It is easy to think that a pokie is out to rip you off. We have all had those terrible runs where everything seems to go against us and it just seems so obvious that something is amiss. However, the truth is that we often ignore the times we win and the times we draw level, and always focus on the times we lose. This means that the losses stand out, and our suspicions are always raised.
That’s not to say that there aren’t scam pokies out there though, because there most certainly are. In this article we’ll take a look at the suspect games and developers on the market, and we’ll also look at the workings of a slot machine to give you more of an insight into why luck might not be on your side.
There have been many reports of scam pokies and casinos, and while the majority of these are from disgruntled players who are acting out in anger, often without reason, there are a few that have stuck. The Spielo G2 software made its way onto many blacklists a few years ago when a player realized that a certain “Double or Nothing” feature was not all that it claimed to be, and was actually more than 70% in favor of the casino. This might sound minor, but when you’re risking it all on the flip of a coin, you want to know when that coin has been weighted. The scary thing is that this software made its way onto big casinos, including BetFred, but it has since been all but erased from the online gambling world.
There are other pokies that might fall under your definition of “scam”, but actually just offer you a very low chance of winning. This chance is typically on show, displayed under something known as an RTP, or Return to Player.
Return to Player
All slot machines have something that is known as a Return to Player average, or simply “RTP”. This is the house edge of a slot machine, but unlike the house edge, it shows the player’s advantage and not the casino’s. The Return to Player average should be available on all slot machines, and you can not see this anywhere and no matter how hard you search, then you should be very wary.
If an RTP is 96%, then this basically means that you can expect an average return of $96 for every $100 that you spend. Of course, this is just an average and it’s not saying that you will get $96 from every $100. You might get 10x more than that, you might get a lot less, but that’s the average and it allows you to determine how fair a game is.
Some casinos offer high RTPs by default, including Microgaming, where it is very rare to find a game that has less than 94%. This is why we often recommend Microgaming casinos such as Spin Palace. However, such widespread fairness is not common with all developers.
Realtime Gaming and Changing Return to Player Averages
When Microgaming, Playtech or another developer creates a game, they set the Return to Player from the outset. This is confirmed by auditors, it can not be changed by the casino, and it is guaranteed by independent checks throughout. However, such protocols are not initiated by all developers, and the worst offender for this is Realtime Gaming.
Realtime Gaming allow the casinos — the people who license and use their software — to set the RTPs themselves. They can increase them, decrease them, or do whatever they like to them. This is a benefit to the casino, and in the instances where these RTPs are increased, it is also a benefit to the player. However, and as you may have guessed, not all casinos increase the house edge and many tweak them so that the player stands very little chance of winning.
Not all RTG casinos are like this, of course, but it can not be ignored that of all the major developers, RTG are the ones that generate the most controversy, the ones that the scammers seem to target. That’s another reason why you should only really focus on the likes of Microgaming and Playtech.
If you trust in Microgaming, then you should be okay. It also pays to put your trust in a casino that has been going for many years, a casino that is tightly regulated, regularly audited, and highly secure. Spin Palace is one of the many casinos that checks all of those boxes, but it’s certainly not the only one.
Do your research, never take a casino on face value and always look into the RTPs, the house edges and the regulators, and you should be okay.