We often receive technical questions from players about slots and how they work. Many of these questions tend to come up repeatedly and have become myths that refuse to go away. Many of these myths originate from land-based casino, long before online casino was a thing. Though some of it might have been true when speaking on physical machines, the same cannot be applied to the software versions. Fortunately, things have also improved since the wild west days of early iGaming, so let’s take a look at some of the most common slot myths out there.
Slot Myth #1: Casinos are rigged
If there is one common concern that many new players share, it is about the system being rigged. While no one can guarantee that every slot provider out there is running a clean show, it’s quite easy to filter the rogue operators. Say what you will about gambling regulators, but the threats of hefty fines have given positive results.
In the past, it was not too unusual to come across offshore casinos listing fake slot games with rigged random number generators. These days, however, regulation is far more strict, even in places like Curacao. If a casino is regulated, they usually make this crystal clear on the site. If you can’t find the licensing information (typically at the bottom of the page), it’s time to move on. Playing on shady casinos puts you at risk of playing pirated software although it’s becoming less common these days as players have become more educated. There are two main reasons why pirated slots are being used – to avoid licensing costs and to increase revenue.
Slot Myth #2: Slots are rigged
It is fine to be sceptical; it is your money after all. However, developers, as well as providers, work hard to win players’ trust. One way to make sure games are fair is by utilizing random number generators (RNG). The RNG makes sure every spin (game round) is completely random and not influenced by the spin that preceded it. Secondly, regulators test and audit RNGs as part of the certification process to ensure that slots are generating the payout percentage as claimed, so players can be sure they are given a fair chance to win.
Contrary to popular belief, casinos do not have any influence over the games you play. A casino operator may have the option to choose from a range of predefined RTP settings – if allowed by the game provider (RTP should be stated in the help file) – but the actual outcome of each spin is determined by a random number generator. Moreover, all casino games need to be tested and certified by independent agencies and are heavily regulated in the same way casinos are. When you play an online slot at your go-to casino, the actual slot is not hosted by the operator but has been embedded on the site in the same way websites allow you to watch Youtube videos without having to go to Youtube.
Players will sometimes accuse casinos of games being rigged, especially when on a losing streak. But this is highly unlikely to be true as long as you stick to trusted casinos of the kind we list on Bigwinboard.com. How can we be so sure? Keep reading, and you will find out why there’s absolutely no reason for casinos or game providers to “rig” games.
Slot Myth #3: How can you be so sure slots are not “rigged”?
- To ensure that the games are fair and comply with local laws, all casino games need to be certified by independent testing agencies. These agencies will simulate millions of spins, examine the random number generator, and thoroughly go through every aspect of the game.
- There are many thousands of people working (and that have worked) in the iGaming industry. It’s highly unlikely that such a large number of people would have been able to keep quiet and conspire on this scale over so many years. Not only is a plot like this highly unlikely, but it would also be a serious criminal offence. Few companies, if any, would be dumb enough to take this risk when in fact it would be pointless to do so. Why? Due to RTP. Keep reading…
- Slots are designed to give the casinos an edge by a few percent. The actual edge for a given slot is represented by something called Return to Player (RTP). Every slot has its own RTP, so a slot with a 95% RTP will pay back 95% of the money to the players while the remaining 5% is for the casino to keep. This ensures that the casino is guaranteed to make a profit over the long run, no matter what happens. Hence there is no need to “rig” a slot or for a casino to risk its name and reputation while also committing a criminal act.
Slot Myth #4: New games perform better than old
This is another persistent claim we often see on various forums and one that is a bit harder to refute. This claim basically suggests that the math model has been modified, basically giving you a different RTP and/or variance than before. While this is completely possible, it’s easy to tell if the RTP has been altered since it’s typically displayed in the game (unless you play on a shady casino). The distribution of the RTP, however, could potentially be altered without players knowing. Having said that, modifying the RTP is both costly and time-consuming since it requires the game to be re-certified though there is nothing to suggest that the variance of a game cannot be altered. For example, by lowering the frequency of big wins while increasing the frequency of smaller wins, the RTP could remain the same while making it harder for players to land wins they would feel worth withdrawing. To the best of our knowledge, there is nothing to prevent a game developer from making such changes (correct us if we are wrong).
There’s also a “cash flow” theory used to explain why some feel slots perform better when first released compared to later stages of their life cycles. According to this theory, new games generate wins more frequently because they attract more players, thus increasing the turnover. While it makes sense, your odds should remain the same no matter how long a game has been available on the market.
Slot Myth #5: 96% RTP means I get 96% of my bets back
In the long run (very long run), this is should be true. However, it is not so clear-cut in the short term. The thing about the return to player is that it is calculated using a ridiculous number of spins. So, short term, 100 spins might return 50%, or it might return 1000%. In other words, some sessions are just dead spins whilst, during another, you might be lucky enough to land a 2,000x win within just a few spins. That is the nature of gambling right there and the ups and downs of playing slots.
Slot Myth #6: My favorite slot has not paid out a big win in a while, so it must happen soon
While it makes sense to look at it that way, it’s not quite how slots work (unless maybe when talking about jackpot slots). Of course, eventually, all slots will dish out big wins, but there is no guarantee it will happen to you, no matter how much money you’ve invested in the game. Slots are completely random and do not keep track of individual players. Keep in mind – slots don’t owe you anything, no matter how much money you’ve thrown at it.
Slot Myth #7: You should avoid slots that have just paid out a jackpot
While this is true in the case of progressive jackpot slots, the same cannot be said for regular slots. We have no idea what a slot will do next, even if a max win has been triggered. Remember, each spin is completely independent of everything that preceded it.
Slot Myth #8: You need to bet at max level to win jackpots
This is actually true for many progressive jackpot slots though there are many examples of people becoming millionaires while betting small. In some cases, you will find info in the paytable whether this is the case or not.
Slot Myth #9: Playing with a bonus affects your chance of winning
Playing with a bonus or not has no effect whatsoever on the game you play. In fact, there is an example of a player triggering the Mega Moolah jackpot by playing with bonus free spins. Hence, you can rest assured that bonuses are just as useful as raw deposits in terms of your winning chances.
Slot Myth #10: Slots are easier to win on at certain times of the day
This is merely superstition. The RNGs that govern the games do not follow any clocks. Online slots are spun 24 hours a day; they don’t care when the credits go in or when the wins go out.
Slot Myth #11: Some slots run hot while others are cold
This is another physical slot rumour that has crossed over to the online world. Hot slots are those mythical money-printing machines that you simply cannot lose on. However, as you may have learned from reading this article, the RNG does not allow for this type of behaviour. It doesn’t mean you can’t get on good or bad rolls, but each spin is independent of the spin that came before it.
A final word on slot myths
As you can see, most slot myths revolve around rigged games or slots that are programmed to behave in certain ways as if they have minds of their own. Fortunately, the online casino industry is heavily regulated which is a positive thing for players. This also means that players can be sure they are playing fair and tested games. Stick to licensed online casinos, and you can confidently gamble knowing that the games are fair and random.