Sep 14

How slot machines work to spin out wins and losses to players.

How Slot Machines Work

All slot machines are not created equal. This we know. The oldest games were built with mechanical drums, while the newest models are nothing more than big cabinets, with tiny computer chips and fancy LED screens. How they determines wins, losses, and the value of payouts, cannot possibly be the same. But it’s not just a matter of technological advancement that alters they way different machines get the job done. There are actually five different methods in which a slot can determine the results of any spin. We’ll talk about each of these, and how you can tell the difference before you sit down to play.

How Slot Machines Work – In The Old Days…

The oldest slot machines were built with mechanical drums, displaying symbols on physical reels. They were built with a special mechanism that ensured each reel would stop on a random position. This was the earliest form of what we know today as a “random number generator”, or RNG.

Manufacturers knew the probability of a slot machine landing on any possible outcome, because it was a matter of simple math. Multiply the number of reels by the number of symbols to get the number of possible combinations. Multiply the number of reels by the number of a specific symbol to get the number of ways that specific combination can appear. Divide the first result by the second, and you get the probability of that combination appearing. Easy, peasy!

When Computers Took Over – Circa 1980s

About 40 years ago, mechanical slots were replaced by computers. They looked and acted the same on the surface, but a programmed microchip did all the work. Still, it wasn’t much different than the old days. Class III, electronic slots (the ones found in casinos from Las Vegas to Atlantic City) are still powered by an RNG; albeit a more sophisticated one.

These newer slots use a computer program to rotate the numbers in a very, very long algorithm. Those spins are constantly changing, with each nano-second that passes, whether the game is actually being played or not. The moment the spin button is pressed, the RNG halts. The result of that long algorithm tells the machine what symbols to place in each position, with the pay table determining the payout (if any).

Bingo Games that Look Like Slot Machines

Tribal casinos all over North America are famous for their “Class II” slot machines. They look just like the Class III variety at other casinos, the way they spin out results is completely different. You see, most tribal casinos are not legally able to offer “gambling” games, but they can offer “bingo” and “pull tabs”. So, their Class II slots are actually bingo games disguised as slots.

Every time you spin the reels on a Class II slot (a.k.a. Bingo Liner), you’re actually buying a randomized ticket in a bingo game. Once enough slots (bingo) players press spin (buy a ticket), the game automatically draws numbers. If your bingo ticket wins, the slot machine spins out a winning combination equal to the value of the bingo ticket.

Many players never even know that this is happening, because their game just looks like a slot machine. Some are even named and designed to be identical to their most famous Class III cousins. But a bingo liner will always have one distinguishable difference. Somewhere on the screen, usually in a corner, you’ll see your bingo card displayed; winning numbers highlighting as the real game takes place in the background.

Video Lottery Terminals – Spin to Scratch-n-Win

Video lottery terminals, or VLTs as they’re more widely known, are not real slot machines, either. Much like those Class II bingo slots, VLTs are the equivalent of scratch-off lottery tickets. Lottery operators from all over North America – and especially here in Canada (Tap Tix, anyone?) – developed these games to offer slot machines in jurisdictions where gambling is illegal.

Here’s how they work. The computer is packed with pre-programmed, virtual scratch tickets. Each ticket is a winner or loser, with preset prize values on the winners. When you insert your money and spin the reels on a VLT, you are essentially putting your hand in a hat and drawing out one of those tickets. Once scratched, that ticket is removed from the batch. Spin again to draw another ticket. When all tickets in the batch are depleted, a new batch is uploaded.

In this way, the lottery operator is able to control exactly how much money it takes in, and how much it pays out.

Historic Horse Racing Slots – Too Complex to Care?

Whoever came up with this idea was either a genius or a madman. It is the most complicated of all “not rely a slot machine” mechanics. Historical horse racing (HHR) games are a lot like the bingo liner slots described above, except that players essentially get to choose their own card.

So here’s how slot machines work with the historic horse racing variable. Three actual horse races from the past are randomly selected by the machine. Each race contains 10 horses, meaning there are 30 possible horses to choose from. Each race has a win, place and show, so there are 9 possible horses that can win prizes of varying amounts. As you choose horses, and the race plays out, it creates a 30-digit binary number that will look something like this: 101100010000111001001000010001

That binary number determines whether you win a prize, and if so, how much. As the player, you have the option of picking your horses in the race, or having the machine randomly pick for you. If the machine does all the picking, then spits out the results, the experience looks and feels identical to that of a slot machine.

What’s The Difference? Value to Player

On the surface, there’s not much difference at all. Underneath, however, there’s one very important thing that sets these games apart, and that’s the theoretical return to player, or RTP. The higher a game’s RTP, the more likely you are to win; (or more appropriately, the less likely you are to lose).

Land-based class III slot machines (the real ones) can carry an average RTP of anywhere from 88% to 92%, depending where you play. Their online counterparts average 96% RTP. VLTs only pay an average RTP of 88%. Class II bingo slots can pay out as low as 80%. HHRs are impossible to judge, since they’re based on pari-mutuel wagering, but the minimum is generally 80%.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,

Dec 04

The tireless search for secure online casino sites in Canada.

The Tireless Search for Secure Online Casino Sites in Canada

It’s amazing how far the online casino industry has come since the turn of the century. Where there were once far more rogue operators than dependable ones, the internet now caters to a majority of professional, responsible, distinguished members of the iGaming community. There are still some rogues out there, sure, but with regulations getting tighter every yer, the ratio has gotten so much safer for players.

Here in Canada, the laws aren’t so strict as they are in other major countries. The UK, for instance, has the widest range of regulation, delivering licenses and guidelines to operators both inside and outside the country. In Australia, online casinos are 100% prohibited. The US is a mish-mash, where some states allow

In areas with full legal regulation, security is not an issue. If the operator you choose to deposit with is licensed and regulated in the same locality in which you live, there is no question as to its integrity. If such an operator goes rogue, it has an entire jurisdiction worth of authorities to answer to. But when the operator is located outside of that jurisdiction, it takes more than their word to convince this seasoned iGamer that there’s nothing fishy going on.

2 Ways To Detect a Secure Online Casino

In Canada, there are no express laws permitting or banning online casinos – at least, not the offshore variety. By federal law, each province is capable of regulating and operating its own government-run gambling website, and a few of them do. Therefore most Canadians have access to two types of iGaming – the locally regulated and internationally regulated variety.

#1 Local Online Casinos

As I’ve said already, provincially regulated casinos are going to come with unquestionable security and fairness. After all, the local authorities in charge of enforcing security and fairness must answer directly to the ones that demand it. By default, they’re going to protect your personal and account information to the greatest of their ability.

#2 International Online Casinos

An international casino operator is one that’s located outside of Canada. You’ll hear a lot of government talk that these websites are “not regulated”, when in fact, most of them are. They just aren’t regulated in Canada. This does not make the online casino untrustworthy, although it does raise questions that must be answered to determine reputability.

In years past, you’d have to look into an operation’s history, longevity, ownership, customer satisfaction ratings and so much more. Now, what it boils down to is what international jurisdiction the online casino is regulated by, making it easier than ever to determine trust and security. Some are far more reputable than others.

I’ve recently written a complete guide on this subject, and I highly recommend giving it a read:

What’s the Better Choice for Canadians?

The best choice really depends on what you aim to get out of your internet gambling experience. British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec each offer a wonderful online casino experience for their respective citizens. In BC, Manitoba and Quebec, you’ll also find online poker and bingo games available. All of these locations, combined with the Atlantic provinces, offer online lotteries and pro-line sports lotteries, as well.

If you live in the appropriate area and are looking for a simple iGaming experience that falls within these perimeters, Canada’s home-grown online casinos will suit you just fine. If, however, you’re looking for more out of your iGaming experience, you may wish to venture into the offshore realm of secure online casino gaming.

Internationally regulated casinos are known to provide far better promotions and a much wider range of casino games to choose from. Slots fans, in particular, will find the offshore variety have way better payout odds than any Canadian casino, on land or online, can offer. Sports bettors will also discover better odds overseas, where single-event wagers are perfectly legal.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

May 02

How to understand online casino bonus rules & requisites.

How to Understand Online Casino Bonus Rules & Requisites

I’ve visited this topic before, but it’s been a few years. Times have changed a lot since then, and immensely since the birth of the online gambling industry. Most of those changes have been for the better, but not all.

The most positive change has been a legal shift in which transparency of online casino bonus terms I now mandated by reputable regulators. Ambiguous, misleading or otherwise convoluted rules are no longer permissible, and could get an operator in hot water with licensing authorities.

Conversely, some of the more alluring casino bonuses of yesteryear are just that – a thing of the past. Gone are the free play time bonuses that gave players a huge chunk of chips and an hour to spend them, keeping the profits if the right conditions were met. You can hardly even find a small no-deposit bonus anymore, thanks to rules surrounding pre-authorization through ID verification.

Nevertheless, the bonuses that are available are certainly worth taking advantage of. The key is to understand what you’re getting into, and to know what to look for when reading the fine print.

Understanding Online Casino Bonus Rules & Requisites

Bonus terms can be very long-winded, even in today’s age of obligatory transparency. Somewhere within all that confusing text are four key elements to look for. They include:

Wagering Requirements (WR, aka Play Through)

Eligible Games

Qualifications

Expiration

Wagering Requirement / Play Through

Online Casino Wagering Requirements

Every bonus comes with wagering requirements (WR), which relate to the amount of play through you must conduct before you get to keep any of that money for yourself. It only makes sense that WR would be required. Without it, any new player could claim a bonus, withdraw it as cash and walk away. Online casinos will go to great lengths to compete for players, but they are not in the business of throwing away money.

To find the wagering requirements in the terms, search within the text (Find in Page) for the terms “wager”, “require” or , “WR”. One of these, if not all, will hit the right section of the fine print, wherein you’ll discover a number associated with WR. It’s probably going to be listed as 30x, 35x, 40x, etc. This number denotes the number of times you’ll have to play through the bonus., or the deposit + bonus combined.

So you’re looking for two elements; the WR number and its multiple of the bonus, or deposit + bonus.

Here’s an example of how to calculate play through requirements when the WR is 35x and it applies to deposit + bonus. Click here for a more detailed explanation.

Deposit of $100 grants a bonus of $100. Therefore deposit + bonus = $200. At 35x WR, the total play through is 35*200 = $7,000 in wagers.

Eligible Games

Some online casino bonus terms will limit game eligibility, such as “Slots Only” bonuses. These are very common. Some will even limit you to one or a few slot machines the operator is trying to promote. Others will cater to game play on all sorts of gambling.

When all (or most) games are eligible, not all will count 100% towards WR. Those that do count 100% are slot machines, and sometimes specialty games like keno, bingo, and scratch cards. Table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat usually generate a smaller percentage, ranging anywhere from 10-50%. Games with the absolute lowest house edge, such as favorable blackjack rules (classic blackjack, single deck blackjack, etc) and video poker, may not contribute to WR at all. If they do, it will only be 1-10% at most.

Search for the terms “games”, “eligible” or “eligibility” within the online casino bonus fine print to discover what games you can play, and what contribution rate they accumulate towards WR.

Also note that offsetting wagers will not be permitted! You can’t wager on Red and Black in Roulette to clear a bonus. If you do, and the casino catches you (and they will because it’s all electronic), at best you’ll forfeit the bonus and winnings you may have derived from it. At worst, your account may be closed and your deposit returned – or not. This is why reading the fine print matters!

Qualification

This section is pretty simple. The terms will identify who will and won’t qualify for a casino bonus. Many bonuses are designated for “new players only” making a “first deposit”. If you’re not new and/or have already deposited, you can’t claim that bonus. Others may restrict players from certain countries where such bonuses are illegal. Look for the terms “qualify” or “eligible” to find any such stipulations.

Expiration

This is pretty self-explanatory. Browse through the rules to see if there are any time restrictions on the bonus. Look for the terms “expire”, “expiration” or “days” (i.e. you have 90 days to complete WR) within the text.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nov 15

IGT brings its electronic bingo games to Ontario, Canada.

IGT brings its Robust Electronic Bingo Games to Ontario, CanadaInternational Game Technology (IGT) is one of the oldest manufacturers of gambling amusements in the world. The company has pioneered a number of gaming innovations over the decades. They develop every form of gaming known to man—both for land-based and digital; online and mobile casinos. With a fantastic reputation for quality and excellence, it’s no wonder Canadian regulators have time and again chosen IGT when looking to expand their gaming services.

Ontario, like British Columbia before them, chose IGT’s impressive portfolio of interactive slots and table games to power the launch of their provincially-run online casino in 2015. Now, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) is looking to IGT once again to propagate their latest installment of electronic bingo.

According to a press release on Wednesday, IGT will be working with lotteries all over Canada. E-Bingo games are first being debuted in Ontario, with installments at a dozen gaming facilities.

IGT Electronic Bingo Games in Ontario, Canada

IGT announced yesterday that they’ve “recently launched first-of-its-kind electronic bingo content for the Canadian market.” The initial, localized release is taking place in Ontario under the supervision of the OLG.

The pilot program features the introduction of numerous IGT E-Bingo titles, available exclusively at 12 OLG-authorized charitable gaming centers. They include games like Bengal Eyes, Golden Rooster, Pharaoh’s Legacy, and others.

“Launching electronic bingo content in Canada represents a meaningful growth opportunity for IGT and its customers,” explains IGT’s Regional VP for Canada, David Flinn.

“IGT’s Canadian bingo portfolio complements the company’s existing solutions portfolio for the region, and is anchored in titles that have been localized to meet the needs of our customers and their players.”

Canada E-Bingo Not What You Might Think…

Now Available in Ontario, Canada: E-Bingo by IGTWhen you hear the word “bingo”, you probably think of a traditional bingo game. We picture cards with numbers, daubers, bingo callers, etc. An electronic version of that would bring to mind an automated game, probably something similar to Keno, except that we don’t pick our numbers first. That’s not at all what Ontario players are now privy to.

Electronic bingo is incredibly similar to a slot machine. In fact, it’s so keenly mirrored, many players fail to notice the difference. These games look like slot machines, they play like slot machines, they even pay out like slot machines. The only difference is what decides whether the reels turn up a winning combination or not.

Over to the side of the machine, on the far right, there’s a slim line graphic that depicts a small bingo card, with a range of bingo numbers below. As the reels spin, bingo balls are quickly called, and the card is marked. The amount of numbers that match determine if the play is a win, and if so, how much it’s worth. But the players rarely pay attention to this. Instead, they see the mimicking of slot machine action as symbols appear on a set of reels on the main screen. If the bingo card was a win, the symbols will depict a win of equal value on the reels. If not, the symbols will not line up a win, resulting in a loss.

Electronic bingo games give gaming centers that are only authorized to provide Class II gambling games (i.e. bingo) the ability to provide their customers with what looks and feels like a slot machine experience. If the pilot program goes well, you can expect to see a whole lot more IGT E-Bingo games in Canada.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Oct 18

Microgaming, Playtech deals put mobile bingo games back in the spotlight.

Microgaming & Playtech Deals put Mobile Bingo Games in the SpotlightAll of a sudden, desktop and mobile bingo software is making a big return to center stage in the iGaming industry. Having been an active participant in online gambling since the early 2000’s, I can honestly say it’s been a very long time since this niche market has gotten so much attention.

I remember a time when bingo halls were the most populated entertainment venue in the UK, attracting more fans than sports arenas. In those days, the online bingo industry was all the rage. It was community based, the software was simple and incredibly fast—far superior to the heavy downloads and slow load times of online casino games.

As time went on and technology advanced, internet casinos, poker rooms and sports betting exchanges far surpassed the entertainment value of online bingo. Aside from dedicated fans, everyone kind of forgot about it. Thanks to two of the world’s leading digital gambling software companies, Microgaming and Playtech, bingo is finally getting back in the spotlight.

Microgaming & Playtech Sign Deals for Mobile Bingo Games

Both of these companies announced major contracts this week revolving around desktop and mobile bingo software. Microgaming is aligning with one of the UK’s largest betting firms, Betsson Group, to supply its existing HTML5 platform. Playtech is partnering with the retail and online vendor, Buzz Bingo, to deliver a unique, omni-channel experience.

Betsson Group Selects Microgaming Bingo Software

Mobile Bingo Software takes Center Stage in OctoberThe Betsson-Microgaming contract, announced in a press release earlier this week, will see Microgaming implement its all-inclusive bingo and casino in bingo (CiB) platform on all of Betsson’s interactive websites; Betsafe.com, Betsson.com, and Nordicbet.com.

The award-winning platform is renowned for giving players a full-throttle gaming experience. It includes the two most popular bingo variants, 75 Ball Bingo and 90 Ball Bingo, a few exclusively branded variants like Immortal Romance Bingo, plus access to over 450 casino side games, built directly into the platform.

Why Microgaming? Bettson Head of Gaming Joey Hurtado explains:

Microgaming boast one of the most impressive bingo offerings in the industry and a proven track record in delivering high quality gaming products. We’re looking forward to taking our bingo offering to the next level with this deal, which we see as a further step to our commitment to provide the best and most engaging player experience in the industry.”

Playtech and Buzz Bingo to Merge Online with On Land

These new partners are taking a slightly different approach—one that Playtech already has vast experience with—to deliver an omni-channel gaming venue. Buzz Bingo will integrate a number of Playtech’s innovative CRM and IMS engagement systems, then merge them onto the developer’s exclusive Playtech Open Platform (POP).

The idea is to first supply Playtech’s wide range of gaming options to online customers of Buzz Bingo. Once that phase is complete, they will begin integrating the IMS in retail shops, creating a universal, omni-channel bingo platform that coexists in the online and terrestrial space. Players will then be able to use the same registered account details, accessing the same games, both in retail shops and online.

In a press release announcing the deal, Playtech COO Shimon Akad called this, “the most ambitious project our team has delivered to date.” Playtech won’t be working alone, though. They’re signing third-party vendors to provide additional gaming content in an effort to build one of the world’s largest platforms for mobile bingo games and casinos games; one large enough to compete with Microgaming.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jul 30

Mobile casino app developers strike jackpot with Muckleshoot Tribe?

Online gambling laws vary greatly between jurisdictions. In much of Europe, it’s perfectly legal and strictly regulated. In Canada, it’s perfectly legal, too, but regulations are more lax. In the US, it’s a mishmash of state-by-state choice. Washington State, in particular, has very strict laws prohibiting online casino gambling.

That’s what makes the new real money mobile gambling app from Playport Gaming Systems so intriguing. According to last week’s press release, the app developers struck a deal with the tribal owners of Muckleshoot Casino in Washington to launch a new form of mobile betting, with a very specific twist; one that could make or break the venture’s odds of success.

North American Mobile Casino App Developers strike Jackpot at Muckleshoot?

Introducing the Muckleshoot Mobile Casino App

What these two parties have conceived may be the first casino app in a non-regulated US state that’s actually legal to play for real money. But there’s one catch. In order to deposit money onto an account, or withdraw any winnings, you must be physically present at the Muckleshoot Casino.

Once the account is funded, players will be able to use their mobile device to play the available games, for real money, from anywhere in the world. To cash out winnings, or reload their balance, however, they’ll need to return to the casino.

The game variety will also be somewhat limited; unlikely to include the most popular gambling titles like slot machines and blackjack. Playport will only install ‘Class II‘ games that are not house banked. According to the Washington State Gambling Commission‘s statement on Tribal Gaming:

Class II gaming includes bingo, pull-tabs, punch boards, tip jars and other games similar to bingo. Card games that are not banked by the house are considered Class II. Regulation of these games is within tribal jurisdiction, subject to oversight by the National Indian Gaming Commission.”

Have they Developed a Truly Legal Mobile Gambling App?

Anyone who follows the iGaming news headlines should remember several major social casino app developers in hot water in Washington State recently. They weren’t even offering real money mobile gambling apps, and yet their services were deemed “illegal gambling” by the state, based primarily on optional in-app purchases.

Playport Gaming and the Muckleshoot Tribe believe they’ve found a way to circumvent those laws. First of all, being a federally recognized tribe, Muckleshoot doesn’t have to abide entirely by Washington’s legal system, but rather past agreements between the federal government and National Indian Gaming Association. Secondly, by enforcing an on-property rule for all monetary transactions, the act of gambling is, technically, taking place on tribal land.

The only problem with this plan is that they’ll be limited in their clientele. The vast majority of users will be locals; specifically those in reasonable driving distance of the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, WA. It’s unlikely too many players will fly in from other US states, Canada, or beyond, just to facilitate a transfer of funds.

And, of course, there’s always the chance the Washington State government will step in with an injunction order once the Muckleshoot mobile casino app goes live. Whether such legal action would hold any water remains to be seen—if it even happens. If not, chances are we’ll see a lot more tribal casinos across the US and Canada following in their footsteps.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,