House Edge in Slot Games Explained

House Edge in Slots

Every slot machine is designed to retain a theoretical percentage of players’ bets over a period of time. Its value is always greater than zero. In the world of slot gaming, this percentage is known as House Edge. It’s the built-in mathematical advantage that makes sure the house always wins in the end.

What Does House Edge Indicate?

House Edge indicates…

  • How much a slot pays out to the operator and player in the long run.
  • Which slots offer the best returns on a player’s bets

Does RTP Influence a Slot’s House Edge?

A slot’s RTP is directly linked to its House Edge. A simple calculation of House Edge is 100 – RTP (Return to Player). RTP indicates the theoretical percentage a player can expect to win from a slot game in the long run.

A slot machine with an RTP of 98% will in theory offer $98 for every $100 you bet. The House Edge of this slot is 100 – 98 = 2%, which means it will pay 2% of your bet to the casino house in the long run.

Worth keeping in mind is that variance or volatility is a factor which means that the house edge won’t necessarily be reflected in any given spin but over a longer period of time.

Typically, the House Edge of slots varies in the range of 1% to 15%. The higher the House Edge, the lower will be the payout for the player.

Read more about RTP in slots

Do Paylines Influence a Slot’s House Edge?

A slot’s paylines have zero influence on its House Edge. However, they do impact the volatility. Unlike what some popular websites claim, choosing fewer paylines than what a slot has to offer does not increase a slot’s House Edge.

Can the House Edge be Rigged?

Once the House Edge of a licensed online slot provider is established there is no way for the house to rig it. There are, however, some slot providers that let the house choose from a preset range of RTPs and House Edge on certain slots.

Even then, it is difficult for the house to know which RTP or House Edge would be most profitable. Furthermore, it is rare that casinos alter the RTP; the changes will be visible in the slot information for the players.

Why Do Most Players Exhaust Their Entire Bankroll Despite the Slot’s House Edge Being Measly?

A slot machine is designed to take a certain percentage of the players’ bet as a win for the house over time, which is calculated over billions of spins.

This means if you spin for an infinite amount of time you’re doomed to reach 0 regardless of how big a bankroll you have, what the House Edge is, or what volatility the slot has. The longer you keep playing the greater effect the House Edge will have. 

Eventually, you would end up exhausting your entire bankroll because…

  • You never stopped spinning, even if it meant exceeding your bankroll.
  • You had a bad streak and the volatility of the slot played out its course negatively.

This process of a slot machine’s House Edge exhausting your bankroll with you trying to prevent it from happening is known as “grind.” Players can lower the impact of the grind simply by playing slot games with a lower House Edge for a shorter time.

Which Online Slots Have the Lowest House Edge?

These are the top 5 online slots with the lowest House Edge:

  • Ugga Bugga by Playtech (0.93% House Edge)
  • Mega Joker, by NetEnt (1% House Edge)
  • Book of 99 by Relax Gaming (1% House Edge)
  • 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick (1.5% House Edge)
  • Blood Suckers by NetEnt (2% House Edge)

Check out all the 99% RTP slots here (Low house edge)