What Is A Prize Pool In Online Slots At Canadian Online Casino And How Is It Formed?

Updated: December 22, 2023

In this article, we will take a closer look at the slots prize pool (winning fund). How it is composed? Why it is important and what is the definition of a big win?

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What Is A Prize Pool In Online Slots At Canadian Online Casino And How Is It Formed?You should realize that if you are a Player N:1 at a new Casino – even if the software built into the slot machine says – Win up to 5000x the total bet – that would not be possible.

Think of the regular Lottery. Kiosks on every corner collect money from participants and hand out tickets for a while (usually a week) and once during that period (usually on a Saturday) there is a draw. You understand – the pot from which the winners will receive their winnings has to be collected first.

It is similar to offline (land-based) and online slot machines. The winning pot – prize pool must first be collected before anyone can win a significant amount. Only we don’t have opening and closing times here – but everyone is free to join the game whenever they want. The software keeps track of the reward fund status.

Thus, keep in mind that if the Canadian online casino is new, the prize pool will be empty, so you don’t stand a chance of a big payout. This is because the reward fund of the new casino must first be filled, before 90% – 95% of the money raised is distributed.

In this review, we will try to shed light on one of the most baffling and often misunderstood ideas when it comes to playing slots.

How and where is one big profit formed?

It is recommended for all players who wish to increase their chances of winning to read about and consider the following elements:

  • RNG (Random Number Generator),
  • RTP (return to player percentage)
  • Volatility (Variance),
  • Cycle Length and
  • Prize Pool

Check also our list of Canadian online casinos with no verification withdrawal.

Drop in the bucket and Pyramid principle

Drop in the bucketAt the online casino, all slots are using the pyramid principle when filling the prize pools. And the reason for that is that most players don’t place high bets (but rather small/medium bets). So it is difficult and lengthy for the casino pool to get full (small drops in a big bucket concept) with small bets. Plus, the casino takes a percentage of the bets made on the lower levels. Logically, the more players actively busy betting in one casino, the faster the reward fund will be accumulated, hence the faster a Big Win could be won.

pyramid principle of a common lotteryThe 2 main factors that “determine” whether you win or not are the slots’ randomness and the volume of the prize pool. Most people consider a big win when they receive a payment of 200x or more of the total bet (i.e. if you bet 10 CAD, the 200x win is 2000 CAD). However, there is another group of players for whom only 2000x+ wins matter. So you see – although different players use different bets and have different expectations, the prize pool should apply to these different groups.

Therefore the reward fund can be compared also with the pyramid principle of a common lottery, where the arrangement implies that:

  • The participant must pay a joining fee;
  • He is then motivated to believe – he will receive the joining fees (or part of them) of other participants;
  • And eventually, he will receive an amount that is higher than his own entry fee and even more (i.e. jackpot).

The casinos’ schemes have the same relevant features (of pyramid accumulating products), only the casino players are divided into 3 groups depending on the size of their bets.

Each group has its prize pool (jackpot).

The prize pool compared with the lottery

Pool N: 1

  • As usual, the cheapest tickets in the lottery are those that cost between 10 cents and 10 CAD.
  • For the purpose of our comparison, we equalize them to slot bets also between 10 cents and 10 CAD.
  • The largest crowd of players naturally plays with these small bets, i.e. the reward fund of this group is filled very fast.
  • The possibilities to trigger a Big Win are higher on such bets.
  • But of course, the final amount will be not gigantic as it is multiplied by the small stake.
  • As far as we know, this group is collecting around 10% of the money to fill the prize pools on the higher levels, and this percentage will be used for Big Wins on bigger bets.
  • Inside this group is also the division of bonus hunters (playing money granted to them by the casino, but still money). The flock of Bonus Hunters is big, and this is another reason why Pool N: 1 is filling rapidly.

Pool N: 2

  • The medium bets in a casino, like lottery tickets of this size, have an average value of 10 CAD to 50 CAD.
  • Playing with such bets might need a better wallet, but in our opinion, this is a much more profitable group to play than the previous one.
  • Because this group is not that populated, there are not that many gamblers in the “draw”, so playing here will give you a higher chance of a Big Win.
  • We believe that a crucial factor for the payouts is the statistic (history) that the specific player and other players in this group have.
  • Custom casino software will consider all the details before making a payment combination for a huge win (such as deposits, average withdrawals, wagering, etc.)

Pool N: 3

  • The highest bets in a casino, like most expensive lottery tickets (from 50 CAD up to maximum), are used by a very limited group of players. Playing often with such high bets will classify you as a high-roller.
  • Certainly, this group jiggles with the greatest risk, as playing with such bets can be the most profitable or unprofitable at the same time.
  • Again, the custom software will examine every detail that reflects on handing out a Big Win: gambler’s stats (history), the current status of the pool and the active number of players in this very narrow group (not so many players).
  • In this group, the Big Win can be called a “life-changing prize” as the money that can be distributed here, parallel with risky play with such bets, is of gigantic size.

A casino budget lesson

Big Win - Full Prize Pool at FastPay CasinoAll Canadian online casinos have monthly costs to pay:

  • for (government) taxes;
  • for (software) licenses;
  • for (bank) payment systems fees;
  • for royalties, partners (affiliates) commissions;
  • for salaries (employees & support teams);
  • for additional marketing, insurance, and so on.

Roughly speaking, 70% of the casino revenue goes for expenses, and 30 % remains as earnings for the casino. From this 30% still, the casino has to put aside capital to spend on players’ current payouts. What is leftover should be used to create a pool for future winnings? I.e. one very minuscular part of the money deposited by the players is hypothetically used to shape up the prize pool.

To pay the players, need to cut funds from their own casino earnings. Gradually this small amount goes misspent or embezzled. The scammer’s trick is to cheat you at once, and the license guarantees a long-term scamming process. All this demonstrates that there is no randomness over the player’s pool.

What is the prize pool?

We all have the notion about some scamming Canadian online casinos operating on preplanned software scripts. While this practice is used by nearly 100% of offline (land-based) casinos, it is also not unheard of in the online segment. Such operators have created several different plots by adjusting the slots’ RTP.

Meanwhile, the trusted online casinos are functioning objective, fair, and unbiased, having no entry into the game settings. The game software is located at the controlling panel directly on the network company`s servers (or distribution platform).

Explained in a nutshell – players winning in a scamming scenario casino hinges on the casino manager’s greed (the one “calibrating” the RTP), which customarily is between 30 and 70%.

Each Canadian online casino has its own prize pool. For example, if you play in a new club where not many other players are active, you will not have the opportunity to win an amount much higher than your starting balance. At best (if you selected a bet from the calculation of 200+ bets on the balance), you will accumulate your own reward fund and successfully win almost the entire amount of your deposit back. In the worst case, you will run out of money before this moment.

At a fair and certified Canadian online casino, the player can win х100 of the deposit. That will say, by placing a deposit of 100 CAD, the player will be able to win 5k, 10k, or 15k, depending on the casino pool and luck or randomness. But forget for a while about the cheating element, and concentrate on the randomness – then which online operator or which slot you chose is not important.

The prize pool is the sum collected from all players’ bets minus winnings in the current spin. For example, if 100 gamblers bet 1 CAD within that particular spin after 20 CAD has been won, there is a reward fund of 80 CAD left for further winnings.

  • Depending on the selected casino game, from 1% to 10% will be generally returned to the players via periodic wins.
  • For instance, if the slot has an RTP of 96%, in the long run: the slot will pay out 96% of the collected money, and 4% will be the winning for the online casino and the slots provider. (Note that the long run equals billions of spins).
  • The slot will spread from 5% to 90% for winnings from each spin, and the other will fill the prize pool.

Casino Win - Full Prize PoolFor example, again, the slot has 96% RTP:

  1. If 10 players bet 10 CAD each (total of 100 CAD),
  2. The slot pays 50 CAD in the current spin,
  3. Then the slot will move into the pool of 46 CAD, because
  4. 100 CAD – 4% RTP – 50 CAD paid = 46 CAD –  for further winnings.
  • When the prize pool is filled, the slot becomes “Hot,” which is when the Big Wins can really be coming.
  • Regularly (if the slot is popular in Canadian casinos), 1% to 10% of the pool is moved for big wins in the higher stakes segment.

What is the link between slot status, cycle and reward fund?

It takes simple reasoning to grasp that to secure a 100% winning, you must be the only participant in the lottery. If the lottery pool is 100000 CAD and you solely buy all 1 mln tickets, those tickets will sure bring you the 100000. It is another question, however, how much you paid for those 1 mln tickets. You will see that paying for tickets exceeds the winning price.

Recognizing how similarly centralized casino slots operate you should see the link that you will be in a more favourable position if you play in casinos which are more popular (i.e. legions of active users playing at any time of the day/night). They will all be working together with you on filling and replenishing the prize pool.

What is the link between slot status, cycle and prize pool?It is also of significant importance to play in DEMO mode first so that you can identify the slot cyclicality.

In this way you can examine the slot mood at certain bets, taking into consideration the ratio between the winning value and the size of the stakes.

With more time spent testing one slot, you will start understanding the game better and will begin to identify the start/end moments of the cycle, which can enable your maximum win awareness. In this regard, determining whether a slot is Hot/Cold becomes a reward fund-based attribute.

It is elementary to comprehend that each slot is built with a different RTP (return to player percentage). For most online games, this index averages around 95%-96%. Simplifying: we lose 5%-4% of every bet we made. Sometimes the game is in a hot mood, and you may win 1000 CAD in 5 minutes or gain thousands from 100 CAD during a long game session.

Generally speaking, the higher the RTP (even if it is just a theoretical figure, established after a billion simulation spins), the greater the capacity to collect the prize pool, and with that, your chances at a Big Win, regardless of in a short or long session.

At every casino, there are thousands of slots with an RTP higher than 90%, and there is also a complex and seamless fusion of software from different providers. It is believed that each software has its own bank, though there may also be a common pool for all the games at that casino.

The implementation of a special Application Programming Interface (API) defines the interactions between multiple software and helps in allocating the funds among the games. No official data on this matter has ever been published (neither by casinos nor by the distribution platforms), but the claimed RTP can be quite different for each player, i.e. you can get 10%, 70%, 300% and even 1000%. On average, 8 people out of 10 will lose.


The prize pool is where all the money for winnings is collected. The higher the volatility of 1 game, the longer the pool needs to be filled and the longer the wait for a Big Win.

Filling the reward fund can be compared with the lottery system: there are several groups of bets and the prize pool of the lower group is providing a percentage of winnings for the higher group of bets.

When the pool is filled to the max, the slot becomes “Hot”, which is when the slot can hand out a Mega-Big-Win.

And last but not least, the prize pool is different for every Canadian online casino. So, new gambling sites cannot generate big winnings until their pool is filled.

FAQ about What Is A Prize Pool In Online Slots
How do big wins come about at 1 Canadian Online Casino?

Similar to a Lottery scheme of accumulating the prize funds (on a pyramidal structure), the Prize Pool of 1 casino game is amassed by every wager deposited on every spin (as a percentage thereof). The depositors are divided into groups and a big win (depending on the stake) can only be handed out after the pot is full enough.

When I learned how the Prize Pool is amassed, I started to wonder if there is really randomness at slots.

There is no openness about this, neither from the casinos nor from the software developers. We believe that RNG can only act in conjunction with the prize pool. That is, the software will display random results, but only within the range of the currently available prize pool.

Is there a connection between the Prize Pool and the other technical attributes of 1 slot?

Sure. The closest correlation we have established is between the prize pool and the cyclicality of the slots. Each time the pot has been loaded enough - by all bettors (playing with small, medium and large bets), the game has made a sufficient number of spins (many millions and more) and is ready to give a huge win. That will complete the cycle. 1 player claims victory, and a new cycle begins. These transitions are known as the Hot/Cold mood of the slot.

Does a full Prize Pool automatically mean I get a huge win?

Nothing for certain about gambling - every casino game is a game of chance. In addition, a full prize pool determines whether a large amount can be won, but it depends on the slot's ability (maximum exposure) to award a huge amount. You cannot expect to win 1000x the total bet even from a very popular slot if it is only built with a maximum of 400x the bet potential.

Who decides when the Prize Pool of 1 machine is full?

It is a complex mathematical calculation that the software of 1 slot machine performs to confirm when that game is all set for distributing 1 or more large rewards.

My favourite slot is “X”. The same slot is offered in other casinos as well. Do I participate in the Prize Pool of the same slot in the other casino?

No. As a rule, each Canadian Casino has its own Prize Pool for the different games. Exception of this rule are only the Jackpot slots - Local or Network Progressive, where the Pool is accumulated differently.

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