Online slots are top-rated since they are easy to play and don’t require a high level of competence to win. While players enjoy spinning these titles most of the time, when your luck goes wrong, you might be left wondering if the game you are playing could be rigged.

It is normal to find players who have consistently lost at online casinos questioning the legitimacy of the past winners and games. The losing team raises questions about leaderboards or blogs that teach how to play and win slots games.

Today, people have learned to rig everything, so why not online slots? This type of thinking is common, and many people ask, are slots rigged? The answer to this question that raises heated debates is no! It is almost impossible to rig a slot game if it’s produced by a licensed studio and provided by a licensed casino.

Regulatory entities such as Malta, the United Kingdom Gambling Authority, and Curacao Gaming ensure fair play exists in casinos before handing over a license. They regularly audit sites, games and payouts.

To clear the air on fair play in online slots, we must understand how a slot game works. We also have to understand the innovations that have taken place, so let’s dive in, starting with the early mechanics.

It All Started with Mechanical Slots

Slots form the basis of gambling and have a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Inventors in the 19th century introduced slots that lacked features but were incredible and straightforward in their making - think one-armed bandits and reels filled with painted symbols.

Some of us have stepped on the floor of traditional casinos where our eyes meet charming machines with attractive neon lights. Our hands have pulled the handle of classic slots. Ears have heard gears turning as we watch the reels spin to land us a jackpot opportunity.

It is more difficult for rigging to occur on a physical machine. Mechanical slots function after players insert a coin and pull the lever, triggering the spinning of reels. The action allows the reels to function like tumblers inside a combination lock and activate a payout when a correct combination is achieved and the tumblers align.

How the trigger works sequentially with the reel plate determines the payout value. The number of coins a player wins is determined by an improved combination that makes it longer to release the trigger. Mechanically minded individuals can tell how it is difficult to rig without electronics. Machines must be custom-made and interfered with to ensure that reels don’t make combinations more often. 

The Evolution of Electronic Gaming

These days, the majority of players no longer use physical casino machines. Innovation has occurred in the gambling industry to enhance gamblers’ credibility, efficiency, and convenience, and it was not long before the mechanical slot was shaped into an electronic equivalent. 

No sooner had electronic slots evolved than players experienced the rise of online slots that now rule the online gaming realm. It was a complete makeover as the mechanical internals of the slot shifted to digital. The old norm of gears running the reels by pulling the lever was abolished and replaced by motors. Motors spun the combinations of symbols.

There is a vast difference between online slots and mechanical slots. With online slot players using their mouse to tap on-screen buttons labelled spin and trust it to be fair. It’s important to understand how online slots work to know that they are fair.

How Online Slots Work

Online slots do not exist in a physical space creating a significant difference between electronic and mechanical slots. Online slots live in the digital world as a series of algorithms. The online slot is designed to mimic the reels that existed in the past. Developers have included quality graphics and bright colours to attract many gamblers. However, it is essential to be aware that online slot games are lines of code that players play through the screen.

Return to Player (RTP)

The RTP rate features across all different forms of slot machines. The return to player rate is defined as the percentage a player expects to win back of their wagers. The RTP rate of many casino slots is set to about 95%. This figure is calculated over billions of simulated spins.

In mechanical slots, the value is unknown due to the nature of random internals. However, in electronic and online slots, the value is fixed and noted into software during game creation. The theoretical minimum payout percentage is defined by law or regulation and varies depending on the jurisdiction for both online and land-based slots (online slots have higher RTP rates than their land-based counterparts).

For a long time in history, traditional and online casinos have shown a lack of interest in publishing data about their RTP values. Such actions make it difficult for gamblers to understand the theoretical return on games. However, more recently, this information is becoming more readily available, meaning you know how much a game actually pays out.

RTP and Variance

Variance is also another significant factor that gamblers consider when choosing a slot game. Both RTP and Variance have equal importance to slot players. Experts have once in a while highlighted their take on RTP. Most have argued that the higher the RTP, the fewer chances of losing high amounts over a long period. However, the argument serves as a guide only, as it is essential to pay attention to slot games with lower RTP rates that offer increased opportunities for bigger wins - this is caused by variance or volatility.

Slot variance measures how often a slot will hit a winning combination and thus its average payout size. A slot with high variance will often have slow payouts of larger amounts. On the other hand, slots with low variance offer players low payouts frequently but in small amounts.

Today’s gamblers have taken RTP as their primary indicator, regardless of what type of wins they seek - both stats should be considered, as the amount of time you will spin a slot must be regarded alongside RTP if you’re thinking about the experience you want during that time.

Random Number Generators (RNGs)

Discussions on random number generators are paramount if we desire to understand how online slots function on a fair chance of winning and losing. A random number generator is a code found in the game’s architecture that randomly generates numbers. 

RNGs create fair play by giving each player a chance to win. Every time players spin the reels the casino, the RNG generates a totally random result from the game’s options, ensuring that every spin is unique, with an equal winning chance, and independent from the last.

The system has no memory and lacks the ability to dictate when to allow wins or losses. For example, did you know it’s possible to win a jackpot immediately followed by another big win at the same time? The fate of every gambler is at the hands of the algorithm, and there is nothing a gambler can do to change the machine outcome; this is chiefly what ensures that online casino games are not rigged.

The Licensing of Fair Games

Game developers are in charge of payouts; they set the math model, payout amounts, and volatility. When you know this, you may begin to grow sceptical over fairness. To some extent, scepticism is warranted as game developers create games to sell to casinos, and developers are in charge of all slot games that pay more or less, so why should we trust them?

Safety and fair play is guaranteed by the industry regulatory bodies who scrutinise gambling platforms and games before handing over a license. In addition, the price tag of acquiring a gambling license is very high. Casino regulators check essential factors such as RTPs, website interface, various games, software developers, and customer support, which is why you know that your money is safe at licensed online casinos.

A significant concern at non-licensed or blacklisted online casinos is pirated games. The platform basically copies a provider’s game but uses their own rigged mechanics - it’s a major reason why you should never play at unlicensed gambling sites; nobody is guaranteeing that the games are fair or that your winnings will be paid.

How to Make Sure You’re Playing Fair 

Gamblers are encouraged to play at platforms licensed by high-ranking regulators, including Malta Gaming Commission, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and Curacao Gaming Commission.

Issuing a license takes time, and casinos that fail to meet the set standards are blocked. Software developers found offering their services in casinos that are not licensed are punished severely, and regulatory bodies revoke their licenses to issue substantial fines, which provides a tight operating ecosystem.

Online reviews play a huge role in telling more about how a platform offers its services. Some casinos are known to deny gamblers’ winnings, keeping them waiting for longer than expected. Hasty decisions can cause problems in the future, including losing sensitive data and denied winnings, so take your time and do your research.

Players should check whether a casino is licensed before hitting the sign-up button. Reputable websites have attractive websites that run seamlessly on mobile devices and PCs. Online slots are taking advantage of mobile gaming. Fairplay begins with a site that loads its games fast on mobile devices. 

The website should be clear and attractive. Players are advised to leave overcrowded sites that appear too spammy. Legitimate sites allow visitors to view important information at a glance and make all info, like game RTPs readily available. Why sign up for a gaming platform that uses terminologies that are difficult to understand or has obscure wagering requirements and other conditions?

The variety of games is another critical factor to consider when choosing a fair slot casino. Players should read through the lines after landing on online platforms that contain only a handful of games; there might be a cause for this, like the lack of platform licensing.

Rival Gaming and Betsoft are great examples of game developers where gamblers land fair play. Their reputations go beyond borders, having worked in the gambling industry for a long time. They have published their payouts online, creating awareness of what’s in store for all players. Betsoft is a premium world casino that offers a variety of 3D slots, table games, video poker, and much more.

The Bottom Line: Online Slots Are Not Rigged

Overall, remember there are three things about the UK gambling industry that prevent online slots from being rigged:

  1. Online slots from licensed providers with a published RTP are not rigged.
  2. You are guaranteed fair gameplay as long as you play online slots at a licensed UK casino.
  3. All licensed UK online slots and casinos are independently audited to ensure the games are fair and payout. They use Random Number Generators to ensure that each spin is independent of the last and random.

To discover more about fair gaming, you can check out our list of top-rated online slot sites or find out more about our free play slot games - fair games are only a click away.