How to Stay Safe Playing Online Slots
One of the important areas to consider before playing any online casino game for real money is whether the game and operator are safe. While most operators are 100% legitimate (especially the big global brands), it can still pay to know what to look for to spot those rogues which do pop up from time to time.
Once you understand how the games work, and the danger signs from non-legit casinos – keeping completely safe is very easy indeed.
This page is divided into the following sections.
First I have covered the games themselves, and explained how they work. After that the 3 most common danger signs for unsafe casino operators are covered. Finally, you’ll find links to reviews of some ‘white listed’ big name brands, where you can enjoy slots with complete peace of mind.
How Slot Games Work
It is easy enough to see the fall of symbols on the reels, the triggering of bonus rounds and the sequence of features on a slot – and create all kinds of theories about the patterns you see. Human brains are brilliant at taking in information, spotting patterns and using this to explain how the world works. The problem is, that we see things which are not really there at all.
For slot games, both live and online, there is no mathematical connection between the current spin and the last one.
Each time the reels are spun, new random numbers are created by the ‘RNG’ (random number generation) software for each reel. These are combined to give you the combination of symbols you see. The slot has no memory of your previous spin, and the next one along will not be affected by whether the last one was a winner, or factors like whether a big payout was recently won.
Slot games are fair in that they pay out over the long term at their published rate.
For example a slot with a RTP of 97% will pay out 97c for every $1 put in when measured over millions of spins. In the short term, the wins will depend on the game and whether the slot is high or low variance. High variance slots pay out occasional bigger wins, while low variance games pay out smaller wins more frequently.
Slot games do not get switched into ‘losing mode’ half way through a session. These games are not rigged to take your money in particular. They are not programmed to give you wins when you first join a casino and then take your money later on. In fact, the opposite, they are completely controlled by randomly generated numbers each time you spin – any pattern that you see is simply an illusion caused by short-term factors.
3 Danger Signals of Unsafe Casinos
While this list applies to both the offshore casinos serving the US and to the international casinos, the US operators are the main focus. Internationally, you have a choice of big brands, many of which are listed on the London (or Nordic) stock exchanges and licensed in places like Malta or Gibraltar. These are completely legitimate outfits, and will often be more concerned about whether you are going to cheat them than vice versa.
US offshore casinos are licensed in places like the Netherlands Antilles, Kahnawake, Antigua or Panama. Many of them are long-running and legitimate brands too, some of them have been serving US players constantly for more than 10 years already. Any casino able to do this and maintain a track record of speedy payments is a slots casino worth joining.
If you are thinking of playing at any online casino, then here are the three danger signals to check for before you deposit any money:
- License: This is an important one, no license should mean no deposit every time. You can find information on this in the footer of your casino’s homepage, and should then double check with the licensing authority (google casino + authority).
- Tested RNG: Legitimate casinos verify that their random number generator software is truly random, there are 3rd parties which specialize in this, for example TST or iGaming Iabs.
- No Payment Scandals: If a casino is not paying out quickly (or at all!), then this tends to surface online very quickly. You can ignore then inevitable ‘I lost 4 hands in a row and was cheated’ people, focus on payments and many people experiencing issues.
This will only take you a few minutes, once you have verified these then you will be safe to enjoy the slots at most casinos. Remember that things can change, if you have an old account at a casino, it can be worth re-verifying that their games are safe every 6 months or so.
Recommendations for Completely Safe Casinos
Offshore casinos do not get any safer than Bovada.lv. This casino has more than 10 years service to US players, under both its current name and previous moniker Bodog. They are licensed by Kahnawake, tested and have the best payment record of any US casino. Add to this the huge range of slots from both Real Time Gaming and BetSoft, and you’ll see why this is the single biggest US friendly online casino. Check out www.bovada.lv for the latest promotions!
Your choice is huge, with many big brands competing for your business. One I really like at the moment is 32Red casino. This is powered by MicroGaming, and licensed out of the top jurisdiction of Malta. With slots including the amazing ThunderStruck 2 and Immortal Romance, and $32 in bonus cash for every $20 you deposit – you’ll be impressed by what this big brand casino has to offer. Check out the excellent 32red.com casino for yourself now!