What Is Hit Frequency?

Hit frequency is the amount of times you'll hit a winning combination in particular casino games. It's frequently used in slots. While return to player covers the amount of money returned to players over a period of time, hit frequency is all about how often winning combinations will appear.

Hit frequency isn't always given by a casino to players. They don't want you to know what games pay prizes most often. You may need to calculate it on your own. This will give you an idea, but you should remember there will always be some variation between casinos and time frames. You can get an estimate but expect it to change over time.

Calculating the Hit Frequency of a Game

Take the slot machine Dragon Kings Slots . Per its developer, the return to player is 95.2 percent. That means 95.2 percent of the money players bet on the game is returned to players. The time period may be weeks or months. It doesn't mean that you'll win back 95 percent of your bet with each spin.

I set the bet to 5 cents per pay line on all 10 lines. This creates a total wager of 50 cents per spin. Keeping that in mind, here are the results of 10 spins.

  • 1 – No prize
  • 2 – 40 cents
  • 3 – No prize
  • 4 – No prize
  • 5 – No prize
  • 6 – No prize
  • 7 – No prize
  • 8 – No prize
  • 9 – No prize
  • 10 – No prize

Only 1 of the 10 spins led to a prize. This puts the hit frequency at 10 percent. Now lets look at another 10 spins, bringing me to a total of 20 spins.
  • 11 - No prize
  • 12 - No prize
  • 13 - No prize
  • 14 - No prize
  • 15 – 25 cents
  • 16 – 20 cents
  • 17 - No prize
  • 18 - No prize
  • 19 - No prize
  • 20 - No prize

I did slightly better with two winning spins, but it still comes out to just 15 percent for a hit frequency after 20 spins.

Slots Without Jackpots and Bonuses Usually Have a Higher Hit Frequency

Generally, bonus slots have a lower hit frequency that games without bonuses, free spins, and jackpot prizes. Let's look at a game like Lucky 7 Slots . This three-reel game allows you to wager three credits on the single pay line. I stuck with a 5-cent coin value and bet the three credits for a total bet of 15 cents per spin. My results after 20 spins were:

  • 1 – No prize
  • 2 – No prize
  • 3 – No prize
  • 4 – 30 cents
  • 5 – 30 cents
  • 6 – No prize
  • 7 – 30 cents
  • 8 – 30 cents
  • 9 – No prize
  • 10 – No prize
  • 11 - No prize
  • 12 – 30 cents
  • 13 - No prize
  • 14 – 60 cents
  • 15 – No prize
  • 16 – 45 cents
  • 17 – 30 cents
  • 18 - No prize
  • 19 - No prize
  • 20 – 30 cents

Out of the 20 spins, I won a prize 9 times. While the prizes may seem smaller, more hits add up to bigger payouts overall. The hit frequency increased to 35 percent by choosing a classic slot.

Try it out for yourself. Pick a slot game, track 20 spins, divide the number of times you won by the 20 spins. That is the hit frequency. The percentage may change if you pick a bigger target number like 100 or 200 spins, but it gives you an idea of which games lead to winning combinations most often. Those games are your money makers. Play slots with a higher hit frequency and you'll win more cash.