What's Happened to Online Slots

hughdal

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Location
scotland
Been a slot player for best part of 20 years, discovered online slots around 10 years ago. I have some great memories. My £5000 jackpot on a £1 bet, my $3700 on another £1 bet. Chasing bonus's which never hit and chasing other bonus rounds which did hit. I won and lost and enjoyed every moment.

Then, around a year ago the fun ended. Logic tells me it was the reduction in RTP which swept the online slot world and I've tried to adjust to that. I rarely play a slot I haven't researched for the theoretical RTP and the trend is always down. 95% RTP is the norm now and the I've seen some at 93.x%. The obvious result is fewer wins and smaller bonus round. My last 5 bonus rounds wins on a £1 bet have all been under £10. New slot releases can be visually stunning but results are dismal.

My last decent slot win was in Alicante Spain. I played at a bricks and mortar 'casino' in the tourist area. I actually turned 20 Euros in 100 Euros with a bonus round. The attendant I went to to help me cash out. as all the button labels were in Spanish, had never done that before and she'd worked there for 6 months. Reminds me what online slots are like now, we don't know how to win since we never win anymore.

I know there are still some bonus rounds out there, the Casinomeister forum has win posts on a regular basis. My thinking is to go back to the classics like DOA2, at least they have a history of wins. New games are out for me, they are the creation of a greedy provider culture. Nuff said, back to spinning, but not tonight. I don't want to go to bed with another £50 hole in my wallet.

Hughdal
 
A lot of it boils down to slot design; they're just not fun to play, and who wants to work all day and de-stress by playing stressful slots that feel like hard work?

They've lost the charm and engagement needed to keep players wanting to play. A mere decade ago, there were many games that could destroy balances, but by and large, tended to 'give and take', whereas today's slots just focus on attritional, bonus-oriented grinding with little actual value for money.

It's no secret that the decline in RTP has led to led to slot fatigue and a jaded player base, made all the worse with older slots being irreparably altered, whilst classics get strewn to the four winds, never to be seen again. Winner Screenshot used to pepper the forum as many were in on the action, now it's more of a flukey afterthought and ghost town.

But apparently this is the future of slotting (pre-crash), namely, to paraphrase the industry's mantra:

Consume product. Don't ask questions. Get excited for new product :laugh:
 
I am getting disillusioned with crappy low RTP slots, I simply wont play any under 96%.

I have been enjoying some live roulette sessions on the XXXtreme and Red Door versions. 97% RTP and a genuine (all be it still rare) chance of hitting 1000x or more.

I have hit 600x on XXX and 800x on Red Door, and I think I am ahead on both games after many sessions.
 
best slots to play now DOA2 abet of knight`s life by merkur blueprint Napoleon Captain V old playngo and try yoour luck with Tombstone RIP... new slots they getting more skript and controlled by providers on top of their 💩 slots they charger you extra bet
 
It's not only a trend of lower RTP due to regulation and taxation, but also a trend to higher volatility and higher max wins. The fact that people these days share their wins, and there are streamers and things means that being able to publicise huge wins is the go-to marketing strategy. Standard gambling psychology.

'Oh, that person hit it big. Maybe I can too'.

Of course, that high volatility means that it's very few lucky ones hitting the big wins, and all the rest getting slammed harder than they used to, but that doesn't stop all the rest from chasing the lucky ones.
 
The phrase that stuck with me was "suitably rare" - where the monster pays existed they were uncommon but not impossible, partly because of the nature of reel-based slots, but also because designers of the day understood taking too much RTP away from the base game could be problematic.

Fast forward, and really the thing that has changed is intensity:
  • the house edges are bigger - 4-5% is now 6-12%
  • "scratch card" slots that ramp volatility to unhealthy levels - something that would be more structured (natural curve) with a genuine reel-based slot
  • and the number of streamers - particularly fraudulent ones - trying to dopamine-trap people with insane wins that either never happened or happened to someone else (such as the replay boards)
A slot like Immortal Romance - a high variance beast of its day - had almost all of the RTP in 500x or less wins (at an educated guess, 95%+ of the 96.86%) - contrast that with some of the modern offerings where the maximum wins alone could be more than that amount, so by the time you traverse the long tail of monster pays you could be seeing 20% or 30% allocated to sub-100x wins... which makes for a very lumpy slot and very bumpy ride!

Another example in numbers:
  • Avalon 2 (another Microgaming 243-way of yesteryear) - 1 in 2.55 billion spins (4 from 10 billion combinations in the base game) for a full screen worth 8000x
  • Scammin' Jars - contains multiple wins bigger than Avalon 2, from a pool size of 1.3 million scripted results. So each 10kx win is worth nearly 0.8% RTP and there are potentially dozens of them (each dozen is 10% RTP)

A questionable statement, but let's not split hairs, let's call it greed :thumbsup:
96-97% reduced to 95-96% I could perhaps understand as regulation and taxation (most of which is on GGY anyway, we're not Germany), beyond that it feels like greed. Absolutely no way an online slot needs to function at 88-90% when its land-based counterpart functions at 92-94%.
 
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The phrase that stuck with me was "suitably rare" - where the monster pays existed they were uncommon but not impossible, partly because of the nature of reel-based slots, but also because designers of the day understood taking too much RTP away from the base game could be problematic.

Fast forward, and really the thing that has changed is intensity:
  • the house edges are bigger - 4-5% is now 6-12%
  • "scratch card" slots that ramp volatility to unhealthy levels - something that would be more structured (natural curve) with a genuine reel-based slot
  • and the number of streamers - particularly fraudulent ones - trying to dopamine-trap people with insane wins that either never happened or happened to someone else (such as the replay boards)
A slot like Immortal Romance - a high variance beast of its day - had almost all of the RTP in 500x or less wins (at an educated guess, 95%+ of the 96.86%) - contrast that with some of the modern offerings where the maximum wins alone could be more than that amount, so by the time you traverse the long tail of monster pays you could be seeing 20% or 30% allocated to sub-100x wins... which makes for a very lumpy slot and very bumpy ride!

Another example in numbers:
  • Avalon 2 (another Microgaming 243-way of yesteryear) - 1 in 2.55 billion spins (4 from 10 billion combinations in the base game) for a full screen worth 8000x
  • Scammin' Jars - contains multiple wins bigger than Avalon 2, from a pool size of 1.3 million scripted results. So each 10kx win is worth nearly 0.8% RTP and there are potentially dozens of them (each dozen is 10% RTP)


96-97% reduced to 95-96% I could perhaps understand as regulation and taxation (most of which is on GGY anyway, we're not Germany), beyond that it feels like greed. Absolutely no way an online slot needs to function at 88-90% when its land-based counterpart functions at 92-94%.

Game design has definitely taken a turn for the worse, to the detriment of the casual player. Luckily, we still have plenty of older titles to choose from, but many of those have been updated with noticeable differences in gameplay and volatility.

Any suggestion of casinos choosing lower RTP models because of increasing costs belongs in the Rewrite History thread. At the time when it started with Play'n GO and Pragmatic Play leading the charge, casinos were (and still are) booming. Taking industry growth into consideration, the RTP drop was/is all about greed.

p.s. Have I ever mentioned it is a con as well? 🤣 Same title, different payout design?! Another legal wool-pull.
 
A questionable statement, but let's not split hairs, let's call it greed :thumbsup:
Haha, while i'm sure there are some cases where that is true, there are many cases it's actually not. Casino's and operators prefer higher RTP's in many instances because it draws more players and keeps players hooked over a longer period, so overall it results in bigger profits, not lower.

However as taxation has increased cost bases, and regulation has put limits on spending (max stakes, spins per second etc), Casino's can no longer squeeze enough play in to allow the higher profits to materialise. This means they cannot offset the higher cost base so the only option left is to lower RTP to increase profitability on the, now, lessened amount of play that is occurring.

This is why you've seen so many Casinos exiting the heavy regulations, such as the UK. It's no longer profitable. If reducing RTP was about greed, they wouldn't exit those markets, they would stay in them and enjoy their juicy profits.
 
Haha, while i'm sure there are some cases where that is true, there are many cases it's actually not. Casino's and operators prefer higher RTP's in many instances because it draws more players and keeps players hooked over a longer period, so overall it results in bigger profits, not lower.

However as taxation has increased cost bases, and regulation has put limits on spending (max stakes, spins per second etc), Casino's can no longer squeeze enough play in to allow the higher profits to materialise. This means they cannot offset the higher cost base so the only option left is to lower RTP to increase profitability on the, now, lessened amount of play that is occurring.

This is why you've seen so many Casinos exiting the heavy regulations, such as the UK. It's no longer profitable. If reducing RTP was about greed, they wouldn't exit those markets, they would stay in them and enjoy their juicy profits.
We would need to do some serious research to find out for sure, eh :)

Higher RTP does draw more players, more than ever before, and a loyal customer base generates more profit in the long term, but, many reductions came before players started realising, making this point less relevant at the time, as well as before higher taxation and running costs of today.

I get the impression many operations that left the UK market were unfit for business anyway. Not seen many names go that I miss. And many exiting from other areas are most likely in a similar boat. Probably, many didn't like the chance of ludicrous fines under ambiguous legislation. Are the fines relative to how profitable the business is do you know? I get that impression also.

Many of the big names and smaller groups making year-on-year profits are clearly happy to stay. Perhaps it's lowering RTP that has made the difference or, maybe, it's the huge increase in players. I believe it's mostly because of the latter. I also think the boom outweighs the losses from tighter regulation.

From what I saw, this was not a choice made with a loaded gun of spiralling running costs. Many did it because everyone else did and they knew players had no choice. The Kindred FD dived head-first into his new role with a reduction, most likely because there was little or no risk of losing customers when everyone else had already dropped. As a result, they, again, made record profits. I am sure that stroke of genius looks great on his CV. It was a no-brainer for many, I get that.
 
Seems like all slots play like shit nowadays. I started my online slotting journey in 2013. The last couple of years though have been extremely shit. You used to be almost guaranteed to get a bonus/free spin rounds within 100-200 spins, now it may take 500 spins before you get a bonus that pays a fraction of what you've spent.

Also, a lot of the games I really enjoyed playing have vanished completely. Now there's just megaways this and megaways that and a hundred clones of book games.

I'm not even really a big slots guy, probably 70% of my gaming is on video poker.

Then you factor in that most casinos sow you to death if you happen to win something and want to cash out. Meh, maybe it's time to find another hobby.
 
If I had my way, I'd scrap all bonuses (including SUB's), incentives, cash backs, etc. etc etc and simply offer 96%+ slots across the board.
It doesn't have to be either/or... we used to have both, now we have neither. While there's a lot of protesting that RTPs "have" to be cut, there doesn't seem to be a constructive conversation on how much they need to be cut - the big operators are still announcing mammoth profits so it's clearly not as big of a problem as they're protesting... although the burden of bureaucracy will disproportionately impact the smaller operators.
 
It doesn't have to be either/or... we used to have both, now we have neither. While there's a lot of protesting that RTPs "have" to be cut, there doesn't seem to be a constructive conversation on how much they need to be cut - the big operators are still announcing mammoth profits so it's clearly not as big of a problem as they're protesting... although the burden of bureaucracy will disproportionately impact the smaller operators.
Yep, there used to be bonuses with low wagering, decent cashback and all the bells and whistles while RTP's were on high settings.

I'm not smart enough to know what happened, but gaming isn't the same as it was even 5 years ago.
 
Crazy variance and Bonus Buys for me have killed the experience. Kind of glad as it has stopped me even contemplating playing them now. I just hang around waiting for the Curaçao house of cards to fall down!
 
I had a session today, $60 deposit with $0.20 spins. Got only three bonuses:
  • Big Bass Splash - 14x
  • Wild Unicorns - 4x
  • Floating Dragon New Years Festival Megaways Ultra Hold & Win (dragon bonus) - 10x
That’s what’s happened to online slots…
 
holy crap guys! Just had a very good session on Mr Vegas, slots paying like the ole days and playtime! Played 5 hours ish and came out ahead! Have some screenies to post shortly. :)

What a nice feeling to actually get some playing time and have fun and win a bit.

Lends us your time machine will you please. There is no way what you describe happens anymore.
 
Lends us your time machine will you please. There is no way what you describe happens anymore.
haha, tried to do what we were all talking about on here lately, started off small bets, .20-.30 cents, then did get some hits so went to the usual .40-.80 on some slots, then flowers and Danger High Voltage were HOT so went $1 and even up to $3 bets for a short period of time on those but went down quick a couple times too.
 
holy crap guys! Just had a very good session on Mr Vegas, slots paying like the ole days and playtime! Played 5 hours ish and came out ahead! Have some screenies to post shortly. :)

What a nice feeling to actually get some playing time and have fun and win a bit.

I've had nothing but burn on Mr Vegas. I can't win a thing on that site, and not once have I been in profit. Funny that.
 

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