What are the best slot machines by payout percentage? We’ve recorded every single slot we’ve reviewed in our table below to show you exactly that information. Obviously we’ve assumed that the best slots are those with the best returns to players.
Best Payout Slot Machines By Software Provider
Whilst our comprehensive table of payout percentages for slot machines is undoubtedly illuminating, we have gone one step further in trying to help you find the best online slots.
This graph shows the eight main software providers for online slots and the average payout percentage across all of their games. Essentially it shows you which providers apply the smallest ‘house edge’ and thus produce the best slot machines for players.
RTP % By Slot Manufacturer
There are a couple of things that really stand out when you look closely at the graph:
- Amaya slots are by far and away the worst slot machines for payouts with a 92% RTP average (more on that later).
- NetEnt make the most player friendly slot games averaging a 96.51% payout percentage.
- The majority of companies are within 1% of each other setting an online industry standard of about 95% for slot payouts.
- Online slots have a comparatively impressive payout percentage across the board as compared to land-based slot machines (85% average), with upwards of 90% representing a kind of industry standard.
Why Are Amaya Payouts So Bad?
Amaya lags quite significantly behind the others with a payout percentage of 92%… why are they so far behind the rest?
Amaya are a Canadian company based in Montreal and after their purchase of the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in 2014, became the world’s largest public listed online gambling games company.
It may be therefore, that as market leaders there is less pressure on Amaya to match or better their competitors’ payout percentages. Amaya have also recently purchased several other slots providers including Aristrocrat and Chartwell. Both companies were known for their low return to player percentages and therefore could be dragging the Amaya averages down.
However at the core of this issue is the fact that Amaya are a major player in the creation of software for real world slot machines and as such clearly want to bring the lower land based percentages to the online scene (how very noble of them indeed).
Slot Machine Payouts vs Other Casino Games
Plenty of useful conclusions can be drawn from simply looking at the payout percentages of different slots games and software providers.
However… it is also important to look at the RTP percentages of slots as compared to other online casino games.
RTP Percentages: Slots vs Other Casino Games
*Graph assumes a player is playing the most favourable variation of the game and is employing perfect strategy.
Keno is the obvious place to start when looking at this data, as its RTP percentage is significantly lower than any other at 73% (avoid at all costs folks). Blackjack has a much higher average RTP percentage of 99.50% and when played correctly is the most player friendly casino game there is.
It’s pretty difficult to land a significant payday playing Blackjack. You’ve got to get on a seriously hot streak which lasts a significant amount of time to make a lot of money. Slots machines, although with an average RPT of 95.67%, do offer the chance to score that big payout and it could be argued that sacrificing a bit of house edge to get that opportunity is worth it.
As a side note Blackjack’s very low house edge is why it’s pretty much always excluded from wagering requirements for online casino bonuses. With the bonus money added to expected returns when clearing the bonus it can actually produce an edge for the player if perfect strategy is employed.
How do RTP percentages work?
RTP or payout percentages are a representation of the average rate at which a game – be it slots or otherwise – pays out to players, as compared to the total amount that players stake. In general, online slots games have a payout percentage of around 95% and in the simplest possible terms this means that on average the game will pay out £95 for every £100 staked on it.
That does not mean that every player is guaranteed £95 worth of payout if and when they stake £100 however, as the percentages are based upon a very high number of spins. General probability and more simply the law of averages, means that an individual player could still win far more than they stake or lose considerably more than 5% in one session or over an extended period of time.
What it does mean is that on average the online casino or game provider will take 5% of the money staked on the game for themselves, and that is called the ‘house edge’.
How are slot machine payouts calculated?
For players… RTP = (total amount returned to players) / (total amount bet by players). That calculation will always return the result in the form of a decimal (e.g. 0.95) and it can then simply be translated into a percentage, which in that example would be 95%.
For the casinos… the number of symbols built into the game, the amount of combinations of those symbols which provide a payout, the value of those payouts and the probability of those combinations occurring combine to produce the games overall RTP %.
Why do slots have different payouts?
Online slot games software providers have no real restrictions placed upon them in terms of the initial RTP percentage they build into their games. The UK Gambling Commission nor any other regulatory body of note impose a statutory minimum upon online slots games and as such the providers can set the level themselves.
Levels are determined by the paytable and symbols in the game, these differ from game to game and therefore payouts differ as well. They are set to make machines attractive to players whilst still providing a house edge for the casino. The best slots from a players point of view are usually always those with the highest possible payout percentages.
Do online slots or land based have better payouts?
The best slot machine games, where payouts are concerned, are always online based. The percentage falls dramatically live as compared with online.
Where the general online average RTP percentage tends to hover around 95%, land based casinos can – and often do – offer percentages as low as 75%. That figure in fact, is one which is often linked to machines in Las Vegas where the state imposed minimum is indeed only 75%.
Other global regulatory bodies however, do impose a more stringent minimum on physical slot machines, with the state of New Jersey requiring 83% and the state of Mississippi 80% for example.
In the UK meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission does not actually impose any statutory minimum. It does dictate however, that all machines must display their RTP percentages clearly to players and that does tend to prevent casinos and bookmakers from allowing the percentages to fall too low as to make games unfair.
Can casinos change payout percentages?
The answer to this question tends to be no, but the explanation of that answer differs in terms of live and online slots games.
To deal with online games first, As we have mentioned online there is no statutory minimum RTP percentage which allows providers to set their own levels. What they cannot do however, is to routinely alter or skew those percentages or to lie about them to their customers.
This is prevented by the necessity of online slots providers to have their games regularly tested by independent testing boards. These boards must themselves by licensed by the relevant legislative bodies and will check that a provider’s games generate random combinations, are not biased towards or away from certain combinations and deliver the RTP percentage that they claim. If you stick to online gaming sites which are legit and registered with testing boards such as eCOGRA in the UK, Itech Labs in Australia or Gaming Laboratories International in the USA therefore, you can be sure that the games have fair and consistent RTP percentages.
With physical slot machines, the payout percentage tends to be set when the imbedded software is originally written and as such can only be altered by the physical switching of the software or firmware.
That is a time consuming and difficult process, and is one that is also often subject to different rules according to the jurisdiction in which the machine is operated. In the US state of New Jersey for example, each machine is fitted with a tamper proof seal to ensure that any switch of software can only be carried out in the presence of a Gaming Control Board official. All of that, together with the fact that it is an almost universally applied rule that the RTP percentage for a machine must be clearly displayed to players, makes it very difficult therefore for casinos and other slots providers to change percentages whenever they want.
But essentially in a live environment it can be done, it’s just quite difficult to do it.