Are Online Slots Rigged? And Other Common Slot Myths…

Seen the many myths online about online slots? Read our guide to spotting myth from fact.
12th July 2023

Gaming myths are prevalent, but we're here to clear them up | Virgin Games

There's nothing to take the fun out of a game like the belief that the outcome is predetermined. And if online search trends are anything to go by, there are enough people out there who think – or at least question if – this is the case.

You may have heard slot machines referred to as "cold," meaning they are supposedly less likely to pay out. Or heard players' theories that to win, they'll need to bet big. And then there's the big one – are slot machines rigged? The list goes on. 

Myths (and most of the time, they're exactly that) about casino and slot games come in different shapes and sizes – and we're going to get into the nitty-gritty on each below. 

Online Slot Myths That Need Debunking 

Are Online Slots Rigged?

Simply put, regulated slot machines are not and cannot be rigged in any way. Providers work hard to earn the trust of their players, which includes presenting their customers with the best games around, and keeping things fair is a huge part of that.

When playing any slot machine, or a bonus round in one of these games such as Free Spins, the outcome is drawn by a Random Number Generator (RNG) – and the name is a giveaway here. The RNG guarantees that the result is always completely fair, by producing a series of numbers related to symbols on the reels. On each spin, random numbers are selected, so you will get a random result on each occasion. This applies to land-based casinos as well as online slots. In case you missed it, these outcomes are, ahem, random.

Despite what a small minority of people may say, you will never have to worry about online slots being rigged, because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Any site acting unfairly to players would not be able to gain a license, which is key to any online operator.

Do Slots Have Hot and Cold Streaks?

No, we’re not talking weather. One of the most common myths you will hear is that slots have streaks (or spells, or cycles, as they can be called) where they are more likely to pay out than others. The theory goes; if a slot is paying out regularly over a small period of time, then it is on a “hot streak”, while if a number of losing spins occur consecutively, then it is a “cold streak”.

As you can see in the section above, the RNG used in slot games ensures that every spin is completely random and different from the previous one. This means there is no such thing as hot or cold streaks because the outcomes are purely down to chance. Whether you have a string of wins or a succession of losing spins, the slot is neither hot nor cold, it is just down to complete chance, as all players experience on these games.

Can Jackpots Pay Out Twice in Quick Succession?

Dig around the internet, and you'll find a handful of slot spinners claiming that, once a jackpot has been won on a game, it’s not worth playing for a while, as it won’t trigger again until it builds up in size. While we understand the theorising, this isn't the case.

Progressive jackpots have seed values, which is the minimum amount that can be claimed if the prize is won. When a player claims any progressive jackpot, it will immediately be reset to this seed value. Looking at the terms on our Daily Jackpots page, you can see that two players can win the same prize simultaneously, and if this happens then one player is awarded the seed value.

Don’t let the fact that a jackpot has just been won put you off from playing one of our online slot games, as you still have the same chance of landing a big win.

Can Only High Rollers Win Jackpots?

Another myth we're keen to bust! Slot machines aren't biased – any player can win any jackpot, irrespective of the amount they wager on it. Providers have no control over which player wins any prize in their games, as jackpots are won as part of a (you guessed it) random outcome on a spin. Timed jackpots are required to drop before a certain point, and as you get closer to this time, your odds of winning it increases accordingly.

While it is true that if you bet with a bigger stake, you will improve your chances of triggering a real money jackpot win, it is false that they are only won by high rollers.

Does RTP Mean I Get the Same Percentage Back in Winnings?

Return to Player (RTP) refers to the average payout that users experience on any of our slot or online casino games. If a game’s RTP is 95.54%, it means that for every £100 that is wagered on it, it will pay out £95.54 on average.

As RTP is only an average, it does not mean that you will win the percentage back, certainly not in the short term. When you play any game, the actual return you experience will more than likely be higher or lower than the RTP during that session. The average is guidance on what to expect in the long term, but it is in no way a guarantee.

Are Casino Games Rigged?

In the same way that some people wonder about the fairness of online slot games, others have concerns about whether casino games are rigged. This worry is also completely unfounded, and whether you are playing blackjack, roulette or table games in our Online Casino, you have a fair chance of winning at all times.

Our online casino games operate in exactly the same way as our slot games, with random outcomes ensured by the RNG, and there is also an RTP to give you an indication of the average pay out.

If you prefer the real-life action of our Live Casino, then you can also guarantee a completely fair experience on any of our games. It is basically the same experience as you would get in a brick-and-mortar casino, as you are able to interact with the live dealers and other players at the table. Some casino enthusiasts develop strategies over time, which can contribute to wins for them when they’re playing Live Roulette or Live Blackjack, but the results are still random.

Just as the slot myths we’ve mentioned can be debunked, the same applies to any casino myths that you may hear about.

Still Unsure? More Online Slot Queries Cleared Up 

These are just some of the slot-related myths that circulate online, in the gaming community and beyond – and you’ve probably noticed a bit of a theme. We hope the above has driven the point home; regulated online casinos are not rigged, and random number generators are responsible for the outcomes. 

But if you're still thirsty for knowledge on how the online casino world works - and essential, if they can be trusted - then read on as we answer other frequently asked questions.

How Do Online Slots Decide Who Wins?

All of the slot games at Virgin Games operate using RTPs as we have pointed out already, and the result of every spin will be completely fair and random thanks to the RNG. Online slot games have no impact on whether one player wins or not, and there is no way for them to cheat. You are just as likely to win when you are playing one of our slots as anyone else is.

Are Online Slots Trustworthy?

Most providers of online slots are very trustworthy, but it’s worth doing a check on any website before you sign up. You can be sure that you are playing with a trustworthy site when you spin the reels at Virgin Games, as we are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission, and all of the providers of the games that we have on-site are fully licensed and regulated too.

Make sure that the provider has adequate responsible gambling tools available for you to use as well. At Virgin Games, you can check out our Game In Good Hands initiative, which puts the interests of all our players first. Make the most of our session reminders, deposit limits and more, with all of the information available on our dedicated Game In Good Hands page.

Do Online Slots Have the Same Odds?

Technically, slot machines do not have odds. The bigger prizes from game to game are naturally won more infrequently than the smaller ones, but that is because the jackpots, for example, require symbols that are less likely to appear than regular ones.

The RTP rate in each slot game essentially is your best guide to finding the slots that are most volatile. Volatility in online slot games refers to how often they pay out, and the general size of the wins on those games. If a slot has an RTP of 82%, for example, it is less likely to pay out than a game with an RTP of 95%. However, the wins on the game with the smaller RTP rate are likely to be a bigger value.

Explore over 900 online slot games when you sign up for Virgin Games, with the chance to play exciting bonus rounds, win jackpots and much more.