Decoding Hit Frequencies: Understanding How Online Slots Pay Out

  • 24 October 2023
Decoding Hit Frequencies: Understanding How Online Slots Pay Out

As any die-hard slot player knows, there are a few key elements that make or break a game: Winning Hit Frequency, Volatility (also known as Variation), and RTP (Return to Player or House Edge). I've noticed, however, that a lot of players often undermine Winning Hit Frequency, focusing more on the other aspects.

Let’s ring the bell and get this match started:

Taking A Closer Look at Hit Frequency

Proceed with vigor as we dive headlong into the world of Hit Frequency and why it matters. You'll get a real feel for how Volatility and RTP (House Edge) weave together with the hit frequency in the intricate dance that is online slot gaming.

Folks, we're covering:

  • Different patterns of Hit Frequency
  • Online slots that shine bright with high hit frequency rates.

What Exactly Is Hit Frequency, Pardner?

In the wild west of online slots, every round played is known as a "spin". You're either hittin' it big or dusting off your britches with a lost spin. The likelihood of you ending up with a winning spin is what we call the Hit Frequency.

Mind this:

"Hit Frequency is all about any win, even if it's small enough to make a mouse laugh. Snag a win on just one line of a multi-payline slot, and it's still a hit. And don’t forget, the Hit Frequency is set by a computer program. You might as well try to rope the wind as figure it out for most slots. Even if the per-line win doesn’t cover your initial bet but triggers a Free Spin or Bonus Game, count it as a hit, because it still offers value.”

What’s The Usual Hit Frequency Out There?

After extensive rambling and gambling, I've determined that around 95% of online slots have a hit frequency of 20-40%.

Here's the lay of the land:

  • High volatility slots*: Roughly 20% hit frequency.
  • Medium volatility slots*: Generally around a 30% hit frequency.
  • Low volatility slots*: Hit frequency can ride high up to 40%.

Now, a hit frequency of 30% hits the sweet spot for many - it's a good balance between the size of wins and how often they hit. Although, you can find online slots with exceptionally low or high hit frequencies, they're like hen's teeth – pretty rare.

The Twisty Turns of Hit Frequency

It can get complicated because this crucial stat only considers whether you win or not. It doesn't give a hoot about the size of the winning. And that's like saying an empty holster is the same as a full one.

Roping in both Volatility and RTP (House Edge), Hit Frequency influences them. As a rule of thumb, slots with Low Hit Frequency tend to have High Volatility, and the ones with High Hit Frequency usually saddle up with Low Volatility.

More frequent wins in online slots are generally not as bountiful. Lots of small wins means less volatility. However, the Hit Frequency doesn't influence RTP, despite what some folks might reckon. You can have all sorts of combinations like High Hit Frequency with High RTP, and Medium Hit Frequency with Low RTP.

Types of Hit Frequencies

There are several types of Hit Frequencies:

  • Most common reference point of Hit Frequency, which is around 20-40%
  • Free Spins feature triggering frequency, which usually doesn't surpass 5% as its a tad harder to lasso this roundup
  • Bonus Game triggering frequency, about 1-5% on average
  • Progressive jackpots hit frequency, higher than any others but chances of winning it are as slim as a fence post in a dust storm.

Chasing Down a Slot's Hit Frequency

Getting a bead on a slot's hit frequency can be as tough as a two dollar steak. Most software providers don't divulge it - it kinda complicates things for them, especially when Volatility already does part of the job.

As a general rule, Low Volatility goes hand in hand with High Hit Frequency (~30-40%), while High Volatility partners up with Low Hit Frequency (~20%).

Low or High Hit Frequency Slots – Which Corral Should You Ride Into?

Remember here, partner, Hit Frequency primarily impacts Volatility. If you like a wild ride with highly volatile slots, you should hitch your wagon to those with a low Hit Frequency. If the less volatile range is more your speed, go for the ones with a high Hit Frequency.

Top of the Crop: Slots with the Highest Hit Frequency

To create this list, I've considered RTP as well. So you could say these here are the best of both worlds – High Hit Frequency and High RTP:

  1. Bloodsuckers by NetEnt. Hit Frequency 41%. RTP 98%
  2. Bloodsuckers 2 by NetEnt. Hit Frequency 40.7%. RTP 96.94%
  3. Gold Factory by Microgaming. Hit Frequency 38.77%. RTP 96.54%
  4. Steam Tower by NetEnt. Hit Frequency 34.3%. RTP 97.04%
  5. Jack Hammer by NetEnt. Hit Frequency 24.91%. RTP 96.96%

Wrapping Up the Reels

Strike a balance in your game and Hit Frequency around 30% might just be your golden ticket. And by the looks of it, most software developers seem to agree, making that an average Hit Frequency. As they say in the Old West: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Author: James Hatbill

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