Slot machines pay out at a fixed percentage over time. Many times when a slot player thinks that the machines are rigged is when he is winning at a much lower percentage than the payout percentage that the slot machine is advertised to pay out at. This does not mean that the slot machine is rigged. It has to pay out lower than the average pay out or there wouldn’t be room to pay some players at a rate higher than the advertised percentage.
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If a slot machine is set to pay out 97 % then that means that, over an extended period of time, the slot machine will pay out an average of $97.00 for every $100.00 that it takes in. So casinos run their business off of the 3 % margin. For the casino this is a regular income that goes up on down for them based upon the volume of play. So by having more customers and more machines makes a casino more money.
Casinos have no reason to risk their regular income by doing something illegitimate. Online casinos generally take a smaller percentage which makes the pay out percentage to slot players higher. While online casinos do have expenses, their expenses are much lower than those of brick and mortar casinos.
Regulation and Testing
There are government gaming jurisdictions that license and regulate casinos. There are third party testing companies that provide certification of the operation. This is true for both land based casinos and online casinos. When you go into a large casino on the Las Vegas strip you are certain that regulatory agencies are monitoring the casino and that the casino is providing certification.
The same is true for the online gaming companies that have been handling large volumes of wagering for a long time. Government Regulatory Agencies enforce their regulations and the gaming jurisdiction has a regulation for a minimum slot machine pay out percentage.
Just as a health inspector will come out and check up on a restaurant, gaming inspectors check up on casinos. As a means to attract more customers, casinos raise their slot machine payout percentages. Slot machine pay outs range between 90 % and 98 % with online casinos staying in the higher range of pay out percentages.
Things to Remember
There are some things that you should remember. First of all when a real money slot machine player wins a big jackpot, they are being paid off at a magnitude of the advertised pay out percentage. The only way that can be possible and for the machine to still average a pay out percentage lower than 100% is for the machine to pay out at a much lower percentage for a longer period of time.
Another thing to remember is that any land based or online casino that has been in business for some time is making a profit. Since these casinos are regulated and pay taxes in their jurisdictions, they do not what to take any chance of jeopardizing their business income.