4 Ways Slot Machines are Tested for Fairness

Slot Machines. Image Source. Pexels

Slot machines are clearly designed to make money for casino operators both online and off, yet the thing which lots of players might not realize is that they are also created in a fundamentally fair way.

This might sound outlandish, but the developers behind top games go to great lengths to ensure fairness is part and parcel of the slots they pump out, so here is a look at a few of the ways in which this is achieved.

The importance of odds

Understanding odds is important regardless of the casino game or gambling activity you want to try out, and this is particularly pertinent in the case of slots.

If you want to learn how to cheat slot machines in various ways, the main weapon in your arsenal is picking a game which has the most appealing odds.

This may not always be advertised explicitly, but you can generally expect that machines which are marketed as low volatility will be more likely to pay out.

Slot game odds are typically adjusted in a trio of ways, with the main factors being the number of reels, the number of symbols and the number of paylines involved.

The more possible combinations of symbols there are, the harder it will be to hit the jackpot or earn any kind of payout. So in terms of the flexible concept of ‘fairness’, machines with fewer reels, symbols and paylines are more player-friendly.

However, it is worth noting that high volatility slots, which tend to have a lower likelihood of paying out, are also endowed with much larger jackpots. So if you are looking for that moonshot moment, you might be better off with a game that actually offers worse odds.

Thankfully with literally thousands of slots available today, you can take your pick of low, medium and high volatility slots according to your preferences and budget.

The role of randomness

Arguably the most important contributor to the fairness of slot machines, and one which needs to be tested most thoroughly, is that of random number generation (RNG).

This type of technology is intended to ensure that whenever the player starts a spin, the outcome is determined entirely independently by monumentally complex algorithms which are essentially impossible to predict.

This is important for two reasons. First, it prevents any players from subverting the machine and tricking a win out of it. Second, it ensures that the operator cannot rig the machine to pay out only after specific conditions are met.

This dispels the oft-repeated fallacy that slots are fixed and will allow jackpots to be one after a certain amount of time has elapsed or after a certain amount of money has been pumped into them.

RNG guarantees fairness, because you could potentially win on your very first spin. Of course you might also spin the reels for hours, days or years at a time and never win a penny; that’s the nature of randomness and chance.

It is this combination of odds and RNG that ensures that slot machines are fundamentally fair, but more testing is done to prove this.

The impact of playtesting

All video games are play-tested by teams of paid employees to seek out bugs, find flaws in the design and determine whether or not they are intuitive and comprehensible to newcomers.

This applies to slots as much as to mainstream first person shooters and indie puzzle titles. So you can expect that any slot you play online has been put through the ringer by playtesters who will have ideally helped the developer to iron out any issues prior to launch, including potential points of unfairness.

Playtesting is not infallible, but it should still give confidence to people who are not yet certain if they should experiment with slots for fear of being duped.

The role of regulations

Lastly, it is important to note that slot machines which are hosted on legitimate, licensed online casinos have to be up to scratch in terms of their regulatory compliance.

Different regions have different standards to meet, but these generally steer slots towards the same end goal of providing a fair, open and honest experience for players.

Of course you should still read the small print and check up on the features of any game before you play. That way you will recognize whether the odds are stacked against you, as well as what you will need to do to be in with a chance of winning big.

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