For many online players playing slot games means selecting the betting options and starting the spins. They do not bother to check out the pay tables. They do not have to calculate the payouts, the software does that. The software's calculations need not be rechecked. Therefore these players do not think it worthwhile to understand the pay table before commencing play. These players are making a big mistake. They are ignoring the most important decision a player takes while playing slot games. This decision is whether or not to wager on a particular slot game. And this decision is dependent on the pay table.
Most slot games follow the same overall structure and process. However they differ in the nature of payouts offered. Different players have different risk taking propensities. In order to get the maximum out of the slot game players have to match their inclination to take risks with the nature of payouts offered. This can only be done by understanding and studying the payout table. It is for this reason that the first step that a player should take while playing slot games is to study the payout table.
The pay table can usually be accessed by clicking the pay table button shown somewhere on the screen. In the case of some software providers the pay table is accessed by clicking the Help button. The pay table lists all the symbols on the reels. Next to the symbol are listed the payouts in coins for getting the specified number of symbols in an enabled payline. Obviously the maximum payouts are for getting five like symbols in enabled paylines and it is these values that are important in understanding the nature of the payouts.
Some slot games have a few symbols that give very high payouts and most others that give very low payouts. Players wagering on such slot games will either win large amounts or lose large amounts. Such slot games are known as volatile slot games and are meant for players who are willing to take higher risks. On an average online slot games offer about 96% payout ratios and therefore the slot game developers have to balance high payouts with low ones.
There are other slot games that offer payouts concentrated around a middle value. The payouts are neither very high nor very low. Such slot games have low volatility and are meant for conservative players who do not like to lose large amounts and are happy with small winnings.
Occasionally one may find slot games that have all payouts at the lower end. Such slot games usually have very high paying bonus rounds. For example they may have free spins rounds with extremely high multipliers. Or they may have bonus games on the second screen that offer high payouts. This is another way of introducing volatility in slot games. Because the bonus games offer high payouts they will not be triggered as often. Such slot games are again meant for players who are willing to take greater risks. The rules of the bonus games are either found on the pay table itself or on another screen that can be accessed from the pay table.
Whenever a new slot is released players should first study the pay table and ascertain whether the payout structure meets their requirements or not. Studying the pay table takes only a few minutes and those few minutes are well spent. It is not worth finding that a slot game does not meet the player's needs after playing it for half an hour.