Slot Hit Frequency

HIt frequency is the rate of wins vs loses when playing slots. This article takes a closer look at slot hits and the factors behind the wins.

Seasoned slot players tend to look up a game's hit frequency along with its RTP and variance to know if they can profit from it. These data can tell you how often you will get a win for a set number of spins.

This article will provide an in-depth guide on hit frequency and how you can use it.

Hit Frequency in Slots Explained

Hit frequency is the percentage of wins within a set number of spins. If a slot has a hit frequency of 20% and you spin the reels 500,000 times, for example, you can expect to win 100,000 times. Another example is PG Soft's Dragon Legend which has a hit frequency of 30%, which can grant you 30,000 wins out of 100,000 spins.

Note that software providers do not disclose their game's slot hit frequency. Do not expect to find this data on a slot machine cabinet in a land-based casino or an online slot page within a gambling site. iGaming publishers are likely to avoid the negative marketing of their games. A title with a low win rate can deter players who want to play titles with higher hit frequencies.

With the hit frequency, you can determine the number of chances to receive a return on the game. Games with a higher win frequency and RTP rate result in a sizable payout after spinning the reels several times. You can also use the hit frequency data of a slot to know how many spins you need before you can get a win, which is useful for high variance slots with a medium RTP rate.

Common Hit Frequencies in Slot

Slot hit frequency

Remember, those hit frequencies are not just limited to getting a match. Below are the various hits or wins you can get from any slot.

Symbol Matches

Every slot machine wins are usually about matching symbols within a payline. Before there were even digital slot cabinets or online titles, symbol matches were the only means of winning among mechanical slots.

For games with multiple pay lines, all slot symbol matches done in any bet ways are counted. This includes a minimum of three symbols on one line for 5x3 reel slots with 50 bet ways. Scatter symbols that players can match no matter where they are on the reels are counted for this category if they reward you with cash payouts.

Cluster pay games where you match symbols adjacent to each other are another form of this slot hit frequency. As long as there is a means to clear symbols on the screen, this mechanic fits the "match symbols" category.

Bonus Feature

A slot bonus feature is usually a different mode or stage outside the reels. This feature can be an interactive game where players are given two or more choices to win cash prizes. A good example of this is Hangover Video Slot's Pick a Box feature from IGT, where you win bonus payouts and win multiplier.

Bonus features are not just tied to a different mode or game outside the base game. Some appear in the regular game, such as bet multipliers or free respins. NetEnt's Twin Spin has one of these bonus features where two to five reels will have the same symbols.

It is important to note that maximizing your bets to take advantage of a bonus feature is one way to beat slot machines. Knowing the hit frequency of the features lets you know if a game is worth risking your bankroll just to trigger the feature.

Slot Free Spins

While we can easily categorize free spins as part of a bonus feature, there is a wide variety of them to make this a different slot hit frequency type. Free games are a regular feature among modern slots that you can earn by matching scatter symbols.

To further market this feature, games such as Microgaming's Thunderstruck include a bet multiplier with its free spins. Other games also bolster their free spins feature by adding more wild symbols, a progressive multiplier, and a chance to win more free games. Remember that triggering or earning free spins are what counts for this slot hit frequency.

Jackpot Chance

Jackpot slots reward players with a massive payout if they are lucky enough to trigger this rare feature. This type of slot hit frequency depends on the type of jackpot offered by the game. Expect a low hit frequency for progressive online slots since it is rare for any player to win either of its jackpot prizes, including the highest possible payout. On the other hand, local jackpots have a much higher hit rate since these have fixed payouts.

Triggering a mini-game to get a chance at winning any of the jackpot prizes is counted for this hit frequency category. This includes matching scatter symbols or a random trigger within the base game.

Hit frequency of various slots
Slot Hit Frequency Infographics

Hit Frequency and RTP

Return-to-player (RTP) is the statistical return of a slot machine after spending a set amount of money on it. If you are to spin about $100 worth of bets on an online slot with 95% RTP, you will likely get $95 after a certain period. Slot RTP is also the player's edge where a 95% RTP is a 95% advantage against a house edge of 5%.

A slot hit frequency does not tell you how much a win can give you. Imagine a slot with a 20% hit frequency and another with a 40% hit frequency. Players will likely pick the latter since this one pays out more often.

Let us add RTP to the mix where the first one has a 98% RTP and the second one has an RTP of 90%. This data tells you that the first slot with the lowest hit frequency can give you a sizable return over the long run instead of the second slot. On the other hand, the second slot gives you a chance to double your bets within a short number of spins. Even with a low payout, a certain number of those hits can reward you with a hefty payout.

A good way to use both data is to consider your goals. One example is to clear the wagering requirement, which requires you to wager your bonus more than ten times the amount. For this goal, you want a slot with a higher hit frequency and RTP. These games make it easy for you to reach the required amount since there is less risk of losing most of your bonus.

Hit Frequency and Variance

Slot variance is a measure of a game's risk vs reward rate. Low variance slots tend to give you more wins on your spins but with reduced payouts. On the other hand, high variance slots give you fewer wins and higher payouts.

A slot's variance has an impact on its hit frequency. Slots with low variance tend to have a high hit frequency due to the lack of risk, while those with high variance have a much lower hit frequency.

You can take advantage of the data by looking for inconsistencies between the variance rate and slot hit frequency. There are high variance slots that have a slightly higher hit frequency than other risky titles, which can give you better online casino odds of winning a big payout.

On the other hand, It is a good idea to be wary of slots with a low variance rate and hit frequency when you see their data. Slots with these rates tend to have a significant return only if you spin the reels numerous times, making them suitable for high rollers or those willing to play the game for hours.

Identifying Hit Frequency in Slots

Below are two ways you can determine the hit frequency of a slot machine.

Using the Pay Tables

Pay tables among slot machines tell you the value of each symbol. You can find these tables within the help or options window of the game. If you are in a land-based casino, the paytables are likely printed on the side or front of the slot machine.

Take note of how much is the highest and lowest payout available. This should include any local jackpot you can win from matching symbols or clearing a specific goal. If there is a large gap between the highest and lowest payout, the hit frequency of a slot is likely low.

Play Free Online Slots

Going through a demo game can give you more insight into a slot than any casino advertisement or review article. You can also get a better read on a game's slot hit frequency through its demo game, including the frequency of triggering a title's free spins, bonus game, and jackpot features. Free demos are frequently available on gambling sites such as Caesars Casino and BetMGM.

To determine the slot hit frequency of a title, record the number of wins and triggered features out of a set number of spins. Reset the game and continue recording the hits for each spin set to get an accurate read on the game's data.


What is the hit frequency in slots?

A slot's hit frequency is the percentage of wins vs loses within a set of spins. If you spin the reels about 100,000 times while the slot has a 40% hit frequency, expect to win around 40,000 times.

Do game developers provide the hit frequency in slots? 

Software developers will not include the hit frequency of their slots on their home page or anywhere within the software. Their reason can be due to bad marketing for their games. Players are less likely to spend money on a game with a low hit frequency.

Is hit frequency in slots the same as RTP? 

A slot hit frequency is different from a game's RTP since the latter is a statistical prediction on how much is the return you can expect from playing a game.

How is the hit frequency in slots connected with slot variance? 

Slot hit frequency correlates with the game's variance. Highly risky slots tend to have a low hit frequency while low-risk titles usually provide higher win rates.

How can playing free online slots help you know the title's hit frequency? 

Playing a slot's demo version helps you know how often you can match symbols or trigger its bonus feature. Free online slots are a good way to manually identify a title's hit frequency.

Will knowing the hit frequency in slots help you? 

Taking note of the slot hit frequency, RTP, and its variance can help you determine the profitability of a title. Knowing the slot's profitability rate lets you find a game that gives you better slot odds at walking home with a large payout.

Advantage players can boost their edge over the house by knowing the hit frequency of a slot along with other crucial data. You can determine a game's hit frequency by noting the possible payouts and playing free online slots.