The Math Behind Real Money Casino Slots

Real Money Casino Slots

Behind every real money casino game is a real math equation that determines your chances of winning. You may not wish to think about mathematics when you play games, but you probably should. Knowing how the math works could go a long way towards mitigating your losses. This undoubtedly rings true for anyone who is serious about their poker or blackjack game.

But those of you who set your sights on games of chance are probably thinking that mathematics has nothing to do with you or your game. That’s where you’re wrong, unfortunately. While luck does, of course, play a huge role in games of chance, it is not luck alone that determines whether you win or lose.

Real Money Slot Games

We’re going to take slot games as our example here because slot games are generally the biggest money makers for a casino. A local land-based casino, for example, makes around 50% to 80% of their profits off of slot games. Slot games are hugely popular. Every online casino real money Canada that you can find at is usually bursting at the seams with slot games.

These games come in a massive variety of themes and styles. The gameplay is easy to learn. The in-game bonus rounds are fun to play and potentially lucrative. And everyone knows at least one story about someone that played a free spin and won a life-changing jackpot. The betting limits on slot games tend to be low enough to attract casual players on one end of the scale, and high enough to attract bona fide risk takers on the other end of the scale.

Casino Money Makers

Now let’s look at those numbers again. A casino, on average, makes approximately 70% of their total revenue from slot games. If a casino is making 70%, it means that most slot players are losing their money. Clearly, not everyone is losing. Slot games do payout. Slot games have to payout now and again to keep players interested. And here is where we get to the maths. A slot games is what is known as an RNG game. RNG stands for ‘Random Number Generator’.

What many people don’t realise is that the RNG is an algorithm that determines how often the game pays out. It may seem random, but the frequency of the payouts is determined by various factors. Each game has a predetermined pay table and hold percentage. So, the game is random, but not quite random at the same time. A player will only ever win if they happen to place a bet at the exact moment when the algorithm is programmed to payout.

House Edge

Every single casino game has what’s called a ‘House Edge’. The house edge describes how likely it is that the house will win, and it is called the house edge because the house is always more likely to win than the player. Take roulette, for example. The American roulette wheel has an extra pocket, the double zero. This pocket gives the casino a house edge of 5.26%. A European wheel does not have the extra pocket, which means the house edge is reduced to 2.7%. Either way, the casino is likely to win.

RTP Rate

With slot games, we tend to refer to the RTP rate rather than the house edge, but it is essentially the same thing. Each slot game has what is called a ‘Return to Player’ rate, or RTP. The RTP is calculated over a long period of time and is there to give players an idea of how often the game pays out winnings. If you are going to try your luck on a slot game, you should only ever play a slot game with an RTP rating of 95% or above. A 95% RTP means that for every $100 worth of bets, the slot pays out an average of $95.


As previously mentioned, the RTP is calculated over a long period of gameplay. This means that you would need to have the time and the means to stick with one specific slot game over a long period of gameplay before you would start to see any winnings. The next thing to consider, therefore, is whether or not the slot game is a low, medium, or high volatility game. Here we hark back to the RNG algorithm.

The volatility of a slot game is built into the algorithm. A low volatility game is programmed to pay out small amounts of money fairly regularly. A high volatility game is programmed to pay out an exceptionally large jackpot, but extremely sporadically. You need to choose your slot game based on your budget – if you can afford to keep making large bets over a long period of time, you might just win an eye-popping jackpot. But the truth is, the odds are always stacked in the casino’s favour. And it all comes down to the maths behind the games.

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