Players wager at online slots for different reasons. Some are looking for that life-changing jackpot so that they can buy their own home. Such players are classified as risk taking players. Others have more modest requirements like maybe a new pair of clothes. These players are classified as risk averse players. It must be pointed out upfront that all slot games are games of chance and it can't be guaranteed that the players will win. Therefore players must follow the practices of responsible gambling.
The first thing that must be understood is that the online slot games which are likely to offer the big payouts usually have low chances of offering the small payouts. Therefore it becomes imperative for players to recognize the kind of payouts that they can expect from a slot game and choose accordingly.
The simplest and most obvious indicator is the presence of a progressive jackpot. In a progressive jackpot slot game a part of each wager is added to the jackpot pool. Therefore the jackpot amount keeps on increasing. When the winning combination is hit by a player, he gets the entire jackpot amount. Online casinos especially promote online slots with progressive jackpots. They are highlighted in the lobby of the casino and are also separately listed in the games section. Therefore it is very easy for players to locate the progressive jackpots. Some of the progressive jackpots regularly pay in excess of $1 million. Since a portion of the wager goes to the jackpot pool, the other payouts naturally become smaller. Therefore progressive jackpots are ideal for players who are willing to take risks but not that suitable for risk averse players.
In order to draw risk averse players to progressive jackpot online slots, many software developers have introduced multilevel progressive jackpots. In such jackpot games certain more frequently occurring combinations allow players to win a small portion of the jackpot pool. Thus the needs of both risk-taking players and risk averse players are met in the same online slot game and these progressive jackpots are extremely popular. Mega Moolah from Microgaming is an example of a four level progressive jackpot game.
Another feature of online slot games that can lead to large payouts is the bonus feature. The most common bonus feature is the free spins bonus round. When the players hit a certain combination on the reels then the free spins are activated. Some online slot games the free spins bonus round can really pay a large amount. The factors that lead to the large payouts are made clear in the game rules and it is essential that players read these rules before wagering. One factor is the multiplier. The payouts in the free spins are usually doubled or tripled and sometimes the multiplier can go up to 10 times. Another factor is that the free spins can be retriggered if the required combination appears during the free spins. Some online slot games have further features that enhance the payout potential of free spins. They introduce more wild symbols through a variety of means. One way is that wild symbols expand to cover the entire reels. Another way is to convert certain other symbols to wild symbols for the free spins.
By reading the rules players will get a sense of whether the bonus round can lead to large payouts. In online slot games where the bonus feature leads to large payouts, the game compensates by making the normal payouts very small or very infrequent. Hence slot games with large paying bonus features favor risk taking players but not risk averse players. Bonus games do not introduce as much volatility as progressive jackpots but at the same time they cannot be ignored.