Playing online slots can be hugely frustrating at times. You can go for what feels like dozens of spins before eventually spinning a winner or triggering a free spins bonus or special feature. For many players, this is simply a sign of bad luck, and they will come back tomorrow and start again. For others, it leaves them thinking something untoward is happening: that the slot machine is rigged.
The truth is that you won’t turn a profit with online slots every time you play. That’s due to the ‘house edge’, which means that the Return to Player (RTP) ratio will be around the 90-95% mark. But the reason so many of us love playing online slots is because that huge jackpot prize could be just around the corner…
Why the vast majority of online slot machines aren’t rigged
If you choose to play slots at a reputable online casino, then the chances of your game being rigged are practically zero. There are many reasons for this, and we will explore these now.
Legitimate casinos and online slots houses use Technical System Testing (TST) to ensure that their games are fair and unbiased. TST is a third-party auditor that checks that slot games adhere to their stated variance and RTP levels.
Also, an established online casino will have been granted an official licence by a relevant governmental authority; again, if your chosen platform has one of these then the chances of your game being rigged are almost zero.
There’s another reason we can say with confidence that the vast majority of slot titles aren’t rigged, and that is through their use of a Random Number Generator (RNG).
What is a random number generator?
This incredible piece of software calculates the output of hundreds of numbers in mere seconds, and so with each spin of the reels your slot game has been assigned its symbols purely by chance in advance – so there’s no chance of it somehow being rigged.
As soon as you press spin, your ‘fate’ has been decided: the fact that most slot games have graphics and sounds for the whirring reels, and the time delay as they fall into place, is merely for entertainment purposes.
While most slot games have a built-in advantage (called the ‘house edge’) this is represented by the RTP figure outlined above. The Random Number Generator has already computed this information to ensure a fair set of results.
Random Number Generators are exactly that: random. It doesn’t matter how much you wager, how many times you spin the reel or how ‘down on your luck’ you are at the moment. There are no such things as hot streaks or ‘losing runs’. Quite simply, your slot game is a completely random set of actions calculated by an impenetrable piece of software.
So if you find yourself losing money or scooping a hug jackpot, you can rest assured that your game isn’t rigged and that you have just as much chance as anyone else of winning.
How to ensure beyond all doubt that the slot you are playing isn’t rigged
Here are some quick pointers to help you enjoy the fairest slot gaming possible:
- Only use well-known casinos and brands licensed and regulated by a trustworthy authority, e.g. the UK or Malta Gambling Commission.
- Only play games powered by reliable software providers, such as the NetEnt slots.
- Check the gaming platforms credentials; RTP and RNG implementation.
- Check if the site is audited by TST or a similar agency.