generators technically means that loose slots cannot and do not exist. Every single spin sees the odds reset to zero and that’s that.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people who have succeeded quite spectacularly by capitalising on loose slots. The overriding theory being that the longer it has been since a machine paid out, the more likely it is to pay out in the near future. After all, how often do you hear of slots paying jackpot after jackpot in a short period of time?
Truth is, ask any sample group of people and you will probably find they’re pretty evenly split down the middle. Particularly if the group happens to contain those that have capitalised on loose slots and won.
Nevertheless, if looking at things from a purely mathematical and statistical perspective, loose slots don’t exist. To assume they do would be similar to presuming certain lottery numbers are more likely to be drawn than others. Science dictates that loose slots always have been and always will be a myth, despite what many advocates may tell you.
Loose Slots Online
So this would automatically dictate that there is no such thing as loose slots online, either. True as true can be. Every slot you play online is controlled by a random number generator. This means that regardless of whether you spin the reels once or 10,000 times, the next spin is just as likely or unlikely to be a winning spin. Irrespective of whether the slot paid out yesterday or 500 years ago, this has no bearing whatsoever on its likelihood to pay out in the near future.
That said, there is one approach to finding loose slots that does have at least some logic behind it. The approach that focuses on the RTP – as in the return to player percentage. This figure refers to how much of the cash a slot takes is paid back in the form of prizes. As far as most industry veterans are concerned, any slot that has an RTP of at least 97% is officially considered loose.
In a working example, this would mean that for every £100 pumped into the machine, £97 is returned in the form of prizes. By contrast, play a machine that has an 80% RTP and it’ll only give back £20 for every £100. Following this formula, it’s a case of the higher the RTP, the looser the slot. The more money it takes in, the more it gives out.
Unfortunately, the whole RTP subject is often completely misinterpreted and misunderstood by casino newcomers. Contrary to popular belief, just because a machine has a comparatively high RTP doesn’t in any way improve your chances of winning.
RTP Vs Volatility
Let’s say you find a machine that has an RTP of 97%. You’d be forgiven for thinking that if you spent £200 on this slot in one sitting, you’d statistically only be likely to lose a maximum of £6. The other £194 being paid back to you. In reality however, this simply isn’t the way things work. While RTP percentages may indicate how much cash the machine pays out long-term, there’s no guarantee that it will pay even a penny of it back to you.
This is where volatility comes into the equation. There’s a sliding volatility scale in play across the entire spectrum of online slots. At one end of the scale, low-volatility slots pay out on a regular basis, but pay much smaller amounts. Right at the other end of the scale, high-volatility slots deliver returns much less frequently, though in the form of much higher sums.
Technically speaking, a slot with the most incredibly high volatility could easily have an RTP of 97% or higher. If this was the case, it would gobble up tons of cash over any given period of time, before rewarding just a couple of select players with a huge jackpot. By contrast, a low volatility slot with a low RTP of say 80% could make small-time winners of thousands of players during the same time. This would in turn mean that technically speaking, the low-volatility slot is the loosest, irrespective of its poor RTP.
In a Nutshell
On the whole therefore, the long and short of it is relatively simple. Contrary to popular belief, there is technically – at least in a statistical and mathematical sense – no such thing as a loose online slot. You can certainly influence how likely it is you will win a prize of some kind by focusing on volatility, but that’s about it. Hence, it’s a good idea to read into the specifics of any given online slot, before getting started.
That said, any online slot that has a particularly pathetic RTP is the kind of slot you should probably be staying away from. Quality slots always pay back the vast majority of the cash they collect, keeping things fair and amicable for players. And as we’ve said time and time again, try not to forget the fun factor in it all.
After all, playing online slots is supposed to be enjoyable – not necessarily profitable!