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The online casino sector has come a long way since its launch in the mid-1990s. Now you can find thousands of online slots games of every type and genre. Many of these online slots, particularly the progressive jackpot slots, offer huge life-changing prizes and make headlines when they payout and even regular slots can throw up some enormous jackpots.

So just how often can we expect an online slot to produce a jackpot? To get the answer to this question, we have to consider factors such as the RTP figure for that slot and the slot’s volatility. First, however, we need to take a journey into randomness.

Slots and RNGs

Although online slots come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common. At their heart, online slots like the ones at Michigan online casinos depend on a Random Number Generator (RNG). These are essentially algorithms that ensure that every spin produces a truly random outcome. So effective are these algorithms that it is impossible for any analysis or technology to calculate when a jackpot will land.

This means that any patterns that you may spot in the frequency of a jackpot for any particular slot game is likely to be merely random chance. For example, the popular progressive jackpot Mega Moolah paid out a jackpot prize four times during 2016, at rough intervals of 80 days between each payout, but the following year there were 13 jackpot prizes with no apparent pattern to them.

Check out the RTP

Working out exactly when a jackpot will land is impossible, thanks to the RNGs used in online slots. It is possible, however, to calculate how often a slot will payout, though over a long period of time.

This can be done thanks to the Return to Player (RTP) percentage that applies to each online slot, information that is made available by the online casino you’re using. The RTP tells you your likely return to stake in the long term. By long term, we mean several thousand spins. If a slot has an RTP of 97% and you play for 10,000 spins, at the end of your play, you can expect to have won \$0.97 for every \$1.00 you staked.

The RTP won’t tell you when a big payout is coming, but it will help you to manage your bankroll and give you some idea of how long that bankroll will last.

Slot Volatility

The other key factor to bear in mind when you weigh up online slots and their payouts is slot volatility. This refers to the frequency of the payout and how much is paid out each time. This information is usually presented in a less precise format than the RTP figure and is not usually available through the online casino site, so it will require a little research.

Essentially, you will find that online slots can be categorized into high, medium, and low volatility. A high volatility slot will generally have bigger payouts with lower frequency, while a low volatility slot will offer smaller payouts that land with a higher frequency. Generally speaking, the bigger the jackpot, the more likely a slot is to be at the high volatility end of the spectrum. Knowing a game’s slot volatility along with its RTP will not help you to land the jackpot, but it can help you to better manage your bankroll, ensuring that you can play the game for longer, thereby increasing your jackpot chances.

Bankroll is Everything

The advanced technology used in modern online slots means that it is impossible for anyone to calculate when a jackpot may be landed. Online slots are, after all, a game of chance not skill. Yet by understanding how RNGs, RTPs, and slot volatility work, you will have a better chance of being able to intelligently manage your bankroll, and by being able to play a game for longer, you will give yourself a better opportunity of landing that big jackpot.

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