Those who have been playing slots know that they can behave differently depending on the game’s design. One area where this can be the case is around something called Hit Frequency.
Hit Frequency is how often the slot machine pays something. That could be a portion of your bet back, it could be a handpay. Any payout at all constitutes a “Hit.”
Hit Frequency many times ties to slot volatility because lower volatility machines tend to hit more often and pay less per hit, while higher volatility slots tend to hit less often but pay more when they do.
So Hit Frequency can be sometimes a very easy way to tell how volatile a slot machine is. Lots of dead spins, which is a low hit Frequency, can be a pretty good signal you’re playing a higher volatility game. But lots of hits with smaller wins, a high Hit Frequency, can be a good signal you’re playing a lower volatility game.
Hit frequency can range wildly as well. Take the game Hundred or Nothing. It’s $1 per spin and you either win $100… or nothing. Your hit frequency is going to be less than 1 percent given the potential options. $1,000 or Nothing is similar but at a $10 bet level. The games can be found in Las Vegas casinos such as Park MGM, where this picture was originally taken.
But there are games like Quick Spin where it’s quite likely the game has something more around a 40-50 percent hit frequency.
Keep in mind the short term variance means a single playing may not be the best indicator of whether you’re playing a game with a high or low Hit Frequency. Variance can mean few hits on a high volatility game at times, and conversely tons of hits on a low volatility game. But those outliers will get balanced out over time by law of averages. You should have a reasonable idea after a few sessions.
If you’re playing Bingo (Class II) machines, you may actually notice on some games a higher hit frequency than you’re used to on a similar slot machine. That’s because some Bingo systems have a 50 percent hit rate, which can play out very differently on games that are otherwise known as having a lower hit frequency. This isn’t in every case, but you can pretty easily detect a difference when it happens.