When playing slot machines online, the experience is very similar to playing in a land casino. They both operate in a similar manner and in both cases the payouts are dependent on the RNG (random number generator). In the case of the physical slot machine, the RNG is built directly into the machine compared to the online slot game, where the RNG is written into the program that powers the game.
The payout of any machine will depend on how many coins and corresponding reels the player is playing at a given time. In the past, the randomness of the slot machine might have been a little bit restricted and payouts may not have been exactly random, however with the computer technology available today, the casino can program precisely the payout percentage that they desire and in turn the machine will payout that amount with total randomness being assured.
Since we know that the operators can program whatever payout percentage they chose, we might be a little suspicious of the slot machine and its willingness to payout. However, if the operators program the machine to pay out very seldom then the players will quickly lose interest in the slot game and probably won’t return in the future. This would cause great losses for the casino in the long run. So in turn they program their machines with very fair payout percentages that satisfy the players and the casino.
So if a slot machine is set to payout at 97% (a common payout percentage) then the machine will, in the long run, payout to the players 97% of the money that has been dropped in the machine. In other words, for every $100 put in the machine it will eventually payback $97 (the remaining $3 is the casinos take). As a player you have to understand that if you play $100 you might get back less than that amount or you might get back more, a lot more if you hit a jackpot. Remember that the machine is set to pay back in the “long run”.
Although every slot machine has great pay back odds, in reality, luck is the key factor in hitting it big with a slot machine. The machine will of course eventually payout what it advertises but it could take thousands of spins to do so, you simply have to be at the right machine at the right time.