People have held misconceptions about the online casino industry ever since slots made the transition online.
Whether those relate to a game's 'streakiness', a slot's propensity to pay out its jackpot or favourable free play mode, many myths continue to plague the industry.
This article will attempt to bust some of the most common myths surrounding online casinos and slots.
Online slots are rigged
Let's start with the most frequently heard complaint about online slots. That they're rigged.
This is simply untrue.
Slots already have a built-in house edge that ensures the casino always wins in the long run. Today, most games advertise RTP (Return to Player) values that hover around the 96%-mark - handing the operator a 4% margin or 'house edge' on every single spin.
It just isn't in a company's interests to operate fraudulently.
And besides being illegal, an online casino operator or game provider risks their very existence by pre-configuring games so that they function unfairly and improperly. Furthermore, most online casinos are audited rigorously by the most reputable governing bodies, and any unscrupulous activity would be exposed in no time at all.
Slots have hot and cold streaks
While it's true that every slot in the world is capable of going on a hot or cold streak for any amount of time, slots just aren't programmed this way.
It all boils down to the true randomness of the games thanks to RNG technology. Every single spin is an entirely independent event of the previous, or next one. Put another way, slots have no memory, and absolutely no idea who just clicked 'Spin'.
Just like the colour red coming up several times in a row on blackjack, a prolonged favourable or unfavourable sequence in slot games is equally as likely to occur.
In the short term, deviations from what is mathematically expected do happen, and happen a lot, but in the long run results always balance themselves out to reflect a game's RTP.
A jackpot won't trigger for a while if it has just hit
This is a continuation of the previous point.
Since any one spin has zero impact on the next, it is absolutely possible for a jackpot to hit within several spins of one another, or even on consecutive betting rounds. It's just that this is seldom seen since jackpots are programmed to pay out with very low probability due to their sheer value.
A sure-fire way for casino operators to lose money is by hosting jackpot games with unduly high likelihood of triggering because the top prizes are often worth thousands, if not millions of euros. But don't be overly surprised if you hear of two seven-figures jackpot prizes hitting on back-to-back spins.
Free play mode pays out more often
Online casino operators often encourage their players, especially those new to the scene, to try out games in free-play demo mode first. This is to give their customers a feel for a game before they consider parting with their own cash, and is also a smart way to understand online slot mechanics.
A lot of people mistakenly believe games pay out more, and more often, in free play mode. This practice is prohibited and as mentioned, since operators are placed under intense regulatory scrutiny, it would not be long before a nefarious site is found out should they ever follow this practice.
With the exception of a handful of games like jackpot slots and Live Casino games where free play is not offered, demo mode functions identically as real money play. So the next time you try a game for free, you can rest assured you're getting a carbon copy of its real money counterpart.
It's not possible to alter your chances of winning
Believe it or not, players are able to shift the odds in the favour.
This is not achieved by following any particular strategy or betting pattern, but by selecting games based solely on their aforementioned RTP scores.
Games all come with varying RTP configurations, and so choosing one with the more favourable score represents superior value in the long term. Play a slot with an RTP value of 96.8%, for example, and you are likely to show greater profit down the line than spinning a 96.2% RTP slot.