August 3, 2022


Blackjack and poker players have used math to gain an edge over the house as well as against opponents. Can you apply similar mathematical strategies to win at slots and gain a true advantage over the casino?

We take a close look at the relationship between slots and mathematics to answer the question of whether number crunching helps a player make bank with any type of online slots. And if there is a mathematical way to win online slots, can you live off of it?


You will not find any strategy that guarantees your chances of winning the jackpot or the biggest possible payout on any slot games. Players have the notion that the results generated by any online slots can be influenced like mechanical slots. However, all slot programs do not have any opening that lets a player change the RNG of the game to their advantage.

Hackers cannot get into the online slot’s algorithm or code to change its result unless they can breach advanced security protocols on a software provider and operator’s site. Even if they can find a way, they need to have a casino run the tainted online slot to make a profit.

On the other hand, understanding the underlying mechanism of any online slot game can put you in a better position to make bank on your spins. Knowing how much a slot frequently pays out and the amount of each win allows you to find a betting strategy to turn the odds slightly in your favor.


We break down four algorithm elements present in all online slots to give you a clear picture of their inner workings.

Random Number Generation

Every time you flip a coin or roll a dice, you are creating a random result. How can an online slot create a random result or determine the symbols that appear on its reel in each spin? Each land-based and online slot uses a random number generation (RNG) algorithm to decide whether a spin results in a win or miss.

Take note that recreating the RNG of a coin toss or dice roll is not as simple as a 50/50 or one in six formula probability calculation. In the real world, entropy needs to be considered since many factors can affect the result of a physical RNG such as wind speed, surface tension, and force input.

Online slots use PRNG to recreate real-world random results which involve running a seed or value through a complex algorithm to create multiple possible results. Seeds are generated by various physical occurrences such as the system clock of a computer where the online slots are running on.

Return-To-Player Rate (RTP)

Out of all the mathematical concepts on the list, the return-to-player (RTP) rate is the one every player wants to know. As the name indicates, this data determines the percentage you can win back when you play certain slots for a long period.

To illustrate, let take Thunderkick’s 1429 Uncharted Seas slot which has a high RTP of 98.6%, the house has an edge of 1.4% edge. About $98 can profit for every $100 that goes into the online game. Players are given a higher edge through the different features of the game such as its expanding wilds and the possibility of winning up to 100 free spins.


Payout rates differ across every online slot game. Certain slots tend to have frequent wins with a low payout. You can also find slots that hardly gives any wins, but their payout can reach triple or quadruple your bet. Variance is the measure of the profit rate in each online slot game, which also equates to the risk involved

A good chunk of online slots has a medium variance that strikes a good balance of win and payout rates. Low variance once tends to have progressive jackpots that have life-altering amounts that can reach millions of dollars, but winning them is nearly impossible. Certain slots tend to advertise their low variance factor to keep punters to spin the reels as much as possible for small payouts.

Slot variance is a way for a software provider to cater their games among different types of punters. High variance is suitable to anyone looking for low-risk games while people willing to part with large amounts of money for bigger payouts tend to enjoy low variance slots.

Hit Frequency

How many times were you able to get symbols lineup on the slot’s payline in your last session? 10? 50? Hit Frequency is a measurement of the slot’s ratio of winning and missed spins.

It is important not to mistake this data as the RTP since the measurement focuses on the winning frequency only. You might encounter slots with high hit frequency and a low return on your bet. Other slots may also have the same hit frequency with a mix of wins that double or triple your bet.

Getting a slot’s hit frequency comes down to adding up all the possible wins in one spin. Take into account the various symbols within a slot and the number of paylines possible. Keep in mind of doubling the paylines for both ways slots that count matches made from left to right and from right to left. Adding all the possible winning requirements will give you a slot’s hit frequency.

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