The house always wins. You’ve heard the phrase plenty before. But is it really, if at all, true? Are slot machines rigged, then? Finally, we’ve got the answer.
The first thing to remember when playing slots is that the machines have a house advantage. This system is not rigging. In fact, the house advantage is expressed in a term used often in casinos called RTP.
Short for Return to Player, RTP refers to the average percentage returned to the player for each wagered dollar. However, it would help if you did not confuse this term with machine volatility. RTP is the ratio of the sum of the total wins to the total losses. On the other hand, volatility refers to the ratio of the frequency of wins over a given period.
5 Reasons Why Casinos Don’t Rig Their Slots
A low RTP or high volatility does not mean a slot machine is rigged. In fact, most casinos will avoid tampering with their games for the following reasons.
Loss of Reputation
Rigging games carries a huge reputational risk for casinos. No gambler will enter an establishment suspected of cheating its players. These casinos will also have to pay huge fines. Establishments suspected of foul play will even have their licenses revoked. Moreover, the backlash from the gambling industry could lead to a complete shutdown of operations.
Rigging is Not Easy
Or rather, rigging slots and getting away with it is difficult. Casinos operate under licenses issued from the state/country they’re operating in. These operators are also subject to the regulations of their established associations/gambling authorities.
Most of these agencies will have a minimum RTP or payback amount. Based on these rules, the casino slot machines must be set to the minimum payback rates.
Additionally, these state or tribal bodies closely monitor their operations. As a result, casino owners are typically under heavy scrutiny to ensure that they pay their fees and taxes. Many establishments even have to publish regular RTP breakdowns.
The house will be investigated if the accounting shows even a minor error. Any revenue incongruence means they could have their slot machines inspected for rigging.
Rigging Could Discourage Players
Players like winning – thus, losing constantly will discourage them from spending more. A rigged slot machine takes away the joy from gambling. Without entertainment, players will be unwilling to return for another game.
Forget rigging; even a slot with poor (though legal) RTP can discourage players. Free market competition means they will instead opt for an establishment offering them more value for money.
Therefore, casinos must not only not rig their slots but also provide competitive RTPs for these games. In addition, tough market competition means operators must offer attractive rates to keep ahead of rival establishments.
For this reason, places with a high density of casinos have higher RTP rates. For example, operators in Nevada offer rates ranging from 90% and 94%. Conversely, slot machines in low-density areas like Maine have lower RTPs. For the latter, the return to player percentage typically ranges from 89% to 94%.
Why RTPs Matter
Setting different payouts for different machines is a practice of the past. This task is impossible, with an average casino hosting over 1000 slot machines.
Instead, most slot games have a tight spread of RTPs. Even for different games, there is very little difference in the payouts between their highest denomination and lowest value games. In fact, the average difference between the two is 5%.
For example, most penny slots in Vegas have a 90% RTP. On the other hand, their $5 machines offer return-to-player rates of 94.5%. With such little difference, there is little advantage in rigging each individual device.
How to Avoid a Rigged Slot Machine
However, if you are still unsure about using a rigged machine, the following tips can protect you from gambling tampering.
- Check License and Registration: Before playing your slots, you should visit an authentication site to determine whether a legitimate gambling authority verifies the casino license.
- Check their Slot Software: A casino’s slot software provider is a tell-tale sign to see if they are legit. For example, the Megaways slots at MegaRush casino are developed by well-known developers like Pragmatic Play and Yggdrasil. This quality signals that the casino is licensed and verified.
You need to be proactive when choosing a slot machine to play on.
Why You Need to Find Slots with Good RNGs
Moreover, most slot machines rely on an RNG or Random Number Generator algorithm. This system produces the winning combinations without the risk of being compromised. In fact, the RNG generates a value between 0 and 4 billion to correspond to the symbols on the reels. Unless casinos can access the algorithm, rigging the slots is next to impossible.