25 January 2024
It’s hard not to love slots. The ease of access and the high probability of winning slot games don’t make you think of slot machine fairness until you suddenly run through your betting budget. A painful losing streak at the slots can be so overbearing that you may start assuming that the house rigged your game.
However, you should look at the other side of the coin before creating conspiracies that the house is just hungry for your money. After all, slot games wouldn’t be popular casino games if every machine functions as such.
This piece will inspect the details of these games and whether slot machines and online slots are rigged against the average casino player. We will also look into the bigger picture of game fairness and discuss tips to help you have more fun with slots.
Slot machines have come a long way from the novel machines introduced in the United States in the 19th century. But regardless of how many slot games are out there, they run with the same principles.
Other sources offer a more thorough explanation, but this is the gist of how slot machines operate:
With these simple mechanics, a casual casino player can spend hours on their favorite slot machine, pulling the physical or virtual handle in the hopes of walking out of the casino richer than a couple of dollars.
Now that the slot game basics are covered, you’ve arrived at the most important part of this article. Are your fears right all along? Are casinos conspiring to get as much money out of you as possible?
The short answer is no.
It may feel like a punch in the gut. However, that tinfoil-hat idea is dead in the water for three specific reasons: the design of these slot games, the return to player and house edge, and the greater concept of game fairness.
It may seem hard to believe, but slot machines are made to be as fair to all parties involved as possible. The way slot machine makers ensure that games will always be fair is through RNG.
For the uninitiated, RNG is a system that determines number sequences in random order. Almost every modern slot machine you can find in your local casino has this system in place. Your favorite online slots surely implement an RNG model.
Game designers do not program their RNG that the house will win a certain number of times at specific instances. What makes RNG a foolproof way of preventing a rigged slot machine is its unpredictable nature.
Sure, game developers may adjust certain aspects of their game to make it stand out from the thousands of games in the market, but they never touch the RNG. Otherwise, they would be left with a defective game that no gambler wants to play, and no casino wants to put up on their premises.
One thing you must realize about casinos is they’re a business. Their bottom line is to make money while also offering you the opportunity to get a cut of the giant pie they’re raking in.
Return to player (RTP) and house edge are the two factors that will help you better understand the dynamics between the casino and its patrons.
RTP is the probability that the casino will pay back the casino player for the money it wagered. For example, a slot machine with 94.3% RTP will allow the player to gain back $94.30 for every $100 wagered.
Meanwhile, the house edge is the built-in advantage casinos have that allows them to gain a profit for every game played. It’s also important to remember that the house edge is built into the slot machines themselves and isn’t installed by the house, so there’s little to no possibility for your casino to tinker with the machine to improve their chances of getting more money.
At the end of the day, casino games like slots are games of chance and probability. What makes them appealing to the most casual players is the fact that they don’t need extensive game knowledge to have fun and win.
What makes slot machines fun to play is the concept of fairness: you don’t need to have a great poker face or the ability to count cards in order to win big. If a slot game throws away fairness for the sake of profit, it will quickly find itself out of players who want to try it out.
Now that you better understand the fairness of slot machines, it’s time to change your approach to the game. Here are some pointers that will help you have more fun in your next slot session!
It was mentioned earlier that you don’t need a lot of skill in playing slots, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to learn the ins and outs of the game. Having a solid grasp of the pay table and the bonus rounds will help you make more sensible wagers.
The worst thing you can do is try to win back the money you’ve lost by going over budget with your bets. You set that budget because that’s the amount of money you’re happy to part with while having fun in a casino.
The quicker you accept that you cannot win back your wager, the better your mood will be, and the less likely you’ll play over your budget.
You play slots because you’re having fun with it. If you’re playing with the mindset that you are lucky and need to walk away with a lot of money, you’re bound to have a bad time. Just relax and enjoy the slots!
We hope this article helped you have a better understanding of slot machine fairness. With your learnings, may your next slot session be a fun one!
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