Did slots used to pay?


Full Member
Aug 13, 2015
I've been thinking, everyone talks now about how much slots rip our balances, a lot of negativity etc. But was it really different in the past? I can remember losing thousands on the classic microgaming slots, playtech, some random ones on old bingo sites. I recall this one slot called sands of fortune I think it was, you could play £9 a spin, the bonus would turn up every 3 spins and pay you 10p! Anyway, is it really that different now? Or do we just have a bigger range of providers with higher theoretical wins?


Ueber Meister
Jan 8, 2014
glasgow scotland
Many will tell you how wonderful it was in the past.

But like Jono etc. i have been playing online for like 20 years.

And to be honest since i do not play all the Mega HV slots i find i do about the same these days as i did 10 years ago,

You hear all the time how sessions always lasted for ages and how many great wins we had years ago.

Yet how many people made a fortune in those days and are well off today because of it.

One difference years ago were you could get huge bonuses with next to no wagering. Also so many offers it was unbelievable and they all helped give longer play sessions and withdrawals.

But for me personally i spent way more online years back than i do now.

I still make small deposits these days and still make withdrawals. But i am not greedy . I am happy to deposit £20 and withdraw £60 after playing a while.

Yes with the HV slots these days deposits can be gone in no time. But people seem to forget in old days it was the same.

One of my worst sessions was on Dolphin Tale which wasn't even greatest of slots. Think playing on minimum bets i managed to Blow about £400 i could not afford. Started upping stakes and kept losing and depositing money i could not afford till i was down about a Grand which shows how dead slots could be back then. That time i hit lucky and got few bonuses in end at the higher stakes and ended in profit which i badly needed to do.

Also my favourite slot LOTR'S original version i had many stinking sessions on. Remember depositing few hundred pound on it at 20p stakes and losing the lot without one single bonus. Literally thousands of spins without hitting free spins once.

And as i was more stupid back then with more money i had many stinking sessions. But also had many good sessions so overall i would say i at least broke even in the end thanks to a few big wins on small deposits.

Point being that i think people have selective memories or played less back in the day. As believe me slots could play as bad then as they do now.

Only thing is these days i have sense. Would never chase bonuses like i did 20 years ago. Might still deposit somewhere every day normally bookies sites for sports and slots. But no longer make deposit after deposit to chase slots. If i don't win thats it these days.

Others will say what i just typed is crap and slots were totally different years back. But personally i remember how many bad sessions i had way back then.

But like i said these days far less money. But i deposit less now and don't spend money i should not anymore. I have also had plenty withdrawals last couple of years but then again i am happy to play for while and leave with small profit. Done are the days when i would be thinking i wanted to win thousands.

Maybe old age has gave me sense. Actually got spare money at moment that i would normally gamble. Birthday tomorrow and normally i would play slots but only deposit i will make is at WH for sports and if i have money left will play slots if not won't deposit for them .

That might make it sound like i am not depositing because i know slots will eat money fast. Not the case just fact that last few weeks idea of wasting money is not important. Till i get a major hospital appointment sorted next week i am just using sense and not wasting money i might need badly in a few weeks. Like i said i have got more sensible as years go by.

But like i said slots could be and were brutal years ago as well. But thing that does not help these days is there are so many slots and providers. Everyone prefers the newer slots with all the fancy effects more. Myself included as just typing this has reminded me i have not even played one of my luckier and favourite slots Fat Lady Sings in years. Also several other slots i loved so much i have not saw in ages.


Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Feb 14, 2007
It used to be great back in the day. There were more bonuses and incentives to play. You could choose from a vast array of Free Spin offers or deposit bonuses with pretty decent requirements. The offers would roll in daily and greatly increased playtime for a lot of players.

It all started changing when syndicates targeted bonus offers. They were transferring funds between neteller / skrill accounts and using the welcome bonus or daily offers multiple times. The industry hit back hard and starting reducing offers and also excluded genuine players from using E-Wallets.

Bonus abuse was (and still is) so rife that entire countries were being excluded from most offers.

The landscape also shifted to a more 'High Variance' model and players were always chasing that Mega Win. People were no longer content with small wins, but most chased the large to impossible hits.

Gimmicks like MegaNoPays started to appear and literally obliterated balances in an instant. Every software provider wanted a piece of the Megaways hype - much because they are money gobblers. I once was told by a Casino manager that NetEnt was 'No Good' as they always made very little money from it. The Megaways slots were described as 'Cash Cows'.

It didn't stop there - providers started creating more and more games and offered casinos the ability to vastly reduce the RTP. Naturally, this had a direct influence on play time.

The market also became very saturated - mainly because of places like Jumpman / NekTan / Aspire Global / Direx NV chucking out a new casino every second day. This lead to players being less loyal and spending their money chasing new welcome offers. The older places lost a lot of business and couldn't really afford to give out many bonuses.

Lastly, regulation has also had a fundamental impact on the industry as a whole. Taxes and fines also reduced the ability of casinos to operate optimally. Some markets like Australia and the USA shut down completely, killing massive revenue streams.

All of these factors coupled together actually give you and idea of why we end with up less game time, lower payouts and almost no bonuses ...



Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
May 22, 2012
the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
Slots were just as shit then as they are now. Today, you just have a far bigger selection of shit to lose your 4p in the Pound on. With the tendency toward higher volatility, where players believe they have a chance of winning big amounts previously only attainable by staking high on mid-variance games, you see players staking lower in order to catch these wins. They are rare though, so we end up with us lot beefing about deposits not lasting 15 minutes and 2,346,897 spins without a bonus and £27,850 lost on 20p stakes or something.

Too many of us chasing the 'Hollywood Hit' and then ending up with Halewood.

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