The so-called “penny” slot games have been evolving since they first appeared. The game manufacturers have added more and more pay lines to these games and now they even add more screens to handle more pay lines. Early versions of these games allowed you to choose how many pay lines are active during spins. While this may have seemed like a generous gesture to the players who felt uncomfortable placing bets on 15, 20, or 25 pay lines the reality was that the theoretical return to player was brutally reduced to very low levels.
If you only play 1 out of 25 active pay lines you will almost never win. It’s not the same as playing a single pay line slot game. Players who try to conserve their money by playing fewer pay lines are in fact throwing it away. That is because the games are designed to pay the best percentage when all the pay lines are active.
The multi pay line games often provide better theoretical return to player percentages than the older single pay lines, too. If the pay table shows you an RTP better than 96% your game is approaching Spanish 21, roulette, and blackjack territory.
Slot games may not be your gambling game of choice but most people play them eventually. If you choose more recent slot games that have fixed pay lines (you cannot deactivate them) you can enjoy some quiet time spinning the reels without taking much more risk than if you were playing cards.