Slots Hit Frequency

Have you ever noticed how certain slots are more likely to score a winning combination than others? Despite chance being an important component in the process, there are other factors that contribute to this. One such is the hit frequency of a given game. We all know that online slots are programmed to function in a certain way but rarely do we think about that, preferring to simply watch the reels spin with the goal of maybe earning some cash at the end of our gaming session. Hit frequency often goes unnoticed by the general gambling community, being overshadowed by other factors, such as RTP and house edge values.

However, it is no less important than any of them for the general experience and it plays a large role in how you play the game. To better explain how hit frequency works and the effect it has on your favorite games we have prepared this guide so that you can have a better understanding of this important factor. We have also included information about other aspects that also have a hand or are closely related to hit frequency and if that interests you then read on.

Hit Frequency Explained

Hit FrequencyHit frequency is a relatively simple concept to understand and we are sure that you will get the hang of it after reading this guide. Basically, hit frequency refers to how often a slot game will form a winning combination as opposed a losing one. As you already know, not all spins will result in a win and not all will result in a loss. While this is true for all slot games, certain titles appear to hit more winning spins than others and this represents the notion of hit frequency.

The range of this frequency is quite large in the online gambling industry, which is primarily attributed to the large number of games available to the general player base. With thousands of games featured in the online gambling industry, there is bound to be a difference between all of them and the hit frequency is one of several.

About the hit frequency itself, there are some things that you need to take into consideration. Hit frequency implies the formation of a winning combination, but that also includes rewards which are less than the bet itself. For example, if you put down $1.00 on a slot spin and the machine returns $0.50, technically you have formed a winning combination. However, you have not won any money and are actually $0.50 behind. So you did not win anything in terms of your balance.


VolatilityWhile hit frequency deals with the average percentage of winning spins from the total number of spins, volatility refers to the tendency for how a slot game rewards its players and the two tie in together to for the reward structure for a title. When talking about volatility, we mean how often and how much a slot pays on a smaller level, rather than referring to overall averages. While these are metrics are somewhat difficult to predict with accuracy, there are some tendencies that can be observed.

In terms of volatility, slot games are separated into two categories – high volatility and low volatility titles. High volatility means that a game may go for long periods of time without rewarding the player only for a spin to offer a significant payout. Low volatility games, on the other hand, offer payouts more often but these come at a lower value to compensate for the increased win rate.

Much hit frequency, not much attention is paid to volatility and there is rarely official information on the subject. Information is gathered by players and its reliability cannot be verified. However, any piece of data is useful to you if you wish to optimize your gameplay. Understanding volatility gives you a better idea of how a slot functions and whether it is suitable for your style of play and budget.

Return-to-Player Percentages

Return-to-PlayerRTP is one of the most fundamental aspects of gambling and it is one of the primary means that we have at our disposal to judge the fairness of a game. While not the focus of our discussion in this article – we have a separate one for RTP where we go into more detail – it is still important and contributes to the current topic.

RTP constitutes the total percentage of all money that a casino game pays out as winnings to players. However, there is a catch. The percentage of all money paid out is lower than the total amount that goes in. This is how casinos make their revenue and continue to be in business for years or decades. The RTP percentage shows the share of the total turnover paid out as winnings over a long period of time, not unlike the hit frequency. It is meant to be a long-term measure of the fairness of a game.

Watch Slot Machine Odds Changed

Judging games by their RTP is simple enough. Basically, the higher the RTP percentage the fairer the title is. By fair, we mean the closer the game gets to having true odds rather than casino odds. In a perfect world, all casino games would have an RTP percentage of 100% and pay out the same amount of money that they take in.

”Hot” and “Cold” Slots Fallacy

Hot and Cold SlotsThe ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ slots fallacy is often taken to be part of the hit frequency discussion and nothing could be further from the truth. When a slot game is continuously paying out significant sums of money it is thought to be ‘hot’ and expect to stop soon, while one that has not produced a significant result is considered ‘cold’ and expected to become ‘hot’ soon. The idea behind this logic is that the longer time that a game has not paid out, the more likely it is for it to give a positive outcome.

This is a fallacy because it implies that individual spins have an effect on the following ones. In truth, games are not programmed to be influenced in this way and if they were it would be considered tampering with the software of the machine. Modern-day titles use sophisticated Random Number Generation (RNG) systems, which produce truly random results on each spin regardless of what the outcome of previous spins was. This means that you can win the jackpot twice on two consecutive spins or make no winnings at all, depending on your luck at the moment. This is why slots are games of chance since nothing is certain. This fallacy, however, implies that a good payout is expected and all but guaranteed. Moreover, the fallacy also deals with the extreme short term, while the hit frequency statistic is only accurate in the long haul. For this reason, you should always ignore this ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ nonsense during any discussion regarding hit frequency and know that the RNG systems will always live up to the statistics over time.

FAQ About Slots Hit Frequency

While we have done our best to cover as much information as possible, there is only so much that we can include in a single article. You may still have some questions about this topic and to help you out, we prepared a short list of the most commonly asked questions regarding hit frequency and have provided our answers in a short, yet concise manner.

Does the hit frequency affect the RTP and house edge values?

Which category of games is fairer – high or low frequency slots?

How to determine the hit frequency of a slot game?

How does the hit frequency of slots compare with that of other games?

Should I play slots with a low or high hit frequency?

Is hit frequency something that I should worry about when playing slots online?

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Find the answers of questions people asked so far:

Dan William

Can I determine the hit frequency of a slot if I play the game for free?

Asked by: William | Asked on: 2023-06-07
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-06-09

It depends on the slot and the way its demo mode has been designed. You can find that some software providers offer the same variance, payouts, and hit frequency on both the demo and real-money versions of their slots. The only thing that is different is the no-risk betting when you play the demo version of the slot. If you come across such slots, you can play multiple demo spins and determine the hit frequency of the slot variation. That way, you are prepared for when you will start playing with real money. That said, some slots do not determine the results of spins during demo play the same way as during real-money sessions. For instance, some software providers will allow you to instantly trigger any bonus feature in demo mode, which messes up with the true hit frequency and variance of the slot. Naturally, such slots cannot help you determine their hit frequency while you play in demo mode.

Dan Wilma

Is it possible to predict when a slot will hit to calculate the hit frequency of that slot?

Asked by: Wilma | Asked on: 2023-10-24
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-10-25

If a slot is truly random, meaning each result is determined with the help of the RNG system, there is no way to predict when the slot will hit. No matter the previous results, there is no way to affect the outcomes of upcoming slot spins. That is why you cannot be certain when a slot using RNG will hit, helping you to calculate hit frequency more easily. Instead, you need a system saving the data of numerous spins, giving you an average percentage for the hit frequency of the game. Even when you get that number, you still cannot be certain how many spins you are guaranteed to land a win as every spin is random and not affected by any previous results and data.

Hit frequency is something that software providers may share with operators or may even list on their official websites. Otherwise, it can take quite some time for a regular player to determine the hit frequency of a slot. That is why I recommend doing a quick Google search if you are trying to determine a slot’s hit frequency.