With this guide, we hope to give you all the necessary information you need in order to have a grand ‘auld time playing at online casinos while making sure you keep yourself and your finances safe. We’ll show you how to spot the most obvious tricks done by casinos to keep you playing so that you are able to stay in full control of your leisure time and maximise your fun.
Part 1: Get Good at Spotting the Tricks
In Part 1, we’re going to look in detail at the tricks casinos use to entice people into playing games for longer and for more money. This part should also serve you as a guide on how casinos and slot machines work online so that you have the confidence to determine where is best and safest for you to play.
Online Casino vs Slot Game
As a customer at an online casino you, of course, want to have a fair chance of winning when you play. Simply looking out for a few things will go a long way in informing you whether you are being treated fairly. Making note of the tricks used by online casinos is a good start, but understanding how slot machines are made and work will give you an even better advantage. You should understand that an online casino and the games it offers are totally different products made by different companies. This means that every single game that the casino offers can function differently. When entering an online casino page take note of the terms and conditions they list. To do that search for ‘terms and conditions’ in the search bar on the site, or simply Google the name of the casino followed by ‘terms and conditions’. And when you start playing a new slot game look at the rules provided with the game. Remember, rules will differ from game to game.
What are Random Number Generators (RNG)?
How does a slot machine work? How does a slot machine decide whether you win or lose? Slot machines use Random Number Generator (RNG) technology. When you play a slot game, RNG generates random numbers from 0 to several billion per second. These numbers correlate to the symbols you can see on the reels. So when you press the ‘play’ button, the RNG generates specific values, which basically push the corresponding symbols to come up. This means that the second you press the button, the RNG ‘knows’ whether you’ve won or lost. The RNG technology works by using an algorithm, which tells RNG which numbers to generate. This algorithm has to be inspected regularly to make sure that it functions properly and to provide the fairest gaming experience to the players.
What tricks do online casinos use?
Just like many other businesses, online casinos use subtle but very effective tricks to retain their players. When you play at an online casino, you obviously want to be able to play for as long as you can, i.e. you want your money to last you for a good while. Casinos actually want the exact same thing, they want the player to play for a long time because this increases the chances of the player losing his or her money. To ensure that you stay playing, casinos use a range of tricks and not all of them are obvious. Here are some of the most common casino tricks:
Displaying recent winners
Most casinos use this trick. They will display information about players who recently won, which game they played, and how much they won. This tactic creates an illusion that it’s easy to win and that YOU could easily be the next winner. Not only that, players often instinctively want to be the next ones featured on the homepage - for all other players to see. The big secret is that those aren’t even real players or real winnings.
Loyalty programmes and VIP clubs
Players sign up to these schemes under the lure of better odds while playing and making the most of their money. When you sign up to a loyalty programme or a VIP club you are rewarded for playing a lot and often. Technically, this is just good practice for ensuring loyalty, but the real reason is that the longer you play the more you are going to spend. Casinos know that even if they grant you a few rewards, ultimately, they will be getting this money back. It’s important to also be aware of forming an unhealthy habit by always playing towards the next reward.
Catchy audio and visuals in game design
Despite what most people might imagine, online casinos and slot game providers spend time learning to understand how their customers work just like any other business. They know from countless research studies, what kinds of images and soundtrack are bound to incite visitors into playing for a longer time.
The very frequent ‘almost jackpot’
When playing a slot game, this will continue to happen - you’ll play for a while and then you’ll almost hit the jackpot. This might leave you with a sense of excitement, which is likely to make you want to continue playing. It’ll also help to create an illusion that the big win is just around the corner. And then, like clockwork, you will land 3 out of the 4 winning symbols, just short of the jackpot again.
Frequent but small payouts
It’s difficult to keep playing a game for hours if all that happens is you lose more and more money. Small but frequent payouts ensure that the players remain interested in the game, and it makes it more difficult to tell how much money has been lost. For this reason, slot machines are often designed in a way that will keep generating very small wins, but not the jackpot. Even if you were to win big if you continue to play for longer, you would have spent more money during that time - making the win actually worth less than you might think.