Technically speaking, there is no real ‘winning strategy’ when it comes to slot games, whether they are land based on online slots in a virtual casino. Since slots are designed using an RNG system (random number generator), you cannot predict when the next set of winning symbols are going to appear, or where they are going to turn up on the reels. It is entirely random, as the name of the system suggests, and therefore it is impossible to play using any kind of ‘cheat’ system.
It is possible, however, to gain more of an edge when you play starburst slots by understanding the maths and the statistics involved. Let’s look more closely at this idea.
As mentioned above, an RNG (random number generator) system is put in place when it comes to slots; it’s how they work and it’s what makes them exciting and, ultimately, unpredictable. It’s also what makes them technically impossible to predict one way or another – it doesn’t matter when you play, how long you play for, or how much money you spend; you’ll either win or lose depending on the algorithms and chance, and nothing more.
RNGs work by using mathematical formulas. Every time the play button is pressed, the maths is done and each symbol is given a number. Where the symbol falls depends on the results of the equations carried out by the slot, and these are, of course, randomly generated. In some cases this will result in a winning combination. Most of the time, however, it won’t, and the symbols will either give you nothing at all, or a very small amount of money.
Although it is not possible to predict the way the symbols are going to fall, it is possible to understand the probabilities of getting a winning combination, and that can be the next best thing.
To begin with, you need to know what the probability is of winning on whichever online slot or land based slot machine you are thinking of playing. You also need to know what the pay out is if the winning combination of symbols is triggered. This piece of information should be easily found in the game’s pay table (a legal requirement that must be available to all players). The first part of the equation is a little more tricky to work out, but there is a way it can be done.
Start with the number of reels the game has, and then multiply that number by the number of symbols on each reel, and also by the number of stops on each reel. If you have three reels and they contain five symbols each, the sum would be 5x5x5, which is 125. That means that there are 125 different ways to win. After this, you will want to know how likely it is that you are going to win – that is, what the probability of you winning will be. To do this, you need to know what a winning combination looks like, and go from there. So on a three reel game, if you will win if three specific symbols are lined up, and there is only one of these symbols on each reel, you would do 1/5×1/5×1/5 which is 0.008 and that is your percentage chance of winning.
So you know how to work out the statistics of you winning, but is this really possible in practice? On some games it is. The older games that have smaller numbers of reels and therefore smaller numbers of winning combinations can be worked out with relative ease. The newer games with many reels and dozens on different combinations will take a long time and be very complicated, and not really give you much help even if you do determine an answer.