Slot FAQ HQ
Have you ever wondered how online slots work? Perhaps you have been under the impression that online slots can be rigged, or maybe you think it’s possible to beat them? I’ve been playing slots in land-based casinos and online for years, and I know I used to believe certain things that I’ve since learned to be myths!
So if you want some facts about online slots, and perhaps want some myths debunking, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the list of the most common questions I’ve been asked over the years…
How Do Online Slots Work?
Online slots work in exactly the same way as their land-based casino counterparts. It all comes down to a Random Number Generator (RNG)
You may think that the outcome of a spin is determined when the reels stop spinning. However, the outcome is fixed the very moment you hit the spin button. Everything else is just decoration! What you are actually doing when you press spin, is stopping the RNG on a particular number sequence. That generated number either equates to a win or no win, and the slot will display the reel images that tally with the generated number. The position of those images will then determine how big the win or loss actually is.
A RNG generates thousands of number combinations every second, and each is completely random. You therefore never know what you’re going to get when you hit the button which is what makes online slots so exciting! And that is how online slots work. Simple!
What is the Return to Player (RTP) you mention in your reviews?
The return to player (RTP) is like a promise from the slot machine to potentially pay you back a certain amount. RTP percentages, usually hover around the 96% mark for online casinos. It represents the amount you can expect to win back on average over time. Imagine, if you spend £100 on a slot with an RTP of 96%, you could win back £96. Clearly, if that were fixed then nobody would play. However, this is just an average, and it’s completely random. You could win back considerably more than that, or lose all of your money.
It’s important to remember that the RTP of a slot is determined on manufacture, and the average is over millions of spins over a significant period of time. Therefore, RTP’s will always be theoretical rather than absolute. What is certain though, is that the RTP will always be less than 100% to give the casino an edge. With that being the case, you will always lose if you play for long enough.
So, keep your wits about you, let the spinning begin, and know when to quit!
What about the volatility that you also mention?
Again, this is an established term used by slot developers that indicates the win frequency of a slot. It will always follow its pre-set RTP, but that doesn’t mean it has to do it all at once. The win pattern can be very frequent (a low volatility slot,) or it can be a lot less frequent (high volatility.) Typically, low volatility slots will produce frequent smaller wins, and you’re therefore likely to play for longer as you bank roll will usually last longer. Big wins will be much less frequent, but are still possible.
At the other end of the scale are the high volatility slots. Here, the wins will be less frequent and likely to be small when they do land. However, you’re far more likely to win big if you land the slot’s bonus feature. High volatility slots are a lot riskier to play, but provide an incredible buzz when you do win big.
Can the RTP or Volatility be rigged by Online Casinos
The short answer is no. These are settings programmed during the slot’s development and cannot be changed. In fact, most casinos are independently audited for this. The truth is that they don’t need to do this, as the old adage stands true: The house always wins!
How do you beat an online slot?
The only way this is possible is to quit whilst you’re ahead. Despite claims from other websites that they “know how online slots work,” beating, cheating, hacking or otherwise deceiving a slot simply isn’t possible.
Is it possible to hit the jackpot twice?
Yes. In fact it’s theoretically possible to do this multiple times! Since every spin is random, you could press the button at exactly the right time more than once. The outcome of a spin has absolutely no effect on the spin that follows. Don’t get too excited though, as the odds of this are astronomical!
Does a slot know when you’re winning?
Nope. An online slot has no concept of this, and is purely governed by its RNG. The truth is that it doesn’t need to care about how much is in your balance, because the nature of its programming will always dictate that if you play for too long, you will eventually lose. Again, it comes down to each spin being completely idependent of others before and after it.
I hear about slots being loose, or hot. Is this a thing?
Not at all. Again, it all comes down to a random number generator. It is definitely possible to have a winning streak though, but that is simply down to your luck on the day. Equally you can have a losing streak too.
Is there a particular time that’s better to play?
Nope, but I used to think that! I had a spell of winning quite a lot on Saturday mornings, and this went on for quite a while. I foolishly believed Saturday’s were best. That run of luck soon ended! Online slots have no concept of time, they just sit there and do their thing with the random number generator.
How Online Slots Work – Conclusion
In summary, all you need to know about how online slots work is that they are completely random from one spin to the next, and one player to the next. The amount you win or lose on a spin is determined the moment you press the spin button. Everything else is eye candy.
They have no concept of time, amounts in your balance, how much you have won, or lost. Online slots cannot be rigged, hacked, or tricked, and you cannot manipulate them.
You can win very large sums of money on slots, and even life changing amounts. However, always know when to quit, and play safe!