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How long is a Slot Game Playing Cycle?

Raging-Rhino-SlotAs part of our ongoing series of Understanding How Slot Games Work articles, this particular one is going to be taking a look at just how long one single slot game playing cycle is. When you play any online slot game you will always find somewhere on that slot information regarding its RTP and this is what can confuse a lot of slot players, more so those who are new to playing slots.

The RTP is a figure which will enlighten you on how much you are going to be paid back in winnings over one single game cycle of that slot based on how much has been wagered on that slot. So for example if you are playing a slot which has a listed RTP of 98.00%, then for every 100.00 fed into that slot game and played through as spins a total of 98.00 is returned as winnings once the game has completed one game cycle.

The thing you need to keep in mind is the RTP is purely a theoretical figure, which is based on the slot game you are playing being completely random and the number of reel symbols printed on each reel and also the number of each type of symbols on each reel.

This is where a lot of players tend to lose interest or start to misunderstand slot games, for they are usually only interested in sitting down to play slots in the hope they win something whilst getting an enjoyable and entertaining slot playing session.

However, should this be a topic that interest you we shall now delve a little deeper into slot game playing cycles which may just enlighten you on which slot games are worth playing and which ones you may be put off playing.

Reel Strip Length

As mentioned above the actual length of each reel strip and the number of symbols on each reel strip is going to vary, and as soon as you know just how long each reel strip is then you will get a much better idea of how long you will have to play each slot game to complete one full playing cycle.

We have dedicated a section of our website to this particular topic and for a complete breakdown of the number of symbols on each reel on a range of online slots please do have a read through our How Long are the Reel Strips on Online Slot Games article, for this will show you in full detail just how long the reel strips are on some of the most played online slot games.

By multiplying the number of reel symbols on each reel together then you can quite easily work out the length of each playing cycle. However, the random number generator attached to each slot game also has a direct effect on each playing cycle and also just how often you are going to have a winning or losing session.

Random Number Generators

Once any slot game has been designed each reel symbol will be allocated a number, and once a player sets that slot into live play a random number generator is used to determine just which reel symbols will drop in on the paylines.

You will of course find that all online slots will have a larger number of lower paying reel symbols on their reels and in regards to the high paying reel symbols there will be fewer of those in play on each reel.

The random number generator will then fire our a string of numbers and these are then sent to the slot game which will turn those numbers into a combination of reel symbols which are then spun in once the reels finally come to a complete stop.

Being completely random by nature when you are playing slots online you will never know in advance whether you are going to win or lose which is of course why playing slot games is exciting. However, when you have had something of a poor paying number of slot playing sessions you should always remember that over the long term that slot game you are playing should pay back to you its expected long term RTP once a game cycle has been played.

So if you have played a slot for quite a long time and your current RTP is very low then it may be worth sticking with that slot in the hope it will level out in any additional sessions you play.

But if you have been playing a slot for a number of sessions and you are doing quite well and your current payout percentage that you have achieved is way higher than the expected RTP of that slot then you may wish to consider leaving that slot game alone as there is a good chance it will eat up your profits on any additional sessions you play.

Please do take a look at our guide on Actual, Expected and Theoretical Slot Game Payout Percentages as it will enlighten you on how you can work out the payout percentage you achieved on any slot playing session and that will let you make an informed decision on whether it is going to be worth continuing to play any particular online slot games.

Always be aware though the casino slot game RTP’s are theoretical and there is never a guarantee that the payout percentages they have been designed to play out to will be reached on a complete cycle due to them being 100% random in nature and design.

Be Wary of Online Fruit Machines

One type of online slot game that is going to offer a completely unique gaming experience are the many Fruit Machines found online, the one aspect to playing these slots that you need to be aware of is that they have been designed to guarantee the payout percentages they have attached to them are reached once a game cycle has been played.

Unlike the random casino slot games which have theoretical RTP’s due to their design and random nature, when you play a Fruit Machine it will do everything it can do to reach its predetermined RTP once the final spin on each game cycle has been arrived at.


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