Are Slots a Waste of Money?

Slot games have the promise of large payouts. In addition, they’re incredibly entertaining as developers continue to produce advanced mechanics, graphics, and themes. It’s no wonder slots are the most popular online gambling game today.

The upside of playing slot games is that you don’t need skills to receive high payouts. However, the downside is that they can drain your bankroll quite quickly if you don’t manage it correctly. Many novice slot players, unfortunately, fall into this trap.

This is purely due to inexperience. Although playing slots doesn’t require any experience or skills, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with some of the basic mechanisms, including things like RTP and variance and what that means. So are slots a waste of money? Continue reading our guide to find out.

Return to Player (RTP) Percentage

You may have seen on slots review sites, like PayGamble, developer sites, and gambling sites that a slot game always has an RTP percentage. The RTP is calculated as the number of payouts divided by the number of spins. That’s simple enough.

RTP Percentages Explained

Some have said that the RTP is the percentage of payouts you’ll receive for every €100 you wager on a slot game. For instance, if a slot’s RTP is 95.80%, you’ll receive €95.80 in return for every €100 you play. This is very much incorrect.

The number of spins could be in the millions, billions, or more and the RTP is based on those figures versus the number of payouts. Therefore, assuming you’ll receive €95.80 back for every €100 you play is illogical.

However, the RTP percentage does give you an indication of how many times the slot pays out on average. Slots with a higher RTP are more likely to pay out more. This means you’ll get more play for your money. It’s also recommended that you play slot games with an RTP above 95%.

Anything at 95% or lower is below average. Most slot games have RTPs ranging from 95% to 99%.


Slot games always have a variance: high, low, and medium. Low variance slots pay out frequently but in small amounts. High variance slots pay out less frequently but in larger amounts.

Variances Explained

Low variance slots can be played for longer due to frequent small payouts. A low variance slot has less risk and is typically recommended for novice slots players or if you’re playing with a smaller budget.

High variance slots carry high risk and require more patience, plus a larger bankroll. You might also need to make multiple deposits into a casino account chasing after that elusive big win.

By the rule of thumb, you’ll find that slots with massive progressive jackpots, many bonus features, and extensive paylines typically fall in this category. Lastly, medium volatility slots offer players high and low volatility attributes.

Bonus Tips

Now that you know more about the mechanics of slot games, you can start playing the slot machine of your choice. Our best tip to make your slot-playing experience more enjoyable and rewarding is first to play a slot game in demo mode. This will allow you to see how the slot’s mechanics respond.

Try and play at least 200 spins in demo mode and stake the exact amount you’d bet playing the game for real.

Lastly, if you’re new to playing slot machines, we suggest starting with low-variance slot games with a high RTP percentage. If you manage your bankroll, you’ll be able to master these two concepts and improve your chances of winning.

Final Thoughts

You must understand slot games are to be played for fun. If you’re digging too deep to find tricks into getting slot games to pay out and you investigate and analyze RTPs and volatilities to the extreme, you may have a gambling addiction. It would be best to have a closer look at our Responsible Gambling section for more information and assistance.



Michael Oluwafemi

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As a freelance iGaming writer with 8 years of experience, Michael is committed to providing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. Whether it's covering…

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