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Mathematical Expectation And Dispersion In The Slots

Slots are the favorite games of millions of players. Still, few gamblers think about how a slot works and pays out winnings. Dispersion and mathematical expectation (payout percentage) are the two key characteristics of any fruit machine that directly affect its payouts. Dispersion indicates the extent to which a parameter deviates from its mathematical expectation. The lower the dispersion, the better for the player.

Payback percentage and dispersion in free slot play

Payback percentage is easier to understand. In the long term, modern fruit machines return about 96-98% of all bets. Dispersion is a more complicated parameter. The bad news is that software producers and gaming websites do not provide information on dispersion to the public.

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Why is it so important to know a game’s dispersion even if you already know its payback percentage?

Dispersion: case study

Let’s take a simple example. Suppose, there is a reliable and trustworthy online casino whose integrity is beyond any doubt. The casino has Slot A and Slot B. Both games feature a 98% payback percentage. Slot A pays out small but frequent winnings, making one happy client after another. Slot B is greedy for rewards, and its only client has gambled away all his money and won almost nothing. Deeply disappointed, he plays the last coin – and suddenly wins big! We bet that many of you have found themselves in a situation like this.

With its small yet frequent rewards, Slot A has a low dispersion. Slot B features high dispersion, only rewarding the most patient players. Both machines return 98% of stakes. Speaking of Slot B, the first client could’ve left with nothing while the next player would’ve snatched a jackpot on his very first bet. We hope that now you understand the importance of dispersion for your purse.

How to figure out dispersion and choose generous free play slots

As we already said, there is no accurate information on dispersion. A fruit machine can have low, medium or high dispersion. How to find out which one you’re dealing with?

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Take a look at the paytable. Games with payouts below х5000 have a low dispersion. Medium-dispersion games feature up to х10000 payouts, while high-dispersion ones reward the most persistent players with more than х10000 payouts. Bear in mind that all progressive fruit machines have high dispersion.

A Wild symbol is a sure sign that a game has a low or medium dispersion.

If a combination from three or four matching icons pays lower than five symbols, the dispersion must be high.

To find out a dispersion, you can start free play slots in a demo mode and see how often it generates high-paying combination and how much fake money you win/lose over a specific period. The bad news is that demo versions sometimes use a different random number generator than their real-money counterparts.

Anyway, our advice is to analyze the key parameters and choose wisely. At the same time, if you’re hunting for a progressive jackpot, you have no other choice but to play high-dispersion fruit machines.

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