RTP, RNG and Slot paylines guide for dummies

If you’re new and have some doubts when you play slots and you’re wanting to try out some exciting slots online, before you do, it’s good to get to grips with the lingo and understand what different gambling terms mean, so you can focus on having fun and winning money. Some of the most common acronyms that new players aren’t too sure on are RTP and RGN as well as being unsure what a payline is. It can be a little daunting being bombarded with this jargon, so let’s take a look at what these are so you can focus on reeling in prizes! 

What is an RNG? 

The way we play slots has, of course, changed dramatically over the last few decades, with the majority of players now choosing to play slots online on their desktops, tablets and smartphones rather than visiting their local casino and playing on physical slot machines. When slots were first created in the late 1800s, they worked differently as they weren’t powered by electricity – they even had to be wound up in order to work and you would pull the lever to spin the reels. We’ve come a long way since then and technology has vastly improved the gambling industry and now all slots are controlled by an RNG – a random number generator. The RNG was developed to ensure that the slots were as fair as possible and operated in the same was both online and offline in brick and mortar casinos. Online games especially needed a system which, when players pressed the “spin” button, would randomly generate the symbols on the reels.

What is a PRNG? 

So, essentially an RNG is a computer system which randomly generates numbers and displays the results on the screen. You might be thinking, but the symbols aren’t numbers – like the symbols like the ones you will see on slot game screens, like the classic bell symbol or the cherries. These are named pseudo-random number generators which are used in casino mobile slots and each symbol has a number coded into it, so although you won’t see this number it is still a randomly generated number represented by the symbol on the screen. 

The PRNGs are controlled by an algorithm which ensures the game is fair and cannot be manipulated or influenced in any way. The randomness is what makes the RNG effective, as you need the outcome to be unpredictable to ensure that the sequence of the numbers cannot be predicted to any degree of accuracy. After all, this is what makes the game of chance so unique and exciting! Without this random mechanism, the slot industry would collapse and it wouldn’t be much fun for anyone as no one would trust the slots to bet any money. 

This premise of randomness is where gambling was created when early forms of the dice were invented – so simple in its design, but extremely effective when it comes to being impossible for players to predict the way the dice would land. The randomness and the unpredictability are what makes gambling so fun and what allows the industry to thrive.  

Does RNG work the same online as it does offline?  

In online casinos, the outcome of the RNG is visually displayed by graphics such as card symbols or classic fruit machine styles slot games and in video slots, the RNGs can be displayed as high-quality themed graphics. The outcome of each spin is dictated by the RNG algorithm, so they operate in exactly the same way as they do in offline brick and mortar casinos – the only difference is you can play online slots whenever and wherever you are! 

How does the RNG work on other games? 

The random number generator is slightly different when it comes to table games such as the popular table game Blackjack. This is because games like Blackjack rely on cards rather than numbers. Although it is still random so operates in the same way, it instead generates a unique value which then dictates the order the cards are dealt. This means the cards are dealt in a completely random but pre-determined sequence. 

What is RTP?  

RTP stands for “return to player” and is a theoretical percentage that a slot game will payout following a particular number of spins over a prolonged period of time. An RTP is used to show what percentage of a wager will payout over this period of time. What’s most important to know is that the higher the percentage the better it is for players, as this means you are more likely to win! It’s also important to note that different slot games have different RTPs soi make sure you read the game description to find out the RTP before placing your bets. 

What is a Payline? 

A payline is also referred to as a betting line and it is a combination of symbols which make a winning combination. When slots were first created, they only had one payline which was in the middle of the screen and you would win by matching three symbols in a horizontal line. Things have changed considerably since then and now slots come in all shapes and sizes, with far more than one payline. On average, online slots will have around 25 paylines per which can mean huge winnings and are jam-packed with exciting features including bonuses, multipliers and free spins thanks to scatters and wild symbols.  

What is a fixed payline? 

On some slot games, you can choose when paylines to activate, which is common on slots which have a lot of paylines. However, some slot games have fixed paylines which means you are unable to select which ones are activated which means a higher wager will be required to play. The more paylines you play across, the greater your chances are of getting a winning combination.  

Now you understand the jargon and know what RTP, RNG and slot paylines are, you can get on with playing slots, having fun and with any luck winning some prizes!

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