Are Slots Set to Pay Out a Certain Amount?

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Do slots have to pay out a certain amount within a given period of time? That’s what today’s player question covers:

Are slot machines set to pay out a certain amount of money in a set amount of time? Example $25,000 in a 24 hour period.


No, slots aren’t set to pay out a certain amount in a window of time, in part because that would create issues if slots aren’t being played enough to ensure that can be done to begin with.

Instead, slots have a set number of outcomes that can be achieved. The Random Number Generator will select numbers hundreds or thousands of times a second that lead to a particular outcome out of that set of outcomes.

Over the long term, they will pay out a certain percentage of the amount that is wagered. That percentage is determined based on the total value of the outcomes that exist, divided into the total amount that would need to be wagered to achieve all these outcomes once. 

So, for instance, if the outcomes in total would pay $900,000 when betting $1, and it would cost $1 million in spins to achieve all the outcomes ones, that would be a 90 percent payback structure.

The machine doesn’t guarantee to pay out a certain amount over time as it’s not known which outcome will happen on which spin – that happens at the time the wager is made by hitting the spin button – but mathematically since all outcomes have an equal chance of coming out, over time the game is more and more likely to achieve an outcome around that percentage it’s designed to pay.

So, slots don’t have a set amount to pay out in a time window – that’s too specific a structure when it’s never known how much it’ll be played at a given period of time. Instead, payouts are determined by that range of outcomes, and what outcomes are ultimately indicated by the RNG when the bet is placed.

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