When it comes to winning at slots, it’s not just about the odds. The casino has various tools at its disposal to make sure that they win more money than the players at any given time. So, do casinos control who wins on slots?
It turns out that they most certainly do, as almost every aspect of a slot game has been carefully designed to give the house an edge in one way or another. Keep reading to find out more about how casinos use design and technology to control who wins on slots and how you can take back control of your own game!
What do casinos control when it comes to slots?
The first thing to note is that casinos don’t actually control the outcome of every single spin that takes place on their slot machines. If they did, it would be child’s play for them to gain a near-complete control over who wins on slots. However, casinos do have a significant amount of control over many aspects of the games.
They can control the number of coins that can be played per spin, the way payouts are calculated, the volatility of the game, and even the design of the reels themselves. All of these factors combine to give the casino an overall advantage over their players, which is why casinos are so profitable in the first place!
All casinos in the US have to follow the rules laid out by the Nevada Gaming Commission. These rules regulate the way in which casinos can design and operate their slot machines. The easiest way to understand what these rules mean is to see them in action and break down some common design choices that casinos make.
Limiting the number of payouts for players
This is perhaps the most common way for casinos to control who wins on slots. While players can expect to win at a rate of about 91.7% on the average game, this is usually nowhere close to the amount of money the house wins. On the average machine, the house can expect to win anywhere from 93% to 97%.
Limiting the number of payouts for players is the easiest way for casinos to reduce their overall payout rate, which in turn leads to a larger profit margin for the house. Most modern slot games will have a payout rate of around 96%. This is a staggeringly low win rate for the player.
You can avoid being part of this statistic by choosing games with higher payouts. Online casinos have lists of the payout rates of various slots with no verification. They will publish the “return to player” (RTP) statistic for each slot.
Limiting the volatility of a game
When a game is volatile, it means that it has a high chance of providing a big payout to the player. Imagine a slot game where you have a 1 in 20 chance of winning a 10,000-coin jackpot. That is a very low frequency of winning that would make playing the game a bit of a gamble.
Now imagine a slot machine where you have a 1 in 100 chance of winning a 4,000-coin jackpot. While this game isn’t guaranteed to pay out, the fact that it’s significantly less volatile means that the odds of winning are much higher. By controlling the volatility of a game, casinos can prevent the likelihood of players winning big.
This means that the house will be more likely to win in the long run and that casinos can keep their profit margin high. One way that casinos control the volatility of a game is by scaling back the number of “wild” symbols.
Using special software to detect cheating
Since slot machines are little more than computers at this point, casinos have the capability to control who wins on slots in other ways too. One way that casinos can control who wins on slots is by using special software to detect cheating.
If a player is winning too frequently at a certain machine, it may be an indication that they’re attempting to cheat the machine and gain an unfair advantage. Casinos can then shut down the machine and use special software to see what the player was doing.