Online Slot Cheat: Can you trick an RNG into paying more money?
In the 1980s, the
face of the gambling world was forever changed by one seemingly
innocent innovation. Slot machines were transformed from mechanical
devices to electronic machines. They still looked like the same old
games, for the most part. The reels spun. Coins fell from the machine
after a win. But the games would never, ever be the same.
manufacturers did away with the pull-levers, since they were only for
show at that point. Even coin hoppers were eliminated in favor of
ticket in/out vouchers. But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was
that, by removing the mechanical reels and replacing them with
electronic computer screens, manufacturers were able to alter the
payouts to be as good, or as abysmal, as they wanted.
The number of symbols on each reel no longer had any bearing on a game’s theoretical return to player, or RTP. In the old games, if a reel had 12 symbols on 12 positions, there was a 1 in 12 chance it would appear. Simple enough, right? Well these electronic machines did away with that, utilizing a computer algorithm known as a random number generator, or RNG.
How Random is Random?
The RNG would pull
up a long sequence of random numbers – a sequence so long that it
could not realistically be predicted. However, being created by
humans, they aren’t really random. They are what we call
There is a
predetermined, finite number of possible results programmed into the
game. They all cycle through, time and again, in random order. This
is how casinos are able to set whatever RTP they want a machine to
pay, and guarantee that the RTP is reached over a long period of
time. The manufacturer simply inputs more non-winning RNG results, or
more low-prize winning results compared to the high-prize ones.
What does any of
this have to do with cheating the slot machines? A lot, if you
believe the stories that players can attack a slot machine’s RNG to
make it pay out bigger prizes.
Online Slot Cheat: Alter the Bet, Get the Cash
The theory here is
that the RNG – being the pseudo-random algorithm that it is – can
be tricked into releasing more payouts by simply adjusting your bet
size often. Now we know that the machine’s RNG is going to keep
cycling through those numbers no matter what. However, those who
swear by this system say that RNGs will favor a new player, if only
for a brief moment.
It makes sense
that casinos would want their machines to perform this way. It’s a
statistical fact that a player who has just sat down to play, then
immediately wins a decent amount of money, is more likely to keep
playing than cash out and leave. Thus, they’re more likely to bet all
those winnings right back into the machine. So, if the theorists are
right, and RNGs favor new players, then it would make complete sense
to change your bet size often, sending that message to the game that
But does it really
work? There’s only one way to find out…
Testing the Alternating Bet Size Theory
This was a rather
exciting experiment for me, even though I was fairly certain of the
results. According to the theory, you’re supposed to start with a
mid-size bet, drop to a low bet, then increase to a high bet,
spinning the reels 10 times per adjustment. So, I hopped over to
LeoVegas Mobile, launched the new 5×3 reel, 50-line Age of the
Gods: Apollo Power Slot and began my test. Here are the
Mid-Size Bet, $1.50 per spin ($0.03 per payline).
That didn’t go too
well. It looked like I was winning pretty good at the time, but the
cost of $1.50 per spin took a terrible toll on the total win/loss
rate. Down $3.45 after 10 spins, I dropped my bet size, as
Low-Size Bet, $1.00 Per Spin ($0.02 per payline)
Ouch… this isn’t looking too good at all! But here comes the higher
bet size. This is where it all pays off, right? Let’s see…
High-Size Bet, $5.00 Per Spin ($0.10 per line)
Things just went from bad to worse! I never once got above water.
From the very first spin, I was losing, and after 30 mixed-bet spins,
I was down $30.85. But I wasn’t ready to give up just yet…
What if, after all this bad luck, it’s the rotation back to the
mid-size bet that breaks the chain and begets all the glory? Here we
go, one more time.
Mid-Size Bet (Again), $1.50 per spin ($0.03 per payline).
Well that was a
terrible idea! I should have stopped at the high bet. Better yet, I
should have known you can’t trick an RNG – not even a Pseudo-RNG –
by playing around with your bet sizes.
On a Side Note…
For anyone who
might think I just didn’t put enough time and effort into testing
this online slot cheat hypothesis, let me reassure you, this wasn’t
the only test I performed. However, it was the only real-money I was
willing to spend on it. After this epic failure, I switched to
practice play mode – you’d think these pay better, but they don’t –
and suffered pretty much the same results every time.
Yes, there were
some good hits in there, and I wasn’t always in the red. However, I
never experienced what supporters of the theory claim. In the end,
after a few hours worth of attempts, I found the results to be
entirely random, and more often than not, unprofitable. All together,
had I continued playing the slots for real money, I would have been
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