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Slot Vocabulary: Dead Spin

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Written by Joshua

When talking slots with other players, you might hear the term dead spin. Unlike a winning spin, where any sort of payout can occur, a dead spin is one where no payouts take place.

This is tied directly to the concept of Hit Frequency, as the percentage of winning spins vs. dead spins is how that is calculated. If a machine has a hit frequency of 50 percent, that means half the spins will be dead spins, or spins with no wins whatsoever. Lower hit frequencies mean a higher proportion of dead spins.

This means different types of games will feature different amounts of dead spins than others. More volatile games will feature a lot more dead spins, but the winning spins will generally be more generous since they’re less frequent. Think a game like Dancing Drums.

At the most extreme volatility, a game series like Awesome Reels or games like Mega Vault will give you a ton of dead spins to make up for the extremely high potential they have for big pays if the right scenario lines up.

Compare that to a game like Quick Hit or Quick Spin, both of which have higher hit frequencies, which mean lower amounts of dead spins. But the winning spins pay less because you get paid more often.

Various slot players have various preferences, and some will have more of a tolerance of dead spins than others. But ultimately dead spins are necessary to balance out the winning spins and ensure a house edge, so they’re largely unavoidable and simply make up part of the complexion of a slot machine.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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