Casino Slot Machines: Are Slot Machines Timed To When They’ll Pay Off?

Are slot machines rigged? We've been over random number generators (RNG's) and the mechanics of slot machines on the blog before, but that doesn't stop people from asking the age old questions — are slots legit? We're here to explain that despite being a game of luck, they are.


Casino slot machines have been a staple of casino halls and online sites around the world for decades. Slots are the ultimate game of chance and players have won millions over the years plunging the slot arms and hitting SPIN online to test their luck against the house.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of lining up five BAR symbols on a payline and triggering an avalanche of coins. But many players believe casino slots are timed to pay out at specific points, and that if they could only work out when the slot machine timer is about to go off then they’ll win big.

Well, we’re here to bust that myth wide open. Here’s everything you need to know about how slot machines – both in casinos and online – work when it comes to paying out…

Are Casino Slot Machines Timed?

Slot machines are usually housed together in long rows in a casino hall and are the place to test your luck against the odds. And to answer the question ‘are casino slot machines timed?’ we must inform you that no, they’re not. The safest online gambling sites do not time slots to payout at particular times. There is no timing mechanism in a casino slot machine, nor is there a fixed moment – such as a particular spin in a sequence – that promises a big payout.

sand running through hourglass

Slot machines — not timed to win at specific times.

That’s not to say casino slots don’t have an algorithm behind them. There is, indeed, a tamper-proof random number generator (RNG) that sits inside the casino slot and creates binary code that is then relayed to the machine. This binary code is created to determine where the reels will fall. Developers can then calculate the probability of a reel falling on a paying symbol or not, which in turn helps the designers create a slot machine that has the correct RTP (return to player).

What’s more, casino slot machines are tamper-proof. The box a casino slot comes in acts as a faraday cage that prevents users from tricking the machine with external electrical pulses or signals. Coin comparer technology in slot machines means you’ll never be able to insert a fake coin because your coin is always compared with the previous nickel. What’s more, sensors in the reels detect movement, so you can’t simply bash your way to payouts!

How Online Slot Machine Pay Works

Just like casino slots, online slot machines are also developed with the aid of an RNG. But this time the generator is a lot more powerful and can be easily changed by the developer from their HQ, rather than have an operator manually change or update casino slots. There are random sequences generated literally every millisecond in web-based casino games, which means tricking an online slot machine is almost impossible.

The RTP on online slots can differ depending on your bet but importantly the principle of jackpots remains the same as casino slot machines: no matter what happened in the previous spin, you have the same chance of winning big in your next one.

In fact, with both online and casino slots your outcome is not based on a sequence. Instead, it’s all about when you hit SPIN or plunge the arm. That is when the RNG hits a specific code and produces a result for the player. You see reels spinning and falling on fruit symbols, while the computer behind the game sees code and pays out accordingly.

Learn more about some of our favorite games like Life of Luxury Slot Machine, or Lock it Link Night Life.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

Back To Top
Back To Top