Ever wondered if slots are fixed?
Slot machines have a reputation for being rigged, and for good reason. In a fair gaming environment, slot machine designers are forced to offer every player the same chance at winning.
The way that we come to believe that one machine is “lucky” and another isn’t has its roots in the casinos of the early 20th century, when it was common practice for slot machine designers to rig their games in order to reap more profit from each play. These days, the practice is known as house-edge manipulation.
The idea is simple – manipulate the game so it has a very small advantage over an equally fair game without any edge. Any way you slice it, this is bad news for players who are trying to win money instead of losing it – after all, playing an unfair game will only result in losing money over time.
What is the house edge?
The house edge is the percentage of a game’s expected profit a player will lose per play. For example, the house edge on a game is the percentage of the $50 bet on a single payline that a player will lose. A game with a 0% house edge would always return $50 for every $50 bet without any loss.
With online casinos, the house edge for a slot game is the return to player (RTP). The high-quality software providers will always publish the RTP for their slot games. There is an average of 95% RTP for online slots which means that the house has a 5% edge. Check out these online slots with no verification.
Scams in casinos
Scams are easy to spot because they’re so incredibly obvious. A scam will feature high-value slot prizes such as a new car or a stay in a five-star hotel. But, before you start cashing out winnings and booking your vacation, take a second to think about this.
If a slot machine was giving away a new car every time you put $10 in the machine’s hopper, someone would be rich off that $10. So, what’s the point? There’s no prize other than the chance to cash out winnings and walk away with the car.
Another scam is the “50% cash back” offer. This is a common practice in online casinos, where you’re told you can earn 50% cash back on your first deposit. While this does sound great, the catch is that you have to play the game and lose the cash back before you get to keep any of your winnings.
So, instead of earning $50 for your $100, you’re only left with $50 to play with.
House edge manipulation in slot machines
House edge manipulation can take many forms and some of them are rather subtle. One of the most common ways that casinos attempt to manipulate the house edge is by shortening the length of each spin.
This way, the payout per reel is much smaller than it would be if the Reel were allowed to complete more spins. Another way to reduce the house edge is by having the RNG software select the symbols in a way that will maximize the number of times the player will hit a “lucky” symbol.
For example, if the RNG is programmed to give a large percentage of the time, say 95%, to the “cherry” symbol, then the game will have a smaller percentage of time given to the “bar” symbol, which also could be “lucky.”
Random Number Generator (RNG) software
More and more, progressive slot machines are being converted to RNG. This means there’s no longer a chance for house edge manipulation, but it also means that there’s no way to know with certainty if you’ve actually won money.
So, is there any way to tell if you’ve won money on a slot machine? Unfortunately, no. There’s no way to tell if you’ve won money on a slot machine other than if you still have the receipt. And, if the casino owner sees you leaving with a receipt in your hand, you could very well be in for a fight.
The only other way to tell if you’ve won money on a slot machine is by taking note of how much the machine was betting when you hit the big jackpot. If the machine was betting $5 or $10 per spin, and you hit $10,000 on the first spin, there’s a 99% chance that it was the machine’s intention for you to hit that. If the machine was betting $5 or $10, there’s a 99% chance that you hit that money.
House edge manipulation is a serious issue in the world of slot machines. While the practice is more prevalent in traditional casinos, it’s nearly non-existent in online gaming. And, while there’s no way to tell for sure if you’ve won money at a slot machine, there are some signs you should look out for.
First and foremost, if you win more than you lose at a slot machine, you’ve won money. If you find yourself watching the same machine day after day, but never hitting the jackpot, something is not right.
And, if a slot machine is betting $5 or $10 per spin, you’ve likely hit the jackpot. This means you have the chance to cash out winnings and walk away with some cash. It’s important to take note of how much the machine was betting before hitting the jackpot.