Are Slot Machines Rigged?

| Oct 3, 2019

Many people will constantly shout one thing when the subject of slots comes up – that all slots are rigged and that the casino is always cheating the player out of money. Luckily for online casino fans though, this simply isn’t true, as there are barriers in place to prevent unscrupulous slot sites from cheating their players out of money.

On this page, we’ll look to calm some nerves, as we show you exactly why online slot machines available to UK players simply can’t be rigged…

Are Slot Machines Rigged?

Gambling Commission Oversight

If an online casino wants to offer gambling games to UK players, they must, by law, have a licence from the Gambling Commission. This is a UK government body tasked with overseeing the entire gambling industry, and they’re regarded as being the best in the world at what they do.

In order for a site to get a licence from the Gambling Commission, they must prove that, amongst other things, they offer a completely fair playing experience. The Gambling Commission will run extensive checks on the site to ensure that every game is fair, plus they’ll also look at many other aspects of the site in question. If they have even the slightest doubts, they won’t provide a certificate.

You’ll also find that the Gambling Commission constantly monitors gambling companies already in possession of a licence. If they develop concerns, the licence will be withdrawn, and the site will have to stop operating in the UK immediately. This would finish most casinos, so they’d never risk losing their licence by being unfair in any way.

Please be assured that we’ll only ever recommend online casinos with licences from the Gambling Commission.

Testing Houses

It isn’t just the Gambling Commission that monitors online casinos, as you’ll also find that many casinos also self-regulate, inviting independent testing houses to check out their games. This is because the casinos know that a certificate from a company such as eCOGRA adds trust to the site, as it’s almost impossible to fool these independent organisations.

The main focus of these testing houses is the random number generators (RNGs) used by games. RNGs ensure that every spin of the reels is a completely random one, giving you exactly the same chances to win as everyone else. They are complex algorithms, and the testing houses spin the reels millions of times, gathering data as they go. By doing this, they can confirm whether a slot is playing fairly and whether it’s matching its advertised RTP.

If an online casino has been given a certificate by a testing house, you’ll usually find the testing house’s logo at the bottom of every page on the casino’s website.

All Slots Have a House Edge

Please remember that all slots have a house edge. This means that the casino will always have a slight mathematical advantage over the player. This isn’t cheating though, as casinos publish this house edge and people choose to play the game anyway, in the knowledge that the game is skewed slightly against them.

The house edge is nearly always very small though. For example, you can expect a typical slot to have a house edge of around 5%, meaning that, on average, you’ll lose £5 for every £100 you bet on the game. Of course, there are some who win massive sums though, while others won’t be quite as lucky. So, the house edge isn’t a form of rigging – it’s something that players know about and agree to go up against when they play. After all, if there was no house edge, there would be no casinos, as the casinos would make no money.

Charles Baxendale (BSc, MSc Mathematics and Computer Science)

Charles Baxendale

(BSc, MSc Mathematics and Computer Science)

A keen researcher in the development of methods and theories for computer sciences. A lover of algorithms and mathematical computation. Consultant to online slots software companies and a player in my spare time.