One Slot, Different Returns. Operators Can Choose RTP

Many players complain that they have been cheated and robbed, as games don’t pay as they should. Most of this comes from ignorance of how online casino games work, but sometimes these suspicions lead to surprising discoveries.

One such case was with GameArt demo games. The players began to complain that the test game was much more profitable than in the real mode. This was initially denied as impossible, but in the end, it turned out to be true, indeed. Moreover, the developer admitted this. You can learn the details here.

Play’n GO and Different Versions of Slots

Another case dates back to early 2017, when a player posted information on different returns of the same slots in different casinos on the Casinomeister forum. They were Play’n GO slot machines. At the time, there was a discussion about deceiving the players and accusations of the developer and the casino.

It turned out that there was no crime – it was legal and worked as follows: some developers release multiple versions of the same game with different returns. This is done to make their slots sell better. Some casino will want a 96% return version, while others prefer a minimal return. This “flexibility” in choice brings developers more customers.

Regular manufacturers have all these versions with different returns licensed, but in different jurisdictions. The operator is not able to influence the results of the game. At most, it can choose which version it will offer. However, it is not known whether this choice is fixed, or the casino is free to change the percentage over the course of time.

Neither the developer nor the casino breaks laws or cheats players, since all versions are licensed. It’s just that in some cases this information is concealed on legal grounds. Strong jurisdictions such as the UK and Malta require the RTP of each slot to be specified.

However, the Curacao casinos are not required to provide this information, as you might expect. Now guess what they will prefer: a higher return or a minimum. The requirement to specify the RTP may influence the casino to prefer a higher percentage of return. However, in the case of the Curacao casino, you can only guess which version you are playing. Obviously, maximum return is not their most popular choice.

The fact that operators can choose the percentage of return became clear from the response that one of the Casinomeister representatives received from a Play’n GO manager. Here’s what was said about this:


According to one of the forum members, casino operators are offered three versions of Play’n GO slots: with RTP 89%, 94% and 96%. However, the user noted that he was not 100% sure about this.

Microgaming Slots With Fixed Return

It is believed that Microgaming slot machines do not have different versions with varying returns –although they are licensed in multiple jurisdictions as well, the RTP is always the same. This was claimed by the owner of the Casinomeister website, who spoke with Microgaming representatives.

Is RTP a Secret or Not?

Do the developers conceal the fact that they are releasing multiple versions, or just keep silence about it? Perhaps, no one has asked them before – or they were asked by people who they do not reckon and can ignore the request. Anyway, the fact is that at least Play’n GO did not mislead anyone and said everything as it was – even though this was unpleasant news for the players.

It is unknown who else operates like this, but most likely, many operators do. This is especially true for new developers who need to somehow make their way into the sun in this busy industry.

If the operator is not given a choice of return, the developers risk being left without demand for services. The developers are not directly involved in the casino business, but they depend on it. Therefore, it is no surprise that studios tailor their products to the operators’ needs.

Some argue that casinos always choose higher returns due to competition, but we can’t agree. After all, in many cases players do not even know which version they are playing, and it impossible to determine judging by feelings only.

It can be assumed that not all casinos have freedom of choice. For example, if the UK recognizes its own standards only, then operators will be forced to offer only one version of the game on this market, which is licensed there. On the other hand, if the jurisdiction recognizes other licenses, then casinos can choose which version to offer. This is probably common among the Curacao casinos – most likely, they have a huge selection.

Different RTP in Land-Based Casinos

Players may be surprised to know that online casino software developers offer different versions of the same game. However, this has long been practiced in land-based casinos. Back in September 2019, Kevin A Harrigan and Mike Dixon published research results that shed light on this practice.

They study the effect of different returns of the same slot on the development of gambling addiction in their research. However, the study contains very useful information in general – for example, they say the following in the published material:

They also mention that they contacted the local Grand River Raceway casino and asked which versions of the four games they had. It turned out that out of the four games, the same land-based casino had 9 or 8 versions for three games, with different theoretical returns from 85% to 98%. Only one of the games had a fixed return of 92.6%.

It means that the casino can have the same slots, but with completely different returns – all of them installed in the same casino. Moreover, this is completely legal, and casinos in Ontario are not required to tell players which slot is configured for which return.

Overall, for now, you can be happy that online casinos are obliged to indicate the theoretical return of slots in reputable jurisdictions, at the very least.

How to Play Slots. Tips on Winning and Strategies %%page%%

Visit any casino site and you’ll see that slots are the primary type of game that’s offered. One of the reasons that explain their success is that anyone even with zero experience can enjoy them. The games are fun and every casino offers a large, versatile collection of titles. If you are ready to join the fans of the game and learn how to play slots, just keep reading.

What Is a Slot Machine

The main components of the game are reels, symbols, and paylines. Reels spin and stop, ensuring a different set of icons. To form winning combinations, similar icons must land on an active payline left to right. In addition to regular, most titles have special symbols such as wilds (substitute for other symbols) and scatters (pay regardless of their position).

how to play slots

This is a traditional variation of a slot and there are many more less conventional choices. For instance, some of them don’t even have a traditional reel setup or even reels and only slightly resemble slot machines you expect to see. Developers experiment with shapes and engines to give slots a fresh look and feel. But apart from some wildest concepts, slot machines usually remain easily recognizable.

One of the popular types of games is grid slots that do resemble traditional variations but are built on a completely different engine. Instead of reels that spin, there are grids filled with icons that fall from above. Grid types of titles usually feature cascades after every payback. It’s when a winning combination disappears and new elements fill in the spaces.

Today all slots offer just an illusion of reels spinning. The truth is, a random number generator (RNG) determines what will show up on the screen and if there will be a win. The outcomes are generated instantly but watching the reels spin and the anticipation that builds as they slow down adds much more excitement.

Key Slot Elements

Let’s take a closer look at the key slot elements, and we’ll start with the reels. These are vertical lines that spin to produce a random set of icons. The minimum number of reels is 3, and while most titles have 5-6 of them, the number can grow without limits when it comes to slot engines such as InfinityReels.

slot reels

Paylines. There are usually multiple paylines on the reels. A single line is a characteristic of a classic title when you need to have similar symbols lined horizontally right in the middle of the reels. Non classic games usually have 10 and more lines and they can be a straight line, zigzag, have a V shape, etc.

slot paylines


Most games pay only one way – for combinations from left to right. But there are also titles that pay both ways.

pay left to right slots

win both ways slots

Bet size buttons are used to set a desired amount of a bet. It’s a bet per spin that you can change after every round or leave it unchanged.

setting a bet size slots

Spin button activates the reels. Push it after you’ve set your bet amount and read the game rules.

basics of online slots

Paytable explains all the details of a title. How to win at a slot and what are payouts.

slots paytable


Regular symbols. All icons have different values. If you open the paytable, you’ll find the payouts for every combination of symbols. Classic icons are: 7s, bars, bells, fruits, stars, etc. Many games use playing card values 10-A and multiple themed images.

slot symbols

Scatters are special in the way they pay even when scattered across the screen. If regular combination starts from leftmost/rightmost reel and is uninterrupted, scatters can land anywhere and still award wins. Moreover, three of them usually trigger bonus rounds.

casino slots scatters

Bonus Symbols trigger slot features that give players better chances of landing payouts. Free spins are the common option when players get to play for free a number of rounds.

online slots bonus symbols

Wilds often present in slots. Their job is to substitute for any regular icon to increase the payout rate. So, essentially, instead of being just one symbol, the wild is all regular symbols, whichever player needs at that time.

wild symbols in slots

Expanding Wilds mean a single symbol will turn into multiple to cover the entire reel. This helps land more wins.

expanding wilds in slots

Stacked Wilds are two or more icons tied together vertically.

stacked wilds slots

Walking Wilds remain on the reels during multiple spins. They move in the same direction with every spin until they disappear from the screen.

walking wilds slots

Colossal Symbols are bigger than regular. Starting from 2×2, they can grow up to the size of the entire reel setup. This is a popular option and some engines, such as GigaBlox, are built on the concept of the colossal symbols.

colossal slot symbols

How to Play Slots

Playing slots is extremely easy. A Spin button is pushed to activate the reels and when they stop the payouts, if any, are credited to a player balance. Then the same button must be pushed again to start a new round. For every spin, players pay the amount they set.

About this theme

What is Provably Fair and How it Works?

You can start with free slots and then switch to real money mode, which gives you the freedom of playing without having absolutely no experience or sufficient knowledge of the game. But before it’s time to transition to cash bets, it’s recommended you know the basics and you are aware of the dangers of problem gambling. A more serious approach is required to enjoy real money mode.

There are no dealers, no bystanders, or other players waiting for you to make up your mind. So, it’s a stress-free environment that is great for inexperienced players. Games are available at any time on mobile devices or PCs.

Start with a Game Plan

When gambling, players experience an entire spectrum of emotions and can easily lose track of time. It’s essential to know when to stop, and this moment should be determined before placing the first bet. Think of what games will be played, and how much money and time will be spent.

Betting strategy is also important. Will you place the same bet size all the time or change it depending on the circumstances? The safest way is to never increase the bet size, but this might seem challenging as many gamblers tend to wager more when they lose to compensate for the losses. Remember to play responsibly and know that there are a variety of tools to use if gambling spins out of your control.

You might set a goal that makes it difficult to define some boundaries. If, for instance, the goal of your session is to trigger a bonus feature when playing a particular slot machine, how can you know when the mission will be achieved? The number of spins you’ll need will vary depending on how lucky you are. But even in this case, any mission must be abandoned when the limits have been reached.

Set a Budget in Advance and Stick to It

Never underestimate the power of slots. They can make you lose track of money and time. So, always plan how much you’ll spend during a single session and do not divert from the plan. You can even place different bet sizes as long as you stick to your budget.

Players can control the pace of their gambling when playing slot machines to manage the costs and stay within budget. You can take it slow and wait for the reels to stop themselves, or stop them manually by clicking a button. To speed things up, there are options such as Turbo Mode and Autoplay.

Know That Every Win Is Totally Random

Part of being an educated slot player is to know that the outcome of every spin is random. That’s what a random number generator (RNG) is responsible for. It draws a set of numbers that can’t be predicted. Moreover, each round is an independent event and doesn’t depend on the outcomes of the previous rounds.

That’s why strategies that are suggested to optimize the winnings fail. But if you want to know how to play slots and win more frequently, there’s one metric that can help you, and it’s called volatility. Low volatility is about smaller but more frequent payouts that are spread quite evenly. High volatility is about the uneven distribution of wins so that you can have a massive winning streak as well as a complete disaster.

Know What You’re Playing For

The purpose of gambling is always to have fun, and it’s never about earning money. Yes, you will occasionally win but in the long run, casinos always have an upper hand as games are programmed to take more than they give.

Load Up Your Machine

After a little bit of preparation, it’s time to play slot machines, and by that time you should already know how to do that. Set a bet size and push a Spin button, which is usually at the right bottom side of the screen. The autoplay option is usually available for those who don’t want to manually push the button every time.

Types of Slot Machines

These games can take all sorts of shapes and forms, but two main categories can be highlighted: classic type and video slots. Classic games are best when learning how to play slot machines because they are simple. Whereas video slots can be so much more complicated with lots of features and options available that overwhelm novice gamblers.

Video slots offer plenty of choices and a lot of different gameplays. There are anywhere from uncomplicated and close to classic fruit machines to the most innovative and feature-rich titles that promise a lot of thrilling action. Jackpots, Megaways, and feature buy are some of the most recognizable types of modern slots and there are many more.

Bonus Rounds

Unless it’s a classic slot, bonus games are an integral part of almost every title. Once the bonus round is activated, it’s expected to land more payouts than during the base game because players get features that increase the odds of landing more and bigger wins.

But it usually takes time to trigger a feature. You have to get a number of symbols that don’t appear frequently on the screen. Wonder how to play slot bonus rounds without waiting for too long? There’s a solution. For an average price of 50-100x, bonus buy types of games offer a shortcut to the most appealing part of the game. Here are the common bonus features:

  • Pick and click bonus type is when players are offered a few objects with prizes hidden behind them.
  • Free spins are the most popular bonus game. Players will have on average 10-25 spins they don’t pay for. Usually, during free spins, there are other features such as multipliers and extra wilds.
  • Respins are when certain symbols remain while the rest of the reels spin. These are typically used in addition to other bonus features, but can as well be a highlight of a game.

How to Set Your Bet in Slots

At the bottom of the slot screen, there are usually a few buttons to set your bet size. Click – or + buttons to decrease or increase the number of credits. There’s often a Max Bet option available that you can use to bet a maximum allowed amount.

The common minimum bet size per spin is 0.10-0.20 USD/EUR. But when playing progressive jackpot games, pay attention to the minimum bet requirements to be eligible for the jackpot as it can differ from the minimum allowed amount.

In some slots, there are other betting opportunities other than regular bets. For instance, Ante bet in some Pragmatic Play slots, such as Madame Destiny Megaways, doubles the chances of triggering a bonus round.

RTP: 96.56%, Max Win: x5000, Volatility: High

Do’s & Don’ts Slot Tips You Must Know

What you definitely should do is pick the games you enjoy. Forget about RTP, volatility, popularity, big brands. The only thing that matters is, how much you like the slot machine you are going to play. There are plenty of games to choose from and that’s when the second recommendation comes in handy – test games. Free mode is available without any limits and it’s useful because to find your favorite titles you’ll sometimes have to test dozens of slots.

  • Stay within budget. This entertainment seems fun and harmless, but everyone willing to make a few spins may end up developing a problem gambling. So, it’s always better to prevent things from going out of control. You need to decide how much it’s ok for you to spend on playing slots. Think of the amount of money you can spend on gambling and how much time you want to buy for that money. It’s possible to slow down the play or make it faster. Use responsible gambling tools if self-control doesn’t work.
  • Bonuses are good if wagering requirements are acceptable. So, before uploading any funds, check out available promos. The extra credits will extend the playtime, but wagering requirements are the biggest drawback.

When it comes to don’ts, some of them have already been mentioned above. Don’t spend too much, don’t play games that don’t seem thrilling to you. Another important recommendation is don’t bet real money on slots you are unfamiliar with. Look through the paytable to know the rules and the payouts. Be also aware of scams and fake games as they are tweaked to pay less. Make sure casinos have a license and offer certified gaming content.

How to Play Slots and Win: Main Strategies

The key to success is in enjoying the games you play because if you don’t, that by itself is a failure. Winning does add to the pleasure that comes from spinning the reels, but that shouldn’t be the purpose. There are no winning strategies that work because of the random nature of the slots. So, don’t pay too much attention to them.

If you want to do something to really affect your success rate, pick the titles with the highest RTP. Today this recommendation is especially important since more and more developers create multiple versions of the same slot machine that have different RTPs. So, you definitely don’t want to play the version with the lowest payback. The difference can be huge and sometimes as big as 10%.

In the case of any casino game, to win is sometimes not to lose, and by playing in the free mode it’s possible to save money. So, whether you play completely free or mix a little bit of practice into your real money gambling, it’s a win every time demo credits get spent instead of real ones.

Volatility is one of the key slot characteristics and it helps answer the question of how to win playing slots. The thing is, winning means different things to different gamblers. Some want frequent payouts regardless of the amount won. Others want massive wins and are ready to weather long losing streaks. By matching the volatility level to the desired payouts patterns, players will get higher quality time. There are a few things to pay attention to as they add more value to slots:

  • Many titles have this extra feature to increase the win potential. Multipliers can be growing, wild, and have other properties. But every time they show up and stay on the reels, it’s a chance to land a big win.
  • Buy-A-Pay. Bonus buy is an exciting option that offers a shortcut to the bonus rounds. If your budget allows buying features, that can be a good decision as buying your way into a bonus feature often gives a slightly higher RTP.
  • Progressive Jackpots. Being a lucky winner of a progressive jackpot can be a life-changing event. The chances are slim, but the amount that builds up in the pot can be worth taking the risk.


It’s a simple process and players don’t have to do much. Load a game, set a bet size, and push a Spin button. Symbols should land on an active payline or form a cluster to collect payouts.

You can jump right into the action by playing free slots. This way you benefit by learning the basics without the risk of losing any money. It’s easy to learn how to play by practicing playing slots.

The standard minimum bet is around 0.10-0.20 USD/EUR or equivalent amount in other currencies. Depending on the speed with which you spin the reels and a bet size you choose, it will be more or less expensive.