Pokies are most sought games at both online and land casinos. Every player wants to know how much the pokies game will give back to the gamer. Also known as RTP or Return to Player mostly pokies pay 87% or higher. In most cases you will find games around the 90% mark although you will never know it as individual gambling sessions will vary widely which is actually a good thing.
The percentages that you find listed in games at casinos actually refer to the long term theoretical performance of the machine. That means that over a long time or after you can say millions of spins a machine with a 90% setting will return 90% of money gambled. One of the most important points to note is that there are no pokies with a pay back set to over 100%. This means that the longer you play the more you are likely to lose. There is no way to consistently win on the pokies.
How the pokies RTP’s are determined?
RTP’s are not calculated on the individual spins but instead, a pokies game RTP is determined by the way the symbols are positioned on the reels. Note that the RTP refers to money gambled not money put into the machine. For example if you put a $20 note in a machine and play at 20c per spin you will get more than 100 spins as you will get some wins. The game payout percentages on poker machines are only determined by the symbol positions and are not affected by any other aspect including the amount of money put into the machine.
A games RTP is never going to be reflected in individual gaming sessions. This is a good thing as it would not be too entertaining if you always lost money when you played the pokies. In an individual gaming session some players will win, some will lose and some might break even..
One fact that cannot be escaped is the fact that all pokie RTP’s are less than 100% which means if you played for millions of spins you are 100% guaranteed to lose all money put into the machine.
The payback percentage is programmed into the machines by the manufacturers, and some games can be adjusted depending on how a casino wants its games set up. If you find at any casino banner boasting a 95 per cent payback what this is really saying is that “You put in $100 and we’ll give you back $95.” Obviously this isn’t a literal determination of a player’s actual winnings.
The hit frequency and pokies odds
Frequency is the theoretical percentage of spins that will payout something to the player. The frequency is based on how many times each symbol appears as well as how often winning combinations occur. Machines with high hit frequencies pay out small wins more frequently and machines with lower hit frequencies pay out less often, but with more money.
The hit frequency basically tells you how many times you’ll have to lose in order to win – on average. A return of a couple of coins is a hit, but it’s not much of a win. Most pokies have hit frequencies between 9 and 25 per cent. This means that players will get hits, on average, 9-25 times out of each 100 spins. These hits could be anything from a marginal return to a huge payout.
It’s important to note that there is usually no direct correlation between payout percentage and hit frequency. Machines with high payback may still have a low hit frequency or vice versa. A pokie machine with a high payback and low hit frequency means that it doesn’t hit as often, but it pays out more. A machine with a low payback and high hit frequency pays out small wins, more often. So whether you enjoy waiting longer for the bigger payout or getting little returns and less waiting time, you’ll now be able to find a slot machine that is the perfect combination of entertainment and profit.
There is no way to accurately predict exactly how much you’ll win or lose on a poker machine, and that is part of the fun of gambling in a casino.
Online and Land casino Payout in pokies
Pokies in pubs, clubs and casinos in New Zealand have a minimum RTP of 87% which is quite low compared to the games you can play online. This is due to the fact that the traditional gaming venues have higher overheads compared to the online casinos.
On an average level online pokies payout percentage is around 94% which is a good 7% higher than the minimum you get at your local gaming venue or land casinos
Of course these higher pay back rates do not guarantee you’ll win more online but it cetainly cannot hurt to play games with higher RTP’s. Over the very long term you should get more action for your money. Considering playing pokies is all about entertainment this gives playing online an advantage over playing offline.
The possible combinations of a pokie machine
The pokie machine decides what to pay out and when based on two things: the possible combinations and the Random Number Generator (RNG).
Every pokie has thousands, if not millions of possible outcomes. These outcomes represent a certain payout. The payout could be zero that is when you lose), could be 2x your stake which can be a small win or could be 10.000x your stake, a jackpot and everything in between.
Most of the spins you will not win everything, sometimes you will win a small amount (2-5 times your stake) and once in a while you will win a big prize. It may take you 5 years to win the highest jackpot payout.
If you divide all the possible payouts by the number of combinations, you have calculated the Return to Player percentage. Here is a simplified represention of how a Return to Player percentage is calculated:
|Number of credits won||Number of combinations|
|1.001 – 5.000||1.000|
|5.001 – 10.000||500|
|10.001 – 50.000||5|
In this example there are 878,526 possible outcomes or spins. In 34.1% of the spins there will be no winning combination (300,000/878,526).
In 45.5% of the spins, there will be a payout between 1 to 5 credits (400,000/878,526)etc. The jackpot of 100,000 credits will only occur once in every 878,525 spins on average.
Based on the outcome, the pokie shows a visual representation on the screen. For instance, one spin could win you 5x your stake with 5 lemons on a pay line. The outcome of that particular spin is a win of 5x your stake, the visual representation is the 5 lemons on a pay line. So, the outcome determines what is shown on the screen, not the other way around!
How does the pokie determine which outcome will be won by the player?
That is when the Random Number Generator (RNG) comes into place. The RNG is the heart of every pokie. The RNG determines which combination is picked. The RNG is constantly spinning all the possible outcomes around, kind of like a giant tombola. The moment you push the spin button, the RNG stops at a random number. This number is paired to the outcome of the spin. So, effectively, you are stopping the RNG yourself, without knowing on which number it will stop. This guarantees randomness and fairness and you cannot affect the outcome of the RNG.
But how do you know when a pokie is going to pay out?
Unfortnalety you can’t. The RNG is totally random, has no memory and cannot be influenced. The RNG has no idea whether you are winning or losing or rich or poor. It does not know what your current casino balance is and it does not know if a big payment is “due”.
But because the RNG is random and cannot base future outcomes on past results, sometimes you will have a lot of winning spins. Other times, you might have a larger amount of losing spins.
Best is to enjoy your wins and always know that every spin is new and random. Do not go chasing losses en never think a pokie machine is due for a big jackpot. It just doesn’t work that way.
If you really want to increase your odds of winning, play pokies with the highest possible RTP. AS pokies from top gaming providers like NetEnt often have RTP of around 97% or higher.