Looking to play slots online but are worried that they might be rigged? In this article we’ll cover the differences between land-based casino slot machines and online slots, and will answer the buring question – are online slots legit?
How casinos rig slots
At first glance, it may seem that online slots are less controlled than casino slot machines, but actually the opposite is true. Land-based slot machines can definitely be rigged by the casino, and are rigged more often than we’d like to believe. Since these slots are off the grid, they are stand-alone machines with no outside control whatsoever. The only control is coming from the owner itself – the casino – and you simply have to trust the casino if you’re playing one of their slot machines.
Without third-party verifications it’s almost impossible to know if a slot machine has been rigged. You may play a bit, several hundred spins, and you’ll have your own assumption, based on the fact that you just won or lost. But you’d need millions of spins to actually know if a slot machine has been rigged.
So, the short answer is – you can’t know if a casino slot machine has been rigged, and if it was you wouldn’t be aware of it. It does happen quite often.
Are online slots really random?
Online slots are actually safer to play, for one reason. They depend on a random number generator (RNG) and the RNG that some online slot is using is going through third-party tests. That’s why you often see someone mentioning a slot game or some other game is “provably fair”. That means it was audited by an independent third-party that verified that the RNG isn’t rigged in casino’s favor. Once you see that, you’re safe. You never see it in land-based casinos, they just don’t bother.
Realtime Gaming slots
Realtime Gaming (RTG) slots are a special case, as each slot game is indeed provably fair, but can be set up by the casino. The casino may choose for the game they’re hosting to have theoretical payout of 91%, 94% or 97.50%, and you won’t know which one it is unless the casino itself decides to tell you. For all practical purposes, unless you know specifically what the theoretical payout of your RTG slot is, you basically don’t know. You might as well be playing the 91% version, and that’s an awfully low payout, the equivalent of playing a rigged slot.
Betsoft slots are what you’re looking for. Reputable company that releases provably fair slots of high production quality, and then to top it all off they tell you exactly what the theoretical return to player (RTP) is. Try getting that in your local casino!
Some of the best Betsoft slots are Good Girl Bad Girl (97.80% payout) and Greedy Goblins (97.20%), and there are many more titles that deserve a few spins. As far as we at GamblersFever are concerned, Betsoft is the best US-facing slot game developer, though Realtime Gaming remains the most popular but we have our doubts here precisely because of the configurable and hidden RTP.
Rival Gaming slots
Rival is the third major developer of slots on the US market, and just like Betsoft, they also release the theoretical RTP of each of their slots. Some of them are the best slots regarding payout – or loosest slots if you will – that you can play on US soil. Rock On! is probably their best-paying slot game, and it has RTP of 98.00%. There’s no way you’ll be able to find a slot machine with that kind of a payout in your land-based casino.
Are online casino slots rigged?
No, they are not.
There are some exceptions, of course. If you dig deep enough and start playing at some casinos that you’ve never heard of, there’s a chance you might be playing at a rigged casino. This is rare but still you must pay attention. An easy way around this is to simply visit only those casinos that we recommend on GamblersFever.
Note the Realtime Gaming issue with configurable RTP and don’t take it lightly. Whenever you’re playing a Realtime Gaming slot, you don’t really know what the theoretical payout is. It’s probable that most casinos go for the medium-payout value of 94% or 95% (depending on the slot game), and what you want is the high value of 97.50%. If you can find that, and if the casino explicitly states the RTP is 97.50%, do play the game. Otherwise, you’d be better off playing one of Betsoft or Rival slots.
In any case, you’re getting a much fairer game online than you would at any land-based casino in the US. These are in business of conning people and have been for decades. We love the whole scene, but they’re sleazy conmen, and if you want fair treatment then the only way to go is to play online instead.
What about in-game gambling and smartphone apps?
If we’re talking about things like the casino in Grand Theft Auto (shown on our featured image above), these don’t (yet) go through the auditing process by a third-party, so you can expect that these are heavily rigged in casino’s favor. You’ll find the same thing at any place that isn’t under close scrutiny – like online casinos are. So, if you want to play a fair game, play it at an online casino. Casinos in Grand Theft Auto and similar games is just not the real thing and you are probably up against a huge house edge. Same goes for apps, same goes for any kind of gambling that isn’t taking place under the umbrella of a reputable online casino.