Slot Machines Explained

Are online casinos rigged? This is a question many a casino player must have asked at one point or another. The simple truth is yes, slots are rigged in the casino’s favor.

An online casino game is essentially electronic and much harder to rig than a game at a land casino.

Playing online blackjack, for instance, you have no sleeves to hide your Aces. There can be no dealer errors, and there is no ‘human’ involvement, which is where mistakes are typically made. Slot machines are the most popular casino games and there are many different types.

Mechanical online slots have been recreated for online casinos and have become the game of choice for many gamblers. When playing any game at a casino, whether online or not, you want to ensure the casino is fair and the games online casinos are not rigged. Playing at licensed and safe online casinos will ensure there is a minimum return to the player.

How do slot machines work?

The humble slot machine, a staple at all land and online casinos is even harder to rig. Mechanical slots are built around a set of levers, gears, axles and a brake which is activated once a coin is fed into the slot.

Since mechanical slots were invented many years ago, the inner workings of online slots differ considerably. They are entirely electronic and have no moving mechanical parts; instead, they use a computer chip known as a Random Number Generator, RNG for short.

The RNG essentially selects thousands of numbers every second and governs the eventual outcome of the spin, win or lose. As soon as the player presses play, or start, the RNG generates a number which will ultimately determine the outcome of that spin.

It is next to impossible to foresee the outcome of such a spin. Online slots also have a payout percentage which is set by the online casino, not the manufacturer. These casinos sometimes publish the return to player percentages (RTP) of their slots to entice and encourage players.

What is RTP?

In a nutshell, the RTP is the amount a player can expect back from a game in the long run. When choosing a slot to play, compare the RTP to similar slots and this will give you an idea about which slots are paying out the most. By selecting a slot game with a higher RTP, you can play longer with the same bankroll.

The RTP percentage should be a deciding factor in choosing which slot to play for an extended period. Of course, if you play a game for just a few minutes, you can’t expect to get back that percentage immediately. Nevertheless, whichever way you look at it, games with higher RTPs payout more.

Actual vs Theoretical RTP

There is way too much confusion surrounding the meaning of RTP. Understanding the difference between Actual and Theoretical RTP will help you choose the best value slot or casino game. The theoretical RTP percentage of slots and casino games is based on their design and takes into consideration all the possible winning combinations, attaching a percentage to those winnings.

The reason the RTP percentage is theoretical is that every casino game is random with no guarantee of reaching the exact rate. Nevertheless, if the game is random and fair, over time, the percentage will eventually be reached. The Actual RTP is achieved when you play a slot, and although the game may display an RTP of 97%, it does not mean you will get $97 back for every $100 wagered.

The Actual RTP varies with each session. The percentage of each spin is widely different from another. However, playing the game for an extended period, it will eventually reach the theoretical RTP percentage. It may be that you have a barren run for a while, which could turn into a big payout later. That will balance out the percentage to reach the figure published. If you have the patience and play the game for an extended period of time, you stand to get back that percentage.