Online Versus Terrestrial Slots


Slots are arguably a casino game that translate well to online play. The reason for this is that in both online and terrestrial slots you are playing against a machine. For many other casino games, including favorites like blackjack, baccarat, roulette and craps a good deal of the human interaction element of terrestrial gaming is lost when played online. And no matter how hard online casinos try to replicate the reality of a human dealt card or real dice tossed and interaction with fellow players, they will always be lacking in this regard.

But slots are the type of game that involves absolutely no human interaction when played at traditional casinos. In fact most slots players often seem lost in the mesmerizing flashing, spinning, ringing and clunking of their chosen slot game to the total disregard of any other activity going on around them. Try and strike up a conversation with a slots player mesmerized by their game and see what I mean. If you get a one syllable reply consider yourself lucky!

Online slots lose very little in terms of overall offering to the average slots player, aside from the need to do the hair and makeup and don a fetching frock. This is perhaps why most online casino software developers have massive slots ranges – some numbering over 200 different games.

Another advantage for online slots games is the ability to easily link progressive jackpots across any licensee casinos, meaning jackpot values can very quickly escalate through play at dozens of different casinos. Online progressive slots jackpots seem to be in the multi-millions regularly these days. Earlier this year a new record was set when over six million Euro was won when a player from Greece hit a well known progressive slot game jackpot.

An interesting element in any comparison between online and traditional slots is game returns. That is, for every dollar that is put into the game, how much is returned to the player. Unlike most casino games that involve an element of skill and therefore a return to player (“RTP”) rate that can be influenced through optimal game play, slots are a game of chance and the returns are set to a predetermined rate.

This then begs the question as to how terrestrial and online slot RTP rates compare. Answering this question requires consideration of location of the terrestrial slot games in question as regulating authority prescribed minimum returns differ by jurisdiction.

But returns for online slots games at many online casinos can be easily ascertained by reviewing their published historical, third party audited, RTP rates. While these rates differ slightly from month to month and from casino to casino, what you will find is that broadly, RTP rates for online slots are around the 95% mark. How does this compare to traditional slots? Well to be of relevance to you, you really need understand slot RTP rates at casinos where you live. And this can be done by reviewing minimum RTP requirements stipulated at the relevant regulatory body website.

If you live in Colorado check the Colorado Division of Gaming; if you live in Connecticut check the Division of Special Revenue; if you play at Vegas check the Nevada Gaming Control Board; if you live in Montana check the Montana Gambling Control Division; if you live in Victoria, Australia check the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority website.

The list goes on and in our Google world you can easily find the relevant regulatory authority where you live, and prescribed slot RTP rate minimums. And you might be surprised at how your local slot machines compare to those online.

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August 5, 2014: posted in Slot No Comments

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