The Ability of Casinos to Influence Winnings in Slot Machines
Casinos and gambling have always been considered shady business, even if they are legal or allowed in certain regions. This leads to people building distrust for these platforms, especially as they tend to lose more than win.
This begs the questions like “Are slot machines rigged?” Even after entering the digital domain of online casinos, we still wonder about the unfair possibilities. So, let’s clear out these doubts.
Let’s Start With Old Practices – How Does a Slot Machine Work?
Before online presence, we had offline casinos that used physical machines. The traditional slot machines first used gears and levers. You had to pull the lever to make the reels spin. The chances of results were still random, depending on the mechanical components inside the machines.
However, players learned to cheat these machines by using techniques like monkey’s paw and light wand. They believed that by timing the pulls, they could easily rig the machines.
Introduction of Modern Technologies
Traditional machines started to receive security tweaks. With time, as we moved into the digital age, we got introduced to RNG (Random Number Generator) and other security measures. These additions prevented the previous cheating methods.
However, there was a doubt that the casinos were rigging the machines. Which could be possible only if the casino wasn’t licensed or regulated. Either way, these digital slot machines were still susceptible to cyber threats, but who would enter a casino and try to hack them, right?
Entering the Online Domain
The next step was online casinos and slots that you could use. But this also begs the question – how does a slot machine work in an online casino? Well, these are ‘software’ developed by credible casino game developers.
Most online slots have algorithms and RNGs working together to provide complex and unpredictable outcomes. These outcomes aren’t known by the casino either, so it is not easy to control them. This led to more fair gameplay.
Influence of the Casino on Slot Machines
There’s no hard proof that casinos have any direct control over the outcome of slot spins and machines. From old-age traditional and physical slot machines to new-age and online slots, everything seems to be fair. However, there are other ways for the Casinos to ensure their profitability and influence the outcome.
- The Designs and Themes. Modern developers can easily come up with unique themes, storylines, and more for the players to be engaged and spend more time in an online casino. As a result, there can be longer play sessions and many enticing features like bonuses, free spins, loyalty programs, etc.
- Payout Percentage. All casinos have a certain payout percentage set up for each individual online slot game they have. Hence, it is important for you to read these payout percentages before joining the game.
- Promotions and Offers. As mentioned above, casinos offer bonuses and other perks to the players to keep them interested in their platform. Sometimes, things like spin bonuses have wagering requirements you must fulfil before you can claim them.
How to Make Sure That Casino Is Not Rigged?
There are regulated casinos available online and offline. Being regulated means there are strict guidelines that they have to follow if they want to be part of the gambling industry. There are many regulatory authorities that work with these casinos to prevent unfair practices. Here are a few things you need to know.
Check for License and Regulation
Make sure the casino is regulated by some well-known gaming authority and has a license. A few of the examples are:
- UK Gambling Commission
- Malta Gambling Authority
- Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
The Random Number Generator (RNG)
Before joining the casino, check if they have certified RNG. In most cases, these casinos will have certifications obtained from well-known regulatory bodies. A few of these are:
- iTech Labs
- Technical Systems Testing (TST)
Public Information Availability
Fair online casinos will always provide information about the payout percentages and any other hidden terms and conditions they might have. The payout reports can be verified independently to build transparency. But remember that each game or online casino will have different payout percentages as long as it is under regulation.
Understanding Slot Machine Odds
Slot machines have odds that act as the probability for the players to win. There are fixed odds, and if the casino is licensed and regulated, it will follow strict guidelines for these odds. Hence, you can expect fair play. Let’s help you understand the different odds that online casinos can have:
- Return to Player Percentage (RTP%). RTP is tricky to understand in short but just think of it as the total percentage of the amount the slot is willing to pay back if the players win. For example, if ten players played on a slot machine and bet $10 each, the total investment was $100. If the RTP of the machine is 95%, then it is willing to return up to $95 to the players over time. And you could be that lucky winner.
- Volatility and Variance. Each online casino will have high volatility and low volatility slots (medium, too). Higher volatility means more risk-to-reward ratio, while lower means less risk and less reward. So, it will depend on each player’s individual preference.
- Hit Frequency. This is often associated with volatility. Hit frequency shows you how often the slot machine will provide a winning outcome. It can be small and frequent wins (higher hit frequency) or large but rare wins (lower hit frequency).
- Slot Combinations. Depending on the theme and the type of slot, each online slot machine will have different winning or rewarding combinations. It isn’t just about three or five in a line any more. You could have diagonal wins and other potential wins, depending on the rules of the slot machine.
The Bottom Line – Is It Possible to Influence Online Slots?
As long as the online casino is associated with the right authorities, it is highly unlikely because you can file a report. However, shady or unknown casinos can easily be rigged. So, make sure to always check for authenticity.
Now you know about things like how a slot machine works, slot machine odds, and even got the answer to the question. The rest is up to you to decide.
But remember, gambling, online or offline, is just a fun activity that you pay for, practicing responsible gambling will bear positive results. You won’t have any issues if you take it as an enthralling game. Don’t let it turn into a way for you to earn money.