The term “fair” is a tricky one. If you’ve ever played online craps, blackjack, roulette, or video poker, you know how much it can effect the outcome of the game’s results. With that said, it’s hard to argue the machines at your local casino are fair. In fact, the odds of winning at a casino can be skewed by the house.
A good slot machine is like a good poker hand. A bad slot hand is like a bad poker hand. If a slot machine is “fair”, is it really fair for that same machine to be “unfair” when compared to another casino game? If it is “unfair”, can an “unfair” machine be “fair” compared to another “fair” game? If a slot machine can be “unfair”, should it be allowed to be played against players who are “unfair”, too?
For example, a well-known game called “Three Card Poker” has been around since the 1920s. It is played with a standard 52-card deck, and you play against the casino. The rules are simple: everyone bets on (or raises) their hand, and whoever wins the wager wins the pot. If you win, you get paid. If you lose, you pay. It’s a simple game, but the payout and odds are both far more favorable than in most games of chance, like craps or black-jack.. Read more about how to tell if a slot machine is ready to pay and let us know what you think. Learn why today’s slot machines aren’t fair (comparatively speaking). A slot machine, by definition, is not required to play by the standard rules of probability. We know that in a fair blackjack game, our odds of being dealt an Ace from a full, 52-card deck, is one in 13. Why? Because there are 4 Aces in the 52 cards, and 52/4=13. It doesn’t take a savant-grade math wiz to figure this out. The game of Keno works the same way. If 20 balls are drawn from a total of 80, we know that (20/80=0.25) 25%, or one-fourth, of all numbers will be drawn. Therefore, if we choose just 1 number, we have a 25% chance of winning. Again, that is, if the game is fair, meaning it follows the scientific laws of probability. Slot machines do not work this way. At least, they don’t anymore. The original slots, with mechanical reels containing a fixed amount of symbols per reel, were fair games. Once slot machines became electronic devices, with digitized screen and computer generated results, all that got thrown out the window.
Why Today’s Slot Machines Aren’t Fair (Compared to Other Casino Games)
If you’re familiar with today’s digital slot machines – not just the online casino variety, but the ones in land-based casinos (cabinetry means nothing when they operate on the exact same software) – you’ve surely noticed that the symbols are impossible to count on each reel. Some even have “stacked” symbols, where every so often, the same symbol repeats any multiple of times. If there’s no designated number of symbols per reel, there’s no way to equate a probability for each reel depicting any given symbol. It’s the unfair nature of the games that permits manufacturers to input whatever payout ratio they wish. This doesn’t mean that they’re ripping players off, mind you. It just means that they can set their own returns. If a game is set at 95% RTP, it will (over time) return 95% of all the bets it takes in as winnings. That much, at least, is mathematically predictable. But if you don’t know the RTP of a game, you’ll never know if you’re getting ripped off or not. All this really proves is that you would do well to investigate the RTP of any game before choosing whether to play. It also suggests that any game with the name “slot” in the title, that does not reveal its RTP, should probably be avoided.
Case in point… Slot Bingo by SmartSoft Gaming
SmartSoft is one of those independent iGaming labs that you’ve probably never heard of. They’re based in Tbilisi, Georgia – the small Eastern European country, not the US state – where they’ve been building a modest iGaming platform since 2015. While the company does boast RNG certification (i.e. fair games testing) from iTech Labs, it does not claim to have a regulatory license from any government body. On top of that, the few online casinos that currently employ the SmartSoft platform are licensed in Curacao or Georgia, neither of which demands fairness or any other form of player protection from its licensees. It’s kind of like when a cop asks for your driver’s license, and you show them a piece of paper signed by your mother giving you permission to drive her car. It means absolutely nothing. That being said… let’s take a look at one of SmartSoft Gaming’s latest creations, Slot Bingo. Slot Bingo is listed under the creator’s ‘Bingo & Keno’ games tab. However, it is neither a bingo game, nor a keno game. Not really. It is instead, as only the name implies, a slot machine, disguised as something you would expect to be more predictably fair.
Slot Bingo Unfairly Suggests 772% RTP
As we’ve already discussed, a standard keno game has predictable odds based on mathematical probabilities. Slot Bingo looks like a keno game. It has 80 balls, and draws 20 per round, just like keno. But the way it’s played, the lack of player choice in number selection, and most importantly, the drawing of those numbers, are far from standard. Slot Bingo allows players to buy anywhere from 1 to 8 tickets per game. Each ticket has exactly 15 pre-selected numbers. You don’t get to pick which numbers you want, or how many numbers you want to bet on. It’s all pre-selected for you. You can’t even choose to play the same ticket(s) in the next round. Now, if you look at the pay table (right), you’ll see that the payouts for this keno game are quite a bit higher than that of a standard game. With 15 numbers picked, you’d normally need to catch at least 5 just to break even. In this game, you win double your bet just for catching 2! By the laws of mathematical probability, a standard keno pay table comes with a 90.34% RTP, whereas Slot Bingo’s paytable suggests an RTP of 772%! If the game were fair, that would be phenomenal! But it’s not. Why? Because it’s really just a slot machine in disguise. The numbers selected by the machine are predetermined, as are the numbers appearing on those cards. Don’t believe me? Go to their web site and take the game for a test run. Better yet, go read the analysis of Slot Bingo by Michael Shackleford, a.k.a. the Wizard of Odds. He came to the same conclusion – that the game suggests an unbelievable RTP, but that it is unquestionably unfair. “It is easy to conclude either the cards or the ball draw is not random. I don’t know exactly how they are doing it, but the numbers that appear least on the player cards are the most likely to be drawn.” – Michael Shackleford There’s no telling what the actual RTP is on this game; not without running and anglicizing a million trials. Based on the demo games we have run, it’s easy enough to determine that Slot Bingo either has a terrible payout ratio, or a very high volatility (rare but high paying wins). The fact that they’re legitimately certified by iTech Labs (which adheres to the UK Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards), I have to assume it’s the latter.
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It’s an interesting statistic, but there is no denying the fact that online gambling is becoming more and more popular. In the US alone, more than a quarter of the population (26.5%) played online gambling in 2018. As a result, more and more states are allowing online gambling.. Read more about what casino game has the best odds and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Slot machines Honest?
Is there ever any fairness in a casino? That’s the question that popped into my head when a news story surfaced recently: it was reported that the New Jersey gambling commission has taken allegations of non-compliance in regard to the “gaming machines” in Atlantic City casinos. The allegations involve the way in which the machines are programmed, with the “hot” games not making the player play through the entire deck. They say that slot machines aren’t meant to be fair. They’re meant to keep gamblers on their toes, but they aren’t the same as other casino games, so what do they mean?
Which slot game has the best odds?
In the market for some online gambling? If you’re a fan of slot machines, there’s no way you’ve never thought what would happen if the game were fair. For example, what if the game were so easy to win that it paid out even the smallest amount of money? That’s the hope behind the concept of “fairness” in gambling. The slot machine is one of the most popular casino games, but it’s not the most fair. In fact, the odds are stacked against you, the player. Most machines have a house edge of about 0.5 percent. That means you’re losing 5 percent of your money for every $100 you bet.
Is there a strategy for playing slot machines?
The number of states legalizing slot machines has exploded over the last decade. In fact, over the last 25 years, the number of legal gambling jurisdictions in the United States has increased nearly 600 percent. And while we wouldn’t expect slot machines to outnumber states in the same way that states have increased their populations, the number of legal locations is still a staggering 4,572, according to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. So, will the growth of slot machines in recent years have a negative impact on the casino industry? There are many myths about slot machines and how they work. The most common myths are that they are all the same, that they are designed to pay out the maximum amount of money available to them, and that you can’t beat the house. In this post, I’ll discuss the first two myths.
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