A COMMON belief held among a lot of online gamblers is that online casinos rig their slots to only pay out at certain times or to never pay at all. In this article, we are going to explore why the idea that slot machines are rigged is a total myth, explain how online slot works, and much more.
Must know features before playing slot machines
Before you start playing online slot games, there is some essential terminology that you must understand. The following phrases are all important for understanding casino payouts and your winning possibilities.
Random Number Generator (RNG)
Random Number Generators (RNGs) are the algorithms used to determine the outcome of each spin when playing a slot game. These ensure that neither players nor operators have any outcome over the result.
Return to player (RTP)
Return to player, abbreviated as RTP, is one of the most common phrases you will encounter with online slots. The RTP is a theoretical percentage that a slot machine is likely to pay out over an unspecified length of time. For example, if a slot has an RTP of 96% (around average) and you bet £100, you would expect to get around £96 of this back. Of course, this is not an exact science, with the RTP being determined by a huge number of spins.
The house edge describes the advantage that the house has on every spin in an online slot. The easiest way to work out the house edge is to find out the RTP and work out what you need to add to get to 100%. So if the RTP is 96.4%, the house edge is 3.6%.
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The volatility will give players an indication of how often they are likely to win and the size of any potential winnings. Slots that are highly volatile are likely to pay out much less frequently but have higher winning potential, while lower volatility titles will pay more regularly but much smaller. Volatility is often depicted as low/medium/high, but some developers can also give it a number rating.
Hit frequency is a percentage that refers to the number of times a slot will hit a winning combination. For example, if a slot has a hit frequency of 10% and you spin 5,000 times, then around 500 of those spins should serve up a winning combination. Like RTP, this is not an exact science and should not be used as a guarantee you will ever win.
Variance is very similar to volatility. The key difference is that variance describes how a slot breaks up its potential payments in the long run, whereas volatility refers to how often you are likely to get paid out.
📋 What are the signs of a rigged slot machine?
The following are just some signs that a slot machine may be rigged.
- Consistently low payouts compared to the average payout rate: For example, you may be playing a low volatility slot game, and experience wins extremely rarely.
- Predictable patterns in the outcomes: If you start to experience the same symbols and patterns appearing as if the machine is repeating itself.
- Malfunctioning buttons or controls that are unresponsive or faulty: This is one of the most common signs. The game becomes unresponsive or will not allow you to adjust your stake or stop autoplay.
- Lack of transparency from the casino: One major red flag is if a casino does not share information with you or makes it extremely difficult to find. Transparency is essential, and if you do not get it from the casino, go elsewhere.
💡 How to know that slot machines aren’t rigged
The vast majority of online slot games are not rigged and are perfectly safe to play. However, some out there will be, and if you ever have any doubts, then these are the things you should be checking.
Certification of RNGs
You can check the certification of the game’s random number generators to determine whether they are rigged. All slots are tested for fairness, with some also being approved and accredited by more third parties to highlight their fairness.
All online UK casinos must be licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC is one of the strictest regulators in the industry, and, as such, it has extremely watertight regulations around fairness. All casinos in the UK will display their UKGC license, which can usually be found at the bottom of a webpage. If this isn’t the case, we recommend leaving and going to another site.
Trustworthy online casinos
Of course, the first thing you should consider if you think a slot is rigged is the casino you are using to play it. If you do not trust the casino, then you should head elsewhere. There are hundreds of excellent regulated online casinos in the UK, so there is never a reason to stick with one you do not like or trust.
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Responsible gambling features
All online casinos in the UK must provide their users with access to third-party responsible gambling resources. They should also offer access to self-exclusion schemes and other services to help players who feel they are not in control of their gambling.
As well as licensing from the UKGC, many casinos will also seek approval from third-party tests like eCOGRA. This information will also be displayed at the bottom of a casino’s webpage and will let you know that a casino is safe to use.
🎰 Are slot machines rigged? – Myths debunked
The gambling world is full of myths, many of which have been perpetuated by scorned gamblers over the years. Let’s take a look at some of the most online casino myths and debunk them one by one.
Online casinos do not pay winners
While this is a myth, for the most part, there have been cases where casinos and players have entered disputes over payment. However, in these circumstances, players are able to go to the UKGC to raise any issues they might have. In general, though, casinos will always pay out their winners.
Online casino games freeze if you are winning too much
There is zero truth in the idea that a casino game will freeze if you are winning too much. Casino games, just like any other form of game or online entertainment, run the risk of lag or buffering, but nothing suggests it only happens when players are winning.
You can never win with a bonus
Some people have a ‘too good to be true’ attitude with bonuses, and while a little healthy scepticism can be good in the right circumstances, the idea that you can never win with a bonus is misguided. Plenty of online casinos offer generous bonuses for new and existing customers that can help them boost their potential winnings.
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🔎 How do online casinos ensure that their slots are fair and not rigged?
Online casinos use a number of methods to ensure that their slots are running fairly. They work closely with the top developers in the industry to ensure that RNGs are being used correctly, ensuring that each slot game is 100% fair and random.
Why do players think online casinos rigged their slots?
Typically, players become convinced online casinos and slots are rigged when they are on a losing streak. Many players convince themselves that they have found the perfect winning formula, and when this does not deliver as anticipated, they look to find a reason to explain this.
What is the average RTP on slots?
The average RTP on online slots typically sits around the 96% mark. While 95-98% is a figure you will see, this is broad, and any slot that is 97% or above is considered to be above average and is well worth taking for a spin.
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How do slot machine manufacturers ensure that their machines are not rigged?
Slot machine manufacturers use RNGs to ensure that the outcome of every spin is 100% random and that no one can have any impact on the result.
Are there any regulations in place to prevent casinos from rigging slot machines?
Of course! There are loads of regulations in place, which is why you should always use online casinos that the UKGC regulates. The UKGC has a wide range of rules and regulations concerning the fairness of games.
Are there any known cases of casinos rigging slot machines?
There have been a few cases throughout history of casinos rigging slot machines, but these are extremely rare and, in most cases, have taken place in brick-and-mortar casinos. In such a highly regulated market, modern casino scams are almost non-existent.
Is it possible to rig a slot machine in favour of the player?
No. Players can have no influence over the outcome of an online slot game or any other type of game at an online casino. All games are determined by RNGs that can not be tampered with by players or casinos.
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Are online slots rigged?
No. Online slot machines at fully licensed casinos are not rigged in any way. It is not to the casino’s benefit in the UK to rig the machines as their licensing and status among players are fully dependent on them offering a fair and enjoyable service for everyone.
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👉 Why casinos don’t rig their slot machines
While people might think that it is in a casino’s best interests to rig a slot machine, this is far from the case. Casinos would face very serious punishments if they were found to be rigging their machines, and they would also no longer be able to offer their services to customers in the UK.
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About the author
Liam is an experienced iGaming and sports betting journalist based in Cardiff. He has worked in the sports betting industry since 2017 and has provided content for some of the biggest casino and betting brands in the UK. He has also covered football and other sports for both regional and national newspapers.
Find Liam on Twitter: @LiamHoofe
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.
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