Are These Things Rigged? A Guide on How Slot Machines Work

Are slot machines rigged?

That’s a question that many gamblers have struggled to answer for years. It’s no secret that casinos are made to make money while giving gamblers hope of winning big.

Slot machines are popular, whether you bet in person or online. They can account for 85% of the casino industry’s profit. 

Fortunately, a lot of studies have been done into slot machines. Are you ready to learn some of the science of slot machines? Read on to discover if slot machines are rigged and how you can create winning strategies so you can walk away a big winner.

Slot Machines Are Designed for Longer Plays

When you’re trying to adapt and grow an industry that’s already in the billions of dollars, you need to have cutting edge research on your side.

Casinos have done that when they designed the casino floors and when they bring in new slot machines.

You probably have experience with older slot machines. These machines had between 3 and 5 rotating reels with several symbols on them. You had to line up matching symbols horizontally to win. Take note, because that’s called a payline.

These machines were the standard for years. Now, slot machines have 20 or more paylines. Online slot machines can have up to 100 paylines.

This does two things for gamblers. One study showed that it’s more difficult to figure out your odds of winning. That results in thinking that you’re winning when you’re really losing.

For example, you spend $10 on a slot machine. You win back about $8. You don’t know if that’s really good or not, you just know you won something. The result of that is that you’ll play longer, losing a little bit of money instead of a lot.

Look for Random Number Generation

Are slot machines designed for casinos to make money? Of course, they are.

Does that mean you can’t win at slots? No. Since all slot machines are largely computerized, they use a random number generator (RNG) to operate.

Think of the RNG as a computer chip that doesn’t quit. It is constantly giving the slot machine calculations and random numbers whether you’re playing or not.

This is a huge distinction from how people normally think of a randomly generated number. For the most part, they’ll think of random symbol assignments when they place their bets or pull the lever down.

Knowing that the RNG is in constant motion changes the game a bit for you. So, the casinos can’t rig the games to make you lose. They may have adjusted the probability of winning in their favor, but not individual games.

That being said, there are shady casinos that operate in a way where they do rig the games.

That is why you absolutely must gamble at a reputable casino both online and in person.

Understanding Probability

The one place where slot players often get confused is in understanding the probability of winning. Probability is taking all of the possibilities to win and calculating them into a fraction or percentage.

Let’s take a coin toss as an example. You can either get heads or tails, which makes the probability .5 or 50%. Probability is always going to be expressed between 0 and 1. If that coin had heads on both sides, you’d have a 100% or 1 probability to win.

With slot machines, you have a ton of ways to win. On a traditional slot machine with one payline, you have three reels with four symbols, a 7, cherry, orange, and lemon. You have to line up matching symbols across the reels.

The probability of getting a cherry on one reel is .25 or ¼. It’s the same for the other reels. If you wanted to get the same symbol across all three reels, it is ¼ x ¼ x ¼ = 1/12.

Those aren’t great odds to get a slot across one payline. Now, when you add in 20 other paylines, you’d have to place a bet across all of them to increase the probability of winning. If you lose, then you’re likely to lose money.

Probability Assumptions

As human beings, we operate off of assumptions. One big assumption that we tend to make is that if a game goes on long enough, someone is going to win at some point.

That belief can make you broke.

The probability of a bet is always going to stay the same. If you have 4 symbols on one reel, you’re always going to have a ¼ chance to get a cherry on one of them. You can spin 20 times and not get a cherry.

On the 21st spin, the probability is still going to be 1/4. It won’t become 3/4 because you haven’t seen a cherry on the previous 20 spins.

The lesson here is to not play a game based on previous results.

Creating Your Slot Strategy

How can you play slots based on all of these odds that seem stacked against you?

The first thing you should do is play for fun. Your enjoyment level is always going to outweigh everything else.

You also want to play within your budget. If you want to start small, play a game like Fishin Frenzy Slot. This is a game that only has 10 paylines. It’s easier to manage and your max bet is going to be lower.

Are Slot Machines Rigged? Sort Of…

Slot machines are so popular; they make up a huge percentage of profits for casinos. Players love the games, both online and off, and want to play longer and longer.

Are slot machines rigged? They’re designed to make you feel great, whether you’re winning or losing. That is how they keep you at the game longer.

Are individual bets rigged? It’s very unlikely if you’re at a reputable casino. These casinos will use random number generators to pick your winners with each bet. The probability of winning still favors the casino.You can beat the odds by using smart slot machine strategies. Check out the entertainment section of this site for more helpful articles.

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