Does enabling Autoplay on online slots increase the chances of winning?

Does enabling Autoplay on online slots increase the chances of winning


The auto-play function is a contentious topic within the online slots world especially since the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) prohibited the use of autoplay in slots as part of their overhaul of gambling legislation in 2021. But what exactly are slots with autoplay, and are there benefits for players to include slot auto-play features within games? In today’s article, we aim to take a closer look at the big issue, so keep on reading to learn more.

What is the autoplay function?

The autoplay slot function used to be the staple of most slot games in the UK, and still is in other regions. The autoplay feature allows players to set the reels to automatically play several games, (mainly including slots but it can also be seen in some table games), without them needing to click the spin button.

The autoplay feature usually consists of a predetermined number of spins during which the player must choose their wager size, though some autoplay slots will continue to spin until deactivated (this is becoming a rarity, thankfully). Most autoplay features allow players to configure win and loss limit restrictions in line with the aim of encouraging safer gambling practices. The autoplay feature can also be stopped at any time by the player; such as if the event of a bonus feature triggers; regardless of how many more spins were preset to play.

As mentioned, autoplay is a very diverse topic, and divergent opinions exist regarding how autoplay alters player behaviour.



Advantage of Autoplay in Slots

There is, of course, evidence of the advantages of autoplay in slot games, otherwise they would not have been incorporated into nearly every slot game. Let’s take a closer look at these:

Convenience

Online casino game developers are always looking for ways to improve the gameplay experience, and autoplay more than meets this goal. Not every online slot player is glued to their screen; there are moments when you just want to kick back and watch the reels spin. Players do not miss out on online slot action because autoplay doesn't alter the gameplay or the result. It can also still activate bonus features.

Many larger bankroll players would much rather have their spins activated automatically than have to repeatedly push the spin button hundreds of times in quick succession. Autoplay is also convenient for mobile players who may be gaming on the go. PC-savvy players two a dual monitor set-up can also enjoy watching their spins playthrough on one monitor, while gaming or watching a video on the other.

Time-saving

It is a simple fact of modern life that everything is moving faster and faster and time is at a premium. While online slot games should only be played as a fun hobby and not a money-making activity, not everyone has endless time to spend spinning reels. The time you may save by having the spins start automatically and not having to click and wait for each spin is one of the most useful aspects of autoplay.

The autoplay feature decreases the downtime between spins so it will not waste any of your precious gaming time by starting the next spin as soon as the previous one is finished. They say time is money, so for the fans of autoplay, reduced downtime saves the proverbial pennies.

Multiple Configuration Options

You can select from a variety of variables that will dictate how the autoplay feature plays out your spins, depending on the game you are playing. Most games let you adjust how many spins the autoplay may perform, as well as the bet level, but some have more complex mechanics.

Certain autoplay options let you adjust the game's speed, set win and loss caps, and even halt playback if you trigger a bonus feature or a jackpot. A player can more easily and conveniently manage their bankroll without needing to take an active role in play thanks to the freedom and control offered by most autoplay options.


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Disadvantage of Autoplay in Slots

Autoplay in slot games is not without its downsides, which is why the UKGC decided to act so impactfully in their 2021 legislation reform. Some of the downsides of autoplay in slots to consider are explored below.

Less Fun

Many players believe that the simple joy of spinning the reels and watching in executed anticipation for them to stop is the part; which largely contributes to the appeal of traditional fruit machine-style games. These players feel that though the autoplay feature is practical from convenience and time-saving angles, it takes away from the excitement of seeing what will happen with each spin, and can therefore lead to a dull, understimulating, gaming experience.

This in turn makes players feel like they are not participating in the games at all. As a whole, outside of bonus features, slot machines already do not require much input from the player. Many players are looking for games that immerse them in a good story and entertain them with innovative bonus features, and autoplay can only serve to distance them from this experience.

No control over bet sizing

Algorithms underpin almost all the technology we engage with these days, and for online gamers, probably the most recognisable algorithm is the random generation (RNG) behind the random outcomes and fairness of online casino games. The slot autoplay function is another such algorithm, and these have come on leaps and bounds in terms of their capability in recent years, but still, it is not perfect.

One of the biggest drawbacks of autoplay is its strict limitations. The function cannot respond to gameplay outcomes and alter wager sizes accordingly and instead will automatically spin the reels at a single flat betting amount decided by the player. This limit on the flexibility of bet sizes can influence a variety of additional elements that players may want to take advantage of, such as more paylines and bigger multipliers.

High risk of Overspending and Losing Big (Irresponsible Gambling Practices)

The greatest reason why the UKGC prohibited the use of autoplay for UK players was concerns that the function made it all too easy for players to slip into irresponsible gambling practices. While some real money online slots allow you to set win and loss limits for autoplay, not all of them do, and this could be problematic if you become distracted and end up letting the machine auto-spin for longer than intended. You could end up emptying your account of funds, all because the postman wanted a chat, or you got lost down a YouTube rabbit hole.

This is where the benefit of additional features such as reduced autoplay quantities and win and loss limits show their importance. More recent autoplay development includes auto stop when certain pre-set conditions are met; such as when a bonus feature is triggered. This gives players the benefit of having the algorithm play the base game spins but gives the player control during bonus features.

However, the concern about changing habits still remains. Playing games at a faster rate can make it easier to get caught up in events, overspend, or make rash decisions like chasing losses. Being passive when playing distances the player from the action of spinning the reels and the cost connected to it. Players are far more likely to be aware of the number of spins played if they have to click the spin button each time but may underestimate the number of spins they have played when passively watching the machine auto spin, leading to overspending or excessive time playing online casino games.

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Can auto clickers become a replacement for the autoplay feature?

Many UK gamers have turned to auto clickers at virtual casinos as a solution to the removal of autoplay. GS Auto Clicker is one such programme that lets you set up auto-clicking to begin as soon as you hit the F8 key on your keyboard and will continue clicking until the key is pressed again.

Using this auto clicker programme has several drawbacks, firstly, it prevents you from using your computer for other purposes. The auto clicker will click wherever your mouse is on the screen, so you will need to keep your mouse cursor above the slot machine's spin button to experience auto spins.

An auto clicker is simple to install and can give players results similar to those they experienced when autoplay was permitted. However, it is important to emphasise that similar does not mean the same. With an auto clicker, players have none of the safety measures that were implemented into auto-play systems. There are no win or loss limits, and players cannot tell the clicker to play a set amount of spins either. This means players will need to keep a close eye on things or they are at risk of spending far more than they might have intended.

Overall, it feels as though auto clickers are a stopgap which may work for some, but are probably best left alone. Instead, it would be preferable that new, safer, autoplay systems were created that could gain UKGC approval.



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