Playing slot machines is one of the ways casino gamblers significantly increase their uncertainty while gambling. Electronic gaming machines are the most popular games in the casino because of their simplicity.
Yet the games are the most complex machines on the casino floor. The software developers use random number generators to produce results based on the casinos’ requested RTP.
Today’s games are so advanced that a casino can pinpoint a machine’s RTP down to the decimal. But some players become convinced that a casino can vary RTP on the fly.
Some go so far as to suggest a casino will lower the RTP on games when a player is winning. Can casinos determine your success or failure on electronic games?
No, not on an individual basis. But the casinos are ultimately in charge of determining how much a machine pays on a larger scale.
The Slot Machines May Seem Rigged
If slot machines seem rigged, it’s understandable. The RTP on slot machines creates a house edge between three and fifteen percent in most casinos.
The top-rated penny slots average a return to players of a mere 88%. That means the casinos are enjoying a house edge of over eleven percent.
That causes players to lose money at a breakneck pace. Since many players believe they are lucky, they attribute their failures to the rigged game.
The most significant factor at play is volatility. Slot machines are programmed to pay out a specific percentage over time, creating confusion.
Players may see high volatility games with significant wins followed by extended losing streaks. That creates the illusion that the casinos know a player is winning and flip the magic switch to change the tide.
That’s not what’s happening. The casinos can change RTP for a machine, but it requires a team of casino workers working on each device individually with a game tech.
So, it’s not feasible for casinos to change slot machines’ payouts in real-time. By understanding how the slot machines are built to take our money, we can see the reality of why casinos aren’t plotting against us.
Using Random Number Generators to Produce Results
Random number generators have ushered in a new wave of casino games. The most prominent are the video slots and video poker machines.
However, many casinos are installing electronic versions of blackjack and roulette. These games provide a similar result to playing the game live.
RNGs have provided casinos with an excellent way to dial in return to players for slot machines. These machines are also less susceptible to cheaters.
RNGs burn through hundreds of thousands of possible number combinations each second. That makes predicting any results all but impossible.
Casinos request the specific payouts for a machine from the manufacturer. Once the machines are delivered, the casinos rarely give the RNGs a second thought.
There’s typically an issue when casinos pay attention to a single electronic game or bank of games.
The idea that casinos can manipulate RTP on a game by pressing the magic button is a fallacy developed and spread by losing gamblers who don’t understand the games.
Understanding How Slot Machines Work
By understanding how slots operate, you can see the true nature of the games. Slot machines’ primary function is to generate results that keep a specified amount of money paid into a game.
They do this by using RNGs to produce a completely random spin that can’t be predicted or duplicated. These unexpected results determine the success or failure of players.
However, slot machines are not sentient beings. The games have no will or opinions on who should win.
I once saw a man pleading with a slot machine for a jackpot. He was clearly down on his luck, and desperation had led him to this machine.
Unfortunately, you’ll see that a lot in the casinos. That’s nothing more than desperation viewed as some divine intervention.
You probably don’t need me to tell you what happened. The machine plopped out a goose egg, and the guy shuffled down the line.
It would be best to play slot machines for entertainment purposes. That’s true of all casino games where you can’t gain a mathematical edge and become a winner.
Slot machines will take your money no matter how hard you try or what strategy you follow. Because the spins are over in a matter of seconds, they’ll take it faster than any other game.
Why Do Players Believe Casinos Determine Their Success or Failure?
There’s an inherent distrust between casinos and players. The casinos watch players like a hawk to identify cheats and advantage gamblers.
Meanwhile, players are convinced that casinos are out to pull a fast one. They don’t understand that the casinos never cheat because the games arrive already rigged in their favor.
Players believe that casinos are determining their results because of the way games are designed to payout. When players are winning, they think they must be doing something right.
Unfortunately, this wins streak is little more than the math working itself out to the player’s advantage. Then the machine goes cold, and players who haven’t changed a single thing point the finger at the casino.
In reality, the player is to blame for not getting out of the game while the getting was good. You’ll see players at different casino games falling victim to this lack of discipline.
But it’s more challenging to accuse the casino of being shady on the table games because there’s tangible evidence behind the results.
The Volatility Factor
The most significant factor for gamblers believing the machines are somehow part of a large-scale conspiracy can largely be attributed to volatility. Volatility is what determines how a machine pays out players.
On a low volatility machine, players enjoy fairly consistent smaller wins. You’ll rarely win enough to leave with house money, but you’ll get incremental wins to stretch your bankroll.
The other set of electronic games in the casino falls under high volatility. These games pay out far less often but with a higher return.
A player often could see a string of substantial wins and believe the game is hot. Then just as quickly, the successes cease.
That’s what gives some players the evidence they need to prove the casino is cheating them. Still, it’s merely how the games are designed to function.
Return to Player Sounds Better Than It Is
Players will look up the RTP in many games and then be dismayed by their lackluster results. Even in the best conditions, the RTP for a casino slot machine will hardly break the 95% plane.
So, it’s hard to see why they’re surprised when they lose. Nevertheless, slots RTP can be misleading.
For starters, any game with a jackpot attached will affect the individual RTP for all players that don’t hit the jackpot. Progressive jackpots are even worse, and players will be contributing to money that they’ll never see again.
Another reason slots RTP sounds better than it comes down to sample size. The RTP of an electronic gaming machine is the number that the game is designed to payout into perpetuity.
That means players making a single day trip to the casino may see wildly different results. Sometimes that works in the player’s favor, and they win money.
Yet, more often, players are sent home scratching their heads at how they could burn through that money so fast.
If you’re hung up on the RTP not being in line with the information you have, it’s because you haven’t played enough to see the math.
Can the Casinos Change the Results on the Fly?
I understand why gamblers fall into the trap of believing the casinos are somehow tricking them. But the logic that casinos determine your success or failure on electronic games is preposterous.
If you’re a player that’s ever been up hundreds or thousands of dollars on the casino and watched it vanish, you need to head into the casino with a better plan. Casinos don’t change the results on the fly because the players take care of losing it back for them.
If you’re genuinely concerned that casinos can determine your success or failures on electronic games, I assure you they can’t. They have an ultimate say in the RTP, but they can’t target winning players.
Your best bet is to find the games you enjoy and look for a game with a higher-than-average RTP. You can usually enjoy better payback percentages on higher denomination games.
Playing electronic gaming machines means you’re going to lose. So, you might as well get the most from your experience.