Are slot machines rigged?

One of the biggest worries when you are gambling is whether you are getting a fair deal. We all know that gambling games favour the house or the casino in the long run but we also know that we want to have a realistic chance of winning our money back or even hitting that winning streak or jackpot.

The first thing any player must check before putting money down is whether or not the casino – land-based or online casino – is trusted, offers fair play and, most importantly, is LICENSED. Casinos are big money businesses and they stand to lose a lot more in the long run if they are operating illegally or with crooked practices than if they run a legitimate and transparent operation. But you will always get those people who want to take a chance.

Always, always check that your chosen casino is licensed.

Are slot machines honest?

In legitimate gambling venues and licenced online casinos – yes. Casino have to abide by a regions laws governing how gambling can be offered and how casinos can operate. If they do not, they risk getting their licenses revoked, losing their business and profits and even being pursued by the legal system.

It is in the casinos best interest to ensure that they are offering a fair play arrangement to reward loyal players and to entice new players. If everyone going to a casino loses all the time, they will soon have no customers at all.

This is especially true of slot machines and online slots games. These are the bread and butter of the gambling industry – hugely popular with odds that definitely favour the house.

Do casinos manipulate slot machines?

In the old days a dodgy casino could tamper with the mechanics of a slot machine, loosening or tightening the mechanism for example. In the modern gambling world this is far more difficult seeing as how everything is controlled by software.

One of the most important parts of modern slots, especially in the online casino and online slots games environment, is the Random Number Generator. This is a piece of dedicated computer hardware that controls how and when the reels are stooped. This RNG is not kept by the casino, it is kept by the games developer and the coded sequences are sent to the game each time the spin button is hit.

This makes it almost impossible for the casino to tamper with the outcome.

Which slot machines and games give me the best odds of winning?

Just like it is virtually impossible to rig a slots game for the casino, so it is virtually impossible to predict how a slots game will spin for the player or what the odds on a particular slots game will be.

Slots games are the ultimate example of chance or luck. The RNG is specially designed to ensure there is no ‘memory’ of the previous number and so no patterns can be established. It really is random.

There are ways of making your bankroll last longer or choosing games that have more payouts with lower amounts or bigger amounts with fewer payouts. This is all down to RTP and variance and you can find out more on our ‘How do slot machines work’ page.

The house edge

We’ve all heard the saying “The house always wins”. As far as gambling goes, it is absolutely true. The house or the casino always has an edge. In some games, like blackjack for example; the house edge is quite small and knowing how to play properly can help you come out ahead. In the slots game however this is definitely not the case.

Every slots game is programmed with a certain payout percentage or Return To Player (RTP). Most slots games work around an 85% to 97% RTP. This means that over time the machine or game will pay out 85% to 97% of all the bets that are paid into it. This may seem like a good deal but consider this: with an RTP of 95% (very good for a slots game) a player who plays R100 is almost certain of walking away with R95.

Not a huge loss but not a win either.

So then why are slots so popular?

Because of that chance to hit the jackpot! Slots are literally all about luck. You can spend time on a slots game and have fun, watching your bankroll go up and down, but every slots player knows that there is that little flicker in the mind that us always looking for that big jackpot.