First of all, you have to understand how an online slot machine works. There’s one mutual thing for all fair-play slot games — the random number generator (RNG).
This algorithm makes the reels stop on specific combinations of symbols depending on when you’ve hit the spin button. In this manner, it decides the outcome of the game. So the fact that slots incorporate RNG in their setup means that the results will always be unpredictable.
Basically, RNG is a software algorithm which generates random numbers. The numbers generated this way tell the reels what symbols to stop on as soon as you press the spin button. So the fate of your spin is decided even before the reels stop spinning.
They Did It
Ever since gambling came to be, there were people who endlessly tried to cheat. And over the years, many of them have succeeded in many different and creative ways. For example, in the land-based casinos era, some gamblers used a number of tools to mess with the machines.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael
One of the biggest cheats in the history of gambling in land-based casinos was the one that involved Tommy Glenn Carmichael. He developed several advanced tools and used them for scoring instant wins for nearly 40 years.
Tommy was born in the mid-1950s. Since he was a kid, he was interested in finding out how electronic machines work. In 1980, he opened a television merchandise and repair shop.
After some time, his business was running dry, and the friend of his introduced him to a miniature slot machine and a classic cheater’s tool — a top-bottom joint. Tommy practiced, and when he was ready, he went to the very first casino to try it out. In the end, he was caught and sentenced to five years in prison.
However, with the invention of video slot machines, he changed his tools. He constructed a special device called Monkey’s Paw. It was made of flexible material, about a foot long, and had a claw device at one end.
For one to use it, they had to stick it up the payout coin chute and into the counter itself. Tommy used this invention to interfere with the counter and make the machine pay out more than usual. Again, he was caught and sentenced to jail.
After all done and served, Tommy teamed up with the Nevada Gaming Commission to develop anti-cheating devices that could be implemented into new slot machines. Their joint venture produced “The Protector.” It blocks all cheating devices people ever invented and is still used today.
Infamous Russian Scammer — Alex
One of the latest stories was about a Russian guy called Alex. He was a freelance programmer and hacker. One of the Russian casinos employed him to finagle RTP on a particular provider’s slot machines.
In short, he learned how to exploit an innate weakness of the PRNG (Pseudo Random Number Generator) algorithm to predict the random number that was coming. PRNG is the program that produces endless strings of single-digit numbers, usually in base 10, known as the decimal system.
For better understanding, a PRNG generated sequence is not truly random because it is completely determined by an initial value, called the PRNG’s seed (which may include truly random values).
Alex configured an algorithm that could figure out the current PRNG parameters. He even made an iPhone app, whose purpose was to determine the exact moment to spin the reels in order to win. Finally, he even hired agents to test all this “in vivo.”
He tried to make an arrangement with Aristocrat, but they refused his offer. However, do not expect too much from Alex and his system. Even if he published all data and algorithms, you still do not stand a chance against online casinos. First, they will turn off all affected slots. Second, you will be banned from all casinos.
So one thing is for sure — do not do that. Casino rules and regulations forbid cheating in any way. You will be banned not only from the casino where you tried to cheat, but they will also be free to send your private data to all other online casinos. Consequently, you won’t be able to play anywhere at all.
Tips & Tricks
As cliche as it may sound, cheating does not pay off. But there are tips, tricks, and certain casino offers that can help you make the best out of your money while playing online slot casino games. You should not forget that you play slots for fun and entertainment. If you win some, all the better. So here are some tips that can increase your chances of winning.
You can find these offers on every casino’s homepage. When you sign up at an online casino, you often get at least $10 of free bonus money. Basically, you are given an opportunity to play slots for free and at the same time win real money.
However, the catch is to pay attention to wagering requirements. Casinos condition cashouts with a requirement of total bets made before being able to request a withdrawal. For example, 50x your bonus.
Battle for the Players
To take advantage of casinos, you can use their bonus offers, usually free spins bonuses. Because of stiff competition between online gambling establishments, they tend to give large numbers of free spins or casino bonuses. But even here, you are advised to mind the rollover requirements.
Do keep in mind that the best way to attract both new and old players is by giving away free spins. So you, as a player, should look for a casino with the most generous free spin bonuses. Nevertheless, even if your game choice might be limited by taking advantage of these bonuses since they are often related to a specific machine, it can still be a way to check out that particular slot risk-free and to win without spending a cent.
Mind the RTP
One of the ways to choose the right online slot is to look at their RTP (Return to Player) percentage.
Return to Player, or RTP, is a measure of the percentage of stakes a game returns to players and is usually accepted as a guide on how a game will perform. However, keep in mind that this value represents how much the machine pays back over a huge number of spins (even over a million plays).
It is advisable to pick a game with an RTP of over 95%.
Double Up Feature
This feature gives you a 50% chance to double your win, and it is a feature offered by a machine. After the initial win, you have the option to take a series of 50/50 gambles. For example, you choose between red and black. Overall, this feature can lead to some big wins, but it comes at high risk.
You should be careful about this option on online slots. Placing a maximum bet means putting maximum money per payline while activating all of them. As an illustration, if your coin size is $0.5 on 30 paylines, one spin will cost you $15.
So if you do not want to spend all your budget in just a few spins, do not click on this. On the other hand, if you consider yourself extremely lucky, push it.
Betting strategies are there to tell you how to distribute your gambling money. They cannot determine the outcome of the game, but can sometimes prolong your playtime.
No Play, No Pay
Some refer to this as mother’s, wise man’s, common sense, or the smartest strategy. It means exactly what you think it means — if you don’t play, you won’t have to pay. In other words, you won’t lose your money.
But, by all means, if you don’t play, you have no chance to win money.
Reverse Martingale is one of the oldest strategies for gamblers. It originated in 16th century Italy. Today, it is mostly used for roulette, but it can be applied to almost any game that includes betting.
While the Martingale advises you to double your bet after every loss, understandably, the aim of this one is the total opposite. You double your bet after every win.
The idea is to start with a small amount, and you keep the same level until you win. Then, you begin to double up after every win until you win big enough.
However, pay attention not to wager more than you’ve won in the previous round.
In the end, you can conclude that there is no online slot game that you can cheat and walk away free and unpunished. Also, no matter how high the machine’s RTP is or how many special features a machine has, you still need to get lucky to profit from online slots!