Are online slots rigged? Here’s the truth

When frequently losing money on online slot games, it’s easy to blame the game and call them crooked and rigged as we all get frustrated when things don’t go our way.  This is especially the case when it concerns real money bets and players are known to doubt the game, the game’s provider, or even the casino for cheating. Don’t get us wrong, we know that people can get annoyed by losing and we’ve been there ourselves as well, but online slots aren’t always the ones to be blamed. With everything being offered online, we might all be playing a fool’s game with nobody ever actually winning big money prizes. We all know this isn’t true.

Losing frequently or high amounts of money will eventually make players question the fairness of the game, the existence of online leaderboards, previous winners, and even news articles showing happy jackpot winners. As there are still a lot of people that doubt online casino games, it remains a valid question to ask: are online slots rigged? The answer to that, nonetheless, is no. In today’s guide we are going to tell you why slot machines aren’t rigged and why it’s safe to trust online (most) online slot games and online casinos. Hopefully we’ll be able to take away any concerns and a lot of frustrations.

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At licenced casinos that is

There are a few things we need to clarify before we can answer the question if online slots are rigged? Providing that the slot games you’re playing are licensed by a recognised government body, there’s no way an online slot game can be rigged. They’ll all have a house edge, but every casino game does as it’s the house offering the game and providing all the tools so that players can join the fun. Other than that, the industry has advanced in such a way that governments have founded specialised authorities that account for the fairness of the gaming industry in their jurisdiction. That’s why an online casino can’t really afford to manipulate game results as they would defraud their government. In case a licenced casino gets caught manipulating outcomes it’ll lose its licence and get fined.

The risk of playing at non-licensed casinos

Unlicenced casinos, however, are another story as there have been some examples of non-licensed casinos hacking games and offering illegal copies on their own servers. Most casinos would then lower the games’ RTP’s (which we’ll explain later in this article) and stick with the extra money this gave them. A casino’s licence can be usually found in the footer of the website and the licence number can be verified by going to the website of the gaming authorisation that has issued the licence. Make sure to always do this. 

What are online slot games?

The second thing we want to clarify is that the concept of what online slots needs to be understood before we can move on and touch upon the rest. Online slot games, or online slots as they’re also referred to, are different to both electronic and mechanical in that they don’t exist at all in the physical space, but instead in the digital world as a virtual game players can access from their device’s screen such as a computer, laptop, or phone. As the question if casino slots machines are rigged has always existed since the very first brick and mortar slot machine was launched it is no surprise that the same question keeps popping up even though the industry shifted to a predominantly online casino setting. 

Online gaming has raised the same question

In fact, the introduction of online casinos has led to even more questions as people aren’t able to see what’s happening as they’re playing an online slot game. When it concerns a table game like roulette and blackjack it’s a lot easier to observe what the dealer is doing in a land based casino than trusting the casino’s computer backed online table game. This is exactly why online casinos and slot providers have standardised the industry by working with RTP, RNG, and external auditing. Below we’ll touch upon all of these topics. 

The importance of RTP’s

The Return to Player (RTP), or the payout percentage as it is often referred to, is a percentage between 1 and 100% that shows how much percent the player earns back in the long term when making a wager. The closer the RTP is to 100%, the greater the chance that you will get money back on the bet. This is a percentage at which the payouts are assessed in the long term and on which deviations may exist in the short term. In the long term the RTP does give a close estimation of how much money a player would get in return when betting frequently. 

To illustrate this:

An online slot with an RTP of 96% which would mean that you will earn an average of $96 back on your long-term bets for every $100 you wager. Deviations are possible in the short term, but this percentage is leveled out and on average you earn back $96 for every $100 in bet. The remaining $4 is for the house, which is also known as the house edge.

RTP audits

The RTP is one of the indicators for players to estimate their long-term winning chances and this is why this percentage is also explicitly analysed by third parties. Organisations such as Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) and eCOGRA ensure that the payout percentages are actually adhered to. As a player, you can look up the reports of these organisations and if you really dig into them, you will see the player statistics per game of the past period (month, quarter, year), making sure you’ve got all the info you need. In games that involve a certain skill, the player’s experience and skills can also influence the ultimate house edge vs. RTP. This certainly holds for table games like poker. 

Random Number Generators (RNG) guarantee randomness

In addition to the RTP there is also such a thing as the RNG which is another indicator that is used to guarantee random results. A Random Number Generator (RNG) is nothing but an algorithm that determines which number, which combination of symbols or which card follows the previous one. This algorithm ensures that this happens in a fully random way, making it impossible to predict the next move — neither by you as a player, nor the provider, nor the casino, basically trying to make the game fair for everyone. 

RNG’s make online gaming possible

The RNG was invented to make computer generated games completely random as they are played remotely taking away the physical contact between the player and the slot. The introduction of the RNG is very important, because this is one of the main conditions for online casino websites in Canada and other countries being able to offer the games as a game of chance. As with a game’s RTP, the RNG is also audited by external organisations. Neither the casino, nor the game developer can affect a game’s RNG.

RNG’s are also audited

The Random Number Generator is an excellent tool to make online slots and other casino games random and thus fair. However, the way it works is very important for the course of the game. The RNG’s functionality is something that programmers work on by creating an algorithm that can’t be written of breaked by external stakeholders. Both external organisations and gambling authorities keep a close eye on everyone involved in the process to make sure that the generator is random at all times. The main idea is pretty straightforward: a game should always generate random results and nobody should ever be able to influence the outcome of a game. Only then can online gaming be trusted. In recent years, there haven’t been any cases or hacked RNG’s which have proven its use.

Make sure you’re playing fair 

Do casinos rig slot machines? We hope the above gives you a better idea of why we believe that casinos do not rig slot machines. If you’re wondering whether or not you should be concerning yourself with the reputation of your preferred casino it’s always better to be safe than sorry which is why we want to repeat the importance of double checking the casino’s website and offer. In order to help you with this one you can decide to stick to the casinos we recommend as we’ve made sure to analyse the overall service and trustworthiness of a casino. If you want to be extra careful we recommend you to go through the following performance metrics before you sign up somewhere. 

  • Stick to licenced casinos: by only playing at licensed casinos you’ll be sure that you’re only gaming where it’s fair and where your personal data is safe and secure. You don’t want to be playing dody games on a platform that isn’t regulated by a governing body or audited by external organisations, so this is an absolute must. 
  • Contact the casino: casinos are obligated to reveal all the information concerning fairness of games, including the game’s RTP (which is generally available in the game’s interface and the audits results performed by third-party organisations). In case you want to know more about how the casino guarantees fair results you can always go ahead and read them your rights to obtain these test results. 
  • Check out our reviews: although we haven’t checked every individual game, we are aware of how well individual casino brands perform. Vernons only includes the very best casinos that are fully licenced and are owned by trustworthy organisations. Playing at a casino that is considered fair should give you some confidence that you’re playing fair games as well. 
  • Make sure to check the RTP: every game lists its RTP which you can look up before you play your preferred slot game or table game. Do note that RTP’s are based on long term results, meaning that short term results can significantly vary. In addition: newer games tend to come with ranging RTP’s which is something you’ll need to pay extra attention to. Make sure you’re playing with the highest RTP.

Follow your guts: the grey area often comes with new casino websites that lack either experience, licences, or both. A part of this can be checked by looking up whether the site holds a licence and whether it’s still valid. Other than that, it is basically a matter of following your guts as well. If a website feels dody, it is probably best to avoid – there are lots of other fun sites to play!

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