Are Slot Machines Rigged or Not – How to Know for Sure?
Last Updated: May 5, 2022
If you’re wondering are casino machines rigged, how to determine if they are, and how to avoid such games, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions slot machine players have. So, to learn the truth about how slots work and how casinos rig them, make sure to read until the end!
Are Slot Machines Rigged?
To answer this question right off the bat, no, slot machines aren’t rigged. That is, if you play them at a reputable land-based or online casino.
Licensed and regulated gambling businesses can’t afford to fix slot machines because they could face severe sanctions.
If a casino gets caught rigging slot machines, they would have to pay hefty fines and could even be booted out of the business.
So, why are most slot machine players going broke and only a fraction of them experiencing profits when playing slot machines?
With such a situation, it’s easy to think that slot machines are rigged and blame the industry for fixing the games against you.
While there’s no denying that there are more losing slots players than winning ones, this doesn’t mean that a slot game is fixed.
This is simply the nature of the gambling business. Every slot is programmed to pay out a little less than what the players put into it over time. This is how casinos make their profits.
Additionally, the truth is that many factors determine how much money a particular slot machine will pay out. Moreover, all of these factors affect the game in the long run and are nearly impossible for an average slot player to notice.
In other words, if a slot machine doesn’t pay out big amounts for a couple of sessions, it doesn’t mean that it’s rigged.
The Danger of Rigged Slot Machines
Making sure you play at a trusted casino is not that challenging, especially when you know everything we’ll cover in this article.
Still, it’s important to acknowledge the potential dangers of playing rigged slot machines. This can primarily happen to you if you play at an unlicensed or unreputable online casino.
By doing so, you’re most likely setting yourself up for an unpleasant experience.
Firstly, you’ll experience issues with the game’s RNG and find that slot machines pay next to nothing compared to what you’re putting in.
Additionally, you’ll have a tough time finding transparent terms and conditions, especially when it comes to the slot game itself and the bonuses available to casino customers.
Lastly, you’re also potentially putting your personal information at risk, as it could be stolen or sold to the highest bidder.
Ultimately, all of these negatives can cause you to form a poor opinion about gambling in general and put you away from playing all slots, even though many of them are entirely fair and worth playing.
Important Slot Features You Should Know
Keeping in mind what we’ve discussed in the previous section, there are several key aspects that will play a role in determining how much a slot machine will pay out.
To help you understand all of them, we will go over all of the important things that make every slot machine. Here are some key aspects of how slot machines work:
RNG (Random Number Generator) is one of the essential factors that actually make slot games fairer and less prone to being rigged.
In simple terms, RNG software is the brains of every slot machine. It powers the microchip inside the slot machine, generating random numbers for every spin that the player makes.
RNG software generates thousands of possible number combinations every millisecond and produces values ranging up to several billion numbers. They then translate these values and assign the randomly generated numbers to the specific symbols on the reels.
As long as the slot machine is running, the RNG software is generating combinations with each passing second.
Once you spin the reels, the RNG produces a number and determines the outcome of the spin. So, no outcome can be predicted, and previous results have no influence on future spins.
Of course, you could argue that this isn’t completely random and that casinos still have room for manipulation as the numbers are finite and could be predicted.
However, the mathematical principles on which RNG software works are too advanced, making this software as close to random as possible.
If anything, modern RNG software makes it significantly more challenging for anyone to rig a slot machine nowadays.
In the past, each reel had a designated symbol, so it was easier to rig games back then than it is now.
RTP and House Edge
Besides the RNG as the main software that pulls everything together and makes slot machines fair and random, there are two slot features that directly impact how much money a slot machine pays over time.
These are the RTP and house edge percentages, which work complementary and are tied to each other.
RTP (Return to Player) percentages reflect how much a slot machine pays out on average, a number that’s always lower than 100%.
For instance, let’s say that you’re playing a slot machine with an RTP of 96%. Such a slot will pay back $96 for every $100 you put in it on average.
In line with that, the house edge is the opposite of the RTP. Assuming that the slot’s RTP is 96%, the house edge is 4%.
This means that the casino takes $4 over time for every $100 you bet. This is how the casino earns money and why there’s a saying that “the house always wins”.
With all of this in mind, we have to stress that you shouldn’t take these numbers as a given and expect to win back exactly how much the slot machine’s RTP states.
This is because these numbers are calculated as averages produced by millions of spins over the course of months.
So, even though the RTP percentages might seem favorable for the slot, you could still end up losing all of the money for your session.
The only time in which you can rely on these numbers is if you stick to one slot for months or years. Even then, other players betting on the same game could impact your overall long-term RTP percentage.
While the aspects we’ve talked about above are fairly common even among casual slot machine players, slot machine volatility isn’t something many slot players are familiar with.
This is unfortunate, as it’s one of the biggest reasons people think slot machines are rigged.
The volatility of a slot shows how risky it is to play and how quickly it can eat up your bankroll. In this sense, there are two main types of slot machines, those with low volatility and those with high volatility.
Slots with low volatility aren’t very risky. They pay out smaller amounts but fairly regularly. The main jackpot isn’t life-changing, making these slots great for casual slots players who just want to have fun and not risk overspending.
In comparison, slots with high volatility are far riskier and pay out less frequently. But, when you land a win, the amounts are generally much more rewarding.
This is why high-volatility slots are better for more experienced gamblers with a better betting bankroll.
So, to avoid falling into the wrong mindset of thinking that the slot is rigged, it’s crucial not only to know the game’s RTP, house edge, and how the RNG works but also to understand the slot’s volatility.
Lastly, when talking about important slots features, we should also go over hit frequency, an often misunderstood element of slot games.
Simply put, the hit frequency of a slot game measures the percentage of wins that will offer a payout. Like RTP, this percentage is measured over a large-scale sample.
For instance, if you look at a million spins on a slot machine and determine that 250,000 of them have produced some type of profit, the slot machine has a hit frequency of 25%.
That said, the game’s hit frequency isn’t necessarily tied to its payback percentages. Instead, you could tie it more with the slot’s volatility.
As an example, let’s say that a slot machine has low volatility. It will naturally have a bigger hit frequency, as low volatility slots pay out more often, so a larger percentage of all spins will be winning.
Oppositely, if the hit frequency is low, the percentage indicates that the slot has high volatility.
How to Make Sure You Win More Playing Slots
With everything we’ve discussed so far, you now know the essential aspects that make up every modern slot game, the importance of choosing the right slot, and the dangers of playing rigged slot machines.
With that in mind, let’s go into some practical tips on how to give yourself the best winning chances when playing slots. Here are the best ways to make sure you win more when playing slots:
- Check the Slot’s RTP – This is very easy and straightforward to do when playing online, but you can do so for land-based casino games as well. RTP is the first thing you should check before going down the list and verifying other aspects.
- Test The Slot’s Volatility – After determining the slot’s RTP, you should also find out its volatility. This is a major trait to check, as you need to make sure that you pick the right volatility for your bankroll.
- Don’t Play the Popular Slots – Whether you’re playing online or in a land-based venue, avoid betting on the highlighted slot games that the casino puts in the foreground. Instead, pick less-known games, as they often have better RTP percentages and hit frequency.
- Take Advantage of Bonus Offers – This tip applies primarily to online casino players and is a great way to gain additional value when playing slots. Free spins and bonus money can help boost your bankroll. Just make sure to read the bonus terms and conditions.
Key Takeaways – Are Slots Rigged?
To conclude this detailed guide on slot machines, rigged slot machines really exist and pose a potential risk.
And, playing a rigged slot machine will almost always result in you spending your entire bankroll without getting anything to show for it.
That said, while the casino always has the house edge on its side, rigging slots is not as common as many players think.
Moreover, if you play at a casino that adheres to all of the gambling regulations and has the right licenses, you’ll never come across a rigged slot machine.
Plus, with the knowledge and tips we’ve shared on this page, you should have no problem staying safe, playing legit slots, and potentially winning significant amounts of money. Best of luck!