What is Average Payback?
The average payback is the rate at which a gambling game, usually a slot machine or video poker machine, pays out to the player compared with the profit made by the house on that game. The average is calculated based on all the games in that venue, or on all the gambling machines in a state or nation, depending on the sample size. Game operators often publish their highest average payback rate to entice gamblers to play their slots and electronic betting games. A typical average payback rate for a slot machine is between 90% and 96%.
Average Payback Explained
Every casino game is run with the aim of making a profit for the operator and/or the venue, but games also must be fair and offer the player a chance to win. The chance that a player will receive a payout for a certain outcome is fixed when playing table games of chance like roulette or craps, and in electronic gambling that chance is predetermined by the game’s software, usually using some form of random number generator.
The average payback rate for a game is the player’s return on their play – the amount paid back to the player versus the amount spent. It is usually expressed as a percentage and calculated in terms of every $100 or £100 spent. For example, if a game advertises an average payback rate of 96%, this means the player can expect $96 back for every $100 spent. Of course, this is just an average rate – when scaled up over hundreds of electronic gaming terminals and slot games, the chances of each play being successful are completely random.
Many casinos will publish their average payback rate for players‘ information, though these rates are often based on the best possible payout rate, or on players who opt for higher stakes. Payback figures are also often based on qualifying play which has the chance of opening bonus rounds – chances of winning tend to increase when the number of coins being bet is raised by the player.