What does it mean by Payout Percentage in Pokies Machines?

Pokies Machines
What does it mean by Payout Percentage in Pokies Machines?

Often you must have heard the term ‘Payout Percentage’ especially at the casinos when playing games.  The new players at the casino seldom understand fully what this speaks about and therefore they are unrealistic to their winning expectation on any pokies that they play.

Let us know about the meaning of “payout percentage and how it is applied on the pokies.

What is a payout percentage?

What is a payout percentage
What is a payout percentage

It is simply the percentage of the total amount of money that the pokies will take in over a typical amount of time, that it will pay out back to players in the form of winnings.

That percentage can range from as little as 75 percent up to around 98 percent.

What a novice player think is that out of all the money they spend, they will expect to receive back between 75 and 98 percent back in winnings which is absolutely not the case.

To understand it more confidently you will have to know how the payout percentage is worked out and how the winnings are used to calculate that amount and paid out to the players.

Therefore, a payout % is not a statement of how much of your wagering money you can expect to receive back in payouts on average.

Spinning the Reels

Spinning the Reels
Spinning the Reels

The first thing to note is that when an organisation such as eCOGRA tests the veracity of the claim that pokies has a payout percentage of X per cent, then they run a series of tests to authenticate that claim.

This involves spinning the reels of the pokies millions of times in order to generate what the actual payout percentage is of the slot.

It is only when you spin the reels of the pokies, a huge amount of times that the payout percentage shows any meaning. As such, it is a statistic which is only meaningful for the casino, rather than the player who is unlikely to have the funds or time to spin  the machine the many hundreds of thousands of times needed in order to generate payouts of the percentage levels of the pokies.

On fewer spins, numbering 10,000, 1,000 or less, there can be a huge difference to the stated payout percentage. A pokie machine may seem to run ‘hot’ and payout considerably more than the payout percentage and can even run at a loss over that period of spins, whereas at other times it may seem to run ‘cold’ and pay out considerably less than the stated payout percentage.

Spin several time for relevant payout

Spin several time for relevant payout percentage
Spin several time for relevant payout percentage

The key thing to note here is that for a player, the number of spins they play is usually so small, that payout is almost irrelevant. The more spins you play the more relevant the payout becomes, but only if you spin the reels thousands of times over a sustained period.

Sometimes the pokies will pay out more over one million spins than the stated percentage, other times less, but usually, these measures will average out to give a mean percentage level even then the payout percentage is still only an average mark.

Therefore, it is best to view the payout as simply a measure of how much the machine pays out over millions of spins and not really relevant to your chances of success.

The structure of payouts

The structure of payouts
The structure of payouts

The other key aspect to the payout is to understand how the payouts of a machine are structured and that this is equally important to understand why you are not likely to earn back 75 to 98 percent of what you spend.

The best way to do this is via a hypothetical example. Suppose Mr X developed a pokies machine that has a payout percentage of 95% and let’s say that in a typical month, this machine generates 1,000,000 in revenue from players playing 1,000,000 spins in that period.

If Mr X hypothetical machine then followed the payout exactly, then 5 percent of that 1,000,000 (50,000) is the casino’s operating profit from the machine. That leaves 950,000 to be shared between all the players.

Small to Big awards

Small to Big awards
Small to Big awards

Also, the thing to note is that pokies machines are there to offer a range of awards, paying out smaller rewards more often and the big jackpot prizes less frequently. As an example suppose Mr X machine has paid out one large jackpot prize of 500,000 in the last month, plus three other smaller jackpot prizes of 100,000 apiece.

That means just four lucky players have accounted for 800,000 of the payout . Out of 1,000,000 spins, that means just 0.0004 percent of players have accounted for 84.2 percent of the total payout percentage.

That means the remaining 99.9996 per cent of players have just 150,000 in winnings to share amongst them from 9,999,996 spins. Therefore, the vast majority of players of this hypothetical machine would receive a payout that is nowhere near the stated payout percentage.

Payout percentage determines how much you will win

Payout percentage determines how much you will win
Payout percentage determines how much you will win

The structure of how your pokies payout is key to understanding that payout percentage is not a figure of how much you will win on average. But simply how much the machine pays out on average over a massive number of spins. Furthermore, how often a machine pays out top prizes, will also mean that the vast majority of players will not experience a payout percentage anywhere near what is stated.

Thus it is simply a fact that over small sample sizes, the averages stated in the payout percentage are irrelevant.

So while payout percentages may not be useful in letting a player understand how much of their stakes they’ll win back, where they are useful to punters is in giving them a comparative measure to judge which machines are most likely to offer them a return.

In theory, you are more likely to win playing a pokie with a 95 per cent payout percentage than you are pokies with a 75 per cent payout percentage.

You may win 95% Payout

You may win 95% Payout
You may win 95% Payout

However, because the number of spins you play will be so small, you will not be able to know the difference. It is entirely true then that you will play the 75 percent pay out pokies and win more than the 95 percent payout percentage pokies.

Thus payout percentages is not to think they are stating how much you will win back on average in your session, but that they are a simple, general tool to assess how profitable the machine is for the casino.

Play games as they are as you know it is entirely your luck to win these games of chance, whether it is pokies, lotto, keno, scratch cards or any other games. You can win huge if you are lucky enough to win and play with confidence


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