You don’t need to be a genius to see how far the online gaming industry has come over the years. It has pretty much boomed to become something of a great magnitude, and that’s great. With thousands of games on offer from a multitude of software developers, players are pretty much spoilt for choice. The advances in technology has also afforded those same developers to bring many exciting innovations to the fore in the process.
Yet, despite the fact that these games are hugely popular, not many people who access them realise how exactly they operate. Of course, why would they? It’s not something that’s so essential to know in order to play them. However, if you have a bit more of an understanding as to how they function, you may also have a better idea in mind of how a slot may provide a pay-out to you.
Less common these days are compensated games, which operate in the shape of your basic fruit machine found in land-based establishments. Turn to the pubs and bars for these and you’ll likely find them. Of course, these have a different way of working to the online slots. Here we are going to utilise this article to discuss each variation of casino game and see if one is actually better than the other to play. Let’s find out all the differences between them and see if you can expect to win more playing one specific format.
A Basic Look at Both Types of Game
It’s not completely cut and dry that these games are completely different. In fact, they have a few similarities between them. Of course, you can spot which ones are compensated slots and which ones are random, but let’s take a look at how they are alike before that.
First of all, each of the game types will have its own return to player (RTP) rate, and this is given in the form of a percentage. It is this amount that you can expect to get back, on average, from the machine itself, over a period of time. If you see a game with an RTP percentage of 95%, then on average, every £1 that you stake on that game would see the slot pay out 95p and keep the remaining 5p for the operator.
Keep in mind that this is something that occurs over a long period of time on average. Don’t expect the game, whichever type you play, to always pay that out. The percentages are calculated over huge spin number, often going into the thousands. To really see the 95% come into effect, you’d need to pretty much have an unlimited bankroll and play for 10,000+ spins before its experienced. This is why an online or offline slot doesn’t always provide a win on every spin.
It is very much a plausible possibility due to this, that you may be able to win more money by playing a game with an RTP rate of 60% than one with a 98% rate over a sample of say 50 spins. This is because the sample size taken here is not large enough to really experience the true RTP reading from a game. This doesn’t make the RTP rate useless per se, but it’s something to take into consideration when selecting a casino game to play.
With the RTP rate being instilled into both types of game, you can always expect to find this in operation. Now let’s have a look at both of the different types of slot and find out what their individual propeties are.
What Are Compensated Slots and How Do They Work?
While there are various ways to describe a compensated slot game, perhaps the best way is to consider that it has some sort of memory installed into it. Essentially, a compensated slot knows how frequently it has paid out. Not only that, but it knows when it next needs to pay out in order to comply with its associated RTP rate, too.
These are a harp back to the days when most gaming was done on physical machines that could only hold so much money. Effectively the more full they became the more likely they would pay out – which is why you always see people lurking around fruities in pubs waiting for the right opportunity to play when it is likely to pay out more.
One example of a compensated slot machine game is Lucky Mushrooms from Stakelogic, which is available as an offline slot machine game. This comes with a maximum RTP rate of 96.04%. This means that if you place wagers equating to £100 on this game, you should receive, on average, a pay-out of £96.04 from it.
Let’s take this a little bit further and say, for example, that a machine has an RTP rate of 90%, meaning a single winning combination appearing in every 10 total combinations. This means that, consequently, it has nine losing combinations in that same 10 combinations. The machine has been set up to pay out at a ratio of 1:10. If you make four spins and they all lose, then they would be removed from the overall 10 in this example. At this point, you’re left with a single winning combination that has yet to hit and five losing combinations. This does also mean that your chances of winning change, too.
At the beginning you would have had just a 10% chance of hitting a winning combination from the 10 in total. The more spins that lose in a row, the more the game will have that in its memory and want to provide a pay-out in a bid to try and compensate for the low RTP it’s running at by that time. This is where the whole term of a compensated slot machine comes from. Because such a game will always want to make up for the RTP rate that it has thrown out of whack by providing losing spins.
It’s due to this reason that if you’re ever in a casino and you see someone hovering around another person who is spinning reels, there’s a simple reason for it. They’re looking to dive in once they get bored or lose enough money on the game, to try and acquire the win from the machine looking to even out its low RTP rate. This can sometimes result in one player losing a lot of money on a slot before a newcomer rocks up, plays just a few spins and wins big from it. Films usually depict this sort of a scenario happening where a big-time gambler loses all his money on a machine and then a little old lady walks up, pulls the lever and gets the jackpot pay-out.
One lucky Hawaiian woman visited a casino in Las Vegas in 2019 and played a then newly launched Madonna slot. Upon doing so, she managed to hit a $931,640 (£715,464) jackpot from the Aristocrat-developed title. This came about when she managed to align four Madonna symbols and a lucky wild at the same time. While she requested to remain anonymous, it’s possible that she entered the casino and played the game right after someone else had lost a lot of money on it.
What Are Random Slots and How Do They Work?
Random slots generally refer to the online slot machine sector more so than anything else. Just about all online slot games can be considered completely random, and as this title informs you, the outcomes of games are totally random.
In a similar way to compensated slot games, a random one will be set up so as to ensure that a number of winning and losing combinations are experienced. Let’s stick with the 90% RTP rate utilised earlier on. Again, you’ll expect to find a single winning combination and nine losing combinations in a total of 10. Random slots utilise something known as a random number generator (RNG), and this should be inserted into every online slot release. This remains as the prime difference between random and compensated slots.
The RNG of a random game has no memory, though. It is this which makes it completely random, meaning that on each spin, a completely random combination will come out, rather than one that is part of a memory of combinations. Let’s say that we have combinations 1 through to 10, and the winning combination was behind the first one. If that was drawn, we would win. In the random slot, that combination would go straight back into the set and have just as much chance of showing up once again on the next spin, as would any other result. Essentially, each spin in a random slot machine game is individual and cannot really be judged based on what came before it.
Random slots can absolutely be described as that – random. There’s no foretelling of how a spin outcome will take place because there’s nothing that the spin bases itself on. That lack of memory that a compensated machine possesses, means that a random slot can provide some weird and whacky results.
For example, you could experience a jackpot win from sitting down and just spinning two minimal bets of 10p on a game. Or you could even go through playing a slot game every day for half an hour and come away with very little. It’s often the case that online progressive jackpot slots continue on for long periods – because there is nothing that says that they must pay out. They’re so random that they can become exceptionally large in value.
Is It Possible to Access Compensated Slots Online?
Online slots need to be classified as one thing or another, otherwise they won’t be accepted. This is a UK Gambling Commission law. Therefore, games are ranked as A, B1, B2, B3, B3A, B4, C, D and SWP. That’s a lot of rankings for slots, considering we’re only really talking about random and compensated games. Yet, each of these has a slightly different law behind them, so that each can be applied to a certain sort of game effectively enough.
Looking at compensated games, these are generally classed as a B3 or B4 ranked option, meaning that they feature a limit on the maximum stake that can be placed, which was reduced to £2 for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in recent times. There is also a limit placed on the maximum win in these ranked games, which stands at £500. Furthermore, such games can only be provided within licensed premises, such as high street bookies, pubs and so on.
It is due to this that these games would not be possible to introduce to the online world. Therefore, compensated slots are not something that operate online due to their official Gambling Commission ranking.
Which Slot Game Is Better to Play?
It’s factual to say that both random and compensated slots come with their own advantages and disadvantages. The answer to this question is fairly tough, and it generally depends upon the person playing.
Random games do give the player the ability to access each spin with a clear mind about what their chances of winning are. Each spin has an equal chance of providing a pay-out as the previous one taken. There isn’t any sort of possibility for this to change, either. This means that you can utilise the RTP rate to your own advantage, in a bid to seek out the slots with the higher pay-outs over time. The average RTP is usually considerably higher with these slots than with compensated games, too.
Compensated games often come with very poor RTP rates, which can go down as low as around 70% a lot of the time. Yet, prior to online slots becoming optional, this was considered to be a normal feature of slot machines. They have gone through certain improvisations over recent years, but they still aren’t as high as the RTP of online games.
The pro regarding compensated titles though, is that you are able to see people suffer through losing streaks and then dive in to take advantage of a game that is more likely to then pay out. The more money such a slot machine takes, the more likely it is to then provide a larger pay-out if you’re able to gain access to it. Of course, some certain strategy needs to be utilised in order to recognise exactly when it will provide such a win. Of course, some people have argued that this is taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune. However, the machine has to pay out at some point, regardless of who is getting the reward.
It seems as though the boom in online gaming is taking over, though. Fewer compensated games are being created and are in operation today than 20 years ago, let’s say. This gives a hint that players are much more enamoured with the random slots than the compensated ones, and the higher RTP rates of them could be something to do with this outcome.